Footprints Across Scotland

Why not make a few of your own!

21st March 2015

A meander over The Fara and through Dirc Mhor, Dirc Bheag and then onto Meall nan Eagan.





Route Map



The Fara forms the high point of a broad ridge running along the north side of Loch Ericht from Ben Alder lodge toward Dalwhinnie. After parking in the village I made my way down to the station and then on toward the level crossing. The estate road follows the east shore of Loch Ericht which stretches almost 15 miles south west were it links with Loch Rannoch via the river Rannoch.

Ben Alder across Loch Ericht












Ben Alder across Loch Ericht

On reaching the impressive castellated house at An Tochait I exchanged greetings with one of the estate workers before locating the fire break that would allow access to the hills. A gate in the left corner provided a muddy entrance to better but steeper ground for the climb upwards.

Up through the fire break












Up through the fire break

Out of the trees the way eased and I lessoned the incline by making an angled ascent west on to the main ridge. Part of the cornice line had collapsed leaving some rather large blocks of snow on the edge of my chosen walkway.

One lump or two with your Dalwhinnie?












One lump or two with your Dalwhinnie?

After kicking in steps for the final few meters I topped out onto the ridge to be greeted with far reaching views towards the Ben Alder range and hills of Ardverikie Forest.

Long Loch Ericht












Long Loch Ericht

Loch Ericht from The Fara












Loch Ericht from The Fara

Gael-Charn and Beinn a' Clachair












Gael-Charn and Beinn a' Clachair

Ben Alder range












Ben Alder range

Top of the Fara












The top of the Fara

Drumochter Hills












Drumochter Hills

Ardverickie Forest Hills












Ardverickie Forest Hills

It was very pleasant walking along the ridge over the south west top to the impressive cairn and adjoining dry stone wall marking the summit of the Fara.

The Fara












The Fara

A couple of fellow walkers were just finishing there lunch as I arrived. After some pleasant banter they left me with the hill to myself to enjoy a brew and the hazy views.

Walkers leave the Fara












Walkers leave the Fara

Wanting to make the most of the good weather I headed north west over to Meall Liath dropping alongside an old fence to overlook the impressive gorge of Dirc Mhor.

Dirc Mhor












Dirc Mhor

It looked like I could have dropped down from here but decided to turn and take the entrance proper. Itís quite an impressive place but very awkward walking even with snow plugging many of the gaps between boulders there was always a possibility of loosing a leg in between. Some unstable rock also added to my wariness but even so I still managed a stumble that had me wincing and thinking I'd damaged a rib. Not the best of places to run into trouble so it was with some relief that I managed to continue and make it through.

Dirc Mhor












Dirc Mhor

Dirc Mhor












Dirc Mhor

Dirc Mhor












Dirc Mhor

The sensible plan now would have been to head out but being a glutton for punishment I decided I would keep to my plan and continue my way round Creag nan Adhaircean and go up Dirc Beag. This was much less troublesome, nowhere near as many boulders, just a few trees to weave through.

Dirc Beag












Dirc Beag

Dirc Beag












Dirc Beag

I emerged at Lochan na Doire-uaine with its shore of old tangled tree roots.

Emerging from Dirc Beag












Emerging from Dirc Beag

Lochan na Doire-uaine












Lochan na Doire-uaine

Lochan na Doire-uaine












Lochan na Doire-uaine

I left the loch shore half way along to clamber up on the 589 top that overlooks it.

Allt Anít Sluic












Allt Anít Sluic

A heathery descent north was now required to reach the bealach at 500m.

Meall nan Eagan












Meall nan Eagan

A steady climb over heather and grass was required to reach the top of Meall nan Eagan and a well earned brew.

The 'Dircs' from Meall nan Eagan












The 'Dircs' from Meall nan Eagan

After following the east ridge down I headed over to pick up the track that runs pleasantly along the glen to Allt Anít Sluic Lodge.

Allt Anít Sluic












Allt Anít Sluic

Not far from the lodge a large herd of deer watched on from a little further up the hillside. After walking around the lodge I was passed by a landrover which parked up a little way up the glen. The landrover horn started to sound and I could soon see that this was the signal to the deer that it was feeding time. As I was trudging back into town along the A889 one of the locals pulled up and enquired if I would like a lift, an offer gratefully accepted, always nice to avoid any road walking. An interesting walk albeit a bit bruising on this occasion, more care and attention was required in places and I suspect climbing up through the gorge would have made things just a little bit easier.



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