Footprints Across Scotland
Why not make a few of your own!
16th September 2015
A round of Loch Garry with a pig at the tale end.
Beinn Mholach had been mentioned on occasion recently during online discussions about the proposed Rannoch wind farm. I was looking forward to checking out the views from the top. Seeing as Meall na Leitreach was kind of on the way it seemed rude not to include it in the round. I was also hoping that another hill at the tail end of the walk wouldn’t prove to much of a pig and I’d have enough stamina to head up it as well. There was plenty of parking to be found near Dalnaspidal, just off the A9 after following a sign for the cycle way.
Meallan Buidhe from Dalnaspidal
The midge had me hurrying to start the walk but I quickly returned to apply some sun cream, it looked like being a bright warm sunny day. I left the good track that heads out to Loch Garry just before the bridge over Allt Coire Luidhearnaidh to follow a narrow embankment leading to a small footbridge.
The Sow of Atholl
Over the bridge and to my left I picked up some ATV tracks that eased my way up soggy slopes onto Sron na h-Eiteich. Pleasant going on short grass now led from this top and onto Meall na Leitreach. There were some nice wide open views from here but the one that drew my attention was over to Beinn Mholach, it still looked a long way off!
Beinn Mholach from Meall na Leitreach
Continuing south along the broadening ridge I tried to avoid the deeper heather.
After making Sron nam Faiceachan it was a slightly awkward descent through some deeper vegetation to gain the point were Allt Shallainn meets the outflow from Loch Garry.
The river was quite low and easily crossed at a narrow section and I followed the grassy banks for a while before heading for a track just north of Durnish.
Meall na Leitreach
Another ATV track helped here as it followed the line of some white painted sticks marking Grouse gritting points. Steady progress was made onto Creag nan Gabhar at which point the slopes eased. A slightly undulating route over small knolls and around watery pools eventually led over to summit of Beinn Mholach.
A Snipe took flight as I passed a small lochan and a trio of Ptarmigan also took to the wing.
Beinn Mholach summit & Schiehallion
The wind was just strong enough for the best part to keep the wee beasties at bay and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch taking in the expansive views especially across the vast moor to the south.
South east across the Moor
South across the Moor
South west cross the Moor
I decided to return along my ascent route until I again picked up the track down in the glen. Turning north west a bridge provided a fording point across Allt Shallainn. An indistinct path leads around the base of Meall Doire before it joins the track on the west side of Loch Garry. It was a bit of a trudge along the loch side until the bridge over Allt Coire Luidhearnaidh was reached and it was time to make a decision.
Meall na Leitreach across Loch Garry
I tried not to think too long so turned along the a track into Coire Luidhearnaidh. Feint vehicle tracks lured me out onto the marshy ground but I soon left these trying to pick a drier line. I had not seen Snipe for a while but a second of the day burst out of the undergrowth just in front of me.
Dalnaspidal from the Sow
The light was starting to fade a little as I wandered over the flattish top of Meall an Dobharchain, more commonly know as the Sow of Atholl. The sound of gun shots accompanied my descent and seeing a landrover near the bridge below I regained the vehicle track further up from were I had left it. Reaching the landrover marked as from the Alder estate, I had a friendly chat with shotgun owner and his son but there was no mention about deer stalking or questions about where I’d been. Thankfully, it was just a final km back to the van after what had been a rewarding but tiring day.
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