Hill: Meall Mor
Date: Saturday 28th January 2012
Company: Myself and Beinn
Time: 5Hrs 15Mins
Distance: 20.7km, Ascent: 910m
Dog friendly: Yes



I set off from home at 05:30 this morning - destination Meall Mor, Easter Ross.

Most seem to ascend Meall Mor from Eileanach Lodge in Glen Glass – probably because that’s the route described in Andrew Dempster’s book “The Grahams”. To be different, I fancied an ascent from Boath via the Novar Wind Farm.

I arrived at the start of the walk around 08:00 and was off walking before sunrise.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Start of walk – track to Ballone:


I followed the track past Easter Ballone, for just over 1km, before taking the track leading to the Novar Wind Farm.

Easter Ballone:


As I walked along the track past Easter Ballone, the early morning colours were lovely.

Nice dawn sky:


Cnoc Ceislin:


On starting up the track towards the windfarm, I was a bit surprised to see that this windfarm was now approaching fifteen years old.

Start of track leading to Novar Wind Farm:


Meall Mor still looked quite far away.

Meall Mor in distance (snow-covered hill in right of picture):


The weather in the East looked really good this morning and the clarity was excellent. I could see across the Moray Firth but wasn’t 100% sure of what hills I was looking at .

Looking across to Nigg and across Moray Firth (zoomed):


I arrived at the first of the wind turbines exactly an hour after setting off.

Lovely morning:


The wind turbines definitely spoil the view across to Ben Wyvis - but you just need to walk beyond the wind turbines to get an unspoilt view.

Glas Leathad Beag of Ben Wyvis:


Carn Chuinneag (zoomed):


A short distance beyond the initial wind turbines, I reached Health & Safety signs for the construction of Novar Wind Farm 2 – the sequel. I think it’s good that they are adding more wind turbines to the same hill instead of building yet another set of wind turbines on yet another hill.

The construction workers must have set off up the hill even earlier than myself as they were already busy putting together new wind turbines. Thankfully no Health & Safety jobs-worths today - was nice to get a friendly wave instead .

Putting together a wind turbine:


I thought the views this morning were lovely, regardless of wind turbines.

Looking back across the windfarm:


Looking back across the windfarm:


As we made our way through the windfarm, the tracks were becoming increasingly filled with snow. This pleased Beinn, especially when he got to chase snowballs.

Beinn enjoying the snow:


Cromarty Firth (zoomed):


There are quite a few twists and turns and ups and downs following the windfarm track but I found it quite enjoyable. Was nice to get a view down to Loch Morie and across Sutherland.

Loch Morie:


Looking towards Meall Mor:


After passing the final wind turbine, it was nice to get a clear view across to Ben Wyvis.

Glas Leathad Beag of Ben Wyvis:


Beyond the final wind turbine lies an expanse of peat hags. Thankfully today the ground was mostly frozen.

Beyond the turbines - peat hags:


I wasn’t sure if Meall an Tuirc was a Graham Top. I bypassed it during the ascent but decided that I would ascend it on the return.

Looking back to Meall an Tuirc:


Ascending Meall Mor:


Beinn:


The 2.5km from the end of the track to the summit (and the 2.5km back) required more effort than following the track.

Meall Mor from un-named 656m top:


Looking back:


On reaching a fence, we followed it to the summit.

Following the fence-line to the summit of Meall Mor:


Was a bit disappointing when we reached the summit that it was capped in cloud.

Beinn at the summit of Meall Mor:


Glas Leathad Beag of Ben Wyvis from the summit of Meall Mor:


Beinn at the large cairn below the summit:


We didn’t hang around at the summit as it was a long way back. We returned via the same route, except for a slight diversion to summit the Graham Top, Meall an Tuirc.

Loch Glass:


Top of Meall an Tuirc:


Looking across Mount Eagle to the Cairngorms (zoomed):


Descending back to the start:


Really enjoyed this Graham and was glad that I had opted to ascend via this route .