Hills: Beinn a’Mheadhoin and Am Meallan
Date: Sunday 18th March 2012
Company: Myself, Brent and Derrick
Dog friendly: No – six-foot deer fence



I drove to Elgin this morning to catch the MMC bus heading to Glen Affric.

On arrival in Glen Affric, I was still debating whether to ascend Beinn a’Mheadhoin (Graham) or Toll Creagach and Tom a’Choinich (Munros).

I got off the bus at the Coille Ruigh na Cuileige car park and set off along the path next to the Allt na h-Imrich. On chatting with Brent, I discovered that Brent and Derrick were heading for not only Beinn a’Mheadhoin but also Am Meallan – a HuMP and Graham top of Mam Sodhail. This sounded a great plan, so I opted to join them.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Path alongside the Allt na h-Imrich:


On reaching the end of the track, alongside the Allt na h-Imrich, we crossed the burn and started our ascent of Beinn a’Mheadhoin.

Beinn a’Mheadhoin:


Allt na h-Imrich with Sgurr na Lapaich in distance:


It didn’t take long to ascend Beinn a’Mheadhoin – we reached the summit circa 90 minutes after setting off.

Cairn near summit of Beinn a’Mheadhoin:


We spent a bit of time at the summit visiting the two cairns and the rock 35m from the main cairn, which according to DoBH is the summit.

Glen Affric Munros:


ENE ridge of Beinn a’Mheadhoin:


Brent and Derrick on Beinn a’Mheadhoin:


The view from Beinn a’Mheadhoin was pretty-good. I began to realise that I have visited Glen Affric far too infrequently in recent years.

North Glen Shiel Munros:


North Glen Shiel Munros (zoomed):


Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin:


After spending circa twenty minutes at the summit, we continued on to reach the track at the col between Am Meallan and Beinn a’Mheadhoin.

Descent from Beinn a’Mheadhoin:


Prior to reaching the track, we had to climb over a six-foot deer fence.

On looking at the map, we spotted what looked like a bridge over the Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh, about 1km upstream. We therefore chose to head for the bridge.

Track between Beinn a’Mheadhoin and Am Meallan:


Cornice (zoomed):


On reaching the Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh waterfall, we found no trace of a bridge. After taking some photos of the waterfall, we attempted to cross the river.

Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh waterfall:


Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh waterfall (long exposure shot):


Brent and Derrick managed across the river fine.
I slipped on some algae and fell in the river to above my waist - not only did I go in the water but so did my camera!

I wasn't particularly worried about me being soaked through and freezing cold, I was more worried that my nice new DSLR was soaking wet - I could see that water had got in between the UV filter and lens, I was hoping it hadn't got in anywhere else.

The ascent of Am Meallan was unpleasantly cold and squelchy. I could think of little apart from whether my camera was knackered or not.

On reaching the summit of Am Meallan, I dried the camera off and got the water out from behind the UV filter. Tried taking some photos and was seriously relieved to find that it was still working.

View from summit of Am Meallan:


It was good to get moving again, after a break at the summit.

Descent from Am Meallan:


I was really impressed with Sgurr na Lapaich during the descent from Am Meallan.

I think if one hill shows the nonsense of the SMC Munro list, it is Sgurr na Lapaich. It was a Munro in Hugh Munro’s original list. It is a fantastic mountain in its own right with over 100m drop all round. Why is it no longer a Munro?

Sgurr na Lapaich:


On reaching the track, we stopped for another break and bite to eat.

During the descent towards Loch Affric, we saw a number of stags peering down at us from above.

Stags:


Loch Affric:


Great to see the splendour of Loch Affric once more, as we made our descent to Affric Lodge.

Approaching Loch Affric:


From Affric Lodge, we walked back along the road to the second car park as the road-end car park and Chisholme Bridge are currently meant to be closed.

Walk back to car park:


A great day out apart from the fully-clothed bath .