Hill: Creag nam Mial
Date: Saturday 1st December 2012
Company: Just myself
Distance: 15.7km, Ascent: 575m,
I wasn’t keen to drive far this morning, due to the very icy road conditions, so I opted to head for my nearest unclimbed Sub2000ft Marilyn – Creag nam Mial.
I have put off ascending Creag nam Mial for at least two years. All reports I have read of this hill tell of horrendous terrain en-route to the summit. However, all reports I have read have approached Creag nam Mial from the North-East. I therefore decided to be different and approach the hill from the South-West, from near Ballinluig, to ascertain if an approach from the South-West would be any less horrendous.
I parked just off the road at the junction leading to Ballachallan. There is a sign here advising not to block the entrance. With considerate parking, several cars could park here without blocking the entrance.
After a quick glimpse of the map, I set off a short distance along the road to gain access to the track leading to Creag nam Mial. If I had looked at the map a bit more carefully, I would have seen that the track to Woodside of Tulliement is not actually a crescent. My clockwise approach, resulted in me coming to a dead-end. I therefore had to climb a couple of fences to reach the track leading to Creag nam Mial.
View from start of track towards Woodside of Tulliement:
Looking towards Ballinluig:
The views to the South were fairly pleasant this morning. The weather was much better than had been forecast
Looking back towards Woodside of Tulliement and beyond:
A short distance beyond the pylons, a number of young deer crossed the track in front of me.
Track below the pylons:
After passing through a couple of gates, the going was fairly level for the next couple of kilometres. I could just make out Creag nam Mial in the distance. It looked a long way off.
First glimpse of Creag nam Mial, in distance (see arrow):
Meall Reamhar, Creag nam Mial and Capel Hill:
I really enjoyed this approach to Creag nam Mial. The views were good, the track was excellent and the incline was gentle.
Beyond the ruin at NO028527, my map showed that the vehicle track changed to a footpath. However, beyond the ruin the track remained excellent.
Ruin at NO028527:
Creag nam Mial and Creag Loisgte:
There was an easy burn to ford a few hundred metres from the point where I intended leaving the track and a couple of short sections where the track was a bit overgrown.
Looking towards hut at NO037541 from point where I left the track:
I chose to leave the track at the point closest to the summit of Creag nam Mial. I now had just under 1 mile of trackless terrain ahead of me. Would it be horrendous?
Damn right it was! The going was initially through knee-deep heather, with the odd thigh-deep section.
About to head into the deep heather towards Creag nam Mial:
Beyond the deep heather, was a section that was fairly wet with lots of tussocks.
Flat boggy area en-route to Creag nam Mial:
Beyond the wet section, it was back to really deep heather, most of the way to the summit.
It was a relief to reach the dyke leading to the summit. However, at the dyke there was a six-foot deer fence to climb over.
Making my way towards the dyke ascending Creag nam Mial:
Looking down along the dyke:
Approaching the summit cairn of Creag nam Mial:
View from the dyke highpoint:
View towards the Cairngorms from the dyke highpoint:
Cairngorms from the summit cairn (zoom):
View from the summit of Creag nam Mial:
View from the summit of Creag nam Mial:
From the summit, I decided to visit the high cairn a short distance to the NNW.
Looking towards the Cairngorms from the high cairn NNW of the summit:
From the high cairn, I tried to find a more pleasant route back to the main track, without success. I eventually got back to the main track and followed my in-bound route back out to the car.
As I approached the road, the track was blocked by cattle, so I took a wee detour to avoid them and climbed over a small barbed-wire fence to reach the road.
This was a really nice walk with the exception of the final trackless section to the summit of Creag nam Mial.