Hill: Meall Blair
Date: Friday 4th November 2016
Company: Just myself
Distance: 9.1km, Ascent: 635m
Time: 3Hrs 25Mins
I set off this morning towards Gairlochy, and then along the rollercoaster of a road that runs alongside Loch Arkaig, for an ascent of the Graham, Meall Blair.
En-route to the hill, I had to stop several times to take photos as it was a stunning morning. The weather was much better than had been forecast.
Early morning views towards the Aonachs and Nevis:
Loch Arkaig reflections:
On reaching the Allt Arcabhi, I parked just off the road opposite a new hydro scheme building. Once suited and booted, I commenced my ascent of the new hydro scheme track leading towards Loch Blair.
I stopped several times during the ascent up the track to take photos of Loch Arkaig. Loch Arkaig is definitely one of my favourite Scottish lochs.
Looking back to Loch Arkaig:
The new track is currently somewhat unsightly. However, the recently moved earth to the side of the track has
been levelled off so should therefore eventually regain a covering of grass and heather. The quality track does make for fast progress up the hill as it stops just short of Loch Blair i.e. at a height of just over 300m.
Ascending the hydro scheme track:
I enjoyed the views across to Gulvain, Streap and the Glenfinnan Munros. These hills are all steep when approached from Loch Arkaig side. I need to revisit this area sometime in the not too distant future to re-do the Glenfinnan Munros and also to ascend the remote Meith Bheinn and An Stac.
Great views towards Gulvain, Streap and the Glenfinnan Munros:
On reaching the small hydro scheme dam I had to cross some rough, very-wet ground to reach
the vehicle track running up the hill. The best way to get onto this track
would have been to leave the hydro track a hundred metres or so before reaching the small hydro scheme dam.
New hydro scheme:
Meall Blair from the hydro scheme:
I was in no hurry today, so I plodded slowly up the wet track ascending Meall Blair.
Following the vehicle tracks up Meall Blair:
Looking back to Loch Blair:
Following the vehicle track and marker posts:
Looking back to Loch Arkaig:
The vehicle track came to an abrupt end at a height of circa 550m. Thereafter the going
to the summit was trackless.
Ascending Meall Blair:
Looking towards the summit trig point from a false summit:
On seeing a new group of hills come into view, the pointy one was easily recognisable, Sgurr na Ciche.
Pointy Sgurr na Ciche (zoom):
View from the summit of Meall Blair:
I didn't hang around for long at the summit as it was very cold up top. Winter is definitely on its way.
I returned to the car via roughly the same route. During the descent I spotted a Buzzard flying overhead
and could see worsening weather coming in from the East.
Loch Arkaig (East):
Loch Arkaig (West):
Circa 20 minutes after getting back to the car it started to rain. Good timing
Today I decided I am going to make more of a focused effort to complete the Grahams.
Only eighteen now remaining.