Hill: Meall na Teanga and Sron a' Choire Ghairbh
Date: Sunday 15th April 2018
Company: Myself, Adele and Cuillin
Distance: 19km, Ascent: 1260m
Time: 6Hrs 30Mins
Subsequent to ascending Ben Hope on Saturday I
decided to drive home via Chanonry Point to hopefully spot some Bottlenose
Dolphins. Cuillin and I therefore spent the night parked-up on the Black
Isle. On awakening in the morning, all I could see was clag - the chances of
spotting dolphins was really low. The weather forecast was however really
good and I recalled the Moray Mountaineering Club were heading to Kilfinnan
for ascents of either Ben Tee, or Meall na Teanga and Sron a' Choire
Ghairbh. Having only ascended Meall na Teanga and Sron a' Choire Ghairbh
once previously, I decided to drive to Kilfinnan to meet up with my club.
On arrival at Kilfinnan, I had around an hour to spare before the club
would arrive by coach; I therefore cooked up some breakfast. I then got
myself suited and booted and ready to go as I suspected members would not be
hanging around due to time limits imposed by the bus driver's hours. I was
correct in this regard as I could see several members approaching at
lightning pace .
I was much less concerned regarding time. I had all day as I had my van.
As Ray, Dawn and Adele walked past my van we joined their company and
all progressed along South Laggan Forest for a potential ascent of either
Meall na Teanga, Sron a' Choire Gharbh, or going well, both.
Ray, Dawn and Adele walking along the South Laggan Forest upper
On reaching the track/path junction the incline changed from level to fairly
steep. Adele set a good pace along the path which was ideal for an ascent of
both Munros within the time limits imposed on bus meet attendees. I did my
best to keep up with Adele helped tremendously by Cuillin who as ever always
likes to be 'in front'. During the ascent Ray and Dawn opted to ascend Sron
a' Choire Ghairbh along with its tops Sean Mheall and Meall nan Dearcag.
Adele setting a good pace along Cam Bhealach:
The temperature was warm; at last it felt like Spring. I stopped briefly
numerous times at numerous burns in an attempt to keep Cuillin hydrated.
Heading along Cam Bhealach:
As we progressed along the glen we could see several remnants of avalanche /
Cornice collapse debris on Meall Dubh:
On reaching the col we had a brief stop to decide one hill or two hills and
if two, which one to ascend first. We opted to try for both Munros and
ascend the more difficult snow-covered one first i.e. Meall na Teanga.
Looking back during initial ascent from the bealach:
After skirting round the lower slopes of Meall Dubh, we reached the col
between Meall Dubh and Meall na Teanga and then followed footsteps in the
snow leading towards Meall na Teanga. The snow was sufficiently soft that
crampons were not warranted. Ice axes were however a sensible precaution
whilst skirting round the hill.
Snowy ascent of Meall na Teanga:
We eventually passed the snow and were able to follow a steep, snowless line
up the hill to the summit.
Sron a' Choire Ghairbh from Meall na Teanga:
On reaching the summit, we both took a few photographs and then returned to
the col. We didn't hang around in order to hopefully ascend both Munros
within bus time limits. At the same time, we were not particularly worried
about bus time limits as I had my van and would have if necessary driven
Adele to the subsequent pub stop.
Cuillin at the summit of Meall na Teanga:
It was a bit of a relief for myself to get down past the steep snow given I
had Cuillin attached to my rucksack via his extending lead.
Looking across to Sron a' Choire Ghairbh:
Descending Meall na Teanga:
On reaching the col we had our only real stop of the day to have a drink and
some food. I then set off slightly ahead of Adele as I wanted a head start
as Adele's pace was faster than my own.
Looking back to Meall na Teanga during ascent of Sron a' Choire Ghairbh:
As suspected Adele easily managed to catch-up with myself during the ascent
so I was glad of the head-start. Not sure if I blame getting old or having
ascended Ben Hope the day previous
Looking across to Meall na Teanga:
At the summit we met two other Club members who had only climbed Sron a'
Choire Ghairbh. I think this confirmed how strong a pace we had been
keeping. Saying that, one of the other members was wearing Sportiva Nepal
Extremes and had I been wearing those boots, I would have been considerably
Cuillin at the summit of Sron a' Choire Ghairbh:
Meall na Teanga from Sron a' Choire Ghairbh:
From the summit, we made our way back down to the col and then back out
towards the van and bus. Adele made it back to the bus with at least thirty
minutes to spare and we all met up again in Fort Augustus for a subsequent
pub stop. A really enjoyable day out.