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.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

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 track:

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.

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 slower too.

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.