Meall Ghaordaidh

  • Distance – 9.5 Km
  • Ascent – 895 m
  • Height – 1039 m
  • My Time – 6 hours
  • Season completed – Winter
  • Difficulty – 3 / 10
  • Weather – Starting off with clear skies and very little in the way wind. Very cold north wind. Midway up the clouds rolled in, but thankfully 10 minutes after reaching the top they were blown away. Wind chill temperature was around -15 to -18, so rather chilly.
  • Just want to see the photos to get a feel for the hike – click here
  • Route map

Overall

This is a great wee hill for a winter walk. It’s fairly rounded with a slightly boggy approach which of course if done in winter can be frozen solid if you’re lucky. If you’re a straight up and down kind of person then you could easily do this in 4 hours, but if like myself you prefer to take your time then 6 hours is probably as long as it’s going to take.
Parking is limited, probably around 4 cars can park in a reasonable large layby very close the start of the walk.

Start

You park the car in the layby which is at grid ref NN 52607 36345, just over a small bridge that crosses the Allt Dhuin Croisg. You’ll walk back maybe 50 m along the road and there is a gate as well as a small sign saying that hillwalkers for Meal Ghaoraidh use it. This will lead you along a path in a field. Carry on and through another gate as you climb slowly upwards.

From here you’ll get some good views of the surrounding hills with Beinn Bhreac and Sgiath Chùil almost direction south of your position.

View looking south as you head up Meall Ghaordaidh
View looking south as you head up

Easy Going

You’ll reach around 300 m and around this point you’ll see that the path crosses a very small burn and you’ll deviate away from the river as you head further up hill. This is the part that can be a bit boggy. The boggy section can last for quite a distance, but I was fortunate that once I reached around 500-600 m mark that the ground was frozen.

Sunrise, taken from approx 400 m height up the path. from Meall Ghaordaidh
Sunrise, taken from approx 400 m height up the path.

As can be seen in the photos the weather was great, clear skies and the sun was slowly coming up. You can also make out the path, it can be fairly boggy.

Low sun over Glen Lochay from Meall Ghaordaidh
Low sun over Glen Lochay

The way up is fairly non descript, a small path winding its way though some heather with a few boulders here and there as can be seen below. The views are really brilliant and I can’t really say it’s worth the effort as the effort is minimal. But it is worth it.

Half way there up Meall Ghaordaidh

Weather

Can see here the clouds moving in the right. Taken from Meall Ghaordaidh
Can see here the clouds moving in the right

Weather can change so fast. The wind was fairly strong and far out into the west I could see some very thick looking clouds. They were getting closer and closer. Before I knew it those clouds had formed all around and visibility was greatly reduced. So from being able to see for miles to seeing maybe 50 m in the matter of minutes. I only had another 300 to 400 m to go so it wasn’t so bad and the clouds did come and go a little bit.

Last of the long views for a while - The cloud was all around and getting thicker
Last of the long views for a while – The cloud was all around and getting thicker
Path on the way up Meall Ghaordaidh
Path on the way up

Frosty and a snowy path. Visibility wasn’t great, but it was more that clear enough to make out where you were and where you needed to go.

Hanging around

I had plenty of warm gear on, so once I got the top there is a fairly well made shelter. Took out my lunch and chilled out in the hope the clouds would fully clear. Probably spent around 20-30 minutes at the top and then those little occasional breaks came together and booom all the clouds were gone! 🙂

Meall Ghaordaidh summit
Meall Ghaordaidh summit
Looking at Beinn Challuim from Meall Ghaordaidh
Looking at Beinn Challuim

On the way down as the clouds had disappeared I was able to get some more shots of the landscape. The hills are so dramatic with a dusting of snow.

You follow the same path for the way down that you came up. You could possibly head east from the summit, along to Cam-Chreag then head north east until you start to drop down if you wanted to stretch out the walk but for myself I came down the same route.

If you want to see the full album of photos then head over here

Route Map

Route map
Route up and down Meall Ghaordaidh

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