Meall Buidhe and Stuchd an Lochain

Loch an Daimh, Near Bridge of Balgie

Start Point: Parking is available at the base of the dam
Grid Reference: OS sheet 51 grid ref 510463
Time: 6 - 8 hours
View Location: Click for online scaleable map
Buy OS Map: Buy Map at MapsWorldWide


Introduction

Gorgeous weather on May Day provided the perfect forum for me to introduce a work mate to the hills.

We decided to take the circular route around the loch, and the steep climb back up from the loch combined with my lazy navigation technique proved the perfect test of any friendship....... he got his own back with some cruel driving for the whole of the homeward journey.

Looking towards Meall Buidhe across Loch an Daimh
   

At the summit of Meall Buidhe it was refreshing to meet the McMillan family who didn't quite fit the bearded stereotype hillwalker that Muriel Gray writes about. Hillwalking is a great activity for all age groups..... it's just a shame that many Scots struggle to hike to the chip shop and never see the wilderness just beyond their doorsteps.

Both hills can be climbed individually starting from the dam and then retracing your steps back.

   
The McMillan family at the summit of Meall Buidhe

Route

  • Parking is available at the base of the dam (Click for scalable map). Quite a busy spot early on our chosen day.

  • From the dam follow the path to south, then follow the steep grassy track up Coire Ban.

  • From Coire Ban continue SSW to the ridge, then follow the ridge west to the summit of Stuchd an Lochain, 960m, GR 483448. The circular Lochan nan Cat beneath the summit looks quite bizarre.

   
  • We then followed the ridge west to Meall an Odhar before dropping down the steep slopes to follow the burn to Loch an Daimh. (Cameron McNeish's suggested route in "The Munros" up the Corbett Sron a Choire Chnapanich, may be very nice but I just didn't have the energy and my hillwalking partner for the day may well have impaled me with his walking pole had I suggested it.)

  • From the west end of the loch it is another punishing hike up the steep southerly slopes to Meall Cruinn. From this summit it is well worth taking a compass bearing to Meall Buidhe. My laziness led us a tad off course to Coire Uaimh, which whilst very pleasant wasn't the exact spot I was aiming for.
Please note: there are TWO Meall Buidhe's within close reach of one another. The one to the north of Loch an Daimh is the munro (931m) whereas the one to the west of the Loch is not a munro at 907m high. Make sure you head for the correct hill!
Mr Walker vowing never to do it again.
 
  • As you approach Meall Bhuide (931m) you should encounter a landrover track leading most of the way to the summit at GR 498499. Embedded in the summit cairn is a memorial dedicated to 2 hillwalkers, a nice place to be remembered.
  • From Meall Bhuide, head south along the edge of the Glas Choire, then it's a steady tramp south across the heather from Meall a' Phuill back down to the dam

The volume of traffic we encountered at the dam was refreshingly absent elsewhere, as we only met one other group on the hill. This was probably due to fewer people taking on the circular route. My workmate is now talking about his next expedition into the unknown....... brave man.

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