Meall Chuaich (Drumochter) 24th March 2024


Meall Chuaich (Drumochter) 24th March 2024 The club’s latest outing saw thirty members and guests out in the hills on the 24th March. BDHC’s last visit to the area last year was abandoned due to extreme wet and windy weather.

This time the gods were kind to the group with just a light shower here and there, views from the tops were extensive with Ben Alder being particularly impressive with the massif plastered in snow. The A party even enjoyed good snow conditions underfoot in places.

Out of a total of 30 hill-goers there were 19 in the A, 7 in the B and 4 in the C party. The club has recently seen a welcome surge in membership and increasingly good numbers turning out to enjoy the walks. A very welcome trend and one that not only means more enjoyment on the hills but importantly helps to keep the club’s costs in check.

All three groups started their walk following along the aqueduct that carries water from the hydro scheme near Loch Cuaich.

The B group were the first to split off heading south along a good track heading up the ridge that separates Coire Chais and Coire Cam, this took them onto the high ground where an easy walk took them to their peak, the Munro Carn na Caim. From the summit the walkers headed down the mountain’s northern spur and back to the track leading to the aqueduct.

The C group were the next to spilt as they headed for a pleasant walk around part of Loch Cuaich, they then retraced their steps and eventually struck south to their chosen hill, Leacainn. Although of modest height the hill top provided the group with wonderful panoramic views of snow-capped mountains. Heading north the party eventually re-joined the outward track close to its junction with the A9.

The largest group, the A walkers, started their climb of Meal Chuaich up its eroded and soggy path some distance past Loch Cuaich. It’s a steep path and being sheltered from the cold wind that would be encountered later, several walkers did ‘de-layer’ to avoid getting too warm early on. Eventually they did meet the welcome cold breeze after which the conditions were ideal for strenuous walking. The snow line was reached with pleasant snow tramping enjoyed by all. The mountain has a featureless summit area but owing to its relative isolation offers great views. To avoid the slippery upward path, the walkers headed ESE from the summit and down heathery slopes to re-join the outward path a couple of kms further east from where they had left it earlier.

The various groups came across a variety of wildlife, mountain hares (still white), golden plovers were heard by the loch, ptarmigan seen and heard on the tops, still in winter plumage. Red grouse aplenty with a sighting of black grouse too.