|Meall Corranaich &
Meall a' Choire Leith CCW from Lochan na Lairige
Meall Corranaich Meall a' Choire Leith
|Estimated net time||3-4 hours|
|Difficulty||No difficulties, but the path is quite wet from where you come down from Meall a' Choire Leith.|
|Drinking water||There are two streams in the flatter section after you have descended Meall a' Choire Leith.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage only around the summits (May 2014).|
|Parking||Room for a few cars at small car park by trail head.|
|Start height||535 metres|
|Vertical metres||775 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||9.2 km|
Meall Corranaich trail head at north end of Lochan na Lairige.
From the bridge crossing the river in the village Killin, at the south-west end of Loch Tay, drive 7.7 km (4.8 mi) north-east on road A827 (towards Aberfeldy). Turn left onto a single lane road signed for "Ben Lawers" and drive 7.6 km (4.7 mi) to a small car park on the right hand side of the road, north of Lochan na Lairige, after a left curve. You will see a large cairn a little above the road. Park here.
Start your hike by walking 80 metres back along the road and then head south-east through grass and some heather. You're likely to pick up a vague path from a little above trail head, and this path gets more visible when you get higher up. If you don't find the path just aim for an old line of fence poles, from where you'll find the path. Follow this path up to 730m, from where you leave the path towards left and head for the ridge a little south-west of the summit. At 900m you will join a path coming in from your right, which you follow up to the pile of stones at the summit.
From Meall Corranaich continue on the path heading north along the ridge, but make sure you continue north (not left and north-west) when you get down to 1000m, approximately 1 km from the summit. If you turn left here you will end up on the wrong ridge, as opposed to heading for the saddle below Meall a' Choire Leith. From the saddle head up the obvious path to the pile of stones at the summit.
From Meall a' Choire Leith descend 90° left (south-west) compared to your ascent route and head down to the stream, crossing it at 630m. From here follow a wet and boggy path south-west, crossing another stream by a small dam, and then south-west to where it turns into a good path 400 metres before the road. Turn right when you get to the road and walk 80 metres back to the car.
02. May 2014
Håvard wanted to hike Ben Lawers (ranked as #10 on the Munro list) on this slightly grey Friday, and got Erling to join him. I was OK to do the driving but wasn't keen on visiting Ben Lawers a second time since I had already been there on a very nice day three years ago. Hence we agreed I would drop them off at the Ben Lawers car park before driving further up the valley and hike some other mountains.
It was fresh snow down to 800m, but this didn't cause any problems for me. But the three hikers I met a little above my trail head told me that my friends were not likely to make it to Ben Lawers because of hard snow, unless they had crampons. Hence I called Håvard and Erling when I got GSM coverage at the summit of Meall Corranaich and warned them, but they were determined to keep going as far as they could. At the end it turned out the advice I had been given was nonsense since it was a plain walk all the way to Ben Lawers. However, the three guys also gave me another piece of advise, which proved much more useful; they told me to make sure I stayed right when I got north of Meall Corranaich, as following the ridge would lead me way off the shortest route. This advise came most handy as I clearly would have followed the wrong ridge if they hadn't warned me.
By the time I got to Meall a' Choire Leith the mist had cleared from the tops in the Lawers group, and I had a nice view across to the mountains I had hiked three years ago. And after taking a number of photos I headed down the steep south-west slopes to take on the long-ish, boring and boggy path back to the car. The only sight worth mentioning was a group of deer a couple of hundred metres in front of me.
After my hike I drove back down to the car park where I waited less than an hour for Håvard and Erling, and then the 1½ hours drive back to Stirling, via a stop for beer for my passengers.