|Ben Lawers from Machuim
to NTS car park
Meall Greigh Meall Garbh An Stuc Ben Lawers Beinn Ghlas
|Estimated net time||6-8 hours|
|Difficulty||No real difficulties, but you will have to use your hands a little when ascending An Stuc. The hand holds are very good and there is no real exposure.|
|Drinking water||The water from the river Lawers Burn at the start of the hike is probably OK to drink. Once you leave this river you will not have access to any more running water.|
|GSM coverage||Poor/zero coverage between Meall Greigh and Ben Lawers, else OK (June 2011).|
|Parking||It's difficult to find parking at trail head, but there are places to park not far away. Parking at the end of the route is at a large car park.|
|Start height||180 metres|
|Vertical metres||1700 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||16.5 km|
Trail head by Machuim.
This hike needs some organizing since it has different start and finish locations.
From Perth drive north on road A9, approximately 35 km, and turn left onto road A827 towards Aberfeldy. From Aberfeldy stay on A827 to the east end of Loch Tay, approximately 10.0 km. From the bridge across the river drive 11.7 km along road A827, to a small shop selling hand carved horns. This is your trail head. Continue another 7.2 km and turn right where signed for Ben Lawers. Drive this narrow road uphill for 3.2 km to the large car park. Park a car here and drive back to the trail head.
From the trail head walk up the gravel road next to the shop selling hand carved horns. After 250 metres the road turns right, and a path continues straight ahead; follow this path. This path will take you through the forest and up along the right hand side of the river Lawers Burn. Stay on this path 2.8 km from road A827, and then cross the river and head directly north up to Meall Greigh. There is no path up here, and the going is a little strenuous thanks to soft grass. When you get up to approximately 800 metres it is advised you bear a little right and aim for the south ridge of Meall Greigh. There is a path running along the ridge, which will bring you to the summit marked by a cairn.
From Meall Greigh continue north-west and west down to the saddle between Meall Greigh and Meall Garbh, and then the obvious path along the north-east ridge of Meall Garbh. Note that Meall Garbh has two tops, where the right (west) is the highest. You can walk across to the higher from the lower top.
Next is An Stuc, via a well defined path down from Meall Garbh. The path is a little steep in places, and you might need to use your hands in one or two places. From the saddle continue up the steep north-east side of An Stuc. You will definitely have to use your hands in a few places, but there are no difficulties involved, and there are obvious hand holds. There are a number of routes, but in general it is probably better to stay left as opposed to right.
From An Stuc follow the path up to Ben Lawers, and from here the path out to Beinn Ghlas. From Beinn Ghlas follow the well defined path down to the large car park.
03. June 2011
This hike had been planned since this trip to Scotland was decided many months ago. And in my own head it would be the first real test of the state of my knee. In order to make the hike happening I would rely on someone driving with me to the car park where I intended to end my hike, so I could leave my car there and then get a lift back to trail head. This plan turned out to get a solution almost by itself, since some of my friends decided to go to Aberfeldy distillery this Friday. That meant their driver didn't have to drive too much in order to accommodate for my requirements in terms of transportation. Another factor that was required for this hike to really be on was good weather, and I had fabulous weather all day, with bright sky and temperatures well above 20°C.
My route up to Meall Greigh was possibly not the best one, as I assume the path I found at the top of the ridge maybe starts all the way down by the main road. Anyway, from here I enjoyed the comfort of a good path, and met a number of friendly persons. I assume the only thing I should have done differently was to have had some sun protection in my back pack. The best part of the hike was probably the scramble up An Stuc, and it gave me a feeling of some proper mountaineering.
Back at the car I changed into dry clothes and hit the road back to Pitlochry.
Here I was able to recover with a couple of beers before Erling served a first
class klippfisk (dried cod) dinner to all nine of us staying in the