|Meall Chuaich from road
|Estimated net time||3½-4½ hours|
The whole route is done on fine mountain road and path.
|Drinking water||Access to running water from the stream next to the dam.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (May 2010).|
|Parking||Room for several cars on car park along road A9.|
|Start height||348 metres|
|Vertical metres||605 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||14.6 km|
Start of service road towards Meall Chuaich, by road A9.
From Aviemore drive south on road A9, a little less than 50 km. Approximately 800 metres after you pass the Dalwhinnie exit on the right hand side of the road find a signed parking area along the road. Park here.
Walk a few metres back in the direction of Aviemore (north) and turn right onto a service road. Cross the gate and walk south-east. Fork left approximately 300 metres from road A9, and walk on the left hand side of the aqueduct. When the road makes a right turn and crosses the aqueduct on a bridge follow the road, which will take you to a power station building. After you have crossed the next bridge, after the power station building, fork left. 700 metres after this bridge you get to the next bridge, and again you should fork left.
Continue on the service road, and fork right approximately 300 metres before you get to the lake. And approximately 400 metres later turn left onto a path. Follow this path all the way to the summit, which is marked by a large cairn.
Descend by reversing the ascent route.
20. May 2010
I had travelled from Norway earlier this morning, together with friends, and after having checked in to our hotel in Aviemore I drove south to hike Meall Chuaich. Some of the other guys went for a round of golf, while some headed straight for the bar, where we would all meet later at night.
My choice of mountain to climb was a bit at random, but it did satisfy some basic criteria; within reasonable driving distance from Aviemore, I hadn't been to it before, and it has a fair primary factor. After having messed around a little trying to locate the trail head, I finally assumed I had found it, and was lucky to meet some workers after a couple of hundred metres along the service road who could confirm my assumptions in terms of route.
Along the service road I overtook a hiker who was out on a two week expedition, hiking across Scotland from west to east, and we chatted a little. But he wasn't going at the pace I preferred (I had a bar appointment to reach, something which should be taken seriously), so after a few minutes I said good-bye. From here on I was on my own all the way up to the summit, where a woman was on her way to start her descent when I arrived. She didn't appear very talkative, so I left her to start her descent.
From the summit I would have had a fine view of a large area of land, but the clouds didn't give me very favourable conditions for photos. In particular the Braeriach massif would have been a fine view on a fine day. But I still enjoyed the views, and the fact that I yet again had left home in Norway the same day as I was climbing a fine Scottish mountain. Next on the agenda was the 50 km drive back to Aviemore, a shower, and food and a few pints of world class beer.