Thursday, 1 June 2017

Hiking Creag Meagaidh in the Scottish Highlands

Living in Scotland can be a nightmare at times, days of rain and wind confines most of the population to the local pubs (probably why we drink so much) but on the odd day when the sun comes out you remember what an awesome place Scotch Land is! 


Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh
A couple of weekends ago I signed Jess and myself up for a little walk and camping trip with some friends, I said "nothing to taxing since were total hiking amateurs". They took this as "we really want to do a hike that resembles an endurance boot camp". 
We set off from Glasgow at 7AM and headed north into The Highlands, taking a quick stop off at the Dalwhinnie distillery before heading towards Loch Laggan. 
Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh

Arriving in the car park you can imagine the shock on our face when we were told that the plan was a 27km hike over three Munro's (which is a mountain who's summit is 3000 ft or higher). Cheers guys.
It’s a fair walk in to Creag Meagaidh it took us around 2 hours to reach the wee loch at the foot of the Munro so after a little photo break we took on the first climb of the day.

Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh
Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh
Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh
Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh

It was only a matter of time before the flat, meandering path deteriorated into a scramble up a bolder field! We actually climbed up the side of the window to avoid all the loose rubble on the worst zig zagging path I have ever seen.

Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh
Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh
Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh

Eventually, lagging way behind our friends, we reached the top of the window and passed along some snow left over from the winter.

Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh
Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh
Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh

Three and a half hours in and we're starting to think we may be taking on more than we can handle! Letting our friends forge ahead we took some time to realise how super unfit we are. And for Jess to have a tantrum. Lessons were learned. Mountain climbing is hard. 

At this point we decided to abandon the other two Munro's and attempt to just reach the first Cairn (basically a pile of rocks at the peak) without dying. The path was again pretty rocky and our inappropriate footwear choice - gym trainers - didn’t provide much grip. Such amateurs.

Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh

Hanger brewing and tempers getting shorter we finally  reached  the plateau where we could see the Cairn! Excited for some lunch we powered on only to find that this was not the main Cairn and a smaller one a little further was the actual peak of Creag Meagaidh – cheers for that!

Another last push and a wee snowy ledge crossing later we made it to the peak.


Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh
Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh
Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh

After almost four hours of hiking we were building up quite the appetite, thankfully Jess was on hand with an awesome home made picnic and bailies coffee to refuel.

Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh

Happy with reaching the peak of Creag Meagaidh we left our friends to climb the remainder two Munro's while we made our way back down the way we came up.

The way down was hellish with trainers, thankfully it was sunny and the ground was dry or I think we would have cried and given up long before. It didn't get any better once we reached the loch, the track home felt like a never ending trail! 

Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh
Cal McTravels, Craig Meagaidh

We arrived back at the car park just after our friends (I'm convinced they took a shortcut) where we celebrated our victory with a few beers by the camp fire.

Big thanks to Calum & Rhona for taking us along, we had a great time and highly recommend this hike to everyone. Just don't do it in trainers! 
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6 comments

  1. Sounds like an amazing day, I am into my flat but long distance walks, and munros terrify me. It looks fantastic, well done.

    Introvertadventurer.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Hey Jade glad you liked the post,

      If you like flat long distance walks I would recommend walking from the carpark to the loch at the foot of the Munro. Its a good 2 hour walk to this point along a relatively flat path where you will still get some incredible views but without the need to scramble up any bolder fields.

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