Meall Gainmheich, Trossachs.
Height – 564 metres. Map – OS Landranger 57.
Climbed - 21 March 2010. Time taken – 3.25 hours.
Distance – 7.5 kilometres. Height climbed – 620 metres.
Trip Report Details:
The forecast was for some rain and low cloud during the afternoon so I decided to climb this Sub 2000 Scottish Marilyn and get off the hill by lunchtime.
I drove along the A821 Kilmahog to Aberfoyle Road as far as the west end of Loch Achray where there was a large car park marked Ben A’an. I left my vehicle here, crossed the main road, and headed uphill through the forest on a fairly steep well worn path which later followed the west bank of the Allt Inneir. The path later crossed this stream, via a footbridge, and higher up the gradient eased. It was here that I felt the first few spots of rain and on reaching a clearing in the forest I saw that the tops of the hills were covered in cloud.
The path later emerged from the trees and again the gradient increased as I climbed towards a large rock, which tourists consider to be the summit of Ben A’an. There were a few folks making there way up this path and a couple descending, having tried to catch the sunrise on camera. I climbed onto this rock where I had views down to Lochs Achray and Katrine although it was still cloudy higher up.
I left the tourists to their rocky perch and returned along the path for a short distance before following a trail, which I had noted earlier. However this path didn’t last and soon disappeared in the long heather as I approached an old deer fence. I was heading for the South-East Top of Ben A’an but on closing in on this knoll the cloud base was high enough to allow me to make a direct ascent to its true summit, which was marked by a few stones.
I spotted a few deer hinds as I descended from Ben A’an and headed for my next hill, Meall Reamhar. I could see my target hill, Meall Gainmheich, although it became briefly engulfed in cloud. On approaching a fence I saw a chap to my left who was also heading towards Meall Reamhar. The ascent was quite steep through some long heather and a few rocks but by the time I reached the summit cairn the other walker was en-route for Meall Gainmheich.
On Meall Reamhar I found some shelter from a cold wind for a coffee break and to put on my Cioch jacket as there was still the occasional spots of rain. After my break I descended to another fence which I crossed as the chap I had seen earlier was departing Meall Gainmheich. I climbed onto the north-west ridge of Meall Gainmheich where another fence led to the summit, which was just off the fence line and could be any of a few pointed rocks.
The return was direct to the east side of the summit of Ben A’an which I traversed round. The old deer fence was reached before I cut across to rejoin the Ben A’an tourist path which I followed back to the start passing several family groups on their way up and down the hill. The car park which only had a couple of cars in it when I left was now full.
Photos taken on walk.