Hill – Meall Mor, Inverness-shire. Section 9A.
Height – 492 metres. Map – OS Landranger 27.
Climbed – 16 July 2010. Time taken – 2.25 hours.
Distance – 8.5 kilometres. Ascent – 330 metres.
Trip Report Details:
I had planned to head north and climb a Munro but the morning’s heavy rain in Inverness put me off that idea. I decided to wait till later in the day and see if the weather improved, which it did.
In the afternoon I made the short drive south from Inverness, down the A9, to the B9154 Moy Road. I read on Scottish Hills that there were forest tracks, not shown on my map, to the west of Meall Mor, which could be used to gain access to this Sub 2000 Marilyn, although it would involve using fire breaks to reach the open hillside.
I parked beside a gate on the west side of the B9154, around 250 metres south of the junction to Moy Hall, and followed a forest track in a north-westerly direction. I reached an area of felled trees and just beyond this a junction of tracks. (NH746370) I decided to continue in the same direction although having studied Memory Map beforehand I was aware this track came to an end. Well the map was correct so at the end of the track I followed what may have been firebreaks as they swung round to the south, the direction the other forest track had taken.
This involved a bit of wandering through the trees but I spotted a clearing. Unfortunately on reaching it I found that young saplings had been planted where the mature trees had been forested. (NH742368) I tried to keep close to the mature tress but the area was awkward to cross due to cut timber, some marshy ground and lying water from the morning’s rain. However I eventually managed to work my way to a fence at the edge of the forest.
Once across the fence and onto the open hillside I followed what appeared to animal tracks as they headed north-west towards the north-east ridge of Beinn a’Bheurlaich. I eventually left these tracks and climbed onto this ridge where I had views of Inverness, the Kessock Bridge, a cloud topped Ben Wyvis, the Black Isle and the Moray Firth.
The going was now easier although here there was a strong wind with the occasional spot of rain. Several cairns were passed before reaching the summit of Beinn a’Bheurlaich. I descended its south-east ridge to a wet area of ground before ascending Meall Mor. From its summit cairn I had views of Loch Moy, the busy A9 and to the Graham, Carn nan Tri-tighearnan.
I headed over to the east side of this Marilyn to plan my descent and saw a large area of cleared trees with a vehicle track beyond. I therefore descended steeply to a fence, topped with barbed wire, at the edge of the cleared area. (NH739356). I climbed over this fence and descended between the area of mature and cut trees. Initially the going was reasonable but lower down it was a bit more awkward and also included a small marshy area. However I just took my time and without too many problems reached the track (NH743356) which I followed north to the junction of tracks I came across earlier. The return was along the original forest track to the start.
Photos taken on walk.