Meall Nan Tarmachan…..
The plan was to ‘activate’ a summit on the Bank Holiday Monday but I had originally planned it for one of the Arrochar ‘Alps’, Euan had decided to travel too so we decided to go further afield. We ‘discussed’ where and where else on the Sunday night. Late on, it was decided on Meall Nan Tarmachan, as it looked a reasonable Munro to start with, I must admit the last Munro I stood on the summit of was Buachaille Etive Mor in Glencoe in the mid ’70s approx 35 years ago !!!!! We set off early from home, crossed the Erskine Bridge and made good time up Lomondside before reaching Crainlarich, we then turned east heading towards Loch Tay, taking the road to Killin but carrying onto the cut off to the Ben Lawers Centre, now sadly closed, we carried on up the road until we arrived at a rough car parking area (NN605383) just before the Lochan Na Lairige reservoir. It was from here that we set off up the first stage of the hill, a short trip along a track then the path to the top cuts off and heads towards the first summit, this first summit is at 3,000 ft where we had had a quick break for a drink and sandwich before then heading down towards the bealach and then towards the summit, the ‘going’ was a good work out for me until the bealach and I saw what was next, I had read the route directions on some of the walk forums and had known of the steep last ascent but to see this took my breath away. I took rather a few ‘rest stops’ to reach the summit from here, it is a steep gully where rough ‘steps’ have been put into place, I found this the hardest part of the ascent. Two hours and 30 mins after setting out, I reached the summit cairn.
After the usual photo shoot, it was time to find a good radio base, the wind was strong from the SE and I managed to find a nook, I first, as usual, set up the 4m JPole and gave out calls, nothing except foreign broadcast stations ‘coming’ in and out, I guess Sporadic E. Next was 2M SSB, nothing heard, it was time to go to S20, first reply to my call was David, a MM0 station in Falkirk, thanks for the ‘spot’, David. Gordon, a MM0 station from Airdrie was next followed byAlan, a GM0 station who had remembered our last contact was on one of my previous SOTA activations. A regular SOTA chaser and activator, Brian MM1 from Howwood called in for a chat. Other stations who called in were Jim, a MM0 from Cumbernauld, Fraser, a MM6 from Bo’ness and finally 2Mo, Callum from Strathaven.
The view from the summit was breathtaking, Ben Lomond, Ben More, Stob Binnean, Beinn Ime, Ben Nevis were just a few hills amongst many even the Cairngorms had a good covering of snow this late in the season. Euan took a detour and headed towards Meall Garbh.
The wind by this time was approaching near gale force, it was time to break down the station and have a last look at the panoramic view and head back down to the car park, an alternative to returning to the car park is to walk the Meall Nan Tarmachan ridge , we retraced our steps and it took only 90 mins to get back to the car, a last bite to eat and headed back towards home via Crainlarich and a long, long tailback on Lomondside.
Meall Nan Tarmachan Flickr photo set <here>
Click on post photos for larger size.
All photos courtesy of my son, Euan and as always ‘All rights reserved ©’
Meall Nan Tarmachan is ‘the rounded hill of the Ptarmigan’ 1,044m ASL (3.425 ft)
Round Trip of 8 km
Total Ascent : approx 574 m (1,883 ft)
Google Maps – Track
Wikipedia article <HERE>