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Meall nan Tarmachan, 25th August 2018

Meall nan Tarmachan (hill of the ptarmigan) is one of the chain of high mountains to the north of Loch Tay, and these are the highest mountains the southern highlands.

Meall nan Tarmachan, named after the ground nesting birds that live in in these northern climes is a ridge of 4 tops with Meall Garbh (rough hill) being the finest and most interesting.

We started our walk at the Ben Lawers car park, which at over 400 meters in altitude gives a good head start up to the main top of Meal nan Tarmachan, which is a rounded top at the east end of the ridge and this is reached quite easily, firstly up a broad ridge then by a narrow path up a shallow gully.  We had chosen well deciding to do the walk on a Saturday, as we had chanced upon a window in a spell of unsettled weather as a ridge of high pressure moved across Scotland and we were blessed with good views but a keen wind was blowing cross the tops so we had to seek shelter on the south side of the ridge for our lunch stop (like cycling, the best thing about hill walking is stopping…).

We continued our traverse across to Meall Garbh, which has a short section of quite narrow ridge, then a brief steep scramble to the col before the climb to the next top – Beinn nan Eachan (hill of the foal or little horse). A descent to another col led us to our route off the hill so we had a choice whether to take in the final top of Creag na Caillich (Crag of the old woman), and being that it was such a nice day we took the out and back route to this final and lowest top of this fine ridge.

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