Ben Lawers, Meall Garbh (Rough Hill?) & Meall Greigh
I’d parked in Killin that night. My neighbour proved to be a lover of the tartan.
Lawers is only a ten minute drive away. And had its own parking lot a mile or two up the minor road. I got my first glimpse of the top. Previous visits to go climbing, skiing or ice-climbing had always been cancelled due to bad conditions. Today looked different.
Two and a half hours easy walking from the car park got me to the summit of Ben Lawers, a fairly narrow and rocky outcrop with some space to operate a little way off on a ridge.
My little SW 3b transceiver getting me 25 contacts in 40 minutes on 7mhz & 14mhz. including husband and wife team, GI0AZA & AZB.
My next summit along the ridge was Meall Garbh. and much to my surprise there was a considerable drop down a fairly steep rocky portion to descend before reaching the coll. This required some care as it was very steep & rocky. In a couple of places I needed to use my both my hands to keep in balance. A slip or trip could easily result in a serious fall. On reaching the col I met the only two people I saw all day.
Sitting in the lee of the ridge out of the wind I I was able to get a signal to self spot . Within a minute of posting the spot on 14mhz I had my 1st caller. 30’ minutes later I had 29 more in the log. Changing to 7mhz got me another 8 contacts.
The Ben Lawers group of hills is well known for its alpine flowers and I took just a few photographs
My limited plant knowledge doesn’t cover alpine plants so any ID appreciated.
By the time I’d packed up in was 5pm, and for me, time to think of getting down and back to the van & food. As I descended to the next coll I could see Meall Greigh a little way off to the east and nothing more than a gentle grassy slope to reach the top. It was too tempting!! And wasn’t too far out of my way.
An hour and a half later, and again after a self spot, I made my 1st CQ and before my fingers left the key Chris/F4WBN answered me and 20 minutes later 9 other chasers were in my log.
It was now after 6pm and definitely time to pack up as I had a fair walk back. Descending down the slope to the shielings & the dam on Lawers Burn didn’t take long. I spent a few minutes looking for the remains of the buildings marked on map but could see none. The map shows a track traversing along the SE side of the range heading directly towards the car park some 10 or 11k away. When I reached the end of this track I expected there to be a well used and worn path continuing back to the car park. But there wasn’t. I followed an old wall, through long and wet tussocks of rushes and grasses, until that too ran out. I kept going and tried avoiding dropping any height. It was frustrating and taking me much longer than I had anticipated. Eventually my route met the road going up to the car park and a minute or two later I was sat in the van.
From Lawers Burn It had taken me a little less than 3 hours of walking to get back to the van and a glance at my watch showed it was now 9pm - I’d been out a total of eleven and a half hours and covered about 17km. A long day in the hills for me!!
A quick drive back to Killin and just in time to buy a bottle of red wine from the Co-Op to go with my evening meal…
Tomorrow I’d go for Ben More GM/SS-001 & Stob Binnien SS-002.