1/3rd of the Munros have now been climbed [# 94 & 95]

Meall a’ Bhuiridh (1108m); Creise (1100m)

  • Pronunciation:             Miaowl uh Vooree; Kereesha
  • Translation:                  Hill of the Roaring (Stags); (probably) Narrow (from the old Gaelic word creas meaning “narrow”, which could describe the ridge)
  • Total distance:             11km
  • Total time:                    4hrs 36mins
  • Total ascent:                 1150m
  • Weather:                        Miserable weather. Very low mist and cloud. Wet right from the start of the route. Hail and sleet on the tops with driving buffeting wind.
  • Start / end location:   Glencoe “White Corries” ski resort car-park. [OS Map Sheet 41 – Grid Ref: NN 266 525]
  • Map:                              A map of the route can be found here – it may take a few moments to load into a separate window. The map displays on most browsers, but possibly not Internet Explorer.

We were both feeling the pace of the last five consecutive days of climbing but recognized that this would be our last opportunity to bag some more Munros before our trip back to the Midlands this weekend. So, keen to try to complete a third of the Munro-bagging challenge we headed out today in some rather inclement weather to bag our 94th and 95th Munros and hence reach our milestone.

We parked at the Glencoe ski car-park, which we found completely empty: a combination, perhaps of the poor weather and the fact that it wasn’t even quite 08:00. It was very cloudy and we couldn’t really see anything above the top of the lower lift station. There was some activity at the lower station as the fly-wheel was turning but was not engaging the cable that carried the chairs so they hung motionlessly with only the first half dozen visible in the thick mist. May be despite the poor weather, and what appeared from the car-park as a severe lack of snow, the operators were still planning on opening. It didn’t matter to us one way or other of course as mechanised transport up the hill was not an option!

Elaine on the summit of Meall a' Bhuiridh in wet and misty conditions

We climbed between a couple of the buildings at the top of the car-park and then took a sign-posted path that followed the course of the chairlift and the Allt nan Giubhas burn. It was quite a steep path, and as we climbed the chairlift began to operate with the chairs silently appearing and then disappearing overhead through the very damp mist. On one or two occasions a chair would pass with a ski resort operator “on board” being swept slowly along above us as we trudged up the path.

It soon began to rain.

At top of chairlift we reached a plateau, which was the base for the start of a number of ski-tows and the bottom of some of the ski runs. We continued in a southwesterly direction to pick up the broad north ridge of Meall a’ Bhuiridh that extended right down from the summit. Once on the crest of the ridge, we turned to the south and followed it all the way to the summit at 1108m or 3,635’. En route we crossed a couple of the ski runs: the snow was very lean but we could see that the operators were desperately trying to utilise the last remnants of snow after what has been an excellent skiing season.

Cameron on the summit of Creise in wet and misty conditions

From the summit of Meall a’ Bhuiridh we headed downward along the WSW connection ridge with Creise. The ridge was a combination of slopes and pockets of deep soft snow along with sections of boulders that we were able to scramble over. As we crossed the ridge between the two Munros the wind became very blustery and gale-force in strength with some hail mixed in.  After we crossed the col on the ridge we began to climb up a steeper section of ground to reach a broad plateau about 600m to the south of the summit of Creise. A short walk along a mixture of snow and boulder fields brought us quickly to the summit at 1100m or 3,609’.

Because of the poor weather conditions I’d deliberately chosen this route up these two Munros, and despite it being quite quick, did unfortunately mean that we had to retrace our steps back to the summit of Meall a’ Bhuiridh before being able to descend back to the car-park. Today, this was the price of convenience!

By all accounts there is a much more satisfying ascent of Creise that starts at the head of Glen Etive and climbs Sron na Creise on the northern aspect of the hill where there is some serious grade 3 scrambling involved. It sounded much more appealing – but definitely not in today’s weather.

By the time we got back to the car-park our gear and us were wet through – but we had successfully achieved our milestone of climbing over 1/3 of the Munros in time for our trip back to Midlands this weekend. It had been worth the soaking.

About Cameron Speirs

Born and brought up in the Scottish Highlands, Cameron, has been interested in outdoor pursuits since he was a wee lad. Over the last few decades he has climbed extensively in the Italian Dolomites as well as summiting the Matterhorn and several other 4000m alpine peaks. Closer to home he has spent many wonderful weekends mountaineering and biking in Snowdonia, Cairngorms, Glen Coe, Skye and Lochaber.
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6 Responses to 1/3rd of the Munros have now been climbed [# 94 & 95]

  1. Olivier Colin says:

    Hello Cameron and Elaine,
    I am Olivier, the french guy you met on your 83rd Monro!
    Your pictures are fantastic and your progress is amazing!
    Congratulations and keep going on in your endeavour!
    Cheers
    Olivier

    • Cameron says:

      Hi Olivier, great to have met you on Meall nan Tarmachan and thanks for stopping by our website. Since we met we’ve now completed 1/3rd of our Munros challenge. We’re now really looking forward to the next stage of our adventure.
      Very best wishes,
      Cameron and Elaine

  2. Karl says:

    Time was always going to be a pressure because of the weather this winter, but do you think that you will have to make too many more compromises in your route choices (such as taking a poorer route up these two rather than the more exciting route up Sron na Creise)?
    It sounds like you have missed an opportunity and are a little disappointed by your ‘choice’ on this occasion.
    Or do you think that you might have time to go back and cover any again by better routes?
    Keep up the good work (with the walking & blog). I’ve been put forward for MIA training as soon as possible (Gulp!), so I’ll be looking for the ‘best’ of the Munro’s to do should we be able to make a trip over the wall to join you at some point…
    And that could be another blog post: The Top Ten Munro Routes.

    • Cameron says:

      Karl,
      It is always a bit frustrating when we can’t climb perhaps the more exciting route up, but in some circumstances the conditions have dictated which routes have been the more prudent (and safe) to tackle. In this particular case it was the combination of the extremely misty and wet weather with heavy snow underfoot that meant that a grade 3 scramble up via Sron na Criese was a bit less appealing. In dry summer conditions the route choice would have been very different. Hopefully, sometime in the not too distant future we’ll tackle these Munros again in better weather – in the meantime it’s onwards and upwards once again!
      Cheers,
      Cameron

  3. Rene Cleaver says:

    Hi Cameron and Elaine,

    I play golf with Lorna Sullivan at Cotswold Hills GC and after I told her we were off hut to hut skiing in Norway, she mentioned you and said she thought we would be interested in your web site. Just had a look. Very interesting, but I haven’t scratched the surface yet! My husband, Nigel and I do loads in the outdoors and we also have a camper van (another reason Lorna thought we would be interested).

    We are not going to embark on anything as extensive as you, but our current “project” is to climb above 7,000m. Having taken a long break from proper mountaineering, we started back in the Cairngorms in Feb, going to the Alps this summer and Nepal (Mera and Island) this autumn. Next year’s olympics get in the way of one possible big climb, so might consider doing one next autumn or wait till year after.

    Anyway, before I ramble on any more, just thought I would say “hello” and wish you luck with your adventure. I’m sure it would be fun to get together, so one of these days when we are all grounded, you guys and Lorna (plus her mate, Peter (?)) will have to come over and have a bite and a chin wag.

    If you fancy replying feel free to use rene@clubmasters.co.uk

    Cheers, Rene

    • Cameron says:

      Hi Rene,
      It was great of you to stop by our web site – many thanks. I’ve dropped you a quick email to the address that you provided.
      Very best wishes,
      Cameron

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