On the south side of Glen Lochay – [# 109 & 110]

Meall Glas (959m); Sgiath Chuil (921m)

  • Pronunciation:              Miaowl Glaz; Skeer Hool
  • Translation:                   Grey-green Hill; Back Wing or Sheltering Place
  • Total distance:              21.5km
  • Total time:                     6hrs 32mins
  • Total ascent:                 1311m
  • Weather:                        Bright to begin with but the summits soon clouded over and remained that way all day.
  • Start / end location:   On the roadside by Lenknock near the head of Glen Lochay. [OS Map Sheet 51 – Grid Ref: NN 477 368]
  • Map:                              A map of route can be found here – it may take a few moments to load into a separate window. The map displays on most browsers, but not unfortunately Internet Explorer.

Looking over Glen Lochay with Meall Glaz peering through from the background

Today’s outing was to climb the two Munro’s on the south side of Glen Lochay starting from just east of Kenknock Farm. This farm is located where the public unclassified road that runs up Glen Lochay turns NNE and begins to zigzag its way over to connect with the upper reaches of Glen Lyon.

Looking towards Meall Glas from Beinn Cheathaich

We parked up and walked about 1.5km along the road before passing Kenknock Farm where we then followed a land-rover track that continued eastward along the floor of Glen Lochay.  2km along this track we forked left and crossed the River Lochay to its south side via a shallow ford. We stayed on the land-rover track as it passed to the right hand side of Lubchurran Cottage where it then began to wind its way up the little glen that held the Lubchurran Burn.

Looking towards the summit prow of Sgiath Chuil from Beinn Cheathaich

As the track climbed higher it veered away from the course of the burn to firstly climb a rib slope before arcing round to eventually intersect the north ridge of Beinn Cheathaich where it petered out as a land-rover track to be replaced by a faint path leading directly up the north ridge. Only another few hundred metres of vertical ascent were required to bring us out at the Trig Point on top of Beinn Cheathaich. From this top we were lucky to be afforded some short-lived views to the west of us to Meall Glas (our next objective, and first Munro), and also to Sgiath Chùil across the glen to our east. The clouds rolled in shortly after, and that was the last of the views until much later in the afternoon when we dropped below the cloud on our final descent.

Cameron at the summit of Meall Glas

Meanwhile, from the Trig Point we headed SW over a small top marked as 908m on the OS map before following the ridge round to the west where a short climb took us to the summit of Meall Glas at 959m or 3,146ft. From the summit we retraced our steps back to just beyond the 908m top before we turned SE and descended off the ridge, sweeping round towards the col below Meall a’ Churain. The descent was very steep down a small grassy gully: but at least it saw us reach our objective of the col quite quickly. From the col we took a diagonal line up the steep west side of our second Munro, Sgiath Chùil, where our line of ascent brought us round onto the SW flank of the hill, which was more easily followed to the summit prow at 921m or 3,022ft. Here we met two chaps doing the two Munros in the opposite direction to us. Unfortunately for them they hadn’t had any decent views – unlike us earlier on in the day.

Elaine at the summit of Sgiath Chuil

After chatting with them for a while we then started our long descent down the north ridge. About halfway down we dropped below the cloud cover and regained some lovely views again: especially of the other two Munros on the north side of Glen Lochay that we were planning on completing tomorrow. Before reaching Creag an t-Searraich towards the bottom end of the ridge we had the choice of dropping down to the west to pick up the land-rover track that we’d used earlier, or to head NE to reach the top of one of the large water pipes that ferries water across Glen Lochay as part of the hydro-electric power generation in the area. We chose the latter and from the top of the water pipe followed the access track back down to the floor of Glen Lochay. It was then just a short walk back passed Kenknock Farm to reach our car.

 

The water pipes on either side of Glen Lochay for the generation of hydro-electric power

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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