Glen Lyon

Glen Lyon Munros, 2 March 2019

A blog post from one of our mountain adventures in the Scottish hills and mountains. A day of hiking in winter conditions over the 4 Munros that overlook Glen Lyon Al Ewen was leading.

Glen Lyon Munros

On the way 2nd of March myself and a group of 5 hardy hikers met up at Invervar to do a round of hills that have always been favourites of mine, the Glen Lyon Munros (Carn Gorm, Meall Garbh, Cairn Marig and Meall na Aighean). I'd arrived the night before and enjoyed a good nights sleep in my new little Kangoo Camper, ready for everyone meeting up at 8:30am on Saturday morn. The mild February weather had stripped the hills of snow and so we approached the hill with autumn hillwalking kit (lots of warm clothes, ski goggles and an axe to cut some steps should a snow patch remain on the steep, east facing slope of Cairn Mairg). The weather early on was to be dry, breezy with the air temp around 1c. Throughout the day the wind would strengthen and at 2pm rain, sleet and snow was forecast. Our plan therefore was to make good progress, not lingering too long for breaks, and get well round the hills before the bad weather hit.

Off we started at 8:30am and the weather was pleasant and warm and the summits clear of cloud. As we ascended up Carn Gorm, our first Munro (1029m, meaning the Blue Rocky Hill), the wind strengthened a little and we suited up with hats, gloves and windproofs. Having reached the summit, walkers are rewarded with a delightful high level walk on a broad undulating ridge. Very quickly we reached Meall Garbh (968m, meaning the rough rounded hill), its summit cairn a jumble of rusty iron fence posts, looking a bit like the Iron Throne from Game of Thones. Ordinarily as you walk along the ridge line there are many of these old fence posts toppled over by erosion and time. Interestingly however the estate is in the process of collecting them all up. We came across an all terrain vehicle and two guys carrying the fence posts off the hill, perhaps for scrap?

Carn Mairg is the highest of the four Munros (1042m, meaning Rusty Red Rocky Hill). It took us about an hour to reach it from Meall Garbh and now, at around 1pm, the wind was really picking up and the first spots rain were falling. We carefully picked our way down the steep east facing slope of the summit. To my surprise there was no snow there at all, a sign of just how mild February has been. A bit of descent and reascent brought us to our last hill, Meall na Aighean also named as Creag Mhor (981m, meaning The Big Crag). By now we were experiencing driving hail, sleet and snow. Ski goggles really helped as we made our descent down the long western ridge of Meall na Aighean. We got back to start at 3:20pm completing the round in a little under seven hours.

Hopefully some of the snow will lie, it'll get a bit colder and we'll get a return to winter conditions, albeit for a short while.

More photos by Al Ewen and some of the participants are here on Flickr.

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