Carn Dearg Mor from Meall an Dubh-chadha

Carn Dearg Mor and Meallach Mhor

Hiking and biking route up Carn Dearg Mor and Meallach Mhor from Glen Tromie

From the forests surrounding Drumguish, a cycle on estate tracks through quiet Glen Tromie leads to a remote corner of the western Cairngorms, from where much hiking over heather and grass bags Carn Dearg Mor and Meallach Mhor.



Route outline


Corbetts

Carn Dearg Mor, 

Meallach Mhor

Walk ascent 750m (2460ft)
         distance 14km (9m)
         time 4:45hr
Bike ascent 290m (950ft)
         distance 27km (17m)
         time 2:00hr
Start/finish Drumguish
Grid Ref : NN792997
Terrain
easy hard
Nav
easy hard
Effort
easy hard
Scenery
ok fab


Cycling down estate roads through beautiful Glen Tromie is lovely way to begin the journey to the Corbetts of Meallach Mhor and Carn Dearg Mhor. Higher up, stunted heather covers slopes and crests where paths are few and faint.



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Route description


1. Getting to Drumguish

Woodlands by Drumguish

Woodlands by Drumguish

The B970 travels along the southern bank of the River Spey, linking Kingussie to Aviemore. On this, around 4km south-east of Kingussie, the road twists sharply as it crosses the River Tromie via an old bridge (no parking here).

Around 500m north of the bridge, a sign points east to Drumguish. Drive uphill on a narrow road into woodland and park somewhere appropriate, without causing obstruction, before reaching the houses at Drumguish.


2. Bike to dam over the Allt Bhran

Meallach Beag and Meallach Mhor from Glen Tromie

Meallach Beag and Meallach Mhor from Glen Tromie

On bike, cycle up the narrow road to the crossroads in the heart of Drumguish. Turn right and head downhill on a rough track to join the main estate track through Glen Tromie.

Now on a fine, fairly flat estate track, cycle down delightful Glen Tromie. The journey to the weir over the Allt Bhran is around 12km, the first 5km or so on track to Lynaberack Lodge - a rather 1970's housing-estate looking building and a bit out of place in such a beautiful area !

Beyond the lodge it's on tarmac all the way to Bhran Cottage , with the fast flowing River Tromie beginning to hug the track when closing in on Bhran Cottage.

Meallach Mhor from the dam over the Allt Bhran

Meallach Mhor from the dam over the Allt Bhran

Beyond Bhran Cottage, it's back to cycling on track as it initially climbs a bit, then drops to a bridge over the River Tromie by a wooden estate house. Once over the bridge, and just after the house, the track splits - take the left fork. The track climbs steeply for around 500m, briefly meets some woodland, then continues for around 1km before dropping to the dam over the Allt Bhran. It's on foot next, so leave bikes here.

Meallach Mhor from the dam over the Allt Bhran

Meallach Mhor from the dam over the Allt Bhran


3. On foot to Meallach Mhor

Looking up Meallach Mhor's southern slopes

Looking up Meallach Mhor's southern slopes

The Allt Bhan is straightforward to cross below the dam on its western side and once on the northern bank of the river, a path can be picked up.

Unfortunately the path heads eastwards, therefore before meeting with the Allt nam Plaidean, needs to be left behind for an uphill slog on a heather-clad slope broken by peat-hags and soggy grass. There is no path to follow on the hillside and heather is fairly deep to begin with, but becomes more shallow and easier with height gained.

View from Meallach Mhor down Glen Tromie to A' Chaoirnich and An Dun

View from Meallach Mhor down Glen Tromie to A' Chaoirnich and An Dun

Crossing some boulderfield, Meallach Mhor's summit is reached from where a fine view down Loch an t-Seilich leads to A' Chaoirnich and An Dun.

View from Meallach Mhor down Glen Tromie to A' Chaoirnich and An Dun

View from Meallach Mhor down Glen Tromie to A' Chaoirnich and An Dun


4. Carn Dearg Mor

Carn Dearg Mor from Carn Dearg

Carn Dearg Mor from Carn Dearg

From Meallach Mhor heading eastwards there are no paths, but terrain is a delightful combination of stunted heather and deer-moss. Drop a height of around 100m to a bealach, then hike up the minor summit of Meall an Dubh-chadha .

Picking up some ATV tracks, follow them south-east for a short distance, then trace them downhill eastwards to Bad an Dubh-chadha . Crossing the wide col just below its watershed, a worn path can be found climbing at a slat on the hillside ahead. The path reaches the crest of Carn Dearg's south-west shoulder above some forestry and turns southwards.

Leave the path behind and aiming north-east, follow the pathless crest of Carn Dearg's south-western shoulder uphill. Faint ATV tracks are met and traced to its summit where a small cairn rests.

View to Cairngorm plateau from Carn Deag Mor

View to Cairngorm plateau from Carn Deag Mor

Continue north-east, losing a little height to drop to the bealach before Carn Dearg Mhor, a very obvious track which approaches from the south, is picked up. The track is followed to Carn Dearg Mhor's summit where an intidy pile of stones poses as a cairn and from where fine views are to be had over to the Cairngorm plateau.

View to Cairngorm plateau from Carn Deag Mor

View to Cairngorm plateau from Carn Deag Mor


5. Return to Drumguish

On the track below Carn Dearg Mor

On the track below Carn Dearg Mor

About-turn and re-trace your steps back down to the bealach, then turn southwards to lose a bit of height to meet a more defined track . This track contours around Carn Dearg on its southern face and converges with forestry .

On the track, follow the forest edge for around 500m to a junction - turn left (east) into the forest, then immediately right (south-west).

Now on a forestry road, jog down it for just over 2km to drop down to the Allt Bhran. Keeping to the north bank of the river, pick up a rough path to follow back through grass back to the dam.





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