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Creag Meagaidh, Poite Coire Ardair & Carn Liath, map 401; 23rd March 2007

Route: 5200', 18.3 miles, 9¼ hrs


Evaluation: 4* circuit, and suitable for winter walking.
Access: Park at Loch Laggan/Creag Meagaidh Nature Reserve Car Park.
Route: To start, walk up to the buildings and cross in front of Aberarder farm. Then walk 50m through the woods on the left (no clear path) and take the vehicle track on the far side which leads to a bridge over the river. Fork right where the track splits, and continue until a path leaves on the left. This path takes a direct line up at least most of Sron a' Ghoire.
There are little used narrow paths out to the minor tops, but clear easy going fast paths round main ridge, although not heavily used. At the end, the path down from Carn Liath is variable in quality and not always easy to follow – it eventually joins the main valley path at a cairn. There is delicate moss over much of the terrain, so please stick to these paths.
The route can be shortened in several ways. The excursion to Coire Dubh is optional and is just there to collect the Munro top. Its deletion would save 4 miles. There are also two more outlying tops which can be omitted to leave a superb, not too taxing round.
Conditions: Morning mist on tops until 1115, then cloud-free with no wind until front came in from S at 1430; in cloud on Carn Liath; front receded 1530; cloud-free thereafter. Moderate cold breeze from 1500. 0°C at car at start; 4°C at finish.
Ridges were mostly clear of snow; continuous firmish snow fields over Creag Meagaidh itself from 1000m up, but the snow became rather soft after 1230.

0840 Creag Meagaidh Nature Reserve Car Park
NN483873 (Orange)
260    00.0 miles
0850 W to Footbridge NN475875 (directions above) 295  35 
1020
-1030
W to T Sron a' Ghoire 10017402.4 miles
1040 SW/W to 1st cairn of Puist Coire Ardair 1065  
1045 W to 2nd cairn of Puist Coire Ardair (Creag Mhor)    
1100 NW ti 3rd, flat insignificant cairn of
T Stob Puist Coire Ardair (No Orange)
10708503.4 miles
1130
-1135
SW/S/SE to T Meall Coire Choille-rais (5* view, Orange) 10279004.5 miles
1200
-1205
Return NW, then W/SW to T An Cearcallach (Orange) 9939405.6 miles
1255 Return N/NE to col then N towards E top of
Creag Meagaidh, 300m from large cairn.
(Can be omitted by taking a direct line to Creag Meagaidh.)
11111105 
1305
-1315
W to M Creag Meagaidh (Orange 10m SE of top) 112811307.6 miles
1320 ENE to large cairn near E top of Creag Meagaidh
(the small circular contour on the map at NN423877.)
1105  
1340 E/NE/N/NW to col Uinneag Coire Ardair
(Path goes to W end of pass)
945  
1350 NE to M Poite Coire Ardair, SW end (Orange)
(There are two cairns 100m apart)
105312509.1 miles
1405 E to Cairn at E end of Poite Coire Ardair (Orange) 1051  
1425 ENE to T Coire a Chriochairein (No Orange) 991128010.6 miles
1445 ENE to T Meall an t-Snaim (No Orange) 969132511.4 miles
1510
-1515
SE/E to M Carn Liath (Orange) 1006141512.2 miles
1530 ENE along A' Bhuidheanach 967 13.0 miles
1550
-1555
ENE to T Coire Dubh (Orange) 916145514.2 miles
1620 Return WSW to A' Bhuidheanach 967 15.4 miles
1635
-1640
WSW to M Carn Liath (Orange) 1006158516.2 miles
  Descend 300m SW from cairn, then SSE down ridge
to track on E bank of Allt Coire Ardair.
   
1750 Path S/SE to Aberarder House 270  
1755 Road SE to car park (Orange) 260158518.3 miles


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