Lawers Ridge

Having previous bagged Meall a’ Choire Leith and Meall Corranaich, I decided it was about time to bag the other five Munros that make up Lawers Ridge. All things considered, this is a relatively straightforward route with the only challenge being the descent of the north-east face of An Stuc – which is steep (not helped by the terrible route I picked!).

It is, however, a long walk. Reaching Meall Greigh, our fifth and final Munro of the walk, was something of a relief.

Approaching Ben Lawers, into the cloud.
Approaching Ben Lawers, into the cloud.

Munros on Lawers Ridge

  • Beinn Ghlas
  • Ben Lawers
  • An Stuck
  • Meall Garbh
  • Meall Greigh

The ascent of Beinn Ghlas is unremarkable, though the views of Loch Tay are pleasant. It is very much a Munro passed en-route in the ascent of, the notably higher, Ben Lawers.

Looking back towards Ben Lawers as the cloud clears.
Looking back towards Ben Lawers as the cloud clears.

We reached the top of Ben Lawers late morning in thick cloud and, conscious of the distance ahead of us still, did not linger. The cloud cleared not long after, offering spectacular views over the Munros of Lawers Ridge and down to Loch Tay for the remainder of the walk. I have something of a soft spot for Loch Tay – it was the site of my first architecture project at university.

Heading towards An Stuc, looking down on Lochan nan Cat (nothing to do with cats, that I'm aware of).
Heading towards An Stuc, looking down on Lochan nan Cat (nothing to do with cats, that I’m aware of).

An Stuc is the most challenging of the Munros on Lawers Ridge. Ascending from the south-west, the path is steep but well defined; the descent to the north-east however is not easy. A very steep gradient, poorly defined (undefined) path, rocky, and often unstable. The best way down? Straight ahead… or not, as I discovered while my friend enjoyed laughing at my poor choice of descent. Probably not one for bad weather.

The route down An Stuc.
The route down An Stuc.

The remainder of the walk is straightforward. A pleasant path leads to Meall Garbh and we enjoyed chatting to another walker as we made the ascent. Pausing at the top of Meall Garbh for a snack and to enjoy the sunshine and pretty spectacular views, we congratulated ourselves on having bagged our fourth Munro of the day.

Looking back towards An Stuc, from Meall Garbh.
Looking back towards An Stuc, from Meall Garbh.

Meall Greigh is some distance beyond and we were starting to feel the effort of the previous four Munros. After what felt like an afternoon of walking – it was in fact only just under an hour – we bagged our fourth Munro of the day in beautiful sunshine. As we had worked so hard bagging Munros, I took a nap on the cairn.

The long walk to Meall Greigh.
The long walk to Meall Greigh.

It is a long, long walk back to the car park and we were tired. Following the track down to Loch Tay felt like an endless task, but we had a lucky break. Two scientists very kindly offered us a lift back to our car – we gratefully accepted, and had a fascinating discussion about the conservation efforts on the ridge.

Back in the car, a quick fish and chip stop on the way back to Edinburgh, and our day was done.

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