Walk: Glas Maol & Glen Isla safari

Angus | Angus Glens | Full day walk | ★★★

[Approach to Monega Hill through Glen Isla]

Glas Maol is known to winter sports enthusiasts as the highest point of Glenshee's ski area. It's also a Munro: unfortunately one of the ugliest due to the ski lifts scattered across the hillside when approaching from Cairnwell Pass. But the quieter, longer approach from Glen Isla in Angus misses all of this, instead passing above some of the most beautiful spots in the southern Cairngorms. Monega Hill is a magnificent corner on the ascent, perched high above the two great glens of Caenlochan and Canness, while the return traverses the surprisingly rough ridge to Creag Leacach, another Munro. Save a couple of chocolate bars for the final brutal obstacle of Monamenach. The path over the top looks nearly vertical on approach and it turns out to feel nearly that bad too. The fantastic wildlife deserves a mention: we've never seen so many deer, mountain hare or ptarmigan before even on separate walks - let alone all on the same one.

[Just part of a huge group of deer bellowing away on the slopes of Creag Leacach]

đź“Ś Walk: Glas Maol & Glen Isla safari ★★★
Start / finish at small layby on minor road just beyond Auchavan, Glen Isla, G.R.: NO 193698 ///digests.until.february

▶ 21 km / 13 mi | ▲ 1140 m | ⌚ Full day | Tough
Features: △ Monega Hill (908 m); △ Little Glas Maol (973 m); △ Glas Maol (1068 m, Munro); △ Creag Leacach (987 m, Munro); △ Monamenach (807 m, Corbett)
Terrain: Good tracks in Glen Isla but rougher on the ridge with some steep ascents. Rocky path over Creag Leacach; faint, grassy return track with some wet sections and more steep climbs.

Route & map

Layby - Auchavan - Tulchan Lodge - Monega Hill - Little Glas Maol - Glas Maol - Creag Leacach - Mallrenheskein - Black Hill - Monamenach - Auchavan - start

Route credit: Walkhighlands

On our visit

Wildlife: Scores of roaring stags (rutting season) at various points on the route, hundreds of mountain hares on approach to Glas Maol, lots of ptarmigan on descent from Creag Leacach, sheep.
Weather: Sunny to start with some cloud building through the day. Moderately windy at the top with temperatures in single figures; a few showers in the vicinity during the afternoon, but none overhead.

[Creag Leacach's bouldery ridge contrasts with the more rounded slopes of the surrounding hills]

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