Walk: Mad Meggy & her ugly sisters

Highland | Laggan | Full day walk | ★★★★

[Coire Ardair, Creag Meagaidh]

Creag Meagaidh (which translates as the rather unflattering boggy crag) is the highest summit in a sprawling massif slightly adrift of the Monadliath range above Loch Laggan. This circuit also takes in a further pair of less memorable Munro peaks (and several other minor summits) overlooking the north side of the captivating glen cut by the Allt Coire Ardair. The higher terrain is a vast plateau dotted with a few curious, rocky clefts; the contrast with the regenerating forest and burbling burn at glen level couldn't be greater. But the real highlight of the day has to be Coire Ardair: a sparkling lochan encircled by mighty crags adored by ice climbers in winter and by golden eagles year-round.

[Mad Meg - a huge cairn on the way to the true summit of Creag Meagaidh beyond]

📌 Walk: Mad Meggy & her ugly sisters ★★★★
▶ 21 km / 13 miles | ▲ 1080 metres
Summits: Carn Liath (1006 metres, Munro); Meall an t-Snaim (970 metres); Sròn Coire a' Chriochairean (993 metres); Stob Poite Coire Ardair (1054 metres, Munro); Creag Meagaidh (1128 metres, Munro) | Features: Creag Meagaidh NNR; Coire Ardair
Start / finish: Car park for Craig Meagaidh NNR, A86 midway along Loch Laggan, G.R.: NN 483873 ///deep.shallower.simmer

Route: Car park - Aberarder - path junction at G.R.: NN 474883 - Carn Liath - Meall an t-Snaim - Sròn Coire a' Chriochairean - Stob Pointe Coire Ardair - west entrance to The Window - Creag Meagaidh - return to The Window - lochan in Coire Ardair - Aberarder - start
Terrain: Excellent path to Aberarder, and from Coire Ardair to the finish. Faint paths for much of the rest of the walk - including the main ascents - but some pathless sections on the plateaus. Steep, loose boulders and scree to descend into Coire Ardair.
Wildlife today: Enormous slugs, millipedes and small birds low down in the forest; lots of bees on the plateau! Fish in Lochan a' Choire.
Weather today: Unbroken sunshine, gentle breeze and temperature into low twenties at the base. Snow patches above 900 metres or so.

[Walking back out along the stunning Allt Coire Ardair]

Route map

Route credit: Walkhighlands

Chronological photo guide

[Aberarder is half a mile in and has toilets]

[Great views over Loch Laggan on the ascent]

[Part of the climb to Carn Liath is on a rough, muddy path]

[Ascending Carn Liath]

[Early views of Coire Ardair]

[Loch Laggan]

[Carn Liath summit]

[Looking back to Carn Liath from Meall an t-Snaim]

[Uinneag Mìn Choire]

[View back to Meall an t-Snaim]

[Coire Ardair from Sròn Coire a' Chriochairean]

[Ridge to Stob Poite Coire Ardair]

[View back along the ridge]

[Stob Poite Coire Ardair]

[Looking into the heart of the Monadhliath]

[Coire Ardair from Stob Poite Coire Ardair]

[Coire Ardair cliffs]

[Lochans below Creag Meagaidh's northern slopes]

[Looking down the Allt Coire Ardair from the ascent of Creag Meagaidh]

[Looking northwest]

[Mad Meg's Cairn; Creag Meagaidh's true summit beyond]

[Creag Meagaidh summit]

[The Window]

[Descent into Core Ardair]

[Looking back towards The Window]

[Coire Ardair]

[Rapids below Coire Ardair]

[Allt Coire Ardair]

[View back up the glen]


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