Meall Na Teanga, Water Aid June 2005

Helen Rose Hill Diary

Photo: Meall Na Teanga. Now and again I do walks to raise money for charity. This year, I was invited to take part in a hill walk to Meall na Teanga to raise money for Water Aid, a charity to provide clean drinking water and sanitation in Africa and Asia. You can read about it on Water Aid Munro Challenge. The charity has been going since 1981 and has run the Munro Challenge for several years. This has been the first year where there has been a sponsored team on the top of all 284 Munros in Scotland at lunchtime on one day.

There were five in our team and our allocated hill was Meall Na Teanga, a charming mountain overlooking Loch Lochy to the north east of Fort William on the road to Skye. As we travelled there and back in one day we had to leave Glasgow at 5am and did not get back until 11pm that night. Being a diabetic, I had to have breakfast at a reasonable hour to take insulin and managed a picnic in the back of the car at 8am so apologies to Tom for the crumbs over the back seat of his car!

Photo: Col. As we had two cars, David planned a linear walk and one car was parked at Clunes near Loch Arkaig. We all travelled in the second car to Kilfinnan at the other end of Loch Lochy where we started the walk. Prior to this we checked in with the Water Aid representative at the War Memorial where David submitted our route card as we also had to be checked out to ensure all participants returned from their walks safely.

We set out in glorious sunshine and blue skies on the track alongside the loch which was easy walking and then started climbing through the forest on a good track to the col between Meall Na Teanga( hill of the tongue) and Sron a?Choire Ghairbh (nose of the rough corrie). We made good time as it was a gradual incline on a good path in fine weather. When we reached the col between the two mountains, it was time for a tea break before taking the zig zag path to Sron a?Choire Ghairbh. We had decided to climb both hills as they were new Munros for most of us and met the group of youngsters on top who were the official registered group for Sron a?Choire Ghairbh.

Photo: Water Aid. As we had to be on the top of Meal Na Teanga before two o?clock, we pushed on descending a thousand feet to the col and crossing over the burn to start the ascent to Meall Na Teanga arriving at a quarter to two. We donned the official tee shirts for photos although it is fairly cool at 3,000 feet so we quickly put jackets on after the photo shoot and had a lengthy lunch admiring the views over to Ben Nevis where we could see there was snow on the top.

The descent was continuing along the ridge following the line of Loch Lochy and into the forest where we eventually found a forestry road. As we descended on the track we came to felled pine trees blocking our way and had to clamber over and through them which delayed progress. We reached the first car and then drove around to Kilfinnan to drop off the driver and passenger of the other car. It was then on to Glasgow stopping at Fort William for fish and chips and Tyndrum for a refreshing drink. A long, but satisfying day and for a worthwhile cause. If you wish to donate to Water Aid, you can do so on the website,Water Aid Munro Challenge

Photo: Trees. Coming attractions; Ben Alder and Skye Cuillins

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Thanks to Frances Rickus for the photos

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