Meall Dubh: Corbett in Glen Moriston
This is not to be confused with Meall Dubh the Graham which is up near Ullapool. Meall Dubh the Corbett is situated in Glen Moriston and is the first significant peak on the road to the iconic Glen Shiel.
The hike itself is not very exciting with a lot of it being a mossy slog over pathless terrain. This aside, the views from the massive summit cairn are impressive with the Glen Shiel Munros and Cuillin Ridge visible on a clear day.
Many may feel the view is somewhat blotted by the big wind farm constructed on Mam a’Chroisg directly to the east. Personally, I’m an advocate of renewable energy so these things don’t bother me that much. Just focus on the view to the west!
- Meall Dubh – 788 metres (2585 ft) – pronounced MYELL-DOO
There are a couple of places you can start the Meall Dubh hike but the most convenient is undoubtedly parking at the Tomcrasky layby and heading up the track opposite.
On the A82, head to Invermoriston where you’ll take the A887 towards the Isle of Skye. Continue for 12 miles (19.3 km) where there’s a sweeping layby behind some trees.
Check out the exact starting point on Google Maps.
The first section is a gradual climb up a well-built track (originally for wind farm access). Coming off this and onto boggy, pathless terrain is the most challenging part. I found the most tedious section the initial climb up to the first summit.
Beyond this, the ground is harder and rockier for the final stretch to the summit cairn.
Duration & Length
Duration: 3 – 5 hours
Length: 7.2 miles (11.6 km)
It’s slightly less than this if you go straight up and down the same way but I tried to incorporate a bit of a loop adding a bit of distance.
Ordnance Survey Map for the route: Explorer 415.
Where To Stay
The closest with most options would be Invermoriston and Fort Augustus. Have a look at:
- Loch Ness Highland Lodges in Invermoriston.
- Inver Coille campsite in Fort Augustus.
- Glen Moriston Arms hotel Invermoriston.
There are a couple of ways you can climb Meall Dubh but the most logical option is from the roadside. This is also probably the most straightforward ascent.
From the layby, there’s a locked gate across the road with pedestrian access to its side. This gate is solely for vehicles to access the wind farm on the hill.
Follow this track up as it bends around to the left. The next mile or so of the track will head up through a pleasant wooded area before you start the proper Corbett ascent.
Just past the wooded area, the track heads up to a gate. You want to take the sharp right option before this gate.
Soon after, you’ll reach a point where the track begins to descend. Leave the track here and begin the climb up. Given there’s no path, it’s up to you which route you decide to take.
The easiest is definitely to head directly south, following the river up to Meall Dubh’s northeast ridge.
The going soon becomes less steep and there’s a beaten path directing you along the ridge and up to the huge summit cairn. Your best bet is to take the exact same back down to the beginning.
I never like doing a ‘straight up and down’ hike and always try and incorporate a sort of loop or horseshoe if I can. As opposed to heading directly south, I headed southwest over the boggy ground towards the prominent first summit straight ahead.
This turned out to be a bit of a mistake because it becomes more overgrown and the climb is steeper than it looks. I ended up using the heather to hoist myself up the slope which, as I’m sure you can imagine, involved a few muddy falls.
Once I made it up this very steep summit, I headed south over a few mounds of ground and onto the more rocky surface. From here it’s straight up to the cairn.
Overall, this detour probably wasn’t worth getting clarted in mud and dirt, but I was rewarded by getting up close to a huge herd of deer (whom I surprised) just below the cairn.
As I mentioned, views to the east are tainted by the huge wind farm so focus on the west towards Skye. If the weather gods are on your side you’ll get fabulous vistas down Glen Shiel and over to the Cuillin Ridge.
While probably not high on your list of Corbetts to climb, and probably not worth the climb in low visibility, Meall Dubh offers stunning views of Glen Shiel’s Munros as well as further afield.
It can also be ascended from Beinneun Forest to the west but this route isn’t as clear and is almost entirely pathless.
Thanks a lot for reading and please put any questions or thoughts in the comments box below. 🙂