translates as the hill of the quaich, or cup. Most hill names beginning
with Meall in Scotland have probably been regarded as lesser in height
by the natives who named them, though Meall Chuaich is of sufficient stature
to be in the list of Munros. To compensate for its low position in this
list (214 by height), it is a fairly isolated mountain, lying at the northern
end of the plateau flanking the east side of the A9 road near Dalwhinnie.
room for several cars off the A9 about 3km north-east of Dalwhinnie, opposite
Cuaich cottages (654 867). There is a locked gate barring access to a
private road. This route takes in quite a few km on track, and a mountain
bike could make short shrift of much of the distance involved. Cross the
gate to go along the roads and join another road which is followed eastwards
past a small power station.
short of the Loch Cuaich dam turn south-east onto a rough track and pass
a bothy. About 500m past the bothy cross the Allt Coire Chuaich. (By now
you may have become bemused by the wandering 'h' - sometimes there in
chuaich, sometimes not. I think the 'h' is a later corruption and the
hill probably began life as Meall Cuaich).
up the steep heather slope, with a broad ridge above of grass and heath.
A level shoulder looks down over the craggy Stac Meall Chuaich to the
north, before rockier slopes lead more steeply to the flat summit.
You may return
by the ascent route, but for some variety you can do a round of Loch Cuaich.
From the summit descend north-west, staying north-east of the Stac Meall
Chuaich and heading down gradually steepening slopes to gain level ground
and cross the Feith na Braclaich. A track then leads south-west down the
loch to cross the river by a bridge and pick up the approach road and
so back to the start.