Hill: Sgor Mor
Date: Thursday 15th May 2014
Company: Myself and Heavy
Distance: 18km, Ascent: 575m
Time: 5Hrs 30Mins

I set off this morning for Linn of Dee with the intention of undertaking a walk in the Southern Cairngorms. On driving through Braemar, en-route to Linn of Dee, I spotted my friend Heavy. We both stopped to say hello and to find out each others hill plans. Heavy was also heading for Linn of Dee with the intention of ascending the Corbett Sgor Mor. I gratefully accepted the offer of accompanying Heavy on this walk.

On arriving in Linn of Dee we set off along the track towards White Bridge.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

I last walked along this track in November 2002 during my previous ascent of Sgor Mor. It was nice to revisit an area that I have neglected for so long.

The circa 5km from Linn of Dee to White Bridge passed in no time at all - time flies in great company. Heavy has a wealth of experience and lots of great stories to tell. A wee summary about Heavy from his own website:

"(Heavy) Whalley was a member of the RAF Mountain Rescue (MR) for 36 years. He was the Team Leader of RAF Leuchars, RAF Kinloss and Deputy Team leader at RAF Valley in North Wales. Heavy spent his last four years working in the Rescue Co-ordination Centre at RAF Kinloss giving him a unique insight into Rescue in the UK. He was the Senior Team leader at the Lockerbie Disaster and has been involved in over 1000 Mountain and over 80 Aircraft incidents in mountainous areas. He was a member of the Executive of The Scottish mountain Rescue Committee for over 20 years, serving for 5 years as the Accident Statistician and 3 years as Chairman. He was awarded the BEM, MBE and the Distinguished Service Award for Service to Mountain Rescue. He is an Honorary member of the Torridon and Kinlochewe MRT and Search and Rescue Dog Association Scotland.

Heavy recently retired and is in the process of writing a book. As an active climber and walker he climbs every week and is a member of the SMC & Moray Mountaineering club. He has climbed in most parts of the world and has completed the Munros several times and was a member of the successful 2001 Everest North Ridge Expedition."

As well as having all this experience, he is also a great guy.

Track from Linn of Dee to White Bridge:

Track from Linn of Dee to White Bridge:

White Bridge:

Heavy on the track near White Bridge:

After taking some photos at White Bridge, we took a good quality path leading past the Chest of Dee and towards Sgor Mor.

Chest of Dee:

Chest of Dee:

We initially ascended Sgor Mor alongside a small burn before making our way across towards the start of the SW ridge.

Sgor Mor:

Morrone, Lochnagar and White Mounth Munros:

Carn Clioch-mhuillin and Beinn Bhrotain:

Devil's Point and Cairn Toul:

We decided to head out to Sgor an Eoin before making our way up the final ascent of Sgor Mor.

Panorama from slopes of Sgor Mor:

Sgor Mor from Sgor an Eoin:

Ascending Sgor Mor:

Looking towards the Lairig Ghru from Sgor Mor:

During the final ascent, Heavy mentioned that there were holes in the rock near the summit. Right enough, a short distance from the summit we found two perfectly circular holes etched into the granite by the action of water and grit getting swirled around by the wind. Similar to the "punchbowl" at the Linn of Quoich.

Circular holes in rock near summit of Sgor Mor:

On reaching the summit, we stopped for around fifteen minutes to enjoy the views and take lots of photos.

Looking back to the cairn from the summit rock:

Panorama looking South towards An Sgarsoch Munros and Beinn Dearg:

Myself and Heavy at the summit of Sgor Mor:

From the summit of Sgor Mor we next made our way across to Sgor Dubh.

Looking back to Sgor Mor:

At the summit of Sgor Dubh:

Beyond Sgor Dubh, we followed a new fence for a short distance before crossing some rough ground leading to Carn an 'lc Duibhe.

Following the new fence:

At the top of Carn an 'lc Duibhe:

Looking down to Linn of Dee from Carn an 'lc Duibhe:

The descent from Carn an 'lc Duibhe back down to the track was not great. Lots of deep heather with the odd hidden rock. Also, at the bottom there is an electric fence which I didn't realise was electric until taking hold of the wire. Second time I have been zapped by an electric fence in a month! Instead of climbing the fence, I walked a short distance along the fence to reach a gate where there was a sign indicating that the electric fence had been erected by Mar Lodge in an effort to protect the trees from deer.

A really enjoyable walk. Thanks Heavy.