Hills: Sgor Gaoith (and its four Munro Tops)
Date: Wednesday 18th March 2015
Company: Myself and John
Distance: 19.5km, Ascent: 960m
Time: 6Hrs 35Mins
I met my friend John this morning at Lagganlia in Glen Feshie. We left my car at Lagganlia before continuing down Glen Feshie to the car park circa 1km from Auchlean. Our plan was to ascend Sgor Gaoith and its four Munro Tops.
I had ascended Sgor Gaoith twice previously and two of the tops at least once previously. I had not however previously ascended Meall Buidhe and Geal-charn. Geal-charn was one of the original Munros in Sir Hugh's 1891 list; one of only five I had yet to ascend.
From the car park, we made our way down the tarmac road towards Auchlean.
Walking the road from the car park to Auchlean:
Looking up towards Meall Dubhag:
The track from Glen Feshie to Carn Ban Mor was familiar territory. I can recall ascending this track at least six times previously. We made our way up the track at a relaxed pace; there was no hurry.
Meall Dubhag from Carn Ban Mor ascent track:
During the ascent we chatted about Cairngorm traverses of which we had both previously done numerous.
Ascent of Carn Ban Mor:
We reached Carn Ban Mor, our first Munro Top of the day, circa two hours after setting off from the car park. From Carn Ban Mor, we continued on to Sgor Gaoith.
Looking towards Sgor Gaoith from Carn Ban Mor:
Looking across to Braeriach:
Today I had a heavy rucksack full of Winter gear. Despite plentiful snow, I needed none of it. The crampons stayed in the bag and the axe attached to the pack.
Definitely still Winter in the Cairngorms:
On approach to the summit, and on reaching the summit, we took numerous photos. We spent around fifteen minutes at the summit.
John below the summit of Sgor Gaoith:
Approaching the summit of Sgor Gaoith:
The summit of Sgor Gaoith is perched on the edge of a cliff. It is a fantastic viewpoint providing great views across to Braeriach and down to Loch Einich.
View from the summit of Sgor Gaoith:
John at the summit of Sgor Gaoith:
Loch Einich from the summit of Sgor Gaoith:
Myself at the summit of Sgor Gaoith:
From Sgor Gaoith, we made our way across to the second Munro Top of the day, Sgoran Dubh Mor. I last ascended this Top in a traverse from Auchlean to Coylumbridge.
We stayed well back from the sizeable cornices as we progressed towards Sgoran Dubh Mor.
Cornice on Sgor Gaoith:
Cornice on Sgor Gaoith:
Meall Buidhe and Geal-charn:
The view back to Sgor Gaoith was nice as the sun was glistening on the ice.
Looking back to Sgor Gaoith:
On reaching Sgoran Dubh Mor, we visited the large cairn and the nearby high rocks.
Approaching the summit of Sgoran Dubh Mor:
Myself at the summit of Sgoran Dubh Mor:
From Sgoran Dubh Mor, we backtracked towards Sgor Gaoith before descending to the col below Meall Buidhe.
Heading for Meall Buidhe:
As we made our way up Meall Buidhe, John spotted a bird overhead. I initially
thought it was a Buzzard but I think the following photo shows it was definitely
an Eagle .
Golden Eagle fly-by:
Looking towards Meall Buidhe SE Top:
It didn't take long to reach our third Munro Top of the day, Meall Buidhe.
At the summit of Meall Bhuidhe:
Looking towards Geal-charn:
During the walk to Geal-charn, I spotted a Ptarmigan walking along the ground. I initially walked parallel to it and then cut in front of it to get a fairly close photo. A beautiful bird.
Heading for Geal-charn:
The terrain leading to Geal-charn was typical Cairngorms terrain. Lots of granite boulders, short heather and reindeer lichen.
At the summit of Geal-charn:
Large cairn to NW of Geal-charn summit:
As we started our descent from Geal-charn, we were treated to yet another wildlife highlight. A Mountain Hare that was happy to sit long enough to have his/her photo taken. Within 1 hour we saw and photographed an Eagle, a Ptarmigan and a Mountain Hare.
Mountain Hare (zoom):
The snowy descent from Geal-charn was pleasant. The narrow track beyond was ok as far as the woods.
Looking back at descent from Geal-charn:
The narrow path led into a lovely wood with numerous Scot's Pine.
Lovely Scot's Pine:
We were now into Capercaillie country but alas our wildlife jackpot was not willing to pay out for a Capercaillie too.
A fantastic day out. Hopefully one of numerous walks that will be spent in the Cairngorms this year.