Day 3 – Sgor Gaoith, a summit finally seen. December 2007.

Date: Monday 17th December 2007
Distance: 15.3km
Ascent: 930m

We were in a cottage near Nethy Bridge for the week and Monday morning was clear and cold -10C in fact. I’d left my contact lenses in the car overnight and they’d frozen solid. Thankfully although it was -10C overnight the whole week it was dry so roads were OK.

Drove down to Auchlean in Glen Feshie for about 30 mins before dawn. Still about -8C here but by the time we’d climbed 50m height it was -3C and by the time we were on the ridge it was about +2C – temperature inversions are weird.

The route has been described before – along the road about 800m or so then cut left at the little stone marker and along the track through forest and then simply up to Carn Ban Mor and then the Munro.

Once above the forest it was apparent the air was very clear – Alpenglow on the Kingussie Monodliath:

Section 4 just rolls away to the SW – a bit of a jumble but the Ben became visible at around 500m:

Turned off the path to head straight for Carn Ban Mor. Rolling hills to the SW:

Once on Carn Ban Mor suddenly you get views of the W sides of the west Lairig Ghru hills – Braeriach, Sgor an Lochain Uiane and Cairn Toul. The southern inversion was still visible washing up to the southern edge of the Cairngorms.

Lochnagar through the gap:

I’ve climbed this route 3 times before and never seen the summit (although as a benign route to be honest I’ve used it as a “safer option” in worse conditions). Finally the Sgor Gaoith summit from Carn Ban Mor:

The tramp across is about 15mins, the snow was just grippy enough without crampons. Some summit shots –

Down the cliffs to Loch Einich:

On the summit:

Summit and Braeriach:

Cliffs Loch Einich and Rothiemurchus:

We decided to walk out to Sgoran Dubh Mor for the views out to Speyside -easy amble. Speyside from Sgoran Dubh Mor:

Sgor Gaoith from Sgoran Dubh Mor:

Superb visibility – could make out Bidean a Chabhair near Kinoydart, Shiel, Affric, Mullardoch, Fannichs, Beinn Dearg and Wyvis, An Teallach just visible. It’s going to irritate me every time I’m up the Cairngorms to know what could be on show. Glen Affric from Sgoran Dubh Mor:

You can drop of the west arm of Sgoran Dubh Mor to make for forestry tracks but why leave the tops on a good day? We reversed over Sgor Gaoith and skirted the cliff edge for a bit. Summit from cliff edge:

Back to Carn Ban Mor light direction changed was highlighting the hill layers west:

Moon rose over the descent path:

Back to the glen after sunset – still -3C and frost on the car. Drove back to Nethy Bridge past Loch Garten:

Remembered to empty the car of anything that might freeze and tucked up for another cold night – forecast great and it was only monday!

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