Sgor Mor – a Cairngorms viewpoint. March 2008

Date: 28th Feb 2008
Distance: 22.7km
Ascent: 660m

Just back from a break in Braemar, weather variable with on and off unconsolidated snow and high avalanche risk encouraging us to visit some of the lower tops in the area.

Alan Gordon’s “Scottish Hills” calendar Feb 08 was the view from Sgor Mor to the Lairig Ghru – we didn’t need reminding – climbed this in Feb 07 with high winds and no view and were looking forward to getting some views.

I’d have to disagree with the SMC route for this one – it’s efficient but doesn’t take full advantage of the surrounds, going out from Linn of Dee to White Bridge and ascending from NO 002 895. We took this route in 2007 and with high winds and poor visibility it’s fine but on a good day I’d suggest the following.

We set off from Linn of Dee, going out the White bridge track for just 500m and then cut up between Caledonian Pine patches towards Carn an ‘lc Duibhe. It’s a bit of a slog through heather but takes only about 25mins. A Red Deer bachelor group looked surprised to see us.

The view N to the main Cairngorm Massif seemed to pop up like a Jack-in-the-box once the ridge was reached. Towards Bein Mheadhoin cliffs:

The Sgor Mor area is quite a large upland plateau above 600m, the main ridge line runs on the N side through Sgor Dubh and Sgor Mor. It’s a fairly gentle walk. The Sgor Mor plateau:

Once Sgor Dubh is reached the more dramatic scenery arrives – views to the mouth of Lairig Ghru with Devil’s Point and Carn a Mhaim.

Someone mentioned that we don’t post enough photos of us so here we are:

Again nothing to worry in progress from Sgor Dubh to Sgor Mor – views from here are splendid – nice south view to Beinn a Ghlo, Ealar and Sgarsoch and across W to Beinn Bhrotain.

Beinn a Ghlo:

Devil’s Point from the ridge:

Sgor Mor summit view:

On a good day I’d pick one of 2 returns – N towards Devil’s Point and then back the main track to Linn of Dee, or reverse the route. The wind chill was enough to pick the former.

Probably best to head W to Sgor an Eoin first then hold the watershed to Creagan nan Ghabhar, the Lairig Ghru munros loom higher and higher as progress is made.

From Creagan nan Ghabhar to the track try to keep left (west) – the main plain is boggy and will slow you down. The views grow and grow.
Despite the cold Bod an Deamhain looks BIG from here!

Rejoin the main track and then head back about 9km to Linn of Dee. The Luibeg bridge detour was as boggy as ever but nice views to the original Big Mac – Ben Macdui.

I like this track – great hills to the north, nice Caledonian pine areas to walk through.

Last yomp from Derry Lodge back to the car – missed sunset by about 15mins. Still some sun on the Derry summits from the bridge:

Seems daft on a good day to take the White Bridge track – efficient but the ridge and the north side are where the views are, so worth the extra effort. Great Corbett, well worth revisiting.

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