Date: Weekend 7-8th November 2009
Was watching the forecast carefully over the week – a low pressure swirl seemed to be making forecasting difficult but the general potential for a high camp was there. 😀
Friday night and it was a toss up between the Fisherfield Deargs and the Cairngorms. The ‘Gorms won.
We had been poised for a Braeriach wild camp in March 09 but had converted to a day walk due to poor conditions. Our previous 2 ascents had also delivered less than favourable conditions. Thought we’d set this to rights.
Arrived at Coylumbridge at 0830 with a lovely blue sky. We love the walk in through the Rothiemurchus Caledonian forest (although we were so busy looking at things that we ended up at the Cairngorm Club footbridge and had to cut over to the Gleann Einich track 😳 ).
At NH 925 029 there’s a path running E round the S flank of Carn a Phris-ghiubhais. We stuck to the low heather to the N of the Allt for a good distance this time before turning S at around NH943 023.
The slopes look bouldery but in truth it’s mostly boulders in good Cairngorm grit that allows an easy amble.
When you cross the 800m contour and you’re above Carn Eilrig and starting to see out to the Moray Firth and you realise you’re still 500m below the top you start to get a feel for the height of Braeriach.
Our route took us again up the ridge between Coire Lochan and Coire Ruadh – doubt either of these will get any sun til March. 😯
At this point we noted cloud flowing up over Sgor Gaoith and coming over the top of Braeriach and I thought our curse would strike again.
Thankfully the clouds parted and the cairn hove into view – it looks easy in the clear but boy do all those cliffs make my skin crawl in a white-out. 😯
Had about 30mins before the sun crossed behind the clouds to the west at 1610hrs. The temperatures then took a nosedive. 8)
Retired to the tent for some chilled Ozzy shiraz and then got up again around 2000hrs to admire the starscape and rising half-moon.
And so to bed – very cold, thermometer has -5C in the tent at points and the water bladders froze up. At 0300 I could see individual street lights from Fife (I think).
Set off at 0920 down the SW side of Braeriach – easy-peasy.
Passed the marker cairn for the brilliant Coire Dhondail stalkers path and on down to Moine Mhor.
The terrain was better than expected and eventually linked up with the path running up the cliff-line to Sgor Gaoith.
First folks of the day around Sgor Gaoith – great views too for only our 2nd time out of 6.
From there lovely walking on the ridge to Creag Dubh and the Argyll Stone – another bit of the ‘Gorms we’ve been keen to see.
Then made for the track home – lost the sun to shade from here.
Rothiemurchus forests still had Cresties, coal tits, goldcrest, black grouse and red deer for us as the twighlight approached.
Back to the car 15mins after sunset – another great Cairngorms weekend. Wonder what the Fisherfield Deargs would have been like.