Sgor Gaoith from Feshie. 26th February 2018.

Date: Monday 26th February 2018
Distance: 16km
Ascent: 1030m

Watched the wildlife at our accommodation for a while post-dawn before heading out.

Squirrel:

With the approach of “The Beast from the East” we were aware that Monday might be the last decent weather of our holiday. We initially had thought about the Newtonmore munros – probably ideal conditions for them on hard snow.

In the event we changed our minds on the drive and headed to Glen Feshie instead.

Parked at the NNR car park at NH 85 01. There’s a fine path network in the NNR – we’ve explore a bit of it over the last few years. One path we’ve not been up runs from NH 869 009 to the bealach between Creag Mhigeachaidh and Geal Charn. Headed up the nice path from the car park to take this branch.
Lovely Caley pine woods round here, worth wandering in.

Caledonian Pine woods:

Hard to tell what the path is like under the hard snow.

Heading up to the bealach:

Once at the bealach we stuck on microspikes to head up the mixed snow patches above.

There’s a good view north to Lochs Gamhna, an Eilein and Pityoulish. I think they’re all glacial Kettle Hole Lochans.

Kettle Hole lochans:

The progress up was good, short vegetation and occasional snow patches. Disturbed a ptarmigan pair who seemed loathe to leave their patch.

Ptarmigan:

Didn’t take too long to get to the top of Geal Charn – this is a good viewpoint, viewing the northern ridges of Sgoran Dubh, Braeriach and Cairngorm. Well worth a visit.

Geal charn looking to Sgoran Dubh Mor:

The view of Glen Feshie is a little obstructed.

Glen Feshie:

Northern Cairngorm ridges:

The way forward runs along a slightly undulating ridge up to the bealach between Sgoran Dubh Mor and Sgor Gaoith.

Sgoran Dubh Mor and Sgor Gaoith:

To the NE a collection of pyramids – Carn Eilrig, Meall a Buachaille and Ben Rinnes.

A triplet of pyramids:

To the east Lurcher’s Crag at the mouth of lairig Ghru is visible over Sron na lairig.

Lurcher’s Crag:

Another one of our ambling walks. Reasonably light winds and lovely sunshine to be savoured, other than a solitary skier heading off Sgor Gaoith a kilometre away we had the hill to ourselves.

Sgor Gaoith:

The ridge between Carn Ban Beag and Carn Ban Mor (the ascent from Auchlean) has a lovely serpentine notch in it.

Feshie and the Auchlean ridge:

The Newtonmore Hills, which had been shadowed by cloud, finally cleared to full sunshine. The NW Highlands, for which there had been a great forecast also cleared to great clarity by about 1pm.

Newtonmore hills:

Eventually headed up the nice firm snow to the munro ridge.

H ascending to munro ridge:

Sgor Gaoith looks great from its north side – often missed out by walkers tackling it with Mullach to the south. There are some great loops including Sgoran Dubh Mor, well worth a visit a year I think.

H and Sgor Gaoith:

Sgor Gaoith from Sgoran Dubh Mor:

Headed up Sgoran Dubh Mor and the sat and had some lunch, enjoyed identifying peaks to the NW now that they’d cleared. A bit too far away for good photos but we could see as far as Knoydart and Fisherfield.

The local views are more photogenic.

Sgor Gaoith and Moine Mhor:

The great scalloped coires high on Braeriach are visible from a great distance on a good day.

Braeriach:

Stuck on the crampons to head across to Sgor gaoith and then for our descent. It’s a quick amble across to the munro.

It clouded a little at this point – our sunny cloud window seemed to have migrated NW.

To the south Beinn a Ghlo, Carn a Chlamain and Beinn Dearg were showing on a grey background over the top of Moine Mhor.

Across Moine Mhor to Blair Atholl hills:

Beinn Dearg (on the right):

The sun hadn’t abandoned us – still sunny on and off.

Sgoran Dubh Mor from Sgor Gaoith:

Beinn Dearg:

Wandered round the cliff line north of Sgor Gaoith for a few hundred metres. Towering views down to Loch Einich and across to Braeriach.

Braeriach and Loch Einich:

South from Sgor Gaoith:

Sgor Gaoith summit pinnacle:

Headed west on the broad slope between the Carn Ban Beag ridge and the Geal Charn ridge. This drops from 1050m to 600m – it’s a deceptively slope.

Kept an eye on the hills.

Ben Alder past Meall Cuaich:

Creag Meagaidh:

Did a few glissades – the surface was hard and speed gain was rapid. Down to the base in not too long.

Shadows were lengthening.

Lengthening shadows:

Back to microspikes for the walk out the path above Allt Ruadh and back to the car. The spikes were ideal given a path bed that was often ice and snow banks that were hard (with deep, deep post holes from unfortunates who had waded through the pre-consolidated snow).

The sun was still trying – lit the Caley pines on Creag Mhigeachaidh.

Low sun on pine woods:

Just caught the last rays of the sun as we turned the corner at Coire na Cloiche.

Sunset:

Back down from there as it became darker. Still light enough to walk without a headtorch when we got back to the car.

…a quick drive back and then an evening watching badgers and pine martens.

As we’d suspected the weather went downhill from there – although as we listened to the transport chaos in the Central Belt we were glad to be relaxing in Speyside.

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