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What to do when MWIS is bad on Friday 13th?

What to do when MWIS is bad on Friday 13th?


Postby dogplodder » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:10 pm

Route description: Sgor Gaoith, from Glen Feshie

Munros included on this walk: Sgor Gaoith

Date walked: 13/05/2011

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What do you do when a Canadian friend has come up from Oxford to climb hills, has a tight time frame and MWIS is bad for where you want to go? The original plan was to head for the Fannaichs but with 20% in the north west that wasn't looking too hopeful for views and I wanted Penny to be able to see something. :? The odds in the Cairngorms were better with 60% so at the last minute we headed for an old favourite of mine - Sgor Gaoith.

On previous occasions I climbed Sgor Gaoith by WH route via Geal Charn to the north and from Achlean, both routes starting in Glen Feshie. I decided this time to go up the Foxhunter path that starts at Achlean Farm, parking 1km north of the farm. This gives a gentle start along the road, then left off the road at the cairn on a good path climbing initially through mixed woodland. Once clear of the woods the path traverses the north side of the corrie Fhearnagan with good views opening up of Glen Feshie and further to the west.

Bregtje and Penny on path to Coire Fhearnagan
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Quick stop for an energy snack (dogs look like they've got designs on Bregtje's :lol: )
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Compared to May 2010 there wasn't much snow left up here.
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I was so pleased we were in the sun but at about the point where the path reaches the plateau and levels off we were into the clag. We took a left turn to climb the slopes of Carn Ban Mor and I wondered if we were going to get any views at all. :(

Penny in the clag
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We walked on over Carn Ban Mor and to my surprise and delight the cloud started to lift. :D I always think it's worth being in cloud just for the brilliant moment when you can see again!

Cloud lifting over Braeriach
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Shifting cloud revealing the expanse of Moine Mhor to the south
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For comparison this was the Moine Mhor in May 2010, looking towards Cairn Toul
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Braeriach in May 2011
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Heading for sharp summit peak of Sgorr Gaoith
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Deep glacial cleft of Gleann Einich on right
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Last short pull to to summit
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View from top to south west
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View from top to north east
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View from top to north west and Loch Insh
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Foraging for picnic scraps high above Loch Einich :shock:
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South end of Loch Einich
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North end of Loch Einich
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All of us at summit cairn
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Jack taking a shine to Penny 8)
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Clear off, she prefers me!
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This was Bregtje's first Munro and I don't think she was quite prepared for the wind chill factor and at this point was feeling the cold. Not that she uttered one word of complaint - I just noticed her looking a bit blue! :(

Summit pic for Bregtje's family in the Netherlands
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Warm dog equals effective insulating layer :D
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Summit cairn is on an airy perch above sheer cliffs dropping 1000 feet to loch below
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Penny wanted to walk round the edge of the steep drop into Gleann Einich so we headed back in a south easterly direction towards the Moine Mhor.

Sgor Gaoith looking back (note the dark cloud)
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Shortly after finding the ruin of a small dwelling (amazing to think of people living up here) the dark cloud in last pic caught up with us and plunged us into thick clag, enough to need the compass and map out. I knew if we kept walking in a south westerly direction we'd cross the path heading west and it was reassuring to see the cairn on Carn Ban Mor looming up ahead of us. I told them that in a minute we'd see a vehicle track crossing our path and right on cue there it was. :D

I'm not a superstitious type but for those of that inclination it turned out a great walk for an inauspicious day like Friday the 13th! :D
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Re: What to do when MWIS is bad on Friday 13th?

Postby iainwatson » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:21 am

nice report and i'm glad your friend got the views from the summit,they are spectacular looking down to the loch

i walked up by the loch on a previous walk and was looking forward to the views when i went up this munro but alas it was very windy,very wet and the cloud was low so i never saw anything

thanks for showing me what i missed out on :D
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Re: What to do when MWIS is bad on Friday 13th?

Postby ChrisW » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:06 pm

Another cracker dogplodder I love that pic of the dogs foraging for scraps above Loch Einich, it has real drama. Glad to hear the 13th was not the harbinger of doom people often say it is :D
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Re: What to do when MWIS is bad on Friday 13th?

Postby Johnny Corbett » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:32 pm

Some lovely photos. Those dogs must have a good head for heights :D
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Re: What to do when MWIS is bad on Friday 13th?

Postby dogplodder » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:13 pm

iainwatson wrote:nice report and i'm glad your friend got the views from the summit,they are spectacular looking down to the loch

i walked up by the loch on a previous walk and was looking forward to the views when i went up this munro but alas it was very windy,very wet and the cloud was low so i never saw anything


The second time I climbed it I had my son with me and told him about the huge drop to the loch and the views and when we got there it was a white out and he had to take my word for it as you couldn't see a thing. :?
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Re: What to do when MWIS is bad on Friday 13th?

Postby dogplodder » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:20 pm

ChrisW wrote:Another cracker dogplodder I love that pic of the dogs foraging for scraps above Loch Einich, it has real drama. Glad to hear the 13th was not the harbinger of doom people often say it is :D


The pic makes it look more scary than it was but they do make me laugh the way they're ruled by their noses to the point of being oblivious to their surroundings!

All the best in Calgary. We have good friends living there. Bill is a Scot frae Fife and Alice is Canadian. :D
Last edited by dogplodder on Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What to do when MWIS is bad on Friday 13th?

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:26 pm

Great report again DP,

Loved your photos but got a wee bit worried about the dogs going so near the edge :shock: :shock:
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Re: What to do when MWIS is bad on Friday 13th?

Postby dogplodder » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:30 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:Some lovely photos. Those dogs must have a good head for heights :D


Reckon the dogs have no fear of heights as the main thing on their minds at all times is FOOD! :lol: I used to worry they'd take risks to get to it but since scraps tend to be dropped where people have been sitting it's fine. They seem to have a sense of where they can safely go (so far anyway!)
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Re: What to do when MWIS is bad on Friday 13th?

Postby dogplodder » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:42 pm

pollyh33 wrote:
Loved your photos but got a wee bit worried about the dogs going so near the edge :shock: :shock:


It honestly wasn't as bad as it looks! It looks like a sheer drop below Jack but it actually wasn't. :D
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Re: What to do when MWIS is bad on Friday 13th?

Postby dogplodder » Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:16 pm

Further to issue of dog safety..... I do sometimes keep them on lead - like at the top of Ben Nevis - and on Braeriach as the wind was so strong. But on narrow ridges they're more sure-footed than me (much!) and when it's tricky terrain it's interesting how they come alongside as if they're keeping an eye on me. 8)

Dogs seem to have the sense not to put themselves in danger. But one thing I would NOT do is throw a stick for Tess as she's so retrieving obsessed she would possibly put herself in danger to get it back to me. :shock:
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