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An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk


Postby Gordie12 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:52 pm

Route description: An Sgarsoch and Carn an Fhidhleir

Munros included on this walk: An Sgarsoch, Carn an Fhidhleir (Carn Ealar)

Date walked: 23/08/2014

Time taken: 10.5 hours

Distance: 44 km

Ascent: 1200m

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My 2 week holiday didn't get off to the best of starts, most of the skin removed from my left heel after a day in the Gorms so a week of hanging around the house gardening and basically moaning as I couldn't get out walking.

After yet another change of boots, returning to an old pair that leak like hell but don't give me blisters I decided to do these two hills before it gets any later in the year and the days become too short for a walk of this distance.

Parking at Linn of Dee where the midges were around but not too bad I was off and heading for White Bridge by 7.45. I always enjoy the walk to White Bridge but in the past I've always headed up Glen Dee to the Lairig Ghru so this was a first for me to carry on past Ruigh nan Clach and then follow the Geldie Burn. The tracks are all good and the walking is easy, gaining height all the time but it's a gentle constant climb which many choose to cycle.

1.jpg
Leaving the woods behind at the Linn of Dee


2.jpg
Nearing White Bridge


3.jpg
The view north from White Bridge


4.jpg


At this stage the weather is holding but looking over to Beinn Bhrotain the sky is looking pretty black and the promised showers seem to be on the way. Arriving at the Allt Dhaidh Mor it's possible to use stepping stones to cross and then I waited 5 minutes whilst three landrovers made the crossing as they headed for Geldie Lodge and a days shooting.

Approaching Geldie Lodge it was time to get the boots and socks off and stick on the old trainers to cross the Geldie (I wondered if I might have been offered a lift over but despite my friendly smile and wave nobody stopped :( . The water was still quite warm and the crossing of the ford was easy (he says after falling head first in to the Allt Luineag the week before) so once over, I switched back to the boots only to walk 50 yards to find a burn I had to cross. Luckily about 30 yards off the track I found some stepping stones I could use.

At the Geldie Lodge I checked with a guy who had stayed with the vehicles and he confirmed that the shooting was taking place to the east of Scarsoch Bheag so I would be fine.

5.jpg
Geldie Lodge


After Geldie Lodge there is a surprisingly good path heading west as far as the Allt a Chaorainn which was difficult to cross. With loads of rocks around I was able to throw a couple in to the water to allow me to cross on stepping stones.

6.jpg
Great path after Geldie Lodge


It was at this point it struck me how remote this location is, a long way out no matter which direction you choose. The burn marks the end of the good track, there is an outline of a feint track heading through the boggy ground but it is pretty indistinct. I could see a large rock on the lower slopes of Carn an Fhidleir so just headed for it. On reaching the rock the heavens opened and the surrounding hills all disappeared as it got a bit miserable with the wind picking up and sleet blowing in. I made for the broad northern ridge and the climb was fairly steep but after a few minutes I was on the ridge where the gradient then eased, climbing through a couple of small boulder fields it was a nice easy walk to the summit and by the time I got there the clouds had lifted giving me good views all around.

7.jpg
Summit of Carn an Fhidleir


8.jpg
View over to An Sgarsoch


4hrs 45 mins to the first top, it was going to be a long day. It was now 12.30, time for the footie (Inverness v Celtic Reserves) so put the digi radio on as I headed south east off the summit on a good track. I was heading between the minor top and the bealach for An Sgarsoch but the track wasn’t dropping down and it felt like I was going too far. As I was about to leave the track and drop down I heard a couple of large bangs and walking south through the bealach there were two or three guys with guns so I waited for ten minutes before dropping down and then starting the climb up the western slopes of An Sgarsoch.

The initial climb out of the bealach is fairly steep and as with Carn an Fhidleir the wind had picked up and the sleat was on again. After a while the gradient eased and the final climb was on a much easier gradient, made better by the sun coming out again.

9.jpg
An Sgarsoch summit


10.jpg
An Sgarsoch summit take two


I was only at the summit for about ten minutes then headed north off the top. The grassy hillside and the boulders were wet so a bit of care was needed on the way down. I headed for a point between Allt a Chaoirainn and Scarsoch Bheag then contoured round the western side of Scarsoch Bheag before trying to find the driest route down to the path that would take me back to Geldie Lodge. On the way back I could see the original shooters on higher ground also heading back towards the lodge.

11.jpg
Looking over to Carn an Fhidleir


12.jpg
Heading for Geldie Lodge chasing rainbows


13.jpg
Brilliant views near Geldie Lodge


After the lodge I had the boots and socks off for the Geldie crossing and just kept the trainers on till I crossed the Allt Dhaidh Mor. With the feet soothed by the water and fresh socks on, I was ready for the final long tramp out and back to the Linn of Dee. This was the best part of the day now, the sun was out and it was fairly warm in the sheltered glens.

14.jpg
Geldie Lodge


15.jpg
Geldie crossing


16.jpg
Bridge with a view


17.jpg
Following the Geldie and looking back


18.jpg
Looking back again


19.jpg
Chasing another rainbow


I made good time down to White Bridge where there were 5 tents pitched up for the night. One group looked dressed for an Arctic expedition, they must have given me funny looks as I wandered past with short sleeves on.

After helping a foreign chap decide whether to pitch his tent at White Bridge or carry on to Corrour bothy I headed on along the track passing several groups who seemed to be heading for White Bridge to camp for the night – busy place.
With ten minutes to go a couple of guys on bikes passed me, I had seen their bikes at Geldie lodge and wondered how much time they would have saved.

Back at the car the midges were surprisingly quiet so I was able to take my time getting the boots off. A long long day, 27.4 miles and ten and a half hours (9hrs 20mins walking and stopped for 1hr 10mins) – definitely a walk for a long summers day.

Have to say, loved this walk.
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Gordie12
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Re: An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

Postby PerthAlly » Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:12 pm

Super effort Gordie 12

I've limited Cairngorms experience. Not sure it presses my button as much as hillwalking further west.

If I tackle anything it'll be on a bike to shorten the day a touch!

Well done
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Re: An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

Postby Silverhill » Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:59 pm

You’ve been fairly busy recently! :clap:
Very nice pictures and you were lucky with the weather, apart from the sleet. :shock: I did these from the south, which was a long day too.
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Re: An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

Postby Fife Flyer » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:39 pm

Another great report, takes more than a wee shower to deter us hardy walkers :lol:

Bit of a monster walk, was thinking of doing that in August but never got round to it, will have to wait till next year :(

Notice your blue balloons are in a semi circle like mine :lol: :lol:
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Re: An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

Postby Gordie12 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:42 pm

PerthAlly wrote:Super effort Gordie 12

I've limited Cairngorms experience. Not sure it presses my button as much as hillwalking further west.

If I tackle anything it'll be on a bike to shorten the day a touch!

Well done


Hi Perth Ally - with the Gorms, Angus and Perthshire more or less covered it's time to point the car west and see if your right.
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Re: An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

Postby Gordie12 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:44 pm

Silverhill wrote:You’ve been fairly busy recently! :clap:
Very nice pictures and you were lucky with the weather, apart from the sleet. :shock: I did these from the south, which was a long day too.


Hi Silverhill - a combo of being busy and havinbg a "gubbed" PC for the last two weeks!!

Assume you did these two from Blair Atholl??
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Re: An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

Postby Gordie12 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:57 pm

Fife Flyer wrote:Another great report, takes more than a wee shower to deter us hardy walkers :lol:

Bit of a monster walk, was thinking of doing that in August but never got round to it, will have to wait till next year :(

Notice your blue balloons are in a semi circle like mine :lol: :lol:


This was the day you started from Glen Feshie and did Monadh Mor and Beinn Bhrotain so you know what the showers were like.

Your right about my Munros, looks like I could hammer the mileage on the car next year as I head west (or north west/ south west).
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Re: An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

Postby The Rodmiester » Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:17 pm

A great walk and report there Gordie, it's a long long way by foot, did it many years ago and the only thing that kept me going was the thought of meeting up with others at the Fife Arms for a drink. It was the times of Water Aid and I was the leader for these two hills. The long days are never forgotten though. :)
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Re: An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:32 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:A great walk and report there Gordie, it's a long long way by foot, did it many years ago and the only thing that kept me going was the thought of meeting up with others at the Fife Arms for a drink. It was the times of Water Aid and I was the leader for these two hills. The long days are never forgotten though. :)


Hi Rod

I kept going by looking behind me at the great big clouds heading my way and the knowledge there was a nice bottle of white chilling in the fridge with my name on it.

As you say, the long days are never forgotten and this one will definitely stay with me.
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Re: An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

Postby gammy leg walker » Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:30 pm

10.5 hrs did you run :shock: :shock: .

Have these 2 in my sights before the nights close in but cant see me being anywhere near your time.

How easy/hard were the river crossings if you don't mind me asking

Cheers in advance glw.
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Re: An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:46 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:10.5 hrs did you run :shock: :shock: .

Have these 2 in my sights before the nights close in but cant see me being anywhere near your time.

How easy/hard were the river crossings if you don't mind me asking

Cheers in advance glw.


No running involved GLW.

Two crossings, the first about half a mile short of the Geldie was done on stepping stones on the way in and on the way back just kept the old trainers on after crossing the Geldie. The Geldie itself was OK, about a foot of water and not very fast flowing so an easy crossing.

If your running out of daylight hours it would be an easy finish from White Bridge with a head torch on. Hope you get a decent day for it.
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Re: An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:35 am

I'm dreading this duo to be honest :? Mainly because it's such a long walk in. For us, starting from Deeside means 2.5 drive each way on top of the day's walking. I was thinking about tackling it from Glen Feshie - if it's possible that way. It would save us the driving time.
Well done for not stopping too much :lol: :lol: . We have a bad habit of taking too many break to photograph every stone, river, stream... Then we end up with 300-400 pictures and no space on disc :lol:
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Re: An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:25 pm

BlackPanther wrote:I'm dreading this duo to be honest :? Mainly because it's such a long walk in. For us, starting from Deeside means 2.5 drive each way on top of the day's walking. I was thinking about tackling it from Glen Feshie - if it's possible that way. It would save us the driving time.
Well done for not stopping too much :lol: :lol: . We have a bad habit of taking too many break to photograph every stone, river, stream... Then we end up with 300-400 pictures and no space on disc :lol:


Hi BP - these two will be no problem for both of you. They can be done from Glen Feshie but not sure how the mileage compares.
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Re: An Sgarsoch & Carn an Fhidleir - It's a long, long walk

Postby rockhopper » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:31 pm

That looked good but a long walk right enough ! Think I'd be taking the bike. :lol:

Re your Glen Feshie note - my approach was from Glen Feshie as we were in Coylumbridge at the time - not the easiest of cycles :roll: My WR notes 48km and 1,400m so not a lot of difference and I do like Glen Feshie - cheers :)
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