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Sgor Gaoith, its Tops and great wildlife

Sgor Gaoith, its Tops and great wildlife


Postby foggieclimber » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:38 pm

Munros included on this walk: Sgor Gaoith

Date walked: 18/03/2015

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 19.5 km

Ascent: 960m

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I met my friend John this morning at Lagganlia in Glen Feshie. We left my car at Lagganlia before continuing down Glen Feshie to the car park circa 1km from Auchlean. Our plan was to ascend Sgor Gaoith and its four Munro Tops.

I had ascended Sgor Gaoith twice previously and two of the tops at least once previously. I had not however previously ascended Meall Buidhe and Geal-charn. Geal-charn was one of the original Munros in Sir Hugh's 1891 list; one of only five I had yet to ascend.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the car park, we made our way down the tarmac road towards Auchlean.

Walking the road from the car park to Auchlean:
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Looking up towards Meall Dubhag:
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The track from Glen Feshie to Carn Ban Mor was familiar territory. I can recall ascending this track at least six times previously. We made our way up the track at a relaxed pace; there was no hurry.

Glen Feshie:
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Meall Dubhag from Carn Ban Mor ascent track:
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During the ascent we chatted about Cairngorm traverses of which we had both previously done numerous.

Ascent of Carn Ban Mor:
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We reached Carn Ban Mor, our first Munro Top of the day, circa two hours after setting off from the car park. From Carn Ban Mor, we continued on to Sgor Gaoith.

Looking towards Sgor Gaoith from Carn Ban Mor:
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Looking across to Braeriach:
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Sgor Gaoith:
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Today I had a heavy rucksack full of Winter gear. Despite plentiful snow, I needed none of it. The crampons stayed in the bag and the axe attached to the pack.

Definitely still Winter in the Cairngorms:
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On approach to the summit, and on reaching the summit, we took numerous photos. We spent around fifteen minutes at the summit.

John below the summit of Sgor Gaoith:
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Approaching the summit of Sgor Gaoith:
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The summit of Sgor Gaoith is perched on the edge of a cliff. It is a fantastic viewpoint providing great views across to Braeriach and down to Loch Einich.

View from the summit of Sgor Gaoith:
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John at the summit of Sgor Gaoith:
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Loch Einich from the summit of Sgor Gaoith:
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Myself at the summit of Sgor Gaoith:
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From Sgor Gaoith, we made our way across to the second Munro Top of the day, Sgoran Dubh Mor. I last ascended this Top in a traverse from Auchlean to Coylumbridge.

We stayed well back from the sizeable cornices as we progressed towards Sgoran Dubh Mor.

Cornice on Sgor Gaoith:
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Cornice on Sgor Gaoith:
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Meall Buidhe and Geal-charn:
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The view back to Sgor Gaoith was nice as the sun was glistening on the ice.

Looking back to Sgor Gaoith:
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On reaching Sgoran Dubh Mor, we visited the large cairn and the nearby high rocks.

Approaching the summit of Sgoran Dubh Mor:
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Myself at the summit of Sgoran Dubh Mor:
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From Sgoran Dubh Mor, we backtracked towards Sgor Gaoith before descending to the col below Meall Buidhe.

Heading for Meall Buidhe:
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As we made our way up Meall Buidhe, John spotted a bird overhead. I initially thought it was a Buzzard but I think the following photo shows it was definitely an Eagle :). Wildlife jackpot!

Golden Eagle fly-by:
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Looking towards Meall Buidhe SE Top:
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It didn't take long to reach our third Munro Top of the day, Meall Buidhe.

At the summit of Meall Bhuidhe:
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Looking towards Geal-charn:
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During the walk to Geal-charn, I spotted a Ptarmigan walking along the ground. I initially walked parallel to it and then cut in front of it to get a fairly close photo. A beautiful bird.

Ptarmigan:
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Heading for Geal-charn:
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Ascending Geal-charn:
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The terrain leading to Geal-charn was typical Cairngorms terrain. Lots of granite boulders, short heather and reindeer lichen.

At the summit of Geal-charn:
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Large cairn to NW of Geal-charn summit:
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As we started our descent from Geal-charn, we were treated to yet another wildlife highlight. A Mountain Hare that was happy to sit long enough to have his/her photo taken. Within 1 hour we saw and photographed an Eagle, a Ptarmigan and a Mountain Hare.

Mountain Hare:
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Mountain Hare (zoom):
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The snowy descent from Geal-charn was pleasant. The narrow track beyond was ok as far as the woods.

Looking back at descent from Geal-charn:
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Descent track:
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The narrow path led into a lovely wood with numerous Scot's Pine.

Lovely Scot's Pine:
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We were now into Capercaillie country but alas our wildlife jackpot was not willing to pay out for a Capercaillie too.

A fantastic day out. Hopefully one of numerous walks that will be spent in the Cairngorms this year.
Last edited by foggieclimber on Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sgor Gaoith and its Tops

Postby gordon l » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:00 am

Superb wildlife shots here :clap:
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Re: Sgor Gaoith and its Tops

Postby Collaciotach » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:01 am

Nice one :clap:
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Re: Sgor Gaoith, its Tops and great wildlife

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:43 am

Lucky you to get a good snap of the eagle! We saw two last week: one on Skye, one in Affric area, but didn't manage any pictures :( Are they too fast or are we too slow? :lol: :lol:

SG is one of those hills I'd love to re-do in winter conditions... If only for the view down to Loch Einich.
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Re: Sgor Gaoith, its Tops and great wildlife

Postby foggieclimber » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:26 am

BlackPanther wrote:Lucky you to get a good snap of the eagle! We saw two last week: one on Skye, one in Affric area, but didn't manage any pictures :( Are they too fast or are we too slow? :lol: :lol:

SG is one of those hills I'd love to re-do in winter conditions... If only for the view down to Loch Einich.


I've tried photographing many Eagles over the years without much success. They tend to fly really high so you need a good lens and a lot of luck. I only managed to snap two photos yesterday so a bit of luck that one of them was reasonably in focus. This is at full zoom and cropped. Have never managed to photograph a Black Panther though ;)
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Re: Sgor Gaoith, its Tops and great wildlife

Postby litljortindan » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:03 pm

Great stuff. This hill is stuck in my head for the rest of my life I guess.
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Re: Sgor Gaoith, its Tops and great wildlife

Postby malky_c » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:32 pm

Looked like a good day out. I had planned to pick off some of the tops up here the week before but the road was flooded. I will probably be really leisurely and do them over 2 or 3 different walks.
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Re: Sgor Gaoith, its Tops and great wildlife

Postby davetherave » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:13 pm

This brings back memories from our trip up Sgor Gaoith last Saturday. Our objective that day was to catch the 4 Munro's. We were very fortunate that we completed our task. It was all down to the exceptional weather that day.

I think I got a snap of possibly that same eagle, it was from a fair distance away and does not even come close to your standard. :clap:

here is the best wildlife shot I got on that day.
1 (12).JPG


I put a report up if you wish to compare pics and weather conditions.

That picture looking back to Sgor Gaoith is quite delightful.

Dave
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