walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Sgor Gaoith then back via Geal Charn

Sgor Gaoith then back via Geal Charn


Postby EmmaKTunskeen » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:07 am

Munros included on this walk: Sgor Gaoith

Date walked: 29/08/2017

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1118m

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

I'd tried doing this walk in reverse on New Year's Eve (2016), but the winds were 50-60 mph and the gusts were blowing me off my feet, so I'd had to abort. This time, I was on my way back south from a few glorious days in Sutherland, and decided to give it another go, but start with Sgor Gaoith this time.

Arriving at Glen Feshie at about noon, after an early start down from Tongue, I togged up ready for rain, but not too much chill to begin with, through the forest. Darn right - as I charged up the woodland path, through that richness of pines and juniper, I was soon down to vest-top. Ahead was Geal Charn, looking lush and heathery under a blue-'n'-cloud sky, its grey dusting looking more like scree than the boulder slopes I knew it to be.

Image

I walked on at each fork, taking the standard Sgor Gaoith path, the views back down to the valley sunlit, calm and delightful.

Image

There was a wind though. On the path I met a fella and lady with about eight dogs. One, a black Irish setter (apparently), was bounding down the hillside, ears flapping, happy as you like. I watched, waiting for it to clock that it had to run back up again, which it duly did, with that slightly stumped "Oh" look about it. As the setter trotted back up, the man said it was gusty on the ridge, and I knew out of the shelter of Carn Ban Beag, I could expect a chilly breeze.

A little further on, past some grouse eggshell, crowberry snack and poo...

Image

... I stopped on a rock for my lunch. My stomach had been rumbling, and I'd been ignoring it, but this was perfect. Too breezy for midges, while not yet in the full exposure of the wind coming from the SW. The base layer went on, and the Ventura jacket, and on they stayed for the rest of the day.

As I walked on, individual clouds came in and rolled about, then disappeared again.

Image

I was finding more juniper - always a pleasure to see -

Image

and pounding on up to the plateau cairn.

Image

At the saddle between Carn Ban Mor and Sgor Gaoith, I turned right to look at the view from the former.

Image

Image

[etc!] and clocked how the cloud was just constantly changing from white to black above me. At some point, I was bound to get caught in the clag. But then it would lift as quickly as it would descend.

On up to Sgor Gaoith, and great views of lonely Loch Eanaich with Braeriach opposite, and down the glen to Creag Dubh and Rothiemurchus..

Image

Image

Image

Image

To go back over Geal Charn was pretty much a straight line from here, but I wanted to nip up to Sgoran Dubh Mor. Its top, so close to Sgor Gaoith, is so completely different, like petrified molten larva. That was a surprise!

Image

There was also a massive cairn on top, that yelled "CAIRN" in my head.

Image

The view down the glean's lovely from here, and it was good that I enjoyed it, because minutes later I was being pelted by hail, blowing straight at me from the way I wanted to go.

Image

I'd walked back down to the bealach between Sgoran Dubh Mor and Sgurr Gaoith, when the clouds suddenly raged with rain and hail, descended and enveloped me in clag, and gave me no choice but to pass the time with my back to the hail, singing to myself til it calmed down.

When it did, I set off on a bearing, aiming off on the burn, and the cloud soon lifted. It clung to the ridges, lining them with silver before it lifted completely - magical :D

Image

On my way up to Meall Buidhe were pixie cups...

Image

... and up on 928, the point after Meall Buidhe, was a ptarmigan, watching me.

Image

From here, the ground was boulders, as I remembered from Geal Charn. One final dip down and back up to this old friend and I was soon at its summit shelter cairn.

Image

It felt such a novelty to be walking towards it normally, not lurching towards it like a drunkard, eyeing it sideways out of a wind-battered hood as I had on my crazy New Year's Eve visit. :lol:

A novelty too to get a view from the lower cairn NW, looking down to Loch an Eilein - that was shrouded in cloud in December.

Image

Just the last, slow, bouldery, heathery and very steep descent down the Geal Charn flank to the path, which took an age to get any closer. To my right, along the path, I spotted a group who had been on the Sgor Gaoith summit before me. They must have dropped down via Allt a Mharcaidh, to join a path there and then cut left up the Allt nan Cuileach to the col between Geal Charn and Mhigeachaidh. They stopped to adjust rain-gear, so were behind me quite a way when I got to the path.

I stepped up my pace, back through midges, and on the way saw a stag sauntering down on the path. [Should say "bull", not "stag", since as Gaffr has pointed out to me, he's reindeer not red. Silly me. :roll: ]

Image

He melted into the contours below me eventually, and soon I was alone again, ending this delightful week with beautiful late afternoon sunlight casting shadows on the lower hills.

Image
Attachments

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Last edited by EmmaKTunskeen on Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:09 pm, edited 8 times in total.
User avatar
EmmaKTunskeen
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 183
Munros:25   Corbetts:17
Grahams:9   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:49
Wainwrights:41   Islands:12
Joined: Aug 19, 2016
Location: West Sussex

Re: Sgor Gaoith then back via Geal Charn

Postby gaffr » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:47 am

Hello,
Much more interesting way(s) to reach Sgor Gaoith than flogging up and down the path from near Achlean as so many appear to do.
Since the parking at the Allt Ruadh came about more folks are starting from here....and maybe also too since both Carn Ban Mor and Cheal Charn were dropped from the old list. Must say I always enjoy the passage from Geal Charn and to include Sgoran Dubh Mor. Not too surprised to see the Reindeer over this side when there is a favourite nibble of theirs in the area of Carn Ban Beag.....perhaps the folks from the Glenmore reindeer place would like to know about one of the herd being over on the western side of the range.
In praise of my local hills. :)
User avatar
gaffr
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1687
Munros:281   Corbetts:203
Grahams:33   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:11   Hewitts:25
Wainwrights:11   
Joined: Oct 25, 2009
Location: Highland.

Re: Sgor Gaoith then back via Geal Charn

Postby EmmaKTunskeen » Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:01 pm

gaffr wrote:Hello,
Much more interesting way(s) to reach Sgor Gaoith than flogging up and down the path from near Achlean as so many appear to do.
[...] Must say I always enjoy the passage from Geal Charn and to include Sgoran Dubh Mor.


Hello! Thanks, yes, I don't know why I'm so kind of charmed by Geal Charn, but I am. It was a delight to revisit this little corner of your manor!

gaffr wrote:Not too surprised to see the Reindeer over this side when there is a favourite nibble of theirs in the area of Carn Ban Beag.....perhaps the folks from the Glenmore reindeer place would like to know about one of the herd being over on the western side of the range.
In praise of my local hills. :)


Oh, silly me. I hadn't even made the connection, beyond thinking "odd antlers angle ... big head". I'll maybe drop them a line then.
User avatar
EmmaKTunskeen
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 183
Munros:25   Corbetts:17
Grahams:9   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:49
Wainwrights:41   Islands:12
Joined: Aug 19, 2016
Location: West Sussex

Re: Sgor Gaoith then back via Geal Charn

Postby rockhopper » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:03 pm

All in all, a good day despite the hail shower - does look a nice route compared to the path up from Achlean :thumbup: Good to see the views down to Loch Eanaich - one of my favourite MTB routes up from Coylumbridge - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6364
Munros:282   Corbetts:207
Grahams:60   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Sgor Gaoith then back via Geal Charn

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:43 am

This looks an interesting route, a good one to try out. Thank you. I love Sgor Gaoith, especially in winter,
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 666
Munros:140   Corbetts:20
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Sgor Gaoith then back via Geal Charn

Postby dogplodder » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:13 pm

I'm another who first went up the Feshie hills via Geal Charn - which at the time I thought was a Munro as it was listed as such in my Butterfield book, along with Carn Ban Mor. It was a bit of a disappointment to join Walkhighlands and discover my 4 Feshie Munros were reduced to 2! 8)
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3475
Munros:226   Corbetts:52
Grahams:16   
Sub 2000:24   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:9   Islands:21
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Sgor Gaoith then back via Geal Charn

Postby EmmaKTunskeen » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:13 am

rockhopper wrote:All in all, a good day despite the hail shower - does look a nice route compared to the path up from Achlean :thumbup: Good to see the views down to Loch Eanaich - one of my favourite MTB routes up from Coylumbridge - cheers :)


Not a huge fan of hail showers, but funnily enough I quite enjoyed this one - probably because I knew it was going to be fleeting. Your MTB route sounds beautiful, I'm not surprised it's a favourite! :D

Cairngorm creeper wrote:This looks an interesting route, a good one to try out. Thank you. I love Sgor Gaoith, especially in winter


Ooh yeah, CC :) . That's how I'd hoped to see it first, but got blasted off by strong winds (see below). One day...!

dogplodder wrote:I'm another who first went up the Feshie hills via Geal Charn - which at the time I thought was a Munro as it was listed as such in my Butterfield book, along with Carn Ban Mor. It was a bit of a disappointment to join Walkhighlands and discover my 4 Feshie Munros were reduced to 2! 8)


:lol: I totally sympathise! As far as I was concerned, last New Year's Eve, when the wind meant I pretty much crawled my way up Geal Charn (and therefore couldn't realistically do the whole ridge to Sgor Gaoith), it was still a flipping Munro! :wink:
User avatar
EmmaKTunskeen
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 183
Munros:25   Corbetts:17
Grahams:9   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:49
Wainwrights:41   Islands:12
Joined: Aug 19, 2016
Location: West Sussex

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: alexod1, andy73, Broggy1, Glengavel, Grisu, Phil the Hill and 53 guests