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Carn an Fhidhleir & An Sgarsoch from Linn of Dee

Carn an Fhidhleir & An Sgarsoch from Linn of Dee


Postby Philwalker » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:08 pm

Route description: An Sgarsoch and Carn an Fhidhleir

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

Date walked: 08/05/2012

Time taken: 9.5 hours

Distance: 39 km

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This would be a huge undertaking without the bike, with a total of almost 40k to cover. Fortunately the tracks are reasonably good, enabling a total of 25k to be cycled. I followed the Dee to White Bridge (it isn't) and crossed it to leave the Dee and follow the Geldie Burn southwest'ish for 2k before turning west. The track went on for another 5k, crossing a couple of burns that were fast-flowing at the time, but I managed to negotiate them dry-shod.
White Bridge & The Dee.jpg
White Bridge (NOT) on the Dee

I finally reached the crossing point of the Geldie, with the ruin of Geldie Lodge on the hill opposite. I realised later that I should have left the bike here - the crossing was awkward, and the track petres out just beyond the lodge (in spite of what the map might suggest!).
Geldie Lodge.jpg
The name 'Geldie Lodge' is a bit misleading

I continued on foot following a reasonably good stalkers path through the heather and peat (that had numerous drainage cuts through it that deterred use of the bike) until I turned a corner and dropped towards a stream. The path ended here so I made my way through this boggy expanse to reach the base of the upturned pudding basin of Carn an Fhidhleir. I climbed steadily to the crest of what turned out to be the northern spur of the hill.
Although cloudy, I had reasonable views to the central Cairngorms to the north, although the tops were hidden making identification difficult.
I followed the broad ridge to the big wide top and its pathetic cairn - obviously, not too many come this way - just as the views disappeared and the snow began to fall. There seemed little point in hanging around, so I set the compass and headed southeastwards following the invisible boundary shown on the map. I followed a path down towards a small knoll then contoured around the left side of it to reveal the col way below.
Carn an Fhidhleir summit.jpg
Carn an Fhidhleir's summit pile

I left what now appeared to be a deer track and descended the steep, grassy slopes to the bottom where I met a backpacker who was donning full waterproofs - something I had already done. His accent was West Country and turned out to be from Bristol, and was rather surprised when he learnt that I was from even farther away in Cornwall.
I wished him luck as he set off for the summit I had just left, and I began the plod up the boggy slopes of An Sgarsoch as the snow got heavier and heavier. Suddenly I came across a path and followed it up to another big, broad summit plateau and eventually to a bigger cairn.
An Sgarsoch summit.jpg
An Sgarsoch summit

As I sat in its lee, the snow stopped and the clouds lifted for a couple of minutes giving some limited views, but it didn't last so I headed down this mountain's northern spur in an attempt to locate the lower top of Scarsoch Bheag. I managed to avoid it (blaming the 'defective' compass) and ended up in the small glen of the Allt a Chaoraine, which I followed until I found the end of the stalkers path and followed it back to the bike.
The Geldie Burn had now grown due to melting snow higher up, but I got to the opposite bank safely - then, when lifting the bike up onto the bank, lost my balance and fell back among the rocks, with the bike landing on top of me. I had somehow managed to avoid getting wet, with the rocks preventing me reaching the water, but now had a few bruises on my back. Why is it that the first thought is, "I hope no-one saw that!" and look around just to make sure?
I emerged safely at the second attempt and rode back quite quickly, realising that I was now going downhill (O.K., I know I have been doing that for years!) and I made it back to Linn of Dee without further mishap.
The Geldie Burn.jpg
The Geldie Burn on the outward run

The weather could have been a little kinder, but I enjoyed the beautiful wildness of this day. Don't expect dramatic corries, deep glens, sharp ridges, or arrow-head peaks on this expedition, just make the most of the remoteness.
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Re: Carn an Fhidhleir & An Sgarsoch from Linn of Dee

Postby Cairngormwanderer » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:28 pm

Back in the '60s I was led to believe that the White Bridge was called white because the wood was untreated and bleached by the sun and weather, while the Black Bridge, up the Lui, was so called because it was treated with tar to preserve it. The Black Bridge (which never was black as far as I saw) was replaced two or three decades ago, and I'm pretty surethe White Bridge has as well, so the names are now purely historic.
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Re: Carn an Fhidhleir & An Sgarsoch from Linn of Dee

Postby Johnny Corbett » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:43 pm

Cairngormwanderer wrote:Back in the '60s I was led to believe that the White Bridge was called white because the wood was untreated and bleached by the sun and weather, while the Black Bridge, up the Lui, was so called because it was treated with tar to preserve it. The Black Bridge (which never was black as far as I saw) was replaced two or three decades ago, and I'm pretty surethe White Bridge has as well, so the names are now purely historic.

That would be back in the days when Scotland got sun :wink: Super report Phil, i've still got these to do so this report will be handy, especially where to leave the bike :D
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Re: Carn an Fhidhleir & An Sgarsoch from Linn of Dee

Postby basscadet » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:28 pm

I bow to yur efforts, thats a long way!.. Only been up the Geldie the once, and we had to turn back in bad conditions because of a raging icy river, so was put off the place a bit. Really enjoyed your report :clap:
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Re: Carn an Fhidhleir & An Sgarsoch from Linn of Dee

Postby LJgee » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:40 am

Thanks for the report, and I take note of where to leave my bike. I am hoping the recent spate of dry sunny weather will have diminished the rivers into more manageable trickles for my adventures next weekend.
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Re: Carn an Fhidhleir & An Sgarsoch from Linn of Dee

Postby gman » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:36 pm

LJgee wrote:Thanks for the report, and I take note of where to leave my bike. I am hoping the recent spate of dry sunny weather will have diminished the rivers into more manageable trickles for my adventures next weekend.


Was up there today, no probs crossing with dry feet & peat hags have pretty much dried up too.
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Re: Carn an Fhidhleir & An Sgarsoch from Linn of Dee

Postby simon-b » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:10 pm

Cheers, Phil, that's a useful report, I'm hoping to do these when I stay in Braemar next week.

LJgee wrote:Thanks for the report, and I take note of where to leave my bike. I am hoping the recent spate of dry sunny weather will have diminished the rivers into more manageable trickles for my adventures next weekend.


If your doing this on the Sunday, I might just see you, LJ.
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