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Fleeing trouble at mill (Part 1) - Geldie Munros

Fleeing trouble at mill (Part 1) - Geldie Munros

Postby Graeme D » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:42 pm

Munros included on this walk: An Sgarsoch, Càrn an Fhìdhleir (Càrn Ealar)

Date walked: 03/06/2017

Time taken: 3.9 hours

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 810m

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That time of year again! June - the gradual wind down towards the school summer holidays and Duke of Edinburgh season in full swing. I had done a Bronze assessment a couple of weeks ago but to honest, there is little about a Bronze assessment and our standardised year after year route to float my boat any longer. Gold assessments on the other hand offer a lot more scope for different routes and the pursuit of personal hill bagging ambitions.

A colleague and I were leading a group of four lads whose gold assessment had been cancelled last summer due to unforeseen personal circumstances. Their original route was to have been on Mull but that had changed in the intervening year and they were now doing an old favourite of mine, the Aviemore to Kingussie route via the Lairig Ghru, White Bridge and Glen Feshie.

I was desperate to get out for the four days and escape the chaos and despair that has descended on our department at school in the last few weeks. In the space of a couple of months, we have gone from being a fully staffed, fully functioning, happy department to a basket case on the very edge of meltdown. Two staff have left for pastures new and not yet been replaced (and there is little sign of us being able to replace them anytime soon) and another is off long term with a serious illness. To be honest, those of us who are left are crawling on hands and knees towards the summer holidays, and trying not to think about August too much. We are surviving on a day to day basis with stress levels sky high. The two gold assessments that I am due to lead during the month of June are the only thing keeping me vaguely sane!

This route has provided me with some memorable bagging experiences in the past, notably The Devil's Point and Monadh Mor in 2014 and Leathad an Taobhain in 2015. A variation on the route last summer allowed me to do the Braeriach-Carn Toul hills but there were still one or two hills to be picked off along the way. My sights this year were firmly set on the Munros of An Sgarsoch and Fiddler and the pair of Corbetts in the upper reaches of Glen Feshie and Glen Tromie respectively.

Myself, my colleague Steven and the four candidates caught the 8am train up to Aviemore where the guys headed off towards the Coylumbridge road end and the path leading to the Cairngorm Club footbridge while Steven and myself visited Ashers for a breakfast of a sausage roll and a macaroni pie. Half an hour later and we were heading along the Glenmore road, lamenting the fact that it seems to take an eternity to actually get going on this route properly. I guess that's the price you pay for a hot breakfast at the start!

After Friday night camped at Corrour Bothy, Saturday took us round via White Bridge and the Geldie to our camping spot at the big bend in the River Feshie. It was from here that I planned to tackle the two Munros, either on Saturday evening or the following morning.

I opted for Saturday night and was away by 6.50 and heading for Sgarsoch, travelling light with some waterproofs, a cereal bar, a water bottle and a can of lager in a little day pack. About 30 minutes in I was hit by a torrential shower that came quickly and disappeared 5 minutes later almost as suddenly. After disturbing a large herd of locals a short distance below the summit, I sat for 20 minutes in the large shelter cairn and savoured my lager and the sense of Saturday night solitude.

Somewhat surprisingly, on the descent I saw another walker a hundred yards or so to my left ascending towards the summit carrying a large pack - presumably heading for a summit wild camp. I think we were both suitably surprised to see a fellow human being up there at the back of nine on a Saturday evening.

I took a more direct line towards the summit of Fiddler than most books and sites suggest and after a hot, muggy trudge up grassy slopes, I was soon crossing the wide summit plateau towards the small cairn. The clag had come down with a vengeance by this point so I didn't hang about too long before taking a bearing back to my tent, which I reached at 10.40 after a most enjoyable few hours on the hills.

The two targets from the camping spot

An Sgarsoch and a rather dry looking River Feshie

The big bend in the Feshie

An Sgarsoch in the sun, Sgarsoch Beag in the shade


Allt a'Chaoirainn

Shower arriving

Shower leaving

Monarch of the Glen?

Fiddler looking a bit brighter

Back towards the tent and the bend in the Feshie (just visible in the centre of the picture)

Across Sgarsoch Beag towards Beinn Bhrotain

North to the southern Cairngorms

Zoomed up the Eidart towards Sgor Gaoith

Reaching the summit of Sgarsoch

Beinn a'Ghlo from the summit

Cairngorms from the summit

Fiddler from the summit

Carn a'Chlamain and Beinn Dearg

Number 201

Big skies

Saturday night on Sgarsoch - rock and roll!

Heading for Fiddler

Sunset on Sgarsoch

Closing in on Fiddler

Cairn appearing out of the gloom

Number 202

Descending the north ridge

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Last edited by Graeme D on Wed Mar 09, 2022 10:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Graeme D
Posts: 4005
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Location: Perth

Re: Fleeing trouble at mill (Part 1) - Geldie Munros

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:26 pm

Holy #%%# when I saw the time you didn't take for this pair I dispaired,then I saw the distance and ascent and felt so much better,it took me,spider,quoman,jonny616 & delroacho 13 hrs,but that was from the Linn of Dee and 42k :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Fleeing trouble at mill (Part 1) - Geldie Munros

Postby mrssanta » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:42 pm

A lovely evening for it Graeme. So sorry to hear about your staffing problems at work and hope someone materialises soon.
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