Thu 17th Jan - Sun 20th Jan, 2019

Karn House

Steve Graham

Saturday 19th January - Day 2 Walk

Members: Chris Kaustavunis (with a sprained ankle), Joe Dugdale, Fiona Dixon, John Evans.

Hastily agreed walk to the summit of Sgor Gaoith (903/989 on the Cairngorm 1:25k map)

Parked in the forest car park past Feshie bridge, and gaitored, booted and dressed for a winter mountaineering day we set off up the track through the forest in bright sunshine under a clear blue sky.

After half an hour coats were shed, and sunglasses donned before we collapsed from heat stroke. The path forks, we went left up the hill, keeping the stream on our right, until we cleared the trees and ascended eastwards up the hill towards Geal Charn, which seemed a modest rounded hill from our perspective. Dropping into the valley to the foot of it, we stopped for a break at a convenient stone shelter, some tea and another change of clothes for me. Modest it may be but it's a steep hill, quite a lot of snow in the heather and boulders, and hot work getting the top. (920) Once there we were essentially on the ridge leading to Sgor Gaoith and its companion Sgoran Dubh Mor running N-S in front of us. The views were stunning, a cloud inversion left dozens of munro peaks up in the sunshine - possibly all the way to Ben Nevis. This part of the ridge walk includes a steep descent and steeper ascent through knee deep snow to gain the main ridge (spot height 1053) and a fairly easy slope up to Sgor Gaoith summit, marked by a prominent outcrop. The eastern flank of the ridge is a vertiginous drop into Loch Einich, formed in a great basin at the head of the valley.

We lingered a while, it's a grand spot, before tackling the long thankfully gradual descent through light snow, & occasional boulder fields to the fork in the stream below. From there a path contours the hill back to the fork in the path, although icy in places this is an easy route back to the car. A Splendid day in grand company. 

Joe Dugdale

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