A Wintry Cairngorm Traverse

We set off from Achlean in Glen Feshie under blue skies with some warmth from the sun overcoming the frosty temperatures and walked further south than we should have to start ascending – mostly due to lack of concentration – but in doing so we chanced upon a small herd of the Cairngorm’s reindeer grazing.

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Rather than follow an easy path up the hillside we opted for a rising traverse back on to the path we should have taken in the first place and by now the sky was greying and the tops disappearing into the mists forming above.

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Reaching the cairn of Carn Ban Mor, we were now continuing where a couple of us had left off previously, to Sgor Gaoith across the undulations of higher ground with little sign of anything beyond a few hundred feet, but that was about to change.

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Our arrival at the summit coincided with a thinning of the cloud and patches of clarity allowed us views that were all the more interesting for the gaps between the detail. However, there was no sign of Loch Einich on the north side of Sgor Gaoith, just a seemingly endless drop to the unknown below us.

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We had set up this walk with two cars and so rather than turning back to retrace our steps, or looping back, we continued on along the spine of Sgor Gaoith before dropping into Gleann Einich. The sky by now was finishing as it started, clear and blue, with the sun’s descent colouring the tops in orange and highlighting every craggy edge not covered in snow on the hills to the east of Gleann Einich.

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A final, quick march along the good track to Whitewell finished of an enjoyable walk just as darkness settled in for the night.

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