Sunday 4 February 2024

A High Camp on the Moine Mhor & a Windy Camp in Glen Feshie

Dawn on the Moine Mhor. Braeriach in cloud on the left. Sgor an Lochain Uaine & Cairn Toul on the right.

A brief window between storms at the end of January looked good for a high camp so I decided to go up to the Moine Mhor plateau from Glen Feshie. Tony Hobbs joined me with his dog Lassie, having come up from Bristol the day before. For several reasons we didn’t manage to start walking until dusk, with the sky already turning pink.

Dusk in Glen Feshie

By the time we reached the Moine Mhor it was dark. However frozen ground and firm snow made the walking easy though, as Tony found, it was wise to look out for the occasional bit of ice. We camped by the snow-covered Allt Sgairnich on ground that is probably a sodden bog when it’s warmer. 

We didn't get water here!

A short wander beside the burn revealed some open water, though reaching it wasn’t that easy as the snowbanks round it were steep and unstable. We did find one spot where we could fill our water bottles and so avoid having to melt snow.

Frosted tent at dawn. Sgor Gaoith in the cloud.

The night was calm and clear. By dawn the temperature was -7°C and the tents were coated in frost inside and out. The sky was slowly clouding over with summits appearing and disappearing. By the time we set off the sky was mostly grey.

Tony and Lassie on the Moine Mhor

The walk across the Moine Mhor was easy though. I think the only easier crossing I’ve had was on skis when there was complete snow cover. The frozen bogs crunched underfoot, the extensive snowfields were just right for walking – not soft enough to sink into but not too hard to be slippery.

On Moine Mhor snow

If it had been clear we’d have continued up to Mullach Clach a’ Bhlair but as it was in cloud we decided to descend via a track not far from the top. Tony wasn’t interested in a summit with no views and I’d been up many times before.

Meall Dubhag

The best views were on the descent, across the deep cleft of Coire Garbhlach to the steep, rugged, south face of Meall Dubhag. Seen from Glen Feshie and from the Moine Mhor this former Munro (it was demoted to a subsidiary Top of Sgor Gaoith in the 1981 revision of Munro’s Tables) is just a rounded bump with no hint of these dramatic craggy slopes.

Before the storm

Down in Glen Feshie it took a while to find a site that might give some shelter from the very strong south-west winds that were forecast whilst not being under any trees or branches that could blow down. On the drive along lower Glen Feshie we’d seen masses of trees brought down by high winds, a reminder not to camp under any big trees in a windstorm. Eventually we found somewhere by some young trees that seemed safe.

The evening was breezy with light rain. By dawn the wind had picked up and the tents were shaking. It was much warmer down here with a low of only 5°C. No frost and no condensation – the wind saw to that.

Breakfast inside

Tony had breakfast in his tent, which was larger than mine. I decided I wanted to escape the thrashing nylon and have a comfortable breakfast so I packed up and headed for the nearby bothy. The rain was just getting heavier as I arrived.

Tony crossing the Allt Garbhlach

The wet and windy storm blew us down Glen Feshie to the cars. The streams were not high yet so there were no tricky fords. The next day it might have been more difficult. By the time we’d driven to Aviemore the rain was torrential and between there and home there were many flooded fields. The rain kept up all night, a wet end to a wet January.


  1. Beautiful trip thanks for sharing looking forward to our next excursion... I'll look out for ice 😉
    I see some iiiiiicccccceeee.....

  2. Hey Chris. Nice wee trip. Very green looking for this time of year. How did you get on with the vern 1?

    1. Thanks. The Vern 1 was okay. It has some good design features and felt secure in the strong winds. I would like a little more headroom though.