Wednesday 20 November 2019

A Glorious November Day on Sgor Gaoith

Lone walker crossing the Moine Mhor

November isn't noted for clear sunny days or for deep snow in the hills but both do occur and when they coincide a November day can be wonderful. Monday the 18th was one such day this year. The forecast looked good, the day was even better as it was less windy than predicted.

Sgor Gaoith 

I decided to head for Glen Feshie and climb high above the always inspiring regenerating forest to Carn Ban Mor and Sgor Gaoith. Strapping snowshoes to my pack I took the long track above the Allt Fheamagan to Carn Ban Mor. On reaching the snow I donned the snowshoes and followed the wide tracks of a snowcat and wondering what this vehicle was doing up here.

View across the Moine Mhor to Beinn a'Ghlo

Once I reached the vast expanse of the Moine Mhor the snowshoes were really useful as the snow was ankle to knee deep and soft under a thin crust. Two walkers on foot had left a line of deep holes as they headed for Sgor Gaoith. They passed me later, returning the same way. I only saw one other person, heading out across the Moine Mhor.

The views were extensive and astounding, distant hills crystal clear under a blue sky. The snow crunched  and crackled under my snowshoes. When I stopped the silence was profound. The air was chill but there was only a light breeze.

On Carn Ban Mor

Beyond Carn Ban Mor a waft of cloud passed over me. The world suddenly shrank to a ten metres or so. In many places I'd have needed to take compass bearings and to walk carefully in such minimal visibility. Here I could just see the edges of the broad ridge leading to Sgor Gaoith and anyway I had the line of boot holes to follow. It was a reminder though that the weather can change very quickly and should never be taken for granted. This can be a challenging and hostile place.

Buttresses on Braeriach appear out of the mist

The mist cleared in a few minutes and soon I was looking at the cornices building up on the steep eastern edge of Sgor Gaoith. Far below shadowed Loch Einich was a black hole in the snowy whiteness. Braeriach rose above, massive, buttressed, enormous, one of the great hills of the Cairngorms.


Returning to Carn Ban Mor I turned to see the clouds turning peach pink over Sgor Gaoith. The snow had a blue tinge. The short hours of daylight were fading.

Sgor Gaoith at dusk


  1. Looks like a great day out was enjoyed Chris,
    Helen & I caught the sun xmas shopping in Manchester, all the best from Mark & Helen.

  2. Magical! Days like that keep us coming back for more.