A pair of muppets' hike up Sgòr Gaoith

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Following a great spell of weather (usually during days I was working - bloody typical!), we finally got a nice day on my day off, which was a Sunday. There was some cloud scattered across the sky but it was mainly sunny. I had planned to visit Sgòr Gaoith (pronounced: Sgor Goo E) for quite some time now but the Scottish weather was against me every time I was free to attempt it, but today we were going for it regardless!

The first task of the day was to get dressed for the occasion - A pair of Berghaus hiking boots, a good set of walking trousers, a t-shirt and a Berghaus fleece, the next task was to get the bag packed with all the essentials for a hike into the Cairngorms; Sandwiches, crisps, chocolate and juice. Once the essentials were packed i started on the "optional items" like a map, compass, waterproofs and various other bits of clothing and safety items - please don't use my advice for a day out in the hills 😂! Around my neck, i carry my trusty Canon camera and in my hand is a GoPro Sessions mounted on a 3-way pole thingy ma jiggy. To check out a short clip of our trip and the awesome views please visit my newly made YouTube page: AdventuresofaScotsman - or a direct link to the video here.

So now I'm all set and raring to go, first of all, a short drive to Aviemore to pick up "Doofy" if you have seen the film Scary Movie you will understand 😆😆😆! I arrive at Doofy's house and sure enough he is not ready yet, however, i do notice he is wearing MY shorts (not even sure how he came into possession of them) also he's sporting a nice set of Adidas trainers, although they were adequate enough for maybe a game of badminton, but a venture into the Cairngorm Mountains - NO! Now are you are beginning to understand the nickname? 🤔 Any how we took the calculated risk (not recommended and we won't be doing it again!) and went ahead with our trip! 

We arrived at Achlean on Glenfeshie Estate and parked the car, first off we have a short walk along a tarred road before veering off to the left on a rough path through the heather to start our ascent, after around 20mins of walking we took a 2 minute detour for our first stop - a lovely scenic waterfall, I have been here a number of times but I took the opportunity to introduce Doofy to the waterfall.



After a few pictures and a sample of the drinking water, we set back off on our hike. One of the most enjoyable parts of going for hikes into the mountains or wilderness is being isolated from society and chatting about all sorts of crap (mainly Doofy talking about hair transplants) but joking aside it's great for some "male bonding" or just bonding in general depending on who you are with! A short distance from the waterfall the wind has picked up and the sun hiding behind some clouds, it has now got a bit a chilly, Doofy requests a snood from my bag to keep warm! But within a short time, the sun had appeared from behind the clouds and the wind had died down, combined with the added effort for some of the steeper parts to the hike we were now "sweating our balls off" and had to strip off some layers to cool down. Being ginger, we are notorious for struggling in warm conditions, so I have my eyes firmly set on the first snow patch further up the track, 5.7km and with around 1hr and 10min (walking time)  we are now at the snow and elevated to exactly a km above sea level, i just wish we had a sledge with us! 😒



After a play and cool down in the snow we set off to reach the top of Carn Ban Mor, this was a gentle walk across from the snow patch and we were now beginning to be rewarded for our efforts with some splendid views, we could see for miles in every direction, some areas were shadowed by big black rain clouds but thankfully we were still okay! Once we reached the top of Carn Ban Mor, we had walked a total of 6.5km and elevated to a height of 1052m or 3451ft, although we were sitting at the height of a Munro (Scottish mountain over 3000ft) we had not actually scaled a Munro due to certain Munro regulations (peaks that fulfill the height criteria, but are part of a ridge or a range and too close to a larger Munro then they are not classified as a separate Munro). We set up lunch at the cairn, which has been built up a bit to provide limited shelter from the wind. Note the Adidas trainers 🤣



As we sat and enjoyed our lunch there was an ominous black rain cloud that had appeared over our head (approaching us in the picture), we were prepared to get soaked 😭 but somehow it passed overhead without a single drop of rain, thanks to the rain gods for that! After essential food refuelling we set off for Sgòr Gaoith, an easy going 2.2km or 1.37mile walk was all that stood between us and our destination. The walk across looked fairly flat with a gradual elevation, but after a short while we approached a hidden down hill followed by an uphill, this was no big deal or at least it didn't feel like it as the excitement of getting to our destination was growing with every step. Within this "half pipe" section we met a group of around 15 walkers, all who appeared to be kitted for a day out in Antarctica, Doofy was hoping they never spotted his Adidas trainers! Shortly after this, we had reached Sgòr Gaoith after 1hr 52min, reaching an elevation of 1118m and at a distance of 8.7km or 5.40miles. The views were absolutely spectacular, with monstrous steep cliff faces over looking Loch Einich, we would spend a lot of time here taking in the views and posing for several pictures, this was also where the majority of the GoPro filming was used for the video. 

After a very enjoyable period on Sgòr Gaoith we set off for Sgòran Dubh Mòr which was a 1.9km or 1.18mile walk to its summit at a  height of 1111m or 3645ft, so in effect, we had descended 7m over 1.9km. After reaching the cairn we had a short rehydration stop and then set off for Meall Buidhe which was 2.0km or 1.24 mile away and at a height of 976m or 3202ft, when we reached this peak we had a moving time totalling 2hrs and 36min, we never stopped here but continued on our route back towards the start. Due to a miscalculation by myself, which I will not go into any further (it's too painful) we had a tough bit of hiking through thick heather (very steep in some parts) to get back to the start. The sight of the car park was a very welcoming one after a very tiring period of "heather hiking", all things considered, we both agreed that a very good day was had.... now home for a bath and a very deserving G&T 🍸. See below for some key stats and a map of our route:

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