Sgoran Dubh Mor and Sgor Gaoith are two hills in the ridge of hills lying to the east of Glen Feshie and towering over the dramatic glacial Loch Einich in the Cairgorms.
The walk to ‘bag’ these two hills was undertaken on a wonderful long, balmy summer day (obviously not last summer) when we dawdled throughout the day, finished late and saw practically no one the whole day.
We started out from Loch an Eilein with a gentle walk though the remnants of the ancient Caledonian Forest under magnificent Scots pine. The loch was voted one of the most picturesque picnic places in the UK in some poll, but despite it’s popularity is still relatively quiet and unspoilt.
After Loch Gamhna we took the narrow path through the heather to Inshriach Bothy. This is a very small bothy, but one that is well used. We stopped just long enough for me to drop off a Bookcrossing book and call a “Good Morning” greeting to the one guy who had been there overnight and followed the path up through the woods.
The map shows a path running up the Alt Coire Fellas leading to the slopes of Creag Dhubh. This path is non-existent and soon we were trying to plough uphill through knee-deep heather. It didn’t matter if we stuck close to the burn or wandered off to the slope a bit, the heather was dense and deep. After struggling a while and wasting energy here, we decided to retrace our steps to the bothy.
From the bothy we had to walk about one mile ‘in the wrong direction’ before picking up the path running alongside the Alt a Mharcaidh. This was a much better path and it is a gorgeous wee glen.
This tumbling burn was so restful that we wanted to sit here a while to simply soak up the atmosphere, but we had a hill to climb! (I have been back since and simply SAT!)
We left the path where it turned due south and headed for the 803m top on the ridge, passing this mountain man on the way. (Mountain man is on the right; I’m mountain woman on the left ;-))
From here it was an easy pull up to Sgoran Dubh Beag and Sgorab Dubh Mor.
With an altitude of 1111m, Sgorab Dubh Mor used to be a Munro, but with so slight a drop between it and Sgor Gaoith it was demoted to a mere Top.
From this ridge we had wonderful views down into the steep-sided glacial valley holding Loch Einich. We took our time wandering along on this long grassy plateau to Sgor Gaoith as the view east was so mesmerising.
Glen Einich is a typical glaciated valley (or trough) with smooth ice-scoured sides and flat bottom.
The last pull up to Sgor Gaoith was an easy amble along a gently-sloping grassy ridge.
From the summit we continued due South round towards the head of the Coire Odhar, where we took the steep path down to the loch.
The path down into Loch Enich is quite steep, dropping about 500m in 2 kilometres, but not difficult.
We passed several boggy flushes – patches of brightly-coloured sphagnum moss and sedges.
From the north end of the loch there is an easy track back along the glen. We ambled along enjoying the cooler evening air, without a soul in sight.
We finally returned to Loch an Eilean about 9pm, pleased with our ‘ambling’ sort of day.