Colin's Munros


Mullach Clach a'Bhlair & Sgor Gaoith
Map 403S; 26th April 2006 & 22nd July 2008

Route: 1275m = 4185' ascent + 16¾ miles; 8½hrs

Meall Dubhaig & Coire Garbhlach from Meall nan Sleac. The track E up Mullach Clach a'Bhlair from Meall nan Sleac. Coire Garbhlach from the track at Cadha na Coin Duibh. Panorama from just N of Mullach Clach a'Bhlair. Panorama from Meall Dubhag. Mullach Clach a'Bhlair from Meall Dubhag. Braeriach from the slopes of Carn Ban Mor. Carn Ban Mor and Mullach Clach a'Bhlair. The western slopes of Braeriach from Sgor Gaoith. The path up the western slopes of Braeriach and L. Einich. The western slopes of Braeriach and 
Gleann Einich from Sgor Gaoith. The path up the western slopes of Braeriach and L. Einich. Caledonian pine forest on the path SW of Geal Charn.

Access: In Feshiebridge, take the minor road S into Glen Feshie which leaves the B970 at the north end of the bridge over the R. Feshie. Park after about 4.5 miles, at the last car park before the gate into Achlean.
Route: Towards the start of this route there are two river crossings, over the Allt Fhearnagan and the Allt Garbhlach, which can be tricky when in spate. They can be avoided by crossing to other side of R. Feshie at the Allt Fhearnagan, crossing back at Carnachuin, and following the track all the way up Coire Caol. The R. Feshie footbridge just S of Achleum was rebuilt around 2006 and was in excellent condition on my visits (see here). This detour makes a marginally longer, less interesting but easier route than that below. I prefer the steep pathless ascent SE to Meall nan Sleac through heather as it is much more scenic with its views into Coire Garbhlach. For the Allt Fhearnagan, the path seems to have been re-routed to a difficult ford beside the forestry. Instead, take the path towards R. Feshie and use bridge over Allt Fhearnagan there, assuming it still exists. For the Allt Garbhlach, it may be more straight-forward to ford it beside the R. Feshie but I haven't compared the two in the same circumstances, assuming the higher ford would have less water and so potentially easier.
The route on 22/7/08 had slightly different start and finish points from the usual ends near Achleum, but gained no advantage. Although there is an excellent tarmacked road up the west side of Glen Feshie from Insh, there is a padlocked gate at Tolvah, NN842994.
Weather 26/4/06: 2/3rds cloud cover, with a sharp, stiff breeze. A few short showers – which meant hail on the tops. 10°C at car.
Terrain: Soft, easy walking over the "great moss". Small stones, peat, moss and fine granite gravel on the tops, constructed tracks elsewhere.
Grumble about Paths: Note that Cairngorms National Park is ruining the old pathways by making them all rocky and speed-bumped with excessive numbers of very proud granite culverts. This spoils any hope of a comfortable, natural walking rythmn, and hurts feet and joints unnecessarily. The older paths had a much higher ratio of gravel, which was properly bound together with clay, and wooden culverts were sunk into the path. Walking was a great pleasure on these. One could look at the scenery while walking along and didn't have to concentrate all the time on where to put one's feet. The paths used to be restful, now they tire the mind as well as the body. People will, and do, vote with their feet: they are walking off the path where possible. That defeats the sole objective of the path building, namely to preserve the environment. What's the point of all these big stones sticking up? Obviously to stop the mountain bikers – but they are far too rare to be a problem. Perhaps one day the Park will take note and restore more walker-friendly paths once again. It must be a nightmare for the disabled with the decrease in negotiable paths. I could also mention ATVs here and the proliferation of tracks for them all over the Cairngorms. They are clearly the biggest erosion threat by far.

26/4/0622/7/08 Description Ht.Asc.Dist.Grid Ref.Mob.
0900 — Park in Glen Feshie
1km N of Achlean
320   00.0 milesNN85099844Orange
0925 — Path S passed Achlean to Allt Fhearnagan. 330  100.8 milesNN85049721 
 1050 Path S to FtBr over R. Feshie. (Don't cross it) 325  151.3 milesNN85089646 
   Path S by R. Feshie almost to Allt Garbhlach 350  301.7 milesNN85079588 
1115 Path ESE up N side of Allt Garbhlach
to ford at about 415m
4151052.35 milesNN86049540 
1205 Ascend ridge (no path) SE to
Meall nan Sleac (views)
8004903.1 milesNN86829445 
   Path E to track at col 750 3.4 milesNN87299433 
11351240 Track SE above Allt Coire Caol to fork. 9707054.2 milesNN88319358 
Track S to small cairn at path end just after bend
then path S to M Mullach Clach a'Bhlair
10197604.85 milesNN88319270Orange
   N back to track, then N/NE passed
Coire Caol turn-off to pt 953. Alternatively,
hug the corrie rim for better views.
9537856.3 milesNN89249441 
 1345 Head NNW off track to stream crossing 910 6.7 milesNN89009494 
NW/W to T Meall Dubhag 9988707.5 milesNN88059559Orange
   E/NE to col 966 8.0 milesNN88869595 
1315  NNE to minor top 10299308.45 milesNN89129659 
13201425 NNE to large roofed shelter cairn with grass on top   8.55 miles? 
13251430 NNE to cairn at path crossing 1030 8.65 milesNN89289686 
13301435 NNE to T Carn Ban Mor   (26/4/06: Slow
snow over all ridge from here to Sgor Gaoith)
10529558.9 milesNN89389719Orange
   NNE to col 1012 9.3 milesNN89699784 
14101505 NNE to M Sgor Gaoith – no shelter 11181065 10.1 milesNN90289895Orange
   N to col 1053 10.65 milesNN90379982 
1535 N to T Sgoran Dubh Mor 11111120 10.9 milesNH90490026Orange
   SW to pt 978 on NW ridge 978113511.45 milesNN89749988 
   WNW down ridge to col 940 11.65 milesNN89459997 
NW to T Meall Buidhe – stoney 9761170 11.9 milesNH89160019Orange
   NNW to col & cairn 892 12.2 milesNH88860063 
   N to minor top 904118012.35 milesNH88780087 
   WNW to col & cairn 866 12.5 milesNH88600099 
1630 NNW to T Geal-charn – stoney 9201235 12.8 milesNH88410143Orange
16201700 Descend WSW (easy-ish) to path
where it crosses Allt nam Bo
460 13.7 milesNH86990098 
16401715 Very pleasant path W down through natural
scots pine forestry to forest boundary
at cross roads. (At intersection with
track from bridge over Allt Ruadh.)
325 14.45 milesNH85860113 
16501725 Track W into forest as far as road 285123514.87 milesNH85200127 
1725 — S to car park near Auchlean 320127516.75 milesNN85099844Orange

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