Tuesday, 26 September 2017


Looked fine this morning
Garbh Coire and Ben Macdui (somewhere)
Steep, rough route out of coire
Garbh Coire Bothy and waterfall
It's not called the rough coire for nothing

Autumn colours

High up on Braeriach
There are some days out in the mountains that just don't go the way you had planned. One of those days was today! The weather forecast looked reasonable, ie we may get some nice views and some sun. I took a wander into the Garbh Coire Mor on Braeriach. It's been a few years since I last walked up here, right to the base of the crags. This is arguably one of the most remote, wildest and highest places in the British Isles. Many miles from a public road, even with a bike up to the start of the Lairig Ghru it is a long way into this magnificent coire. There was sunshine this morning on the ride through the forest. This was short lived though. A bank of thick, low cloud was looking straight at me in the Lairig Ghru. Still I pressed on in hope of better weather. It takes a few hours to get to the entrance of the Garbh Coire on a reasonable path. From the bothy onwards it's pathles and wild. A wonderful place of solitude and no mobile phone signal. One of the reasons to explore in the coire today was to get a final glimpse of  one of just two final snow patches to survive this year. One on Aonach Beag and the other lies here under Braeriachs' massive plateau in Garbh Coire Mor. The Sphinx, has it is named, is now just a tiny patch. Usually much bigger but with the poor winter it looks like it will soon be melted away. This patch of old snow has only disappeared a few times in the last couple of hundred years. The cloud was down and I spent a fair while wandering about looking for it in the clag. No sign so maybe I was just in the wrong area. I then decided on an 'adventerous route out of the coire and  onto the Braeraich plateau. This was certainly an adventurous route. Boulders, steep ground and some scrambling on mossy rocks, I backed off and decided on a long march back out the way I walked in. The Lairig Ghru path during daylight hours is bad enough (rough-bouldery) so even worse in the dark! Of course I carry two torches and spare batteries all year round in my rucsack. 12 hours later I finally arrived home. Worse of all I missed my dinner! A good day out! I'm sure that tiny patch of snow is still sitting there, for now.

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