Sunday, September 04, 2011

137-138. Carn Ealar (148), An Sgarsoch (126). 01/09/2011

The order of the day was for an easier walk on the legs, but to still reach some munros. For this we used some lateral thinking and came to the conclusion that bicycling does not count as walking and one could still have an 'easier walk on the legs' by including a little (well ok, nearly 50km) of this. So this distant pair was chosen at the far southern end of the National Park.

Without bikes this would have been a real effort, but with them, we covered the long miles to Geldie lodge in under 2 hours. That's 10km to the car park and then the 13km we would have had to walk along the landrover track. We passed the impressive Linn of Dee and 'White Bridge', where perhaps there was once a white bridge...? The one there now is brown.

Geldie lodge itself is a ruin, with an airy bothy/shelter still standing against one of the walls. Definitely only a summer bothy! From there the path was pretty good for about 3km towards Carn Ealar before the peat set in. Fortunately it wasn't too wet, but it was still a tiresome trudge for the remainder of the climb. The top felt very remote - with no signs of the footprint of man in any direction. In fact the nearest road was the one we'd just left, some 18km away. Getting between the two peaks was quite easy - there was a nice gentle descent followed by a not-too-strenuous pull up to An Sgarsoch. From both peaks we had a good view of the main Cairngorm massif to the north and were able to make out the point of Carn Toul and round of Macdui. We even reckoned on being able to see Ben Nevis far to the west.

There was a bit of trapsing across heather on the descent, but it wasn't too long before we were back on the path to geldie lodge and then rolling back along the track with the wind behind. A loop of nearly 9 hours, 3.5 of which were cycling. It really would have been long without the bikes.

Carn Ealar from An Sgarsoch.

The main body of Cairngorms to the north, including the distinctive Carn Toul.

The ruins of Geldie Lodge.


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