Total climbing: 1692 m
Total Time: 10:44:00
Some interesting data
11 mile cycle in, 1h30 from 8.30 to 10.00
10 mile walk, 6h40 from 10.45 to 17.25 – average 1.5 mph
11 mile cycle out, 1h15 from 18.00 to 19.15
Sgor Gaoith – 1118m – Munro
Thursday, 13 October, the day before the big climb
We left Edinburgh on the 13.36 train to Inverness. We expected the train to be less busy than on Fridays, but it was packed with people carrying large suitcases.
There were no other bikes on the train this time, though.
We arrived at Kingussie at about 4pm, and headed for the village of Lynchat, 2 miles down the road.
We had rented this 3-bedroom 3-bathroom house there.
8.43 – Our warm & roomy cottage
As soon as we arrived, we took the panniers off the bikes, emptied them, emptied the rucksacks, and cycled back to Kingussie to buy food for the three days.
We got back to the house with a pile of carbohydrates and other goodies.
Simon repacked the bags for Friday, while I made pasta, porridge and sausages.
The house was warm, easy to heat up, and very well equipped.
We had dinner, and then looked at the weather forecast. It wasn’t great, but we weren’t going to be put off that easily.
Friday, 14 October 2016, the Munro climb
Our plan was to climb Sgor Gaoith, a 1118m Munro off Glen Feshie.
We knew the odds of having a view from the top were small, but we decided to try our luck.
We left the house at about 8.30am, and cycled towards Glen Feshie.
It was a 12 mi ride, the first part on a fairly busy road.
The second part is much quieter as you get into Glen Feshie.
We had done the Glen Feshie ride several times before, including earlier this summer on a camping trip.
We left the bikes just after 10.30am and started walking towards ???.
We saw four cyclists in the distance, and we didn’t see anyone else all day.
We forded this stream and started the ascent.
The weather wasn’t nearly as bad as predicted.
There was a light rain on and off all day, but our waterproofs and boots kept us warm. Our new Rab gloves did the job.
The clouds were hovering over the hills, hardly moving.
As we climbed, the low cloud started to surround us. In the distance, we could see the rainbow coming and going through the broken cloud.
The fog thickened. We didn’t know whether we’d be able to reach the top of Sgor Gaoith.
Just in case, we decided to have our lunch before the wind became too strong.
As usual, Simon had made some great sandwiches: ham & tomato, Gorgonzola & tomato, and chicken liver paté.
As we resumed our climb, we quickly lost visibility. Soon Simon was navigating with a map and compass. We could see about 100m ahead of us.
We navigated from cairn to cairn.
The visibility dropped again. This time we could only see about 50m ahead. The wind picked up and became quite strong, with gusts of about 50mph.
By now, I was walking well outside my comfort zone. The place were all good things happen. Besides, surrounded by the low cloud it felt like a private world.
Suddenly, the rocks at the top of Sgor Gaoith, our Munro, came into sight.
And then the wind stopped. Completely. And the cloud started to lift, like a curtain revealing a magic stage.
I walked towards the cliff, not knowing what was on the other side. This is what I saw.
14.36 – *
I stood there, in the light rain, with tears running down my face, hoping I’d be the only one to notice them – like García Márquez on that old aircraft.
The view feels like a dream, with the blue loch sitting peacefully at the foot of the hills.
To descend, we followed the same path, once again using the compass and map.
16.17 – Having another short break
We walked through the narrow paths in the heather and soon we got back to the bikes.
We still had another two hours to go.
We took the same route back. Another 12 miles.
It was dark by the time we got to the main road, and we got back to the house just before 7.30 pm.
We were hungry, exhausted, and thrilled.
I took all the photos with the Panasonic, except for the panoramic.
* Simon took this panoramic with my iPhone.