I have two pals of to climb Braeraich in the Cairngorms today. I cannot mention this area and forget the wonderful An Garbh Coire where the 1000 feet/ 300 metres scramble up the North East ridge of Angles peak. From the bothy its a steep climb up to the lochan. This wee climb is a lot more serious in winter if you take in the waterfall on the way up to Loch Uaine at 900 metres, From here its a scramble to the summit first on big granite boulders and then the last 100 metres on the airy ridge. The views are spectacular all around and spend time on this ridge its easy and not a place to to rush. I wonder if I will get back this year. I love this place for its remoteness and the adventures I had had here. Plus a few call – outs, where you feel its a remote space. How pleased have I in the past been so lucky to have breather in the tiny refuge before venturing into the wild Coire on a search. A few times rather than walk out we stayed in it. This was in the 70’s the walls gaps were filled with paper. My well known friend took all the “litter” out and we woke covered in snow. Yet it was a true Refuge and lifesaver.
The classic pose on the ridge with ice still in the loch below, magical. It can be very easy climbing but the effort to get here makes it special it’s a long pull up the Larig Gru past the Pools of Dee and up to the refuge. The grandeur of this place is wonderful.
The best part of the ridge is the last 100 metres to a fine airy scramble in summer on the big granite blocks. For Munro baggers your can enlarge the day by adding a few more Munro’s. In winter that final 100 metres can have a big cornice which on one of my 3 ascents we had to tunnel in winter. The plateau above is serious and you really have to watch the navigation here. Big Cornices abound in a big winter.Braeriach has early winter routes if you can handle the long walk in or cycle.
References – Classic Mountain Scrambles in Scotland – Andrew Dempster.
From Cairngorm Wanderer Blog https://cairngormwanderer.wordpress.com/refuges-and-howffs/garbh-choire-refuge/
“The Garbh Choire Refuge is a small structure at NN959986 in the Garbh Choire between Cairn Toul and Braeriach in the Cairngorms. It sits on the south bank of the Allt a’ Garbhchoire about 1.5km from the Lairig Ghru.” What a great job they have made of it .
It was substantially rebuilt by the MBA in June 2018 and now comprises a rectangular frame built from angle iron, filled in with steel reinforcing grid and covered with waterproof butyl membrane, sandwiched between protective layers of hessian and geotex fleece, with a substantial outer shell of boulders. It is small inside, with floor area 2820x2200mm and an inside height ranging from 1020mm at the sides to 2060 at the apex of the roof. There is now a damp-proof membrane under the wooden floor and a field drain around the perimeter will help reduce dampness. There is room for 4 to 6 people to sleep inside.”
Great memories 👍…. Winter 1968 …with Pete MacGowan and Gordon Ballantyne spent a great couple of days in the Bothie and climbing the gullies …though we were avalanched out of one of them … cheers Tony
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The other ‘?’ climber in the picture with Dougie is Dave “Smiler” Miles (Supplier).
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Yes it is always smiling never swore
Absolutely amazing photos, what a fantastic backdrop. I love the hand drawn topo – it’s like a piece of art!