Pronounced – Sgor gooee
Summit height - 1,118 m (3,668 ft)
Meaning - Peak of the wind
The Cairngorm National Park was formed in 2003 to protect this unique area. It is the UK's largest national park with a large mountain range at its heart and with many diverse communities around it. The habitat offers a secure haven for many rare species and the forests include remnants of the original, ancient Caledonian pine forest. These contrast with large areas of heather moorland.
Sgor Gaoith is situated on the west side of the Cairngorms range, it is separated from the Central Cairngorms by the glaciated valley of Gleann Eanaich. From the north of the Cairngorms, it can be seen as a long, mostly grassy ridge running north to south. The most northerly and most prominent looking top from this position, is the top of Sgoran Dubh Mor. The higher summit of Sgor Gaoith is the second, southerly summit.
On its western side, the mountain rises relatively gently over heather and grass clad slopes from Glen Feshie to a rocky summit. This is the side that most ascents are made from.
Whilst on its eastern side, granite cliffs fall dramatically to the waters of Loch Eanaich, 600m below before climbing again towards the enormous plateau that include Braeriach, Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel’s peak) and Cairn Toul.
These eastern buttresses have a few rock climbs and many winter ascent routes of varying quality. (See “External Links” for more details)
South of the summit, the terrain opens out into a vast area of rolling hills and mountains within Badenoch and the Glenfeshie Forest.
Aviemore is the main town to use as a base for the northern Cairngorms. It has many hotels and shops and provides a good bus service to the area as well as a good train service to the wider country.
By road, Aviemore is easily accessed from the main A9 road which links Glasgow with Inverness. From Aviemore, take the road towards the Coire Cas ski development but just before Inverdruie, take a right turn on the B970 towards Feshiebridge.
Follow this road for approximately 6 miles to the edge of Feshiebridge and take the left turn sign posted towards Lagganlia and Achlean.
Before reaching Balachroick, there is a car park on the left just before the bridge over the Allt Ruadh and the ascent can be made from there (Route A).
However, at the time of writing, this car park is closed for the foreseeable future and it is therefore best to continue down the road to the car park at Achlean (Route B).
From the forestry car park, start up the track heading east through the trees. Continue on this track eastwards as it rises above the Allt Ruadh on the right.
The path descends to cross the Allt nam Bo then continues upwards and across the hillside. Cross the Allt Coire na Cloiche and follow the path as it heads southwards, contouring around the hillside of Meall Tionaill to reach another stream crossing.
Cross the Allt a'Chrom Alltain and head upwards on a feint path in a south easterly direction, to reach the broad ridge to the south of Sgor Gaoith. Head north towards the pointed summit.
From the car park at Achlean, walk down the road towards the farm of Achlean and follow the path on the left, through the woods and onto the heather covered hillside of Coire Fhearnagan.
Follow this well-made path upwards until a large cairn where several paths meet. From here, head north on a path towards the top of Carn Ban Mor which is marked with another large cairn.
Continue northwards and lose some height, on a clear day the pointed summit of Sgor Gaoith can be seen in front of you. Continue to the bealach at 1012m then start to climb to reach the summit.
In poor visibility, take care as there are steep drops on your right side (east) but in good visibility, enjoy the fabulous views eastwards into Gleann Eanaich and further to the main Cairngorms plateau.
The eastern, rounded slopes of Braeriach, Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel’s peak) and Cairn Toul are nearest and most prominent but it may also be possible to see over Cairn Lochain to the Coire Cas ski paraphernalia and Cairngorm itself.
Descend by using either route A or B in reverse.
No red tape.
However, Scotland has an Outdoor Access code, see link:
Spring, Summer or Autumn (Fall) depending on conditions.
Warning: The above description is for use in reasonable summer conditions. Winter conditions can occur at almost any time of the year. In winter condition, this mountain is a much more serious proposition. Any paths may be covered by snow and ice and gale force winds are common. Ice axe, Crampons, the knowledge of how to use them allied with excellent map reading and compass skills are essential.
(For information of possible winter routes, see “External Links” for more details)
Hotels and self-catering accommodation around Aviemore. Many campsites in Aviemore, Coylumbridge and Loch Morlich but probably best to book a place in advance during high season.
It is possible to wild camp in Scotland. See the Outdoor access code for more details.
OS Explorer Cairn Gorm and Aviemore No. OL57 – 1: 25,000
Walk highlands - https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/
SMC - https://www.smc.org.uk/
Cairngorms club - https://www.cairngormclub.org.uk/
Cairngorms National Park - https://cairngorms.co.uk/
For information on rock and ice climbs on this mountain: