The Rugged Country of Coire Garbhlach

According to the LearnGaelic dictionary, Garbhlach apparently means rugged country. And this was where I was heading for a bluebird weekend with some of the boys, a roam around the rough corrie and the wider expanse of Glen Feshie, one of my favourite glens.

Coming from different parts of the country, we all converged on the car park at Achlean on Saturday morning. Our bags bursting with wood and coal, we planned a wander into the glen as far as Ruigh Aiteachain bothy. From there we dropped our stuff, set up camp and backtracked to the corrie, which we’d seen from a distance on the way past.

Coire Garbhlach starts out as a wide, rocky mess, the remnants of winter storms gone by (e.g. Storm Desmond). The Allt Garbhlach quickly narrows as it heads east but it’s clarity is obvious from its confluence with the River Feshie.

The going was quite hard, rock hopping and river riding towards the first big twist in the corrie. We could see some simple tracks uphill from the floor so we tramped towards the first of these tracks.

Onward towards the corrie head wall, we came across a really cool waterfall , un-named on the map, but definitely worthy of a title.

By now, time was getting on and we had a couple of choices. Either head back the way we came through the tight and rocky corrie, or we head out of the corrie (through Fionnar Choire) and walk around the top of the cliffs.

Deciding on the latter, we followed the fast flowing burn up out of Coire Garbhlach and then climbed up the steep side of Fionnar Choire onto the plateau.

The views in all directions make the sweat and tears of the climb, as well as the time pressures become momentarily forgotten about.

The snow was hard going in places but fine in others.

The walk around the rim of Coire Garbhlach was a fantastic end to a glorious day. We’d expected to be down and off the hill long before tea time, but this unexpected lateness (or poor prep!) gave us the finest mountain sunset I’ve seen in a long time.

Darkness fell and we reached the top of the road down towards Glen Feshie just in time. The walk down was quiet as we were all shattered from our days efforts. But the glow of the sunset reflected the glow in our minds from the amazing day we had just experienced.

Back at camp, our bellies were filled and beds were calling.

The next morning we heading back to our vehicles in the glorious sunshine.

What. A. Day.

Check out the film below.

Author: Kevin Johnston

Exploring the hills and glens of Scotland on foot is my passion. A quick cycle, a days snowboarding or a multi-day hike, I'm happiest discovering something new about our gorgeous country and hopefully I can motivate others to do the same. I try my hand at most things, snowboarding, film making, sheep shearing, eating, sports, sports bars, other bars, barbells etc. Come along and see for yourself.

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