Dad & the Lairig Ghru, a massive glacially-carved canyon through the heart of the Cairngorm Mountains
After peering down into the depths of the Lairig Ghru from Lurcher’s Crag, my dad and I decided to return the next day for a long trek through the glacially-carved canyon to the fabled Pools of Dee, the headwaters of the River Dee, one of Scotland’s famous whisky rivers.
In Nan Shepherd’s ode the Cairngorms The Living Mountain she says, “I can conceive of no good reason for trudging through the oppressive Lairig Ghru, except to see [the Pools of Dee].” But I loved the long, rough rocky trek through the deep, narrow valley, about 7 miles, one way, a good long day in these fantastic mountains!
This time we parked at the Sugarbowl parking lot, on the way up to the Cairngorms Ski Area.
Chalamain Gap- the trail ran through this pit of unstable rocks, all coated with a thin film of ice. The rockyard was less than a quarter-mile long, but it took us over half an hour to negotiate it safely. Wearing gloves helped a lot on the rough, cold, icy rocks.
Through the Gap, heading into the Lairig Ghru
Creek Crossing at the bottom of the Lairig Ghru
All that remains of a memorial hut in the Lairig Ghru. The Cairngorms are notorious for wicked weather and many hardy souls have lost their lives in these mountains.
Rock Shelter Self Portrait
One of many cairns in the Lairig Ghru
About 7 miles in on a very rough, rocky trail
Ahoy the Pools of Dee!
At the Pools of Dee, the headwaters of the River Dee. Amazing that a whole river flows from this point.
Pools of Dee Self Portrait
Return through Chalamain Gap, now thawed out and slightly less dangerous.
Surreal Parting Shot. Ah, Scotland, this is Love.