Trekking in the Cairngorms
The Cairngorms have captured my imagination a few years ago, but I never managed to get there. I got close several times, but always something came up.
Early 2010, I made my plans to try again. Come May, I reckoned, most of the winter snow would have melted, so it would be fine with hiking gear only. So, I bought the airline ticket and kept reading up for more information.
Then, during the winter, there were record levels of snow in Scotland, and even early May, just before my trip, the ski slopes were open because a nice layer of fresh snow had fallen. That might make things interesting, and should give better pictures. On the other hand, finding suitable camping spots high up would be harder. Not that I planned to, I wanted to camp in the valleys, but if the weather would turn, I might have to change plans. And Scotland is
notorious for its weather ...
From Aviemore I walked to Blair Atholl, but not exactly along the shortest or easiest route.
If you want to retrace my steps, here's a rough guide. Just connect the dots.
Day 1: Aviemore to Loch Einach.
Day 2: Over Braeriarch down to the Lairig Ghru, oppposite the Chalamain Gap.
Day 3: Chalamain Gap, Ben Macdui, Cairn Gorm, Loch Avon
Day 4: Beinn Mheadhoin, Derry Cairngorm, Ben Macdui again, Carn a Mhaim, Glen Luibeg.
Day 5: A large stretch of Glen Tilt.
Day 6: Blair Atholl
The weather turned out to be typically Scottish: freezing temperatures, sunshine, snow, sunshine, fog, sunny spells, drizzle, clouds lifting again, warm. And that was just one day! The only thing that was conspicuously missing, fortunately, were strong winds.
External LinksCairngorms National Park