The Cairngorms

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The Cairngorms
Created On: Oct 15, 2010
Last Edited On: Oct 15, 2010

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 ...

The route

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 Links

    Cairngorms National Park


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    Viewing: 1-4 of 4

    jasano2 - Oct 16, 2010 2:26 pm - Voted 10/10


    Thanks for freezing your ass off. I really enjoyed your collection.


    rgg - Oct 17, 2010 3:24 pm - Hasn't voted

    Re: Thanks!

    You're welcome. About me freezing, well, I have to admit that, this being Scotland, I came prepared and brought my down jacket ...
    The Cairngorms offers a great place for hiking. If I go back to Scotland, the Cairngorms will certainly be high on my list again.


    Boydie - Oct 30, 2011 9:22 am - Voted 10/10

    Long winter

    It was a certainly a long winter that year! I hadn't noticed this album until now for some reason. Great selection of photo's. I really like the Loch Etchachan one and the snow bridge is cool.


    rgg - Oct 30, 2011 5:11 pm - Hasn't voted

    Re: Long winter

    It sure was! Nonetheless, during my first two weeks on Scotland I only got high enough twice to reach the snow line. I started with the WHW and that was easy. Of course, there was snow on Ben Nevis, and a bit later on Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan as well. But the Cairngorms were a whole different matter!

    As for the snow bridge, that was on the second day, on the way up from Loch Einach to the high plateau with Braeriach. Left of this bridge, the trail had just reached the snow line. I saw the stream coming out from under it and didn't like the looks of it, so I went down to inspect a bit closer. Falling through the would have been a wet affair, to say the least.

    Cheers, Rob

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