The rolling expanses south of the main Cairngorms massif have a unique feeling of spacious scale, making up in sheer isolation what they lack in craggy drama. Horizons are broad here, and distances big. Rising at the heart of it, Carn an Fhidhleir (otherwise known as Carn Ealar) and An Sgarsoch are among the most remote of the Munros. Some tolerance for heather and bogs is a must here, while a mountain bike will save hours of trudging on the stony tracks of the lower glens. Without wheels it would be a tall order to do this route in one day; many choose to camp at the lonely ruins of Geldie Lodge.
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Distance: 26.35 miles (42.40 km)
Total ascent: 1,099m
Time: 10 – 12 hours (Walking);
7 – 8 hours (Mountain biking)
to rate this walk.
Linn of Dee car park (fee), NO062897
A long approach (and return) on stony 4WD tracks, on which a mountain bike will save several hours walking. From Geldie Lodge it's best to continue on foot, at first on an excellent dry path, then sketchier trails with some boggy ground and deep heather. In poor visibility navigation on the rolling grassy summits will need care. However, depending on water levels the several river crossings may be the main concern; this probably isn't a route to take on in flood conditions.
A big walk for short winter days. Despite their gentle contours these isolated hills should not be underestimated in wild weather. There's little relief to break the wind, and even the lower glens can be hostile and exposed. In deep snow skis may be practically essential.
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Cairngorms & Monadhliath – Met Office: East Highlands
Braemar can be reached by bus from Aberdeen, but after that you'll need to walk, cycle or hitchhike to Linn of Dee
The Munros (SMC)
OS Explorer 404 (1:25,000), OS Explorer 387 (1:25,000), OS Explorer 394 (1:25,000), OS Explorer 403 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 43 (1:50,000) Directory Listings:
Find more Listings near this route Tourist info:
Braemar (01339 741 600); Crathie (01339 742 414)
by Dan Bailey UKH