With its bustling pistes and ever-popular winter climbing, Cairngorm can seem a busy place. While the ski centre is great for a convenient high start, this ugly development is unlikely to appeal if your idea of a decent day on the hill is something quiet and unspoilt. Skiers and climbers are well catered for, but is there anything here for walkers who prefer scenery and solitude? Well yes. On this massive hill it's surprisingly easy to get away from it all. From its little-trodden northern tops, to the drama of the Northern Corries, this extended circuit gets the best out of Cairngorm.
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Distance: 9.32 miles (15 km)
Total ascent: 916m
Time: 5 – 6 hours (Walking)
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SummitsCairn Gorm - Sron a' Cha-no 1028 m
Cairn Gorm - Cnap Coire na Spreidhe 1150 m
Cairn Gorm 1244 m
Cairn Gorm - Stob Coire an t-Sneachda 1150 m
Cairn Gorm - Cairn Lochan 1215 m
Coire na Ciste car park (note: not the higher Coire Cas car park), NH997074
Mostly quite gentle underfoot, with a mix of made paths and easy ground on the tops.
A long winter round on a big hill which is one of the snowiest in Scotland, and often very exposed to the weather. In poor visibility, careful navigation is needed going over Cairn Gorm. The cliff edges along Coire an t-Sneachda and Coire an Lochain may be heavily corniced. It's frequently very icy underfoot too.
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Cairngorms & Monadhliath – Met Office: East Highlands
Train to Aviemore, from where there's a bus service to the Cairngorm ski centre.
OS Explorer 403 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 36 (1:50,000) Directory Listings:
Find more Listings near this route Tourist info:
Aviemore (0845 22 55 121); Tomintoul (01807 580285); Grantown on Spey (0845 22 55 121)
by Dan Bailey UKH