With its wide rolling plateau and monumental corrie system Scotland's third highest mountain is also one of its most interesting and impressive. The corries of Braeriach are notable for snow depth, cornice size and the presence of snow patches famous for surviving through many summers; if there's ever another ice age it'll probably start here. The mountain's inner recesses feel a long way from any road, particularly in winter, and the various walking routes are all pretty big days out. The easiest and most popular route is a linear there-and-back from the Cairngorm ski road, which makes an excellent first taste of the hill if you've not done it before.
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Distance: 12.69 miles (20.42 km)
Total ascent: 1,149m
Steepest Gradient: 37% (1 in 3)
Time: 8 hours (Walking)
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Car park near hairpin on ski road, NH984074
Clear paths all the way, occasionally rubbly and eroded. Some easy boulder clambering in the Chalamain Gap (fun in the snow).
Quite a long day for mid winter; no technical difficulties but the summit plateau of Braeriach is potentially very serious, requiring good navigation, and large cornices can build along the rim of Coire Bhrochain.
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Cairngorms & Monadhliath – Met Office: East Highlands
Buses from Aviemore to Cairngorm Mountain ski centre might be persuaded to stop; they do not run early or late however.
The Munros, pb. SMC http://www.smc.org.uk/Publications/Publications.php?ID=1
OS Explorer 403 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 36 (1:50,000), OS Landranger 43 (1:50,000)
Aviemore YH 01479 810345 Cairngorm Lodge YH 01479 861238
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