Distant views of Scotland's second highest point don't generally grab the attention, its domed peak and curving flanks not promising a lot by way of scenery. But make the effort (a long walk-in from any angle) and you'll discover the hidden depths of this massive sprawling mountain. Crag-walled corries and beautiful high lochans; rolling plateaux crusty with late-lying snow; lower glens green with native Scots pine woods; a wild, spacious, big-country feel - this classic circuit from Deeside has the lot. There are bothies if you want to take two days over it, but anyone spending the night on the hill should beware the Big Grey Man.
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Distance: 19.41 miles (31.23 km)
Total ascent: 1,030m
Steepest Gradient: 26% (1 in 4)
Time: 10 hours (Walking)
SummitsBen Macdui 1309 m
Ben Macdui - Stob Coire Sputan Dearg 1249 m
Ben Macdui - Sron Riach 1113 m
Linn of Dee car park, NO062898
Forest tracks in the lower glens, becoming footpaths higher up; these are generally clear and well maintained. Larger burns are generally bridged but where this isn't the case some care may be needed if stream crossing in spate conditions.
Winter in the Cairngorms can be a serious business. Under snow cover this is a very long and arduous trip and there are periods most winters when touring skis would be an advantage (to say the least). The corrie edges can be very heavily corniced, while the summit plateau of Ben Macdui is a scary place to be in a whiteout and pinpoint navigation is a must.
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Cairngorms & Monadhliath – Met Office: East Highlands
Bus from Aberdeen to Braemar, but from here you'll have to hitch.
The Cairngorms, SMC http://www.smc.org.uk/Publications/Publi... 100 Best Routes on Scottish Mountains, Ralph Storer, pb. Sphere
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 36 (1:50,000), OS Landranger 43 (1:50,000)
Braemar YH 0870 004 1105
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by Dan Bailey UKH
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