Walk: Cairn Gorm's wild side
|[Approach to Cairn Gorm from the west]|
Cairn Gorm's shady northern slopes are littered with half a century's worth of winter sports developments: good news for skiers, not ideal for walkers wanting to get away from it all. Fortunately the great coires to the west are beyond the ski area's boundaries, making a magnificent and wild approach above huge crags to the eventual summit before the return to civilisation. You could even use the funicular to help with the descent! (But not the ascent - you're not allowed to leave the top station if you've come up on the train.)
|[Coire an Lochain looks magnificent from the ascent]|
Name: Walk: Cairn Gorm's wild side ★★★★★
Length: 11 km / 7 miles
Ascent: 780 metres
Main summits: Cairn Lochan (1215 metres); Stob Coire an t-Sneachda (1176 metres); Cairn Gorm (1244 metres, Munro)
Points of interest: CairnGorm Mountain ski resort & funicular railway
Start / finish: Car park for CairnGorm Mountain, 4 miles south of Glenmore Visitor Centre, G.R.: NH 989060 / trespass messed line
Route: Car park - Miadan Creag an Leth-choin - Cairn Lochan - Stob Coire an t-Sneachda - Cairn Gorm - Ptarmigan Station - Sron an Aonaich (or Windy Ridge) - start
Terrain: Good paths for most of route: fainter and rougher above the coires and sometimes on cliff edges.
Wildlife today: Quiet on the hills today.
Weather today: Cloudy to start with sunshine breaking through after overnight snow down to about 900 metres. Winds fairly light.
>> see separate post for CairnGorm Mountain ★★★★☆
|[The start of the descent from Cairn Gorm couldn't be clearer...]|
Route credit: Walkhighlands