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Showing posts from October, 2012

Walk: Cairn Gorm's wild side

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Highland | Cairngorm Plateau | Full day walk | ★★★★★ [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 (if it's running - it's closed indefinitely at time of update in 2020 ) 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] 📌 Walk: Cairn Gorm's wild side ★★★★★ Start / finish at CairnGorm Mountain car park, 4 mi south of Glenmore Visitor Centre, G.R.: NH 989060 ///trespass.messed.line ▶ 11 km / 7 mi | ▲ 780 m | ⌚ Full d

Walk: In Royal footsteps to Balmoral's Cairns

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Aberdeenshire | Crathie | Half day walk | ★★★ [Prince Arthur's Cairn, Balmoral] Crathie's enormous car park only makes sense during the summer holidays, when Balmoral Castle draws in huge numbers of tourists. To escape peak season crowds, head instead to the estate surrounding the residence. Here, the Royal Family have erected several impressive cairns on the hills either side of Dubh-chlais valley. These ranging from the dainty (Purchase Cairn) to the gargantuan (Prince Albert's Cairn), often accompanied by excellent views over the castle itself and Deeside. Almost like a treasure hunt, or a geocaching route but with much larger objectives. [Crathie Kirk] 📌 Walk: In Royal footsteps to Balmoral's Cairns ★★★ Start / finish at car park at A93 / B976 junction, Crathie, G.R: NO 263949 ///person.enjoyable.suave ▶ 10 km / 6 mi | ▲ 350 m | ⌚ Half a day | ⬤ Moderate Features: Crathie Kirk; Balmoral Cairns; △ Creag a' Ghobhainn (390 m); △ Creag an Lura

Walk: Glas Maol & Glen Isla safari

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Angus | Angus Glens | Full day walk | ★★★ [Approach to Monega Hill through Glen Isla] Glas Maol is known to winter sports enthusiasts as the highest point of Glenshee 's ski area. It's also a Munro: unfortunately one of the ugliest due to the ski lifts scattered across the hillside when approaching from Cairnwell Pass . But the quieter, longer approach from Glen Isla in Angus misses all of this, instead passing above some of the most beautiful spots in the southern Cairngorms. Monega Hill is a magnificent corner on the ascent, perched high above the two great glens of Caenlochan and Canness, while the return traverses the surprisingly rough ridge to Creag Leacach, another Munro. Save a couple of chocolate bars for the final brutal obstacle of Monamenach. The path over the top looks nearly vertical on approach and it turns out to feel nearly that bad too. The fantastic wildlife deserves a mention: we've never seen so many deer, mountain hare or ptarmigan before even