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 (if it's running - it's closed at time of update in 2019) 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 ★★★
▶ 11 km / 7 miles | ▲ 780 metres | ⌚ Full day walk
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.

>> CairnGorm Mountain ★★☆

[The start of the descent from Cairn Gorm couldn't be clearer...]

Route map

Route credit: Walkhighlands


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