Walk: Past the pistes to Carn a' Gheoidh

Aberdeenshire | Cairnwell Hills | Full day walk | ★★★

[Looking across the ski developments towards Carn Aosda from the descent off The Cairnwell]

The group of Munros scattered either side of the Cairnwell Pass get a bad rep amongst walkers, marred by the lifts and runs of Glenshee Ski Centre. However, a starting altitude of 650 metres above sea level makes them some of the quickest Munro ascents in Scotland in good conditions. Adding on Carn a' Gheòidh escapes the pylons and pistes, with excellent views far into the wild southern Cairngorms.

[Well-camouflaged ptarmigan on the approach to Carn a' Gheòidh]

📌 Walk: Past the pistes to Carn a' Gheoidh ★★★
Start / finish at Glenshee Ski Centre car park on A93, 5 mi north of Spittal of Glenshee, G.R.: NO 139782 ///like.camcorder.geology

▶ 13 km / 8 mi | ▲ 600 m | ⌚ Full day | Tough
Features: Glenshee Ski Centre ★★★★; △ Carn Aosda (917 m, Munro); △ Carn a' Gheòidh (975 m, Munro); △ The Cairnwell (933 m, Munro)
Terrain: Steep, stony track to Carn Aosda, then paths and tracks to Carn a' Gheòidh, intermittent in places. Track or more direct, steeper path to The Cairnwell, then pathless descent on grass to start.

Route & map

Car park at Glenshee Ski Centre - Carn Aosda - 808m spot height on 1:25000 O.S. maps southeast of Loch Vrotachan - Carn nan Sac - Carn a' Gheòidh - return to 808m point by outward route - The Cairnwell - start

Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)
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On our visit

Wildlife: Several red deer near the start; a few nesting ptarmigan towards Carn a' Gheòidh.
Weather: Mostly cloudy at the start but sunshine increasingly breaking through; about 10°C, moderate winds.

[The summit of The Cairnwell is one of the ugliest Munro summits, although with good views on a clear day]


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