Coire an Lochan

The Cairngorm Mountains

Start Point: Cairngorm ski area car park
Grid Reference: Ordnance Survey sheet 36 GR990060
Time: 2 - 3 hours
Distance: 7km
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At the head of Coire an Lochan

Introduction

In Muriel Grays "The First Fifty" she talks about children being dragged off into the hills to follow their parents up Munros and hating every minute of it. As I was not one of these children, I took the initiative and struck first by taking my parents and little brother for a stroll in the Cairngorms.

View up Coire ant Sneachda

The oldies had nothing to fear, as this was genuinely a walk, rather than a bone-crunching hike. There is an excellent network of paths running up through Coire an Lochan and Coire ant Sneachda; these provide easy access up into the shadow of the mountains.

The aim of the youngest member of the party was met when we actually reached the snowline at the head of the coire. Hanging high in the coire is "The Great Slab", a huge slab of rock, clearly visible from Loch Morlich. Had the steep snowfield not stopped us we could have carried on to the top of Cairn Lochan (1215m, GR986026), which sits high above the cliffs.

 
Jonny  strides it out on the way down

However the day wasn't about getting to the top of anything but to simply introduce the rest of my family to the mountains in an enjoyable way. Even in June the weather was typically "fresh" and fleeces and hats were essential, and half time coffee was very welcome. We did come across one daring walker, who had taken to the hills in high-heeled slip ons (Not recommended!).

The minimum for a short walk such as this is a decent pair of trainers and I also recommend that you bring some sort of a waterproof, as sunshine is not guaranteed. You may think it over the top since there are paths, but a map and compass are definitely essentials for any trip into the hills.

Coire an Lochan lies SSE of the car park. As far as a route goes.... it is simply a case of going as far up the coire as you wish using the paths provided.

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