2 Days in the Cairngorms
Cairngorm, Ben Macdui, Carn a' Mhaim, The Devil's Point, Cairn Toul,
The Angel's Peak, Braeriach.
Ski Area carpark
Sheet 36 GR989059.
1 - Carpark to Corour bothy 6 - 9 hours.
Day 2 - Corour bothy to the carpark 7 - 10 hours.
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puzzles me why some people will walk miles into a range like
the Cairngorms just to get to the top of one hill before walking
all the way back. With a tactical overnight kip you can get
deep into the heart of these mountains. This was the theory,
so, as we took to the hills on our maiden overnight expedition
my foremost thought was simply the weight of my backpack.
Cairngorms are vast. This means that a day trip to some of the
central munros is a massive hike. If you can rough it in a bothy
or can tough it and carry a tent then in a 2 day trip you can
visit the seven munros Cairngorm, Ben Macdui, Carn a' Mhaim,
The Devil's Point, Cairn Toul, Sgurr an Lochain Uaine (The Angel's
Peak) and finally Braeriach.
our expedition the weather was fantastic, windy and cloudless,
resulting in a healthy tan without becoming midgie fodder. From
the scale of this walk it's worth planning it for a good weather
weekend.... hopefully you wont have to wait too long. But if
the weather turns nasty for your second day there is the option
of taking the lowland route home along the Larig Ghru. Hopefully
the grey man of Ben Macdui wont slow your progress too much.
Route - Day
- Park in the Cairngorm ski area carpark (Multimap),
at present this privilege is free, but you can expect to start
paying in the near future.
- As the funicular building was progressing quietly we headed
South East up through the ski area in Coire Cas and then straight
up the Head Wall (which sounds more daunting than it really
- From the top of the Head Wall the summit of Cairngorm (1244m,
GR005041) lies approximately 200m to the East.
- From the summit of Cairngorm follow the ridge in a south
westerly direction for 2 km, then follow the path south for
4km to get to the summit of Ben Macdui (1309m, GR989989).
Looking west from the summit there are dreamy views of the
next days hillwalking.
- The southerly descent from Ben Macdui to the col (GR987973)
will probably take you longer than expected from the map contours
as the going is very rocky and it requires a lot of concentration.
- From the col its a steady gentle climb SSE for just over
2 km to get to the summit of the third and final munro for
the day, Carn a' Mhaim (1037m, GR995952). There is a track
running along the ridge most of the way to the top
- From the summit of Carn a' Mhaim follow the ridge SE for
a few hundred metres, then head west down the steep grassy
slopes to get to the path that leads northwards to Corrour
bothy (GR982958). For us this is where Day 1 finished.
- The bothy is pretty basic.... but that's all it's meant
to be. It provides windless shelter where you can cook your
supernoodles. With a bit of luck you too may encounter a cheery
group of Duke of Edinburgh boys intent on burning all your
rubbish with their vast supplies of meths.
the bothy head west up the path to get to the col, then
follow the ridge East to get to the summit of The Devils
Point (1004m, GR977952). This short steep ascent should
take little more than an hour.
the Devils Point return to the col, then follow the rough
track that follows the line of the crags North then west
then north over the boulder field to the summit of Cairn
Toul (1291m, GR964973).
Cairn Toul follow the track NW along the ridge to get to
the summit of the newly appointed munro, The Angels Peak
The Angels Peak follow the track that runs west along the
crest of the ridge and then bears north for just under 2
km before leading you east to the craggy summit of Braeriach
(1296m, GR953998). The track to Braeriach is very sketchy
in places so in misty weather good compass work will be
the summit of Braeriach it's a straight forward but long
walk back to the car. Follow the clear track west then north
over the top of Sron na Lairige.
to head north down the main ridge and at GR959037 follow
the path NE up to the Chalamain Gap. From the Chalamain
Gap there are 2 options, either to head east and make a
beeline for the ski area car park, or to follow the main
pathway which leads to the carpark just off the ski road
(GR985074) and from here you could probably hitch a lift
to the ski area carpark. We chose the first option and I'm
confident it was the wrong choice as the last thing you
want after a 2 day
was one of my most memorable walks. The scenery was fantastic
and the 2 day option meant that it became an enjoyable but challenging
walk and not an out and out 12 hour slog. After all, the most
important bit is soaking in what the Scottish mountains have to
offer..... as long as the weather actually lets you see it.