walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)

Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)


Postby foggieclimber » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:24 am

Munros included on this walk: Cairn Gorm

Date walked: 19/12/2011

Time taken: 5.3 hours

2 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Hills: Cairngorm (Munro) and Cnap Coire na Spreidhe (Munro Top)
Date: Sunday 18th December 2011
Company: Myself and Mark
Time: 5Hrs 20Mins


In advance of attending my Club’s Christmas Dinner this evening, I set off this morning for an ascent of Cairngorm.

I have ascended Cairngorm a number of times previously – on its own, combined with Ben Macdui (twice), combined with Beinn Mheadhoin (twice) and once following an ascent of Finger’s Ridge. However, I had never before ascended via Fiacaill Ridge.

After parking up in the Coire Cas car park, I waited around 20 minutes for the Club bus to arrive.

Coire Cas car park:
Image

Club bus arriving:
Image

I then had a quick chat to find out what others were planning to do. A few were intending ascending Fiacaill Ridge, so I opted to join them. I set off ahead with Mark, making our way round to the Northern Corries.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

We followed the Northern Corries track for a few hundred metres and then took the right-fork heading towards Coire an Lochain.

Looking back towards Loch Morlich:
Image

Following path round to the Northern Corries:
Image

After walking another kilometre, we made our way towards the base of the wide ridge that leads up to Fiacaill Ridge.

Heading for the base of the ridge leading up towards Fiacaill Ridge:
Image

About to start ascending the wide ridge:
Image

I found the ascent of the ridge quite tiring – I need to get used to the weight of my winter boots again :lol:.

Ascending the wide ridge:
Image

Ascending the ridge (Coire an t-Sneachda to the left):
Image

Was really pleased with the weather today – much better than what MWIS had forecast :).

Ascent through boulders:
Image

Approaching the top of the wide ridge:
Image

As we ascended the ridge, we could see that most of the surrounding hills were well-plastered with snow. The views were great.

Looking towards Glen Feshie hills:
Image

Snowy landscape:
Image

Was nice to look across to the cliffs of Coire an t-Sneachda. We could see a number of climbers ascending various routes. I quite fancy doing Aladdin’s Couloir and Pygmy Ridge some time in the future.

Cliffs of Coire an t-Sneachda:
Image

Levelling-out:
Image

On reaching the point in the next photo, I stopped to put on my crampons. A couple of climbers were roping-up just ahead of me.

Today we opted to take the easier Grade I line up Fiacaill Ridge, bypassing most of the difficulties on the right - as we had no ropes, harnesses or protection with us except for a single walking axe and crampons. Sticking to the ridge is Grade II.

Fiacaill Ridge ahead:
Image

Was glad I had put on my crampons for descending from the first wee top.

Looking back to first top:
Image

Mark waited patiently for me to catch-up at the next section, as I had been busy taking numerous photos during the ascent. However, for the next section my camera went into the rucksack – as it is quite bulky and I didn’t want it swinging around.

About to start the main ascent:
Image

Myself ascending ridge (photo by Mark):
Image

The ascent to the right of the ridge was much easier than expected - it didn’t take long to reach the top of Fiacaill Ridge. I didn’t find the route exposed, albeit there were a few places were a fall could prove fatal (or at least quite sore).

View of some climbers ascending a gully from top of Fiacaill Ridge:
Image

Looking back down Fiacaill Ridge:
Image

From the top of Fiacaill Ridge, we decided to head for the summit of Cairngorm. We pretty-much followed the rim of the coire to get there.

Cairngorm summit and Coire an t-Sneachda:
Image

The views were pretty-good but cloud was heading in our direction.

View across to Beinn Mheadhoin:
Image

Approaching the top of the Goat track:
Image

Looking back to Fiacaill Ridge (in profile):
Image

Looking back to Cairn Lochan from Stob Coire an t-Sneachda:
Image

Looking across to Beinn Mheadhoin:
Image

By the time we started the final ascent of Cairngorm the cloud had reached us and it had begun to snow.

Final ascent to summit of Cairngorm:
Image

Looking back:
Image

Looking back to Fiacaill Ridge:
Image

We stopped at the weather station, where I had my first bite to eat of the day – I was starving :lol:.

Rime-covered weather station at summit of Cairngorm:
Image

Rime-covered weather station at summit of Cairngorm:
Image

From the summit of Cairngorm we made our way down to top of the ski tow and then across to Cnap Coire na Spreidhe – a Munro Top that I had not ascended previously.

View from summit of Cnap Coire na Spreidhe:
Image

From Cnap Coire na Spreidhe, we crossed several ski runs to reach a track descending to the Coire Cas car park.

A really enjoyable day out, followed by an excellent meal at the Cairngorm Hotel in Aviemore :D.
Last edited by foggieclimber on Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
foggieclimber
 
Posts: 1041
Joined: Aug 9, 2009

Re: Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)

Postby MarilynMunro » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:08 am

Really enjoyed looking at your photos, have only ever been up there boarding and it was good to see it from a different perspective, sounded like quite a day. Hope they pesky skiers weren't a nuisance :lol:
Cairngorm Hotel is a good watering hole.
User avatar
MarilynMunro
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 307
Munros:43   Corbetts:3
Fionas:3   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:4   
Joined: Jun 18, 2011
Location: West Lothian

Re: Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)

Postby foggieclimber » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:45 pm

MarilynMunro wrote:Really enjoyed looking at your photos, have only ever been up there boarding and it was good to see it from a different perspective, sounded like quite a day. Hope they pesky skiers weren't a nuisance :lol:
Cairngorm Hotel is a good watering hole.


Crossing the ski slopes felt like a combination of Frogger and Horace goes Skiing. :lol:
foggieclimber
 
Posts: 1041
Joined: Aug 9, 2009

Re: Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)

Postby Gavin99 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:56 pm

Some beautiful images there , capturing the awesome scale of the place . Lovely.
User avatar
Gavin99
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1292
Munros:280   Corbetts:134
Fionas:79   Donalds:71
Sub 2000:38   Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:16   
Joined: Jul 26, 2011
Walk wish-list

Re: Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)

Postby monty » Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:11 pm

Nice report Foggie. Some excellent photos. Love the rime ice on the weather station :D
monty
 

Re: Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)

Postby HighlandSC » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:35 pm

Very nice 8)
I enjoyed scrambling up the Fiacaill Ridge in dry summer conditions. One of the best ways up on to the plateau. Looks fine plastered in the white stuff, but like you say a bit more serious if sticking to the ridge on the left.

Always like seeing the weather station with its winter clothes on. It must get a fair old battering up there in the storms.
User avatar
HighlandSC
 
Posts: 2188
Munros:33   Corbetts:4
Fionas:2   
Sub 2000:14   
Islands:8
Joined: Jul 12, 2009
Location: USA (formerly Inverness)

Re: Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)

Postby mgmt! » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:48 pm

nice report foggie, always wondered what this ridge looked like, a nicer way to cairngorm i think.
mgmt!
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 540
Joined: Oct 18, 2010

Re: Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)

Postby dooterbang » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:12 am

A fit man like you feeling tired :shock:

That ridge looks great fun and something i could do :)

Cracking photos.
User avatar
dooterbang
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1828
Munros:262   Corbetts:58
Fionas:18   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:10   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   Islands:19
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Isle of Skye from Feb 2019 (Originally Glasgow)

Re: Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)

Postby rockhopper » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:33 am

a cracker foggie - have only ever been up here in the summer - what a difference the snow makes and the weather station even looks attractive 8) - cheers
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 7478
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Fionas:139   Donalds:89+20
Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:20
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)

Postby foggieclimber » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:56 pm

dooterbang wrote:A fit man like you feeling tired :shock:


Must be getting old :lol:
foggieclimber
 
Posts: 1041
Joined: Aug 9, 2009

Re: Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)

Postby malky_c » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:37 pm

Quality - great shots :D

My first time up this ridge was in winter conditions as well, and we also skipped the crux move as it was late and we were out of time. Would love to do it again in the winter.
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 6368
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Fionas:219   Donalds:80+37
Sub 2000:319   Hewitts:281
Wainwrights:140   Islands:39
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Inverness/Glasgow

Re: Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)

Postby morag1 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:56 pm

Nice to see Cairn Gorm in the snow, I've only been up there in the summer :D

Very impressive, well done :clap:
morag1
 

Re: Cairngorm (via Fiacaill Ridge)

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:50 am

Oh this is real big boy stuff :o :o

Photographs are fabbie- glad you such a fantastic time :D :D
User avatar
pollyh33
Walker
 
Posts: 2577
Munros:282   Corbetts:18
Fionas:5   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Mar 30, 2011
Location: Rutherglen

2 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).




Can you help support Walkhighlands?


Our forum is free from adverts - your generosity keeps it running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and this community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: desmondo1, Jackie30138, Janet Burton and 46 guests