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Cairn Gorm & Ben Macdui

Cairn Gorm & Ben Macdui

Postby gyles » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:55 pm

Route description: Ben Macdui and Cairngorm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Macdui, Cairn Gorm

Date walked: 28/07/2012

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 17.5 km

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Another available opportunity at the weekend gave me the chance to bag my 5th munro. Cairn Gorm was my 1st ever which I climbed with my father many years ago however Ben Macdui is one I've been keen to do.

Myself and 2 friends set off from Moray early arriving at the ski centre car park at 8am. The forecast was to be mixed conditions. Sunny spells with patches of rain and low cloud brushing the summits. It was spot on from the start as the Cairn Gorm peak was just hidden in the clag. We headed up fairly quickly only taking just over an hour to reach the summit. By this point we were well into the cloud and the waterproofs were on as the rain came down.

Cairn Gorm summit

The next part was tricky trying to find our path off the summit to head towards the corrie ridges. The cloud did its best to give us no features to see and we lost 10 minutes as we headed south west. :? Visibility did improve slightly and I did recognise Loch Etchachan which helped find our bearings. As the cloud cleared more we found our path. All of this was adding to my experience for the future. :wink:

There's our path!

Once back on track we were fine, following the corrie ridges until the path split and headed south towards Ben Macdui. Rain was still on and off with it being cold enough to bring a little sleet.

Curious Ptarmigan

We plodded on across the vast plateau, fortunate enough to have some breaks with the weather as the cloud lifted. It was good to have the visibility to see some other peaks in the area.

Looking back at Cairn Gorm

Looking towards Glen Avon with Bynack More to the left and Beinn Mheadhoin to the right with its barns.

Ben Macdui awaits us.

Not too long after a slight climb following the cairns we hit the summit hidden in the cloud. We enjoyed a good 30 minutes lunch but unfortunately there was no view to be seen with the conditions. :( However still thrilled with the achievement. :D

I can see you!


We made our way back across the plateau coming out of the cloud. We were treated to good view to the west looking at the Cairn Toul - Braeriach range. We were thinking in anticipation as we plan to do this traverse via the Lairig Ghru for our next walk.

Braeriach looking glorious

Cairn Toul left, Angels Peak middle and Braeriach right.

North end of the Lairig Ghru

Lochan Uaine peaking through, cradled between Cairn Toul and Angels Peak.

We continued the gentle walk north to traverse back round to the ski centre car park. We enjoyed looking at the north facing corries as we passed by in front of them.


Soon enough we arrived back where we started. Given the weather conditions it was still a great day. The moments of poor visibility gave the walk a different dimension which I really enjoyed. I think it was the feeling of having more of a challenge to navigate. However as I said earlier it is good experience for me to learn from.

Looking forward to the next climb. :D

Thanks for reading.
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Re: Cairn Gorm & Ben Macdui

Postby skuk007 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:53 pm

Nice report Gyles, I've only spent a few days in the Cairngorms and your report has got me missing them.
Hope you get better weather on your next walk.
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Re: Cairn Gorm & Ben Macdui

Postby David-Main » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:05 pm

Well done lads, as i said to you in a previous thread i was meant to be going there at the weekend but thought the showers would be to heavy for any decent views, mabye this weekend.
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Re: Cairn Gorm & Ben Macdui

Postby gyles » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:19 pm

Thank you :)

We took the chance and glad we did. Hopefully you'll get better weather for your next walk.
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Munros:26   Corbetts:5
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