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Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui under Blue Skies

Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui under Blue Skies


Postby GariochTom » Tue May 28, 2013 8:04 am

Route description: Ben Macdui and Cairngorm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Macdui, Cairn Gorm

Date walked: 25/05/2013

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 19.6 km

Ascent: 997m

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We set off from the Coire Cas car park at around 9.30am, and headed up the very well constructed pitched path up the Sron an Aonaich, just east of the mountain railway, up to the Ptarmigan Restaurant.

Image
Ascending the lower slopes by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
The Cairngorm Mountain Railway by GariochT, on Flickr

For much of the way up to the summit of Cairn Gorm we were penned in by rope 'banisters' either side of the pitched path, which meant there was no ambiguity as to where the path was!

Eventually we reached the top, and enjoyed good views across to the Fiacaill a' Choire Chais.

Image
Coire Cas by GariochT, on Flickr

We continued to the rim of the Northern Corries, and slowly made our way around, impressed by the various buttresses that line the edge of the corries.

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P1100957 by GariochT, on Flickr

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Fiacaill Coire an t-Schneachda by GariochT, on Flickr

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Fiacaill Coire an t-Schneachda by GariochT, on Flickr

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Above Aladdin's & Fluted Buttress by GariochT, on Flickr

It was then time to leave the corries and head across the snow-covered plateau, to Ben Macdui. Others' tracks in the snow made the route obvious even from a distance.

Image
Across the plateau to Ben Macdui by GariochT, on Flickr

The soft snow made our progress slow but we were rewarded with excellent views.

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Looking across to Beinn Mheadhoin by GariochT, on Flickr

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Under blue skies by GariochT, on Flickr

As we got further south, the impressive Cairn Toul - Angel's Peak - Braeriach ridge started to reveal itself.

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The Cairngorm Plateau by GariochT, on Flickr

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Cairn Toul, Angel's Peak and Braeriach ridge by GariochT, on Flickr

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Cairn Toul, Angel's Peak (Sgor an Lochain Uaine) and Braeriach from the northern slopes of Ben Macdui by GariochT, on Flickr

Nearing the top of Braeriach, we spotted a couple of snow buntings that were hopping around amongst the rocks, catching insects. They weren't particularly scared of us, but kept a safe distance away from us.

Image
Snow buntings in front of Braeriach by GariochT, on Flickr

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Male snow bunting in summer plumage on Ben Macdui by GariochT, on Flickr

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Female snow bunting on Ben Macdui by GariochT, on Flickr

The final push to the summit of Ben Macdui was fortunately less arduous, and I made my way across boulders to the west of the top, to get an even better view of my favourite ridge.

Image
Directional indicator by GariochT, on Flickr

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Ben Macdui Panorama by GariochT, on Flickr

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The view towards the west from Ben Macdui by GariochT, on Flickr



We spent some time at the summit cairn, enjoying the fine weather and views, before we started a gradual descent down the Miadan Creag an Leth-choin (whatever that means).

Image
Patterns in the snow by GariochT, on Flickr

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Descending the Miadan Creag an Leth-choin, east of the Lairig Ghru. by GariochT, on Flickr

We spotted avalanched snow in Coire an Lochain - and apparently the following night/morning the snow slab avalanched completely.

Image
Avalanche below No. 4 Buttress by GariochT, on Flickr

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Loch Morlich and Rothiemurchus by GariochT, on Flickr

The descent took us quite some time, but eventually after 9 hours of walking we reached the car park, where we had a surprise greeting by some reindeer!

Image
Reindeer in the ski car park! by GariochT, on Flickr

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Reindeer by GariochT, on Flickr


Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui smaller.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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GariochTom
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Re: Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui under Blue Skies

Postby Cairngormwanderer » Tue May 28, 2013 10:22 am

Hard to believe that photo of the view indicator. I was there on May 4 - just three weeks earlier - and the snow was level with the top plate of the indicator, which just looked like a manhole cover in the surface of a flat white field. Amazing how quickly it all disappears.
Cairngormwanderer
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Re: Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui under Blue Skies

Postby litljortindan » Tue May 28, 2013 10:45 am

Looks like you had a brilliant day apart from the soft snow. Our view of Cairngorms same day from Morrone was quite breath taking so must've been even more so in amongst the corries and plateaux. Some really great pictures there.
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litljortindan
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Re: Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui under Blue Skies

Postby GariochTom » Tue May 28, 2013 5:39 pm

Cairngormwanderer wrote:Hard to believe that photo of the view indicator. I was there on May 4 - just three weeks earlier - and the snow was level with the top plate of the indicator, which just looked like a manhole cover in the surface of a flat white field. Amazing how quickly it all disappears.


Wow, a lot of snow up there 3 weeks ago then! Yes, I wonder how much longer before all of the snow is gone (well, apart from a few semi permanent snow patches in the corries).
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GariochTom
Wanderer
 
Posts: 142
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Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui under Blue Skies

Postby GariochTom » Tue May 28, 2013 5:40 pm

litljortindan wrote:Looks like you had a brilliant day apart from the soft snow. Our view of Cairngorms same day from Morrone was quite breath taking so must've been even more so in amongst the corries and plateaux. Some really great pictures there.


Thanks, can imagine you had great views from Morrone too. The snow slowed us down but did make the mountains even more scenic!
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GariochTom
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Posts: 142
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Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui under Blue Skies

Postby PeteR » Tue May 28, 2013 5:46 pm

It was a great day in the Cairngorms on Saturday, that's for sure :D I was over the way on the Moine Mhor enjoying the same cloudless day :thumbup: Glad to see you had a great day too :D
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PeteR
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Re: Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui under Blue Skies

Postby Stuart Angus » Tue May 28, 2013 8:42 pm

Brilliant, do days get any better than that? :thumbup: We were admiring Cairngorm from Carn Mairg on Saturday and they looked good then.............but not half as good as being there by the look of it :D
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