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Warming Up on The Cairnwell Munros

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:32 pm
by roscoT

the cairnwell munros.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


A 3 day solo trip to the Eastern Cairngorms was arranged at the last minute after I realised I had, for the first time in a long while, a weekend with nothing to do. A dry but cold forecast combined with the retreat of the snow gave some promise. A bit of 'alone time' at the busiest time of the year should be just what the doctor ordered :D

With this being my first time walking in this area, and the White Mounth and Glas Maol circuit on my radar for the following days, I decided to break myself in gently with The Cairnwell 3. Starting off from the ski centre after an uneventful drive, I headed up towards that 'easiest' of all munros, Carn Aosda.

ImageSki Centre by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageSki hut and Carn Aosda by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageThe Cairnwell by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030606 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030609 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageWestern Cairngorms by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030612 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030613 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030616 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageCairnwell Pass by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

And it really was an 'easy' one - half an hour after leaving the car, I had reached the summit. Quick bite to eat, and onward, descending southwest toward Loch Vrotachan, then skirting round the front of it before branching off on a muddy path to the right, leaving behind the ski paraphernalia and heading towards the day's second target, Carn a' Gheoidh. Views down the Cairnwell pass and east to the Glas Maol hills were good (although the forecasted sunshine had not appeared). The best views, however, were northwest to the 4000 footers of the Western Cairngorms, rays of sunshine illuminating the upper slopes.

ImageP1030619 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageGlas Maol etc by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageCreag a'Choire Dhirich by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageCreag Leacach by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagesmall howf by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

The path is a good one, aided on this day by the frost, and after a short final climb the summit of Carn a'Gheoidh is reached, where I had some lunch and chilled out for a bit. It was cold, but a lack of wind meant the cold was not as biting as it could have been. After this, I retraced my steps, spotting some ptarmigan on the way, and decided to add some interest by including Carn nan Sac, which allows great views of the corrie over to The Cairnwell.

ImageCarn a'Gheoidh summit by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030642 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageLunchtime by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageThe Cairnwell and Glas Maol in the distance by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030649 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageCarn nan Sac by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageCreag a'Choire Dhirich by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

From here, it's an enjoyable skirt round the edge of the corrie to climb up The Cairnwell, no difficulties here. The summit is an ugly mix of ski paraphernalia and building works, not much to hang about for, but walk a few minutes further on and you are rewarded with a great view down Glenshee, free of distraction.

ImageLoch Vrotachan by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageCairnwell and path by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageCairnwell summit by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageGlenshee by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030669 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030670 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

From here, I could've skirted back round to the Carn Aosda path and descended from there, but it seemed silly given there is a direct descent under the Cairnwell ski lift back to the ski centre. A short time, and a few slips (probably why it isn't conventional wisdom to go this way) later, I was back at the car, a lot earlier than I had anticipated. Plenty time to potter around Braemar Castle and the Linn o Dee, then check in to Gulabin Lodge down the road and spend a delightful night in front of the fire with a book and a lot of red wine - YES
Excited for the following couple of days, with good reason as it turned out :D

ImageP1030676 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageBraemar Castle by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageLinn o Dee by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1030686 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageHeaven by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Re: Warming Up on The Cairnwell Munros

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:54 am
by rockhopper
Nice walk - great way to the end the day :wink: - cheers :)

Re: Warming Up on The Cairnwell Munros

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:57 pm
by roscoT
rockhopper wrote:Nice walk - great way to the end the day :wink: - cheers :)


Yeah it's a good one for the road definitely mate. Fire and wine is always a winner :D