At the main Cairn Gorm carpark there was a light breeze in clear sunshine but a 1000m above my head unusual curved wisps were forming and racing westwards. Given the popularity of this route I was surprised to find the approach path from the main Coire an t-Sneachda track was faint and indistinct. I almost missed it, but picked it up only because it headed towards Faicaill Coire an t-Sneachda. There really needs to be more signposting in Scotland like the Dolomites or La Palma. The tedious interminable boulder strewn slope eventually led to the narrow broken block on the summit from which I had a first view of the scramble ahead.
What I hadn't realised was how short the scramble is and that you are almost level with the main plateau. At fist sight it looked harder than low grade 2 but then I made out the large stepped blocks on the right of the broken ridge. I clambered down, over and around various blocky outcrops until arriving at the main event which was a steep stepped chimney/corner. From below this looked challenging, but once committed all the holds and moves are fairly straightforward. This leads onto a series of narrow but fairly level rounded aretes. Then another stepped pitch leading to another thin ridge and then it's all over.
I considered going for Macdui but the clear weather had given way to overcast and high winds, so I returned over Cairn Gorm for delicious soup and cappuccino in the Storehouse cafe. Great route but too short.
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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.