Cairn Toul - Braeriach traverse

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The magnificent walk from Cairn Toul to Braeriach follows the edge of a vast plateau around the Cairngorms' most spectacular corries. It is also exceptionally remote and arduous; many will break the route with an overnight stay at Corrour bothy. This can be approached either from the Linn of Dee to the south leaving a very long return, or via the Chalamain Gap from the Sugar Bowl car park on Speyside - the latter route making the traverse possible in a single epic day for the extremely fit.


Rough paths to Corrour bothy (extremely rough boulder field in the Chalamain Gap) followed by a steep ascent to the plateau. The terrain on the traverse is mostly straightforward rocky tundra, though there are boulderfields on Cairn Toul. However there are huge cliffs close to much of the route, it is extremely exposed to bad weather and careful navigation is essential in poor visibility. For this reason, together with its great length and the lack of escape routes, this walk has been given a grade of 5.

Public Transport

Bus from Aviemore to Cairngorm ski-centre - ask to get off at the Sugar Bowl car park.


Sugar Bowl car park (charge). Open start point in Google Maps for directions.

Hillwalking in Winter

Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. All route descriptions and difficulties given here are for summer conditions. See our Winter Skills page for basic information on the essential skills, techniques and knowledge needed for winter hillwalking.

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