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Cairn Gorm is one of the best known summits in Scotland, and despite not being the highest has lent its name to this whole mountain range. It has heavily developed for ski-ing and by the funicular railway to the Ptarmigan restaurant, detracting greatly from its wildness and the experience of climbing it on foot.
Altitude: 1245 metres
Detailed route description and map
Other routes and challenges
The quickest ascents are from the ski centre car park, either via Windy Ridge (described as the descent route above) or via the Fiacaill a' Choire Chais path branching off the track to the Ptarmigan restaurant. For scramblers, the Fiacaill Coire an t-Sneachda ridge provides a popular Grade 1 scramble.
The epic challenge hereabouts is the ascent of the Cairngorm 4000ers, best accomplished from Speyside. Ascend Brariach via the Chlamain Gap from the Sugar Bowl car park, head round to Cairn Toul and then Corrour Bothy. Use the Allt Clach nan Taillear route onto Ben Macdui, then continue to Cairngorm and back down to the ski centre.