This is custom heading element

CAIRNGORMS

The Cairngorm plateau is the highest plateau in Britain. Ben Macdui, Braeriach and Cairn Toul are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th highest mountains in the Top 500. Only Ben Nevis is higher. The Cairngorm ski centre is the oldest in the UK and a funicular railway opened in 2001 transporting skiers to over 3,500 ft.

There are 17 Top 500 Summits on the Cairngorm plateau.

1   Ben MacDui                              4,296ft                        2   Braeriach                                  4,252ft

3   Cairn Toul                                 4,236ft                        4   Beinn a’ Bhuird                        3,927ft

5   Beinn Mheadhoin                   3,878ft                         6   Ben Avon                                  3,843ft

7   Beinn Bhrotrain                       3,795ft                        8   Sgor Gaoith                              3,668ft

9   Bynack More                            3,575ft                        10 Beinn a’ Chaorainn                 3,550ft

11 Carn a’ Mhaim                         3,402ft                        12 Creag Mhor                              2,936ft

13 Geal Charn                               2,692ft                         14 Carn na Drochaide                  2,685ft

15 Sgor Mor                                   2,667ft                         16 Meall a’ Bhuachaille                2,657ft

17 Meallach Mhor                        2,522ft

The Cairngorms are unsurpassed for variety of hill scenery. At their summits are big arctic like plateaus, often windswept, together with high corries and crags. Lower down there are lochs, pine trees, wild glens, heather and moorland.  To reach the high summits distances are long and the weather can change quickly so care needs to be taken.

In my view the best walks in the Cairngorms start at the Linn of Dee, towards the east side near Braemar, and to experience the full glory of the Cairngorms I recommend a two day walk from the Linn of Dee with a night in Corrour bothy between Cairn Toul and Ben MacDui.

1. The Highest Cairngorms

Cairn Toul            4,236 ft

Ben Macdui          4,296 ft

Carn a’ Mhaim     3,402 ft

25 Miles. 7,000 ft climbing. Start. Linn of Dee

Linn of Dee
Linn of Dee

The Cairngorms are unsurpassed for variety of hill scenery. At their summits are big arctic like plateaus, often windswept, together with high corries and crags. Lower down there are lochs, pine trees, wild glens, heather and moorland.  To reach the high summits distances are long and the weather can change quickly so care needs to be taken.

In my view the best walks in the Cairngorms start at the Linn of Dee, towards the east side near Braemar, and to experience the full glory of the Cairngorms I recommend a two day walk from the Linn of Dee with a night in Corrour bothy between Cairn Toul and Ben MacDui.

Ben Macdui from Creag Bhalg
Ben Macdui from Creag Bhalg

From Corrour Bothy a good path heads west to the col between Devil’s Point and Cairn Toul and, with a short diversion, the Devil’s Point can be added. Now climb north for over two kilometres and 1,300ft to Cairn Toul. By now you will probably have had enough, but it is possible to go out and back to Angel’s Peak, extending the day by about one hour. From Cairn Toul return to Corrour Bothy.

After a good night’s sleep, hopefully, you return to the main path leading north through the Lairig Ghru Pass. After walking for nearly two kilometres, turn right up the hillside, near the Allt Clach nan Taillear, to reach the col between Carn a’ Mhaim and Ben MacDui. From the col climb 1,500ft north east to a bealach south east of the summit. A short walk north west takes you to the summit of Ben MacDui, the second highest summit in Britain and Ireland.

Ben Macdui across the Lairig Ghru
Ben Macdui across the Lairig Ghru. Credit "Get Lost Mountaineering"

Queen Victoria climbed Ben MacDui in 1859 and then wrote ‘It had a sublime and solemn effect, so wild, so solitary – no one but ourselves and our little party there…..I had a little whisky and water, as the people declared pure water would be too chilling.’ Ben MacDui is well known because of rumours concerning the grey man. Those who have seen ‘the big grey man’ claim it resembles a broken spectre or a Yeti.

From the summit retrace your steps back to the col between Ben MacDui and Carn a’ Mhaim, then follow the ridge as it climbs south to the summit of Carn a’ Mhaim. From here descend south east over a small top (1,014m) to join the path back to Derry Lodge where it meets the Luibeg Burn. It is an easy walk back to the Linn of Dee from here.