Route: The ascent of Fiacaill Coire an t-Sneachda is the highlight in this otherwise tame walk
but it does enable you to tick off two of the highest peaks in Scotland.
The Fiacaill Coire an t-Sneachda ridge can be avoided by taking the outward path
further south west to a point west of Cairn Lochan.
Note that it is easy to stray from the path on the plateau between Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui when the mist is down. This is particularly true when there is snow covering the paths, but can also hold true when there is no snow since the cleaner, lighter rocks of the path turn to the same colour as the surrounding rocks when wet. You should have good map reading skills and experience before tackling this plateau walk if there is a danger of mist. A GPS device should suffice, but only as long as you have the battery power.
Care needs to be taken also when leaving the summit of Ben Macdui: the path goes NNE for 300yds first before turning to just west of due north.
Finally, there is a very uncomfortable, roped rocky path constructed down to Ptarmigan restaurant from near the summit of Cairn Gorm. The cairns to the summit are an eyesore and should be removed, especially as this is a national park.
Weather: Cloudy & breezy in the morning, sunny & warm from 2pm.
|0930||Cairn Gorm car park||620||0||0.0 miles||NH98920610|
|1100||Path/ridge S to Fiacaill Coire an t-Sneachda||1105||485||2.0 miles||NH98860327|
|1130||S/SW to T Cairn Lochan||1215||600||2.6 miles||NH98520257|
|1150||SSW/S to Lochan Buidhe||1125||3.6 miles||NH98190104|
|S to M Ben Macdui.||1309||795||5.05 miles||NN98909894|
|Path NE for 300m then N to dip.
(Watch out for the slight rise here.)
|1400||Path N to Lochan Buidhe||1125||795||6.5 miles||NH98320108|
|1425||Fast path NE to bealach.
(There is a
descent N into the corrie from here.)
|1435||ENE to T Stob Coire an t-Sneachda||1176||875||7.95 miles||NH99620298|
|ENE/NE/N to Fiacaill a'Choire Chais||1141||915||8.65 miles||NH99920399|
|E to M Cairn Gorm||1245||1035||9.1 miles||NJ00580404|
|1620||Path N/NW/W back to car park||620||1035||11.0 miles||NH98920610|