|Ben Macdui from
|Estimated net time||4-6 hours|
|Difficulty||No difficulties, but navigation in the summit area can be difficult when visibility is poor.|
|Drinking water||A couple of stable sources of running water in the first part of the route.|
|Parking||Room for many cars at the ski-centre's car park.|
|Start height||625 metres|
|Vertical metres||785 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||16.1 km|
From Aviemore village centre drive south on road B9152, a little more than 600 metres from the Cairngorm Hotel, to the round about. In the round about turn left onto road B970, signed for Coylumbridge and Cairngorms. Drive all the way up to the ski-centre's big car park. Find parking here.
From the car park turn right a few tens of metres before the ski-centre buildings and cross the stream on a bridge. After having crossed the stream turn right and follow the wide path that runs south on the rounded ridge. This path can be followed south all the way to Ben Macdui's summit, which is marked by a large cairn.
Descend by reversing the ascent route.
22. May 2010
Saturday and day three of this year's long week-end in Scotland. Most of the other guys decided to travel to Aberdeen to enjoy some city life, so it was only Hans Erik, Håvard and me left in Aviemore. And since Håvard had been wanting to hike Ben Macdui ever since we abandoned this mountain during our Cairn Gorm hike two years ago, today's agenda was a given. Also Hans Erik was happy to spend a Saturday hiking the second highest mountain in the UK.
After breakfast we packed our gear and drove across to the large car park by Cairngorm ski-centre, and after agreeing on what equipment we needed to bring we were on our way. Hans Erik didn't have any proper boots, only running shoes, which was likely to be an issue across the snow, so we brought a couple of plastic bags to be used as "water proofs" if required.
The hike up the gentle slopes to Ben Macdui can be classified as "long, easy and a bit boring", but in good company I had no reason to complain, and really enjoyed another day out. Before we got to the snow we stopped for a short pause, and Hans Erik put on his plastic bags, as a water proof layer between his socks and running shoes. He complained a little about the slippery surface inside his shoes, but in general it worked fine and he managed to keep the wet snow away from his socks.
After approximately 3 km across snow we arrived at the summit around the same time as a number of other hikers. We chatted with some of them, and one of the guys was an interesting contrast to Hans Erik's running shoes and plastic bags; he was fully equipped with all the winter gear. I'm not surprised if he thought of us as first time hikers and true amateurs.
During our descent we met two skiers on their way to Ben Macdui. I ran across to them to see what kind of skiing equipment they were using, and got a major surprise when I saw one of them were using Åsnes wooden skis. The skis must have been from the 1970s, and I couldn't help commenting to the skier that Åsnes was now making very nice mountain skis. He said he had been to Norway a few months earlier and had looked at the new Åsnes skis, but clearly hadn't got around to renew his equipment. I wished him enjoyable skiing and continued my own descent.
Back at the car we drove back to Aviemore, and found ourselves a nice place in the bar, where we ended up having a number of pints before we decided to get a shower and some clean clothes.