|Cairn Gorm and Cairn
Lochan from Cairngorm ski centre, CW
|Estimated net time||4-5 hours|
|Drinking water||No access to running water.|
|Parking||Room for many cars at the ski centre's car park.|
|Start height||625 metres|
|Vertical metres||810 metres for the roundtrip|
|Trip distance||11.2 km|
Less than 1 km south of Aviemore centre, at the first round about, take left (east) towards Cairngorm ski resort and drive all the way up to the ski resort's big car park. Find parking here.
Start hiking by walking past the ski resort's main buildings, and immediately turn left towards the hill on your left hand side. Follow the path upwards towards east, gradually turning south. This path will take you to the top of the funicular. From the funicular continue south on a paved path leading up to Cairn Gorm.
From the summit of Cairn Gorm continue west and then south down to 1100- metres, and then up to 1176 metres. From here descend down to 1100+ metres. Note the interesting rock formations on your right. Both of these can be easily visited, giving the possibility for some interesting photos.
Now walk south-west up to Cairn Lochan. From the Cairn Lochan summit continue west before gradually turning north. Follow the path back to the car park at the ski resort.
08. May 2008
My annual May-trip to Scotland this year only had two participants; Håvard and me, and the plan was to focus on mountain hiking as opposed to the usual whisky and golf activities.
I left home in Brattvåg around 06:00 this Thursday, and took the 07:30 flight to Bergen. Here I met Håvard (coming in from Oslo), and we boarded the Widerøe-flight to Aberdeen. From Aberdeen we drove to Aviemore, where we checked in at the Cairngorm hotel. Then a quick visit to the local Tesco to buy water and sandwiches, before heading off for the Cairngorm ski resort.
At 13:00 (UK time) we were ready to start our hike towards Cairn Gorm, only eight hours after leaving home! It was a beautiful day, with little wind and a clear sky, with temperature around 21°C, so the plan to visit Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui was definitely on.
As we got to Cairn Gorm we decided to skip Ben Macdui and instead walk across to Cairn Lochan and complete the lap back down to the car park. In hindsight this was not the best decision we made; the snow and apparent distance to Ben Macdui we later realised would not have caused any problems at all. The positive thing is that I still have the second highest mountain in UK to look forward to for my next visit to the Cairngorm area.
Back at the car park we drove back to the hotel and spent a couple of hours in the sun, accompanied by a few Belhaven's Best. No reason to complain ...