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Cairn Gorm & Beinn Mheadhoin
Quick Facts
This is the summed total of all the climbing within a route and is a good indicator of the strenuousness of a route.
Total Ascent
1841 m

An estimate of the time taken based on a derivation of Naismiths rules. Our calculation is based on the horizontal and ascent components of a climb, we do not make a reduction for descent.

Registered users can customise these walking times by specifying their own walking and ascending speeds. They can also add a fixed time period for stoppages.

Route Time
7 hrs
The horizontal distance of the route.
Route Distance
18.42 km

The UK is covered by 204 Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50,000 scale maps. Maps numbered 1 to 86 cover Scotland but for the highest mountains (Munros) only 23 maps are required. The name given roughly describes the area covered by the map.

You can click on the map name to purchase the map for £6.29 including postage which is one of the cheapest prices we have found.

OS Landranger Maps Required
  36   Grantown & Aviemore, Cairngorm Mountains
Only £6.29  (£13.49 Laminated) from  

A brief summary of this route.

Our summary will always contain one of easy, moderate or hard to indicate the severity of the route.

Moderate route but with steep descent from Coire Raibeirt to Loch Avon. This is an interesting climb covering a variety of terrain and offering excellent views.

Here we provide the nearest town to the start of the route where you will find basic services.

We then give directions from that location to the route start. Your approach route may differ.

 Travel Information

Head to: Aviemore

From Aviemore (B9152) follow the signs for Coylumbridge W on B970. From Coylumbridge take the road for Glemore Forest Park and the Gairngorm Ski Centre. This road takes you along the shores of Loch Morlich. Continue on the ski road to the upper car park where it terminates.

Route Waypoint Map

The total ascent is 1,841 metres. Allow 7 hours to complete this 18.42 km route.

The hillphones service can inform you of stalking activities in the area.

Usually the shortest way to climb the mountain, making best use of tracks and paths to gain altitude. Route navigation requires map reading skills and an ability to navigate with a compass.

The information given here will enable you to annotate your map and plan your route. We do not give anecdotal descriptions on where to find the paths, worn by the feet of previous mountaineers.

Where the access routes are few or the ridge is narrow, paths are generally obvious. On open ground, following paths without using your compass may get you lost in poor visibility.

 Route Information
Waypoint Detail
  Start from the Ski Centre Car park
  NH98940609 Distance
626 m
Follow vehicle track SSW through ski tows into Coire Cas
NH99520497 Distance
1.53 km
830 m
Ascend S onto Fiacaill a' Choire Chais ridge
NH99670427 Distance
0.72 km
1010 m
Ascend SE to plateau, turning E to reach the summit of Cairn Gorm
NJ00560407 Distance
1.15 km
1245 m
Bear SSW into Coire Raibeirt to join path
NJ00420299 Distance
1.13 km
1005 m
Descend steeply SSE to Loch Avon
NJ00960219 Distance
1.05 km
730 m
Follow path WSW towards Shelter Stone Crag and cross river
NJ00240162 Distance
1.14 km
735 m
Continue SE on path
NJ00800126 Distance
0.73 km
900 m
Leave path and ascend E to shoulder of Stacan Dubha
NJ01270131 Distance
0.49 km
989 m
Ascend ENE to Beinn Mheadhoin and scramble to top of summit tor
NJ02470170 Distance
1.28 km
1182 m
Reverse route to return but remain on path to bypass Cairn Gorm summit to the W
  NH98940609 Distance
9.21 km
626 m

A selection of weather forecasts local to this route.

Cairngorms * Monadhliath
by MWIS (PDF format)
East Highlands
by Met Office
Beinn Mheadhoin
by Metcheck
Images of Cairn Gorm & Beinn Mheadhoin
Route Area Map
Legend  Munro  Corbett  Graham  English/Welsh Top  Accommodation

A selection of local accommodation options who advertise with Munromagic.com.

 Where to Stay
We currently have no
sponsored accommodation listings for this area.

Rating & Reviews

 Rating & Reviews
 from 5 votes
Click Stars to Vote
Your Rating
Written by Ian Munro on 26 Jul 2009:
Wonderful route through the heart of the Cairngorm wilderness. Remember that from the summit of Beinn Mheadhoin, you have almost exactly the same amount of ascent and descent to get back to your car! Be prepared to cross the Feith Buidhe in bare feet. We crossed on a dry day in July and there was no way of crossing with dry boots unless you worked your way a few hundered metres upstream (and uphill). Loch Etchachan has the feeling of a remote mystical crossroads. This was one of the finest days I have had in the hills and it really killed the myth that the Cairngorms are not interesting.
Written by M. Forbes on 21 Jun 2008:
This is a great route with amazing views. Loch Avon is simply amazing as you climb down the waterfall onto its shores. One thing you could have mentioned is that there is a restaurant on the way up (where the monorail is) and you can stop for a nice warm cup of tea/coffee before the hours of walking ahead.
Written by Peter Lang on 14 Jul 2005:
I included this in a circuit from glenmore lodge via Bynack More and over declassified munro (A'choinneach) before descending to outflow Loch Avon and easy ascent up initially grassy/stony slope giving way to stony ridge direct to Beinn Mheadhoin tors. Views superb all day especially into heart of cairngorms and shelter stone crags. Good descent past loch etchachan to shores Loch Avon ang good steep climb on good rocky steps to cairngorm plateau and eventual summit. descent via track to Coire Cas car park and previously stored bike for 10 min 1000ft descent to start point. Took 10 hours.
Written by Johannes Freund on 08 Oct 2003:
Done this tour with slight differences. Descend into Coire Domhain instead of Coire Raibeirt, including some mild scrambling. From Beinn Mheadhoin continue NNE to descend steeply to the northern shore of Loch Avon. Climbing Cairn Gorm from the saddle towards Cnap Coire na Spreidhe helps avoiding the ugly main top. You can even avoid going back to the skiing centre: follow the pass above Coire na Ciste (not on OS-map) to lower parking place. Walk back to the Loch Morlich area (if you've energy left) on the W-side of the road. Don’t try to find the path along the Allt na Ciste!
Written by William Bower on 19 Sep 2003:
Did this route mid Sept 03. The bowl at the head of Loch Avon really lives upto its name as the centre of the Cairngorms with very impressive scenery. Bit daunted about 400 M return climb up Coire Raibert but turned out to be a good scramble up the RHS of the burn. So much so had enough energy to visit minor top South of Cairngorm and Cairngorm summit itself.
Disclaimer. The details provided above are an aid to planning an expedition, but all distances, altitudes and bearings must be considered approximate. You must navigate with the appropriate map, a compass, your navigation skills and common sense, MunroMagic.com accept no responsibility for your interpretation of our route information.
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