A Great Day out in the Cairngorms - October 2009
Last October half-term 14 group members made a near perfect trip to Aviemore at the southern end of the Cairngorm plateau. We travelled by train at an extremely advantageous fare courtesy of a special offer by National Express East Coast.
Our accommodation in the SHYA hostel in Aviemore village was comfortable and very convenient. Local bus services took us to the start points of our walks on days one and three and returned us to the village from the end points of the walks. The weather throughout was bright and dry if not always sunny. We had three wonderful walking days but for brevity I will give an account only of the first.
The day was so gloriously sunny we decided to tackle the hardest of the three projected walks - an ascent of Cairn Gorm mountain via the northern corries. We started from the car park of the ski lift and followed a beautiful route which took us almost immediately away from all the rather ugly paraphernalia of the ski resort.
The climb was fairly gentle at first but became steeper as made our way up and around the westernmost of the corries on the southern edge of the plateau. We had lunch in bright sunshine at Cairn Lochan on the very rim of Corrie an Lochain looking down on Glenmore and Loch Morlich. So far so good.
We pressed on with some sizable ascents and descents along the edge of the northern corries towards the peak of Cairn Gorm. At 1245 m. it isn’t the highest of the mountains in this area but especially by this route is one of the most pleasing. The last short but steep climb to the summit taxed already aching muscles.
After taking our celebratory group photo we made our descent by the direct route down the ridges of the ski slopes to the day lodge. Our rather tired but happy group of eleven members on the climb were relieved to be able to sit on the bus for the ride down Glenmore back to Aviemore and the comforts of the hostel.