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Guided Walking Holidays in the Cairngorms

 

Loch Morlich and the Cairngorms in May...click on image to enlarge Coire an Lochain from the ski road in June...click on image to enlarge
Cairngorm Northern Corries Coire an Lochain Cairngorms

The Cairngorm Mountain Range

Scotland's Cairngorm mountain range lies within the Cairngorms National Park and stretches more than 50 miles with over 200 square miles of land over 2000 ft. There are almost 50 peaks over 3000 feet and several others rising over 4000 feet high. The range contains four of Scotland’s highest mountains, Ben MacDui (1309 m), Braeriach (1296 m), Cairntoul (1291 m) and Cairngorm itself which is 1245 metres high (4084 feet). The Cairngorm plateau when not covered in snow is vast featureless rocky desert scoured by winds far in excess of 100 miles per hour and sub zero temperatures for weeks on end in the winter months. It is a unique example in this country of a sub-arctic ecosystem (not the place to get lost on a misty day).

Three of Scotland’s best hill passes go through here leading to semi-permanent snow fields which can persist into the summer months and some throughout the year as well as the remnants of the ancient natural Caledonian Forest and glacial features carved out during the last Ice Age.
The Gaelic name for the Cairngorms is Am Monadh Ruadh (the red hills) due to the pink granite on the plateau. However, the name Cairngorm means blue mountain as the peak apparently looks blue from a distance.

The mountain range is a Mecca for outdoor activities such as skiing, ice & rock climbing, hillwalking, mountain-biking, kayaking, and some of the more relaxing activities such as pony trekking, golf, fishing and shooting. The ski resort village of Aviemore has plenty of hotels, pubs and restaurants!


Lairig Ghru and the passes of the Cairngorm Massif

Reindeer on the Cairngorm plateau at 4,000 feet altitude...click on image to enlarge Rare alpine flora in the Cairngorm plateau...click on image to enlarge
Reindeer on the Plateau Cairngorm's Arctic / Alpine Flora

Seven Day Itinerary: Through the Arctic Alpine Plateaux go three of Scotland's finest ancient hill passes used by Highlanders for centuries, a land of Mystery and Legend. From the ancient Caledonian forest, summer snowfields supplying the great salmon rivers to trees of gold, grey men and fairy lochans.

Our guided walks explore the inner recesses of the Cairngorms over the five days in the company of a highly qualified local guide(s) and naturalist. We will be based at Loch Morlich Youth Hostel, mountain shelters and one night in the Braemar Youth Hostel. The week involves backpacking with sleeping bags and provisions, though weight is kept to a minimum by using existing shelters or open bivy's and carrying only one days supply of food!

As with any mountain walking the itinerary is somewhat weather and group fitness dependant but could consist of:

  • Day 1: Arrive at hostel the evening before.

  • Day 2: Introductory talk and walk into the Northern Corries/Cairngorm. Buying trek supplies in Aviemore later.

  • Day 3: Start of trek through Lairg Ghru or over Cairngorm with overnight stay in mountain shelter such as Corour or one of the Shelterstone caves.

  • Day 4: Continue trek into to Braemar with overnight stay at Hostel and restocking of supplies.

  • Day 5: Return journey to Glenmore via Glen Derry and Lairig an Laoigh or the Lairig Ghru if the more strenuous Shelterstone route taken at start with overnight stay in mountain bothy or open bivy.

  • Day 6: Continue trek back to Glenmore Hostel.

  • Day 7: Depart Hostel the following morning.

Grading intermediate with up to 10-15 miles rough mountain walking and 600-900 m ascent.

Cost including food and accommodation for the seven days is £545

Weekend Lairig Ghru Trek:

Lairig Ghru from Aviemore side

Lairig Ghru from Braemar side

TV presenter Nick Crane see Blog

Two day guided walk through the Lairig Ghru Pass from Aviemore to Braemar. Includes two nights self catering mountain refuge and hostel accommodation as well as return transport back to Aviemore.

Cost: £140 per person (min 4 clients)

Lairg Ghru Taxi Service:

Return journey from Aviemore or Braemar from £25 per person (min 4 clients)


Cairngorm Munros & Scotch on Ice

Summer snow filled gully in the heart of the Cairngorms...click on image to enlarge

Itinerary: Over the five days we explore and climb some of the UK’s highest mountains (there are almost 50 peaks over 3000ft in the Cairngorm range alone). The range contains four of Scotland’s highest mountains, Ben MacDui (1309 m), Braeriach (1296 m), Cairntoul (1291 m) and Cairngorm itself which is 1245 metres high (4084 feet) all of which we will endeavour to climb.

On the “Scotch on Ice” we will in addition to the above travel west to climb Ben Nevis (1344 m) the highest peak in the UK.

As with any guided mountain walking the itinerary is somewhat weather and group fitness dependant but could consist of:

  • Day 1: Arrive at hostel or B&B the evening before.

  • Day 2: Climb Ben MacDui via Fiacaill ridge.

  • Day 3: Climb Braeriach by Sron na Lairige.

  • Day 4: Rest or easy day…walk into the Northern Corries/Cairngorm!

  • Day 5:.Climb Ben Mheadhoin or Bynack Mor

  • Day 6:  Another Cairngorm peak or climb Ben Nevis by the Carn Mor Dearg arete.

  • Day 7: Depart Hostel the following morning.

Grading  strenuous with up to 20 plus miles rough mountain walking and 1500 plus m ascent.

Cost including food and accommodation for the seven days is £545


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Updated  22/11/2008