Cairngorm and Beinn Mheadhoin
particularly looked forward to my first journey up Cairngorm
in the summer months. Prior to this expedition I had only seen
it with a light covering of snow, with hordes of people with
silly hats queueing to go down a single ski run. (I am one of
those people but without the silly hat.)
development work for the new funicular has really created an
eyesore.... so hopefully in a few years when it's completed
it will prove worth while. Cairngorm Chairlift Company may even
charge a reasonable ticket rate, we may get a great dump of
snow this season..... and pigs may well take to the skies.
Mheadhoin, is an excellent addition to a trip up Cairngorm, although
my Gaelic pronunciation gaffe gave my hillwalking in-laws much
amusement. To avoid social exclusion the pronunciation is "Ben
Vane", how that comes from Mheadhoin is a miracle of science.
This route goes down to Loch Avon (pronounced "Ann") which is
one of the most beautiful lochs I've enjoyed, mostly due to the
clear water, beaches and the solitude.
obvious start point for this walk is the ski area car park
Given all the building work going on at the minute I'd recommend
using the excellent network of paths running up Coire an
Sneachda to avoid the general mellie.
the carpark follow the path SW then south leading up to
Coire an Sneachda. Once approximately 2 km from the carpark
(GR987046) head East up to the Fiacall ridge. (The alternative
is to simply pick your way through the ghostly ski tows
to get to the same place.)
on the ridge it is a straight forward SE along the steep
rocky track. Then at the crest of the ridge head 500m East
to attain the summit of Cairngorm (1245m, GR005040).
the summit of Cairngorm follow the steep track SSE down
Coire Raibert to the Loch Avon. The track gets a bit sketchy
in places but it does lead to the west end of the loch,
where a beach provides the ideal spot to enjoy the solitude
and the clear water.
the head of Loch Avon follow the track towards Loch Etchachan,
then head East to the awesome granite tors that run along
the ridge. The highest of these tors forms the summit of
Beinn Mheadhoin (1182m, GR025017).
the summit head NNE to the outlet of Loch Avon, where it's
a "socks and boots off job" to get across the water. Once
across the burn, head west to the saddle (GR018034), then
follow the track NW to the col between Cairngorm and Cnap
Coire na Spreidhhe.
this col it's a straight forward yomp NW down through the
ski area to get back to the car park.
summit was crawling with people... and this was without the
chairlift running! Beinn Mheadhoin and Loch Avon really made
this a fantastic walk by offering a flavour of the wilderness
available in the Cairngorms.
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