Aviemore might not be the most attractive town in which to spend a weekend but it is does come with a good choice of accommodation and places to eat out, it’s easy to reach by the A9 and it provides convenient access to the Cairngorm mountains and to large areas of the Caledonian forest. After a break last year, Adventure Out and Scotland Groups returned for our meet at the start of winter.
Early November had turned cold and there had been some significant falls of snow on the mountains, the forecast was not particularly promising, however not to be deterred, nine of us set off from the Cairngorm ski centre car park to walk over the Cairngorm Northern Corries. Our route took us in the direction of Ben Macdui to ‘Point 1083’ (a summit with no name on the map, so it’s named after its altitude, in metres). From here on we headed to Lochan Buidhe (the yellow lochan) in very poor visibility, fortunately the weather was improving and we were starting to get some glimpses of the surrounding mountains. We continued to the top of the Goat Track between the peaks of Cairn Lochan and Stob Coire an t-Sneachda where we had some spectacular views of the cliffs of Coire an t-Sneachda (Corrie of the Snow) and the Fiacaill (literally 'teeth'). We continued onto Cairm Gorm to our highest point of the day and Chris’ first Munro (but he had been just five minutes from the summit of one of the remotest Munros in Scotland in the Fisherfield Forest earlier in the year). Our descent took us quickly to the Ptarmigan restaurant at the top of the Cairngorm funicular railway (it was just closing so we didn’t go in) and down ‘Windy Ridge’ back to the car park.
We had an excellent evening meal and refreshments in The Winking Owl, a great place to eat out in Aviemore and on Sunday walked up the nearby Corbett of Meall a’Bhuachaille. The rain was getting quite heavy as we descended but the Bothy at Ryvoan provided welcome shelter for a lunch break. We returned to the cars through the lovely Glenmore pine forest.
Thanks to Tim for organising and guiding the walks.