The Cairnwell has got to be the Munro with the easiest access (particularly if you take the chair lift!), sitting with its summit just under 1000’ above the huge car park at the Glenshee Ski Centre.
We didn’t take the chair-lift, but made our way steeply up firstly a track and then off-piste under a very old and rusty looking drag-lift…
… up onto the ridge (where we met some wholly inappropriately dressed people) before popping out on the summit just 45 minutes after having parked Colin.
There’s a nice view off the south end of the summit:
Although the top itself isn’t overly appealing:
From there it was an easy walk, via Carn nan Sac to Carn a Gheoidh where seven of us, plus a dog squeezed into the little summit shelter for lunch. It was a lovely warm day out of the wind, so we were all grateful for that windbreak.
It was there that we met the chap who had run past us a short while earlier. He’s currently running 40-45 mile days and today had 8 Munros on his agenda, although he did concede that he may cut short as he was a bit tired from the previous three ‘heavy days’. I don’t think you’d get me out of bed for a week if I tried just one his days!
It was also there in the shelter that disappointment hit. I had got away with the substitution of chocolate bars in place of the usual cake for pudding, but then Mick asked for the flask of tea and I had to confess that I hadn’t made one :-(
This was a bit of an ‘out and back, out and back’ sort of a walk, so we retraced our steps from Carn a Gheoidh, back towards the ski centre and up to our final hill of the day, Carn Aosda – another Munro that you can access via a chair-lift, albeit only in winter.
With the assistance of gravity, we were back down in the car park 20 minutes after leaving the summit (no, we didn’t run – it really isn’t very far) and here I sit now, taking advantage of the 3G signal at the top of the pass.
If you don’t mind walking through an out-of-season ski resort, and don’t mind a few bits of ski-resort equipment littering the hills, it’s a good and easy day out. Moreover today, as the weather was kind to us, without a single shower and with easy underfoot conditions.
I’ve no idea yet what the stats for the day worked out as (I’ll add them later), as I accidentally stopped the Garmin Gadget a couple of hours into the outing.