Three Munro’s West of Glenshee

The Cairnwell


Area: Pitlochry to Braemar and Blairgowrie

Munros: Carn a’Gheoidh, Carn Aosda, The Cairnwell

Date walked: 28/10/2009

Time taken: 1 hour 55 minutes

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 638m


The Route



Three Munro’s West of Glenshee. The Glenshee Ski centre sits just off the A93 14km South of Braemar at a height above sea level of almost 650m. A large number of Munro’s in the Southern Cairngorms can be accessed from this high pass. On this occasion I chose to walk the 3 Munro’s to the West of the A93. The start point is at the Ski centre and there is a relatively short climb to the first Munro.

The Walk

I haven’t walked any Munro’s for a couple of weeks due to a sore right knee and since it appears to be improving I decided to test it out today on an easy group of three Munro’s near Glenshee. This group of Munro’s is probably one of the easiest groups to complete with a high start point, relatively low Munro summits and easy terrain in between.

So with an early start driving up from Dunfermline I was outside the Glenshee Ski Centre, kitted out and ready to go by 08:05. It was raining at the Ski Centre and the Munro tops were in cloud so it looked like another fogged in day on the hills for yours truly. I was hoping the sun would burst through but, although it threatened to make an appearance, it never really appeared.

The walk is pretty straight forward. There is a path heading North West behind the Ski Centre which goes all the way to the first Munro, Carn Aosda, meandering its way past the cafe and then up under the ski tow climbing 300m over a distance of about 1km. As I got Close to the summit I left  the track and climbed directly up the last 30m. The summit was in the clag and there were no views to be seen.

I quickly headed South West from the summit following the well-trodden path as its contours round to the South over about 1km to a spot height on the map at 795m. I now left the main path and struck out across the heather heading South for about 400m to the spot height of 808 on the map passing Loch Vrotachan on the way. It’s now a 2.5km jog pretty much South West on easy terrain to the second Munro, Carn a Geoidh.

There are some great views down Greag Choire when the weather permits, but I may as well have been inside a Bothy as the thick mist was like looking at 4 walls. Carn a Geoidh summit has a super large shelter cairn so if the weather was bad it would be a good refuge. Thankfully I did not need its services today and quickly returned along the path heading towards the final Munro, The Cairnwell.

I simply retraced my steps for 2.5km and then headed South East up to the spot height at 873, across the Bealach re-joining the path for the final 70m ascent up to The Cairnwell summit. The summit is surrounded by buildings which make up the weather centre I believe. Now I retrace my steps 70m back to the Bealach and then descent past the ski tow all the way back to the Ski Centre. It’s steep at the top but easy going underfoot.

There is a path of sorts but it was wet and the heather broke up if you descended on it. Therefore I just decided to bound down the heather. Lower down it was easy to traverse across and finish behind the Ski Centre getting back to the car at 10:02

It doesn’t get much easier than that to bag 3 Munro’s.


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