An easy ascent of a corbett on the edge of the Cairngorm mountains. Tracks and paths are used for the ascent of the hill and the descent could be by the same route for an easy day out. The circular route described here includes a descent down heather clad slopes over the 599m summit of Creag Ghleannain.
Although a relatively easy walk with minimal route finding required, you should be properly equipped for a hill walk and have appropriate navigation skills to deal with poor weather particularly in winter.
- Distance: 12 km / 7.5 miles
- Ascent: 700m / 2300 feet
- Terrain: Landrover track, heathery hill paths, path-less heather slopes
- Start / finish: Lynwilg near Aviemore, (grid ref NH 881 107). Small amount of parking available on the roadside.
Start the walk using the track up to Altnacriche signed for the Carrbridge by the Burma Road. The first 1km is the access route up to the Altnacriche Centre. Just beyond the turn off for the centre (keep to the right) there is a honesty box with tray bakes ! The track now continues for a further 3.5 – 4km to reach its summit at almost 700m. Although it is a bit of a slog walking up the track, the lower reaches are alongside a wooded glen which makes a contrast to the more desolate heather slopes higher up. Look back from time to time for views across to the high Cairngorms and the Glenfeshie Hills.
At the summit of the road there are a couple of cairns. Go left at the first one on an obvious path in a south west direction toward the summit of Geal-Charn Mor. Heathery at first, the path becomes more stony as it gains height. A fence is crossed at a gate along the way. The summit is crowned with an OS trig pillar and a cairn. Some shelter is available from the wind.
Descend from the summit cairn in a east south easterly direction down heather clad slopes. The fence that you crossed earlier is met again but this time there is no gate so you need to climb it. As you lose height you should cross a rough track at around the 630m contour mark. Aim directly towards the Creag Ghleannain top in front of you. At the coll between the two summits the ground becomes a bit wetter but soon dries up again as you regain the lost height. A small cairn marks the summit.
Leave the summit in a roughly southerly direction picking the best line down the slope through the heather towards the river. Once down into the glen join a path (the same one that you crossed earlier) for the final section of the descent.
Go through a gate, cross a field, and through another gate to reach a surfaced track. Turn left towards the house and keep right at the junction after the steadings. From here it is approximately 2km along the track to reach your start point at Lynwilg.