Glenshee Ski Centre - Carn Aosda - The Cairnwell

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This walk takes in the summits of The Cairnwell and Carn Aosda, two of the most accessible Munros in Scotland. It can be extended to include a small loch and a third Munro. In clear weather, the summits offer wide-ranging views, including the Grampians and the Cairngorms.

The route starts at Glenshee Ski Centre and follows tracks up through the ski area to reach the stone cairn on top of Carn Aosda ('hill of age'). A track descends from the summit to the Cairnwell - Carn Aosda col, which lies between Loch Vrotachan and the Carn Aosda Hut. Many parties will have time to visit the loch if they wish.

Walkers wishing to add a third Munro to their tally can detour to Carn a 'Gheoidh, which lies about three kilometres to the west. Unlike its companions, this mountain is free of the paraphernalia of ski developments and telecommunications equipment. You may hear the distinctive call of the ptarmigan or catch sight of red grouse.

From the Cairnwell - Carn Aosda col, follow the normal ascent of The Cairnwell along the north-west ridge. The track runs beside snow fences, before passing the head of the Cairnwell Chairlift about 200 metres from the summit. The Cairnwell takes its name from a Gaelic phrase meaning 'hill of bags'. This is a reference to its shape. A large stone cairn and a hut mark the summit. In recent years, telecommunications equipment has made a not entirely welcome appearance.

After reaching the summit, the route between the penultimate two waypoints makes a fairly steeply descending traverse across a convex slope to reach the A93 south of the ski centre. (Although it is only about 750 metres to the road, less experienced walkers in adverse conditions may find it more straightforward to retrace their steps from The Cairnwell to Waymark 6 and descend to the ski centre along the path via the Carn Aosda Hut).

In winter, Glenshee offers the largest ski lift system in the United Kingdom; with about forty kilometres of pisted runs spread over three valleys and four mountains. Despite their proximity to the road, neither mountain should be underestimated in bad conditions. Braemar Mountain Rescue Team have attended incidents involving missing walkers on Carn Aosda and missing skiers in Glenshee. However, this should not detract from their enjoyment on good days.

Scotland - Northeast Scotland - Perth and Kinross - Glenshee


Birds, Cafe, Great Views, Mountains, Munro, Toilets
12/17/2003 - David Randman

I've just come across this walk here after spending my whole summer climbing the mountains in this area. I would agree with the route suggested here, it's a great walk with some fantastic views, but I would certainly advise going onto Carn a'Gheoidh to see a mountain unnaffected by the ski industry. I was also reliably informed that Aosda is pronounced 'oosh' and Gheoidh pronounced 'yowee'. Definitely sounds more exciting now! And I should also point out that it is Munro not monro (named after Sir Hugh Munro)