Ideal conditions in Glenshee with a bit of skiing thrown in.

Valley view from the col.
Valley view from the col.

Change of plan took me up towards Glenshee and some Mountaineering in the Cairnwell hills (Munros Completed : The Cairnwell (25), Carn Aosda (26), Carn a’Gheoidh (27)).

Change of Plan.

After yesterdays long walk, the fatigue & snow conditions meant that I would not be able to do the 2-day planned Ben Avon trip. The walk-in was even longer so I decided on an alternative. Looking at the map I noticed that the Cairnwell was close & I remembered this from a previous trip where I had dismissed it because it was blighted by the ski tows. However, then it was out of ski season without a covering of snow. I arrived at the Glenshee car park mid-morning on a bright, sunny day & again not a breath of wind. With the snow and the skiers around the walk didn’t now appear to be such of a blighted area & it is only the beginning and ends of the route that are near the ski lifts. What made such a difference though was the snow conditions – firm & crisp underfoot, this was so easier to walk upon!


The first part of the route takes you up the ski slopes to Carn Aosda & then down from here across to Carn a’ Gheoidh and then back and across to the Cairnwell . The whole walk took 4 ¼ hrs in total & was one of the best days out in the Scottish mountains I had. I spent the night camped in a small layby just off the road below the Glenshee ski centre. I awoke to a cloudy sky but the base was high so it did look as if it would clear up. Amazingly for the 4th day running there wasn’t even a breeze. After cereal and melting snow for a cup of tea I packed up and drove just up the road to the ski centre just after 8:30 am. to spend a morning skiing before returning to the airport. By 11:00 the cloud had completely disappeared leaving brilliant sunshine against a blue sky. The South facing slopes were a marked improvement once the sun had acted upon them and there was one very enjoyable run, but mostly they were fairly tricky icy slopes.