Macdui, Mheadhoin and Cairngorm loop

Skill level
Challenging - For experienced walkers only
Grade 2

The Cairngorm plateau is one of the top draws for the hillwalker in Scotland. Home to a unique landscape with big, hulking mountains in unforgiving terrain. The plateau is vast and the mountains widespread. It can take several trips to the area to visit every summit and in poor visibility your navigation, stamina and endurance will be tested.

Beinn Mheadhoin is one of this hills that's stuck out on it's own with no apparent easy or straightforward route in and out. It's a hill full of character, in a huge space and needs a decent amount of effort to get to it. It's a great hill to tick off with it's granite torrs and the views of Loch Avon and Loch Etchachan, the highest significant body of water in the UK at over 900m high up in the Cairngorms.

This is a long, challenging day, 23 km with 1,600m of ascent will take a fit hillwalker up to ten hours to get round. The views and the rewards though, are outstanding. The photograph accompanying this text shows Beinn Mheadhoin across the Loch Avon basin from near Hell's Lum Crag and should give an idea of the vastness. Our route takes us out there and back with Ben Macdui and Cairngorm added in for good measure.

Meet at 0800 in Coire Cas car park in front of the Ski Centre. We'll decide on our exact route once we know what the weather is doing on the day. There are several options.

If staying the night before, or after, a variety of accommodation options are available in Aviemore, including Hostels, B&B and Hotels.

Buses and trains are frequent as it is on the main routes to Inverness from the Central Belt.

8 - 10 hours
23 km
Group size
Start time
Start location
Coire Cas car park in front of the Cairngorm Ski Centre