Walk 3218 - printer friendly version
Eag a' Chait gap Via Rothiemurchus Lodge from Glenmore Walk
Author - Andy Smith
Length - 8.2 miles / 13.3 km
Ascent - 1150 feet / 348 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference NH976098
Lat 57.167578 + Long -3.6949619
Postcode PH22 1QY (approx. location only)
This great half day walk takes in a short ravine and includes sections of the mighty Rothiemurchus & Glenmore Forests along with a walk along the southern shores of Loch Morlich (Walk 1904 includes a full circuit of the loch). Note that the route is straightforward in summer, but in winter months expect sections of the path to be totally covered by heavy snow when compass skills become essential.
After leaving the B970 at Aviemore, follow the ski centre road eastbound passing Loch Morlich to your right. Soon after, turn into Glenmore Visitor Centre on your left (grid ref. NH976098) where parking can be found for a small fee. As an alternative there are lay-bys nearby offering free parking. In peak summertime this area can be busy so an early start would be recommended
Leave the car park and walk along the road towards the Cairngorm crossing the Abhainn river. Take the marked path opposite the parking signed Coire Cas on your left. The path soon leads you away from the road into the forest. After 20 minutes the route crosses another river (grid ref. NH984086). Continue southbound until it reaches the road once again. Cross here with care. The path continues and starts to climb alongside the river Allt Mor. At grid ref. NH984072 cross the river via a large footbridge signed Chalamain Gap.
Once crossed the path climbs very steeply up the gully and onto the edge high above. It is worth noting here that although the lower route is marked on OS maps alongside the river, the path is now closed for good at the footbridge due to neglect and rock fall. At the top the path doubles back on itself as you head south once again. The views behind you are breathtaking covering the huge Glenmore Forest and the Ryvoan Pass. Continue along as the path bends west bringing into views of the northern corries to your left. Take note of the open moorland to your right. Reindeer are a common sight up here.
After a while your objective, Eag a' Chait, can now be seen straight ahead. Now for the slightly tricky bit, once the path drops sharply down steps (grid ref. NH974064), turn right and join the less walked peat track towards the Gap. The path can be hard to locate. This track although well walked is not laid so expect plenty of peat and mud following heavy rain. After a while Eag a' Chait gap is entered. Smaller than its sister, the Chalamain Gap, this is still an interesting place to be with rock formation towering above on both sides. If walking with a partner or group it is worth being quiet as although a rock fall is highly unlikely during your visit it is worth listening for any danger so one can move out the way if necessary. Walking through the gap takes about fifteen minutes.
Once clear the views reward your hard work as just about the whole of Glenmore Forest can be seen, Loch Morlich dominates the view to the north whilst Rothiemurchus Lodge can also be clearly seen. Follow the path downhill through the heather and on towards the lodge. From the lodge follow the access track down into the forest. This can become tedious at times. After some time and passing some interesting hidden pools to your right, the western side of Loch Morlich is finally reached.
Join the path at grid ref. NH956094 signed Loch Morlich Circular. Continue along here crossing back into Rothiemurchus Estate to join the Loch shore. Turn right at grid ref. NH970089 walking though the new plantation. There is a huge network of paths here but by staying left and close to the water is the best option so you can locate the footbridge over the river. Cross the bridge and continue with the river to your right.
At grid ref. NH977094 a path splits off to the left, take this and follow back to the road. Once the road is reached turn left and the visitor centre is 100 metres away. If energy is still found a visit to the Reindeer Centre is worthwhile, if not simply head for the public bar at Glenmore Lodge where you can reflect on a tough but pleasurable few hours in the great forests of the Cairngorm National Park.