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Meall a'Bhuachaille & Ryvoan Bothy from Glenmore

Cairngorms Walk

Nat Park - Cairngorms - Cairngorm North

County/Area - Highland

Author - Paul Gasson

Length - 5.5 miles / 8.9 km    Ascent - 1650 feet / 500 metres

Time - 4 hours 20 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Ordnance Survey Explorer OL57Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL57Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 36Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 36Digital Map1:50kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Meall a'Bhuachaille & Ryvoan Bothy from Glenmore
Click image to visit gallery of 5 images.

This short, but spectacular, walk on good paths provides an excellent introduction to the area for the first time visitor, affording magnificent views over the Cairngorm National Park in a relatively easy half day. Though the paths are clear, good weather is desirable to make the most of the extensive views.

Park at the Forestry Commission Visitor Centre in Glenmore (GR 977098) and take the steep path just to the left of the Centre through the trees to a fork in the path. Take the left fork and climb easily, following the burn just below the track until the path emerges from the forest to open mountainside. The way ahead is badly eroded and very muddy, particularly after wet weather, and leads upwards, heading for the bealach between Creagan Gorm and our summit, Meal a'Bhuachaille. The bealach is a great spot to catch one's breath, and savour the views across Loch Morlich to the Cairngorm massif. Turn east now and climb the vague west ridge to the summit.

The way on from the summit is not clear, but bear NE across the stony summit plateau for some 200metres when a clear path appears, zig zagging steeply down, due East to Ryvoan Bothy. The descent path gives superb views into the wilderness that occupies so much of the National Park.

The one roomed Ryvoan Bothy was originally a croft dating from the 18th.century, and abandoned in 1877. It was the birthplace of a well known local character, Grigar Ruighe Bhothan, famed for both his physical strength and his capacity for the locally made strong liquor! It is said that the Creag Dhu club carried out some temporary repairs to prevent it from falling into complete disrepair until it was taken over by the Mountain Bothies Association in 1972. It is probably mostly used these days as a brief stop for casual walkers, being only an hour's walk from Glenmore Lodge , the National Sports Centre for Scotland.

A rough track now leads south west from the bothy, soon becoming much better as it passes An Lochan Uaine and continues on to Glenmore Lodge, the premier outdoor pursuits centre in Scotland. The Centre started off life as a Victorian hunting Lodge, but has now been largely rebuilt and greatly extended. During World War 2 it was used as a training base for a company of Norwegian commando's, and there is a memorial nearby to these soldiers.

From Glenmore Lodge a footpath runs parallel to the service road leading directly back to the Visitor Centre, and just before it reaches the centre, passes the Reindeer Centre, testimony to the fact that winter last longer up here than in the rest of Britain. There are refreshments and souvenirs available at the Visitor Centre, as well as picnic tables with good views across Loch Morlich.

Other walks nearby

Walk 2412 Craiggowrie & Creagan Gorm from Loch Morlichmod/hard7.3 miles
Walk 1904 Loch Morlich circular (near Aviemore)easy4.0 miles
Walk 1605 Loch an Eilein & Rothiemurchus Forest from Loch Morlicheasy/mod10.0 miles
Walk 2421 Braeriach via the Chalamain Gaphard15.0 miles
Walk 1881 Ben Macdui & Cairn Lochan from the Ski Centrehard10.4 miles
Walk 2672 Cairngorm Mountain via Coire an t-Sneachdamod/hard6.0 miles
Walk 1390 Cairn Lochan via the Fiacaill Buttress from Ski Centrevery hard5.7 miles
Walk 1276 Loch Avon Circular via Cairn Gorm Mountainhard9.0 miles
Walk 2314 Cairngorm & Ben Macdui from the ski centrehard11.0 miles
Walk 1721 Braeriach via Lairig Ghruhard18.2 miles

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