Coire an t-Sneachda.

Start. Cairn Gorm Ski Centre.

Route. Ski Centre - Allt Coire an t-Sneachda (burn) - Coire an t-Sneachda - Coire an Lochain - Ski Centre.

Notes. Coire an t-Sneachda is one of the easiest high mountain corrie's to reach in the British Isles, we used the Cairngorm Ski Centre as a step onto the high mountain. A superbly constructed path leads into the corrie making this a popular place to visit, just in case it was busy we decided to extend our walk west into Coire an Lochain not so popular and not so easy access.

From the right hand corner of the car park an obvious path leaves the Ski Centre, we followed this path south as it swung round into the corrie, within minutes we'd left the crowds behind to enjoy a walk through a high mountain wilderness, stunning views over the Rothiemurchus Forest opened up behind us, an easy ascent followed before entering the high corrie. After a short break accompanied by the thunder of falling rocks reverberating around the corrie walls (a rather eerie sound) we re-traced our steps to gain access to a faint path leading into the next corrie.

This not so frequented path carried us over boggy ground alive with bright coloured mosses, we disturbed a family of Ptarmigans hidden by the heather. A short climb saw us cross the mouth of Coire an Lochain to reach our descent path. The past mile or so had been spent watching where we put our feet, when we turned round the views from this side of the corrie's blew us away, the Rothiemurchus Forest and Loch Morlich far below, Loch Garton and the Abernethy Forest over Meall a' Bhuachaille with the Spey Valley stretching out of sight to the north-east, this wonderful view accompanied us almost all the way back.

view route map.


Setting off from the Ski Centre does have it's disadvantages, the're certainly not the prettiest of places, especially in summer, lots of people visit them to admire the views us hill walkers strive so hard to find, never fear less than five minutes along that path the mountain wilderness awaits.

Entering the wide mouth of the corrie, looking down on Loch Morlich with Monadhliath Mountians stretched across the horizon.

From the walk into Coire an t-Sneachda views to Coire an Lochain.

Further up the path with views to Loch Morlich, to the right the ridge leading from Craiggowrie to Meall a' Bhuachaille.

Fording the Allt Coire an t-Sneachda Burn.

Coire an t-Sneachda with deep snow still laying in the gullies, it's the 29th day of June, they tell me it was still possible to ski on Cairn Gorm one week ago.

Sue strides into the corrie.

The corrie's home to a couple of small Lochans, while we sat having a brew, the sound of falling rocks echoing around the corrie walls was quite unnerving, just letting us know we were visitors in this fragile environment.

Sue's having a sense of humour failure, she needs to cross the burn, short legs and summer boots, not a good combination in the Scottish mountains.

After fording the burn (with dry feet) we were honoured with a show of wonderful coloured mosses.

Loch Morlich from the path to Coire an Lochain, with the Monadhliath Mountians blue/grey on the horizon.

The formidable Coire an Lochain.

Looking to Meall a' Bhuachaille, we hope to make that ascent later in the week.

The Ptarmigan Restaurant seen over Fiacaill a' Choire Chais.

Between the steep slopes of Creag nan Gall and Meall a' Bhuachaille the Pass of Ryvoan with views to Abernethy.

Views across the Cairngorm landscape, the path across the slopes of Fiacaill a' Choire Chais guided us in earlier today, the ridge behind belongs to Cnap Coire na Spreidhe, the Ski Centre is well hidden between the two.

The massive cliffs of Coire an Lochain.

Finally a view to Cairn Gorm mountain.

Dark against a bright sky, Meall a' Bhuachaille, with stunning views over Strathspey through the Ryvoan Pass.

Corrie's visited earlier in the day, makes a change from hills visited earlier in the day, on the left Coire an t-Sneachda, the right over the stoney slopes of Fiacaill Coire an t-Sneachda, Coire an Lochain.

Allt Coire an t-Sneachda, this is the fourth time we've forded this burn today.

I felt I had to include this picture, I was laying on my stomach trying to avoid getting road signs in the shot, Coire an t-Sneachda and Coire an Lochain taken from the Glenmore Visitors Centre.

back to top

back to list