Ben Madcui (1309m) is the highest mountain within the Cairngorm National Park, and the second highest in the United Kingdom. Among the Scottish hills and walks it is well known as a difficult, long and sought after ‘tick’ due to the remoteness and for it’s phenomenal views offered to those who reach its summit. With Loch Avon to the east and the Lairig Ghru to the west, both at the foot of the mountain after dropping away steeply, it is an eerie, rugged and rock-strewn landscape where some even report sightings of the ‘Am Fear Liath Mor’ – The Grey Man of Ben Madcui. He is reported to be similar to the Himalayan Yeti and American Bigfoot. One thing is for sure, you don’t want to find out for yourself in winter!
From Ben Macdui’s summit, we will make our way across the arctic-like Cairngorm plateau to reach our second Munro of the day – Cairn Gorm (1245m). A local herd of reindeer live on the plateau here and they are the only roaming ones found in the UK. The Cairngorm National Park is also home to the gem known as ‘Smoky Quartz’, so keep those eyes peeled. From the top of Cairn Gorm we can see the famous northern corries, where some of Scotland’s finest climbers have honed their skills, and the town of Aviemore, a favourite for Victorian royalty and the gem hunters alike.