Summer 2023

A circuit of the five tops of the Cairngorms – 24th May 2023

Taking in the ‘Five tops of the Cairngorms’ – the summits that are all over 4000ft – that connect together as a great circuit, split by the great Lairig Ghru. These are Braeriach, Sgor an Lochain Uaine (Angel’s Peak), Cairn Toul, Ben Macdui and Cairngorm. The plan was to do this in a counter-clockwise direction with an overnight camp planned at the Corrour bothy.

Having started at the Sugar Bowl and gained access through the Chalamain Gap, we now have the great view looking through the Lairig Ghru. The slopes of Ben Macdui are in the far distance up on the left. Our route to the start of our first summit of Braeriach takes the long ridge of Sron na Lairig on the right.

Quite a bit of cloud for most of our summits…! Here we are at the summit of Braeriach.

A break in the cloud gave us this view looking down towards Lochain Uaine as we traversed between Sgor an Lochain Uaine and Cairn Toul.

Heading down to the Corrour bothy at the south end of the Lairig Ghru, a welcome sight after a big day!

Quite a few tent parties were arriving at the bothy, 15 arrived eventually. As the cloud cleared it was great to look up at the journey for the next day, of Ben Macdui above the Tailor’s burn.

Inside the bothy was quite cosy… Enough space for 5 folk to sleep, but enough space for some to cook at a time and chat with strangers arriving from all corners, most were heading north back to Aviemore for the next day.

Heading up the flanks to the side of the Tailor’s burn the next day, Cairn Toul in the background.

Looking back where we’d come from, the white dot of the bothy in its area of green is just visible…

Arriving at the summit of Ben Macdui, with a cheerful snow bunting singing away to accompany us.

Arriving on Cairngorm: the sun finally came out to give us the views of all the summit we had climbed and link our journey between them. Well done guys!


Great to be back climbing at Diabaig – 19th April 2023

Diabaig is a fantastic set of crags, found heading west beyond Torridon. Need to get used to the combination of friction and crack-climbing on this wonderful gneiss rock. Great views looking out towards the north of Skye and on towards the Hebrides.