Lairig Ghru

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Lairig Ghru

(Coylumbridge, Rothiemurchus, or Sugar Bowl car park to Linn of Dee)


Distance:  30km/19miles, 660m ascent

Walk Duration: 11hrs
Spaces: Maximum 10, minimum 3.
Notes: Extremely Strenuous.  Hillwalking gear required. Packed lunches and snacks required.

Maps: Landranger 36 & 43, Explorer 403 & 387

Scotways Route 181

This is an iconic high level long distance route almost entirely in the wilderness.  Lairig is Gaelic for 'a pass between hills'.  It is not to be underestimated as despite not climbing any mountains the high point is nearly 840m above sea level, and passes the source of the River Dee.  It passes through the scenic and very remote gorge only 470m below the tops of Ben MacDui and Braeriach two of the three highest mountains in the UK.  It makes for a long single day walk but can easily be done as an overnight expedition camping out.  It can also be combined with the Inverey to Dalmunzie route to form a 3 day 2 night or even 4 day 3 night expedition.  The choice of start locations allows either of the forest starts or more interestingly the traverse of the Chalamain Gap, itself over 700m asl, formed as a glacial melt channel.  This walk can be taken in either direction.  Very good 3 season or preferably 4 season boots are essential as the path is very rough in places with lots of water and snow which can lie well into and through the summer.  You will need full hill-walking gear.  This is not a route for the faint hearted as there are no escape options other than to return to the start. 


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Lairig Ghru looking north towards Pools of Dee from the summit of Devil's Point Looking back towards Carn a Mhaim and Devil's Point. Lairig Ghru and Corrour Bothy towards the south, from Cairn Toul
Cairn Toul, Angel's Peak (Sgorr an Lochan Uaine) and Braeriach towering above the pass.