You can ‘Munro bag’ at any time of year, as long as you have the right equipment and knowledge, but October is a particularly good time for this increasingly popular pursuit. “With the Autumn light, the magnificent changing colours and the sound of the red deer stags roaring, October can be a wonderful time for walking,” says James Orpwood, of James Orpwood Mountaineering.
To inspire you to head for the hills this month we’ve picked 15 more of our favourite Cairngorms Munros out of the 50+ in the National Park (for our first round-up, see Six of the Bests Munros To Climb in the Cairngorms).
But, while October can be glorious, weather can also change quickly and snow is not uncommon so ensure you are well prepared.
This is the 3rd highest Munro in the Park, the fourth highest in the whole of Scotland and it’s the second highest point in the western massif of the Cairngorms.
Cairn Toul is not an easy or short walk, but well worth the rewards. From the Linn of Dee, it’s about a 20 mile round trip, and nearly as far from Glen Feshie, across some of the hardest-to-navigate plateau in Britain.
“It’s the best for a feeling of remoteness and accomplishment, after the famous Cairngorms ‘long walk in'”says James.
Ensure your navigation skills are up to scratch, or get a guide.
This is one of the best options for a short day. This Munro, known for its crags and long drops, is no easy option either, but Sgor Gaoith is one of the more accessible Munros in the Cairngorms. “Yet it still gives the incredible feelings of space and wildness associated with the Cairngorms,” says James. “The views down into Glen Einich and across to Braeriach are incredible.”
This spectacular Munro is the second highest in the Park, the third highest mountain in the UK and is famous for its craggy corries and awesome views down to the Lairig Ghru.
“It’s the best for snow hunters! The corries here are home to some of Scotland’s most persistent snowfields,” says James. Wrap up warm!
The most easterly Cairngorms Munro in the Park, this dome-shaped summit is a good one for beginners. “It can be walked or biked into through the beautiful Glen Tanar, but is more easily accessible from the Angus side,” says Garry Cormack, lead guide at Hillgoers.
A firm favourite with guides, you can start this walk from the Linn O’Dee. “You get excellent views to all of the surrounding hills, especially over to the hills west of the Lairig Ghru,” says Garry at Hillgoers. He adds that, from the top, if you like a challenge, you can continue and complete a trio, including Ben Macdui and Derry Cairngorm.
A highlight of this Munro is it takes in stunning Loch Etchachan. “This could easily be included in a day’s walk, either from the northern side or from the shorter southern approach,” says operations coordinator, Wilderness Scotland, Alasdair Fowler.
One of the most popular Munros in the Blair Atholl area, Beinn Dearg is famous for its pink granite dome-like summit. While the ascent is relatively easy, what makes this walk challenging is its long approach. You can reduce the time it takes, however, by cycling to its base.
This mountain is easily accessed via a good track from Newtonmore and is great for a quick hit of wilderness. The ease of access, though, hides the solace and remoteness you experience once you reach the top and look north across the Monadhliath.
“You can quickly experience remoteness here. If getting away from the crowds is what you are looking for, then you can do a lot worse than visiting the hills in this Monadhliath area,” says Alastair at Wilderness Scotland.
As Alasdair explains, A’ Chailleach can be climbed on its own, as an out and back, for a quick hit of wilderness. Alternatively you can combine it with the neighbouring Munros of Carn Dearg and Carn Sgulain. “Don’t be surprised to come across herds of red deer up here, and if you are lucky you may even catch a glimpse of the Golden Eagles that make the remote Monadhliath their home,” he adds.
Only up-graded to Munro status in 1997, this is often seen as the smaller brother to Cairn Toul but it is a fine peak in its own right. As Wilderness Scotland’s Alasdair explains, it can be approached from several routes but the “most exciting” is the “mountaineers route” which is accessed by heading up the Lairig Ghru, from the Northern Side (you could access it from Deeside, but this would make a long day even longer) past the pools of Dee. This route takes you up the very steep slope towards the lochan that gives it its name, Lochan Uaine.
“Sitting high above the Lairig Ghru, it provides great views, despite feeling like you have discovered a lost and secretive world. It is a great place for a rest, and even a dip on the loch on a hot day, before the final and most exciting part of the ascent of the mountain; Angel’s Ridge, which will leave you with memories you’ll never forget!” says Alasdair. Angel’s Ridge is an easy, but sometimes a little airy, scramble leading from the lochan straight up to the summit.
“Geal Charn is a relatively low hill, surrounded by big neighbours, but it offers all you want in terms of wilderness. Not a building in sight, and the sense of stillness is profound,” says Chantal Savelkoul, adventure consultant at Wilderness Scotland.
The view from the top affords 360 views from the Cairngorms in the east, all the way to the mountains on the west coast.
A remote Munro often without clear paths, this challenging walk in the heart of the Cairngorms is best suited to experienced walkers. “Getting up on the Cairngorm plateau is a goal for many but for anyone doing this Munro, it’s just the start!” says Wilderness Scotland’s Chantal. Its summit is famous for its spectacular granite tors.
A straightforward two-for-one Munro bagging bargain, this peak offers a stunning climb through the beautiful Corrie Fee which takes you up to a vast rolling plateau. From here you can access both Munros easily. Clear tracks back down through the pretty Glendoll forest and a favourite with novice hill runners.
Usually you’d get to this Munro from Glen Doll via the “Jocks Road” path, or from the western side of the plateau. This cone-shaped peak affords spectacular views over Glen Callater to the north and east but its most defining feature is the super steep and craggy north face. To start this walk, you can park just north of Glenshee Ski Centre on the A83.
This Munro is known for its extensive, sprawling plateau which stretches for miles and is peppered with a vast assortment of striking granite volcanic tors. In fact, one of these make up the summit, which to get to necessitates a short, easy scramble. The highest point on the plateau is called “Leabaidh an Dàimh Bhuidhe” which means the bed of the yellow stag and, unusually, is classified as both a Munro and a Marilyn (2,000 feet compared to a Munro’s 3,000 feet).
Enjoy the adventure of climbing these Cairngorms Munros. Let us know how you many you have bagged!