Bynack More, Fords of Avon and Cairngorm
Updated: Feb 10
This is a spectacular and physically demanding route right in to the heart of the Cairngorms. From near Glenmore Lodge the route takes the Ryvoan Pass that splits the hills surrounding Loch Morlich. Then follow the well-made path past the entrance to Strathnethy, and skirt the barren wilderness of the Water of Gaiplich (there be dragons). This low and open area is literally trackless, and slightly intimidating. As the path goes under the Barns of Bynack More, you look back to the high plateau and catch sight of the Fords of Avon.
From the shelter at the Fords of Avon, the path is flat but broken and boggy. The bend in the valley and gentle rise up the moraine hides the loch until the last moment. Then the whole length of the ribbon lake is laid out in front of you.
The path follows the side of the loch (at points I cycled on the shoreline) right to the base of the imposing crags - the Shelterstone and Hells Lum. No matter how many times I looked at the map, the route up the headwall was still following a steep stream with waterfalls in sections. The path finally emerges on the familiar moonscape of the high plateau over looking the Northern Corries, Loch Morlich and the Rothiemurchus forest.
A welcome whizz down through the ski resort means your back at the car in moments.