Carn a Mhaim, Ben Macdui, Loch Etchachan and Glen Derry
Updated: Feb 10
This ride climbs the eastern gate post of the Lairig Ghru from the south to Ben Macdui, the UK's second highest mountain. With fittingly long flowing descent back to the valley through Glen Derry. As you ascend the ridge line more of the Braeriach Massif comes into view - Devil's Peak, Carntoul and Braeriach itself. The last push to the top affords a view over the northern Cairngorms and Moray.
I did this on a blue bird day in January which made it great for scenery and icy wildness. But not so good for riding, with much of the trail under water-ice or hard pack snow. I found myself humming good King Wensleslas as I traced the steps of a cramponed climber across one snow field.
The descent down past the Loch Echtachan, the Hutinchinson Memorial Hut and the Derry Glen is a corker. Watch those water bars!