Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Cairn Gorm is a mountain in the Scottish Highlands overlooking Strath Spey and the town of Aviemore. At at elevation of 1244 metres (4081 ft) it is one of the ten highest summits in the United Kingdom. It has given its name to the whole range of summits of which it forms a part, though properly these hills are known as Am Monadh Ruadh (the Red Hills) rather than the Cairngorms. Although Cairn Gorm is the most prominent of the Cairngorm mountains in the view from Speyside it is not the highest, that honour falling to Ben Macdui.
Much of the north-western slopes of the mountain are given over to downhill skiing developments concentrated in Coire Cas. As well as ski tows and bulldozed tracks this corrie is also now home to a controversial funicular railway.
The next corrie south of Coire Cas, Coire an t-Sneachda, is separated from the skiing area by a ridge known as Fiacaill a'Choire Chais. The southern side of Cairn Gorm over looks the remote loch known as Loch Avon , which is generally regarded as the very heart of the Cairngorms.
The easiest route to the summit is simply to follow the ski tows up the centre of Coire Cas, however this route is unpleasantly scarred and for obvious reasons is not recommended as an ascent route during the skiing season. The ridge of Sron an Aonaich lying to the northeast of the skiing area avoids these problems. Alternatively, Fiacaill a'Choire Chais offers a good scrambling route (though most difficulties can be avoided).
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