Trans-Cairngorm Challenge (Apr 2015)

Sunday 5th April 2015

The Challenge

DMC members were set a challenge by the “challenge master” (aka Niall Wallace) to get from the Ciste Car Park ( NN 997 074) to The Saddle ( NO 018 033) via their chosen mountain sports discipline (hill walking, fell running, ski touring and mountain biking)

It was a great excuse to get out onto the mountains (if one was needed) on this amazingly sunny and clear day.

Skiers, Jon and Simon a nd Hikers, Allan, Berenice and Andrew all reached the saddle while Runner Justyna’s closest point was at the summit of Cairngorm
1.4Km from the Saddle and MTB’er Niall got to a point on the path beside Loch
A’an, approximately 500m from the Saddle

Times to those points

Justyna: 1h 27m

Simon: 1h 34m

Jon: 1h 55m

Allan, Berenice and Andrew: 2h 1m

Niall: 3h 11m

Outbound race trace is here for the next month:

On the return journey:

Niall is disqualified for taking motorised transport up the
ski road from the Sugar Bowl car park, disqualification occurred after 2hrs 51m

Everyone else completed the route

Simon completed the return in 1hr 28m

Jon in 1h 47m

the Hiking group of Allan, Berenice and Andrew in 2h 13m

And Justyna got hopelessly lost in Glenmore and added an
extra 5 Km to her route and completed the return in 4hrs 33m

The return journey traces are here:

The full routes are here:

So there we have it, on Easter Sunday 2015 the best way between the Ciste Car Park and the Saddle and back was to walk up the hills and descend on Ski’s. With Jon’s skinning and skiing proving to be next best followed by hillwaking. Fell Running and MTBing proved to be unsuitable largely due to Snow conditions.

Congratulations to Simon who has provided some detail on his decision making:

” As there was not much snow in Coire na Ciste I decided to carry my
skis up path on the east side  with the hillwalkers.  The descent to
the Saddle is an impressive slope which I hadn’t skied before but I had
inspected it on the OS map and google earth beforehand and there were some
tracks to follow.  Arriving at the saddle there was no sign of Justyna or
Niall but the others soon arrived and we enjoyed lunch in warm sunshine.  Then on with skins on for reascending to Cairngorm – the snow surface was soft but improved with altitude.



Heading down the ciste I followed the tows on the west side till the snow ran out leaving a 15 minute walk to the carpark. Thanks to Niall for organising this, which gave some interesting comparisons between our different modes of transport.”

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