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 World > Europe > United Kingdom > Scotland > Cairngorm
   Cairngorm -rate- (2/5 - 2 votes)
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Last update : Sep 5th 2010
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    Height : 489 m.
    GR : 4.15
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 General information
GPS coordinates : take off : 57°7'21" (57.1225)N; 3°38'46" (3.6462)W - Elevation : 1111 m.
landing : 57°8'4" (57.1346)N; 3°40'17" (3.6714)W - Elevation : 622 m.
Take off : The plateau is reached easily from the Coire Cas carpark by following the main track up through the main ski runs. A slightly more strenuous, but far more pleasant approach is to follow the path which leads from the car park up the ridge bounding the east side of Coire Cas (Sron an Aonaich). Upon reaching the Ptarmigan Top Station, numerous launch options can be found. Some of the cleanest takeoffs lie just above the Ptarmigan Station, where there are some areas of short grass that are free of rocks and scree.

Those seeking a more tranquil experience may wish to consider walking north east from the Ptarmigan Station for about 1km, across the plateau to Cnap Coire na Spreidhe (1151m ) from where it’s possible to fly into the much quieter Coire na Ciste. Here the plateau drops away quite gently to begin with, but launch sites can be found (considerably easier when covered with firm snow!).
Landing : Bottom landing is possible around either the main Coire Cas carpark, or in the ski centre overflow car park. If landing in the carpark, bear in mind that it has a slight, but deceptive, downhill gradient and very gravely surface.
Going there : Aviemore serves as the gateway to the Northern Cairngroms and is easily accessed from the A9. From Aviemore follow the ski road to the Coire Cas car park.
Comments : The Cairngorms are home to five of the six highest mountains in Scotland and form the highest area of extended mountain plateau in the whole of the British Isles, stretching some 30km from Braemar in the east to Aviemore in the west and 25 km from north to south. Because of the extent and altitude of this mountain range, the climate and vegetation found on the high plateau is semi arctic in nature, weather conditions can change very quickly and the summer season feels very short.

Cairngorm mountain itself is something of a honeypot, with tourists, skiers and climbers drawn to the Cairngorm Mountain Ski Centre and the surrounding corries which have been made easily accessible by the ski centre access road. However, despite the ugliness of the ski complex, at 1245m, the summit of Cairngorm is a great place to take off and the ski runs do make for a relatively easy walk up.

In contrast to Scotland’s other ski centre’s, at the time of writing, it’s unlikely that you’ll be allowed onto the lifts or funicular railway with a paraglider. However, the walk up to the Ski Centre Top Station (Ptarmigan Station) isn’t too bad and there are a range of take off options between the top station and the summit.

It is believed that the Cairngorm Mountain access policy is soon to be reviewed and some hints that pilots may in the future be granted access to the funicular railway have been made - so maybe the situation will improve.
Weather hazards : The Cairngorms are definitely not a place to consider flying on anything other than a calm day and Cairngrom itself is best flown on a very light North Westerly or nil wind forecast.
Flight regulation : Airspace restrictions are unlikely to be an issue for any pilot launching from Cairngorm unless flying as far as Kinloss/ Lossiemouth to the North, or Aberdeen in the East! However it is worth bearing in mind the gliding club operations just to the south at Feshiebridge
People to contact : Highlands Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club
Parking :
Website :
Tourism  : na.
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 Pros on Cairngorm

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 gps logs of flights from Cairngorm

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Take off : 57.1225 N; 3.6462 W
Landing : 57.1346 N; 3.6714 W
10 closest sites to Cairngorm :

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 Leonardo flights [?] - Top ten Leonardo flights at a glance (our advice for a clearer view : view the map fullscreen, without showing tasks).
takeoff : Cairngorm - East Wall (57.1387; -3.64333), 1.81 km from this takeoff
Pilot OLC type OLC distance (km) Open distance (km) Flight duration Date View flight details on Leonardo
Adrian How 29.843 19.018 2:47:35 2016-10-09 View
chris tyson 5.807 3.094 0:54:39 2013-07-07 View
Iain Robertson 5.525 2.308 0:31:31 2013-05-30 View
Warwick Lister-Kaye 4.064 3.224 0:8:37 2016-02-15 View
Iain Robertson 3.581 2.294 0:35:8 2013-09-05 View
Iain Robertson 2.073 1.589 0:8:34 2013-08-13 View
Iain Robertson 1.909 1.416 0:6:7 2013-05-01 View
Iain Robertson 1.442 0.971 0:5:18 2013-06-02 View
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