Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade does not take into account objective hazards (stone fall, seracs, etc) but only the consequences of the skier falling.
Low Exposure (E1): Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.
Medium Exposure (E2): As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.
High Exposure (E3): In case of a fall, death is highly likely.
Extreme Exposure (E4): In case of a fall, the skier faces certain death.
The Cairngorm 4000ers ski tour is a classic loop that takes in the five highest mountains in the Cairngorms: CairnGorm, Ben Macdui, Cairn Toul, Sgor an Lochain Uaine, and Braeriach.
At over 31 kilometres long, the route requires great physical fitness, mountain experience, and determination. Setting off from the Coire Cas car park at Cairngorm, you can either skin to the summit of Cairngorm via Fiacaill a' Choire Chais, or give yourself a head-start by using the ski tows and then skinning the final section to the summit.
From the summit, ski in a south-westerly direction across the plateau towards Ben Macdui.
The plateau has a few small undulations but is easy-going on the whole. Once at the summit of Ben Macdui, ski south-east for a short distance, before skiing down the Allt Clach nan Taillear line which is immediately on the right.
This line has over 700 metres of vertical descent, and in the right conditions, can be one of the best off-piste runs in the Cairngorms. Once in the Lairig Ghru, turn left and ski along the pass in a Southerly direction.
The iconic Devil's Point will be visible ahead, use this as your guide.
Situated between the Devil's Point and Cairn Toul is the Corrour Bothy - an ideal spot to stay if splitting the tour across two days. Skin up Coire Odhar, from which you can access Cairn Toul and Sgor an Lochain Uaine.
Be aware of the large cliffs on your right, which drop down back in to Lairig Ghru.
A long traverse around An Garbh Coire will take you to the summit of Braeriach, the final summit in the tour.
Continuing in a northerly direction, you'll descend down the wide face of Coire Gorm, back into the Lairig Ghru.
Continue straight across the pass and head for the Chalamain Gap, a narrow, steep-sided gorge.
The final few kilometres of the tour involve a traverse across the lower slopes of Coire an t-Sneachda, all the way back to the Cairngorm car park. If considering the Cairngorm 4000ers ski tour, do not underestimate the scale of the challenge.
Much of the route is isolated and weather conditions can be challenging.
With that being said, the route is a fantastic way to take in many of the iconic peaks in the stunning Cairngorm mountain range.