Carn Mor

Carn Mor from Scalan

Hillwalking route up Carn Mor in the Ladder Hills

Starting and possibly finishing at different points, this linear route discovers some interesting past lives and histories while bagging a heather-clad Carn Mor, north-east of the Lecht Ski Centre.

Route outline


Carn Mor

Ascent 450m (1470ft)
Distance 6km (4m)
Time 2:15hr
Start Scalan
Grid Ref : NJ274201
Finish Lecht Mine
Grid Ref : NJ234152
easy hard
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ok fab

The line of the Ladder Hills travel from the Lecht north-eastwards above Glenlivet, with Carn Mor being the highest point on this range. With Carn Mor's summit being just over 150m above the Lecht Ski Centre, most people will head up the hill from there, but this is a rather tedious hike over featureless terrain.

This route which starts from The Scalan in Glenlivet and heads over Carn Mor and the high ground of the Ladder Hills to The Lecht add interest with visiting some interesting remnants past lives and histories.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to Scalan

The Scalan below Carn Mor

North-east of Tomintoul, the B9008 travels over moorland and through Glen Livet toward Bridge of Avon in Speyside. On this road, 7km north-east of Tomintoul, Auchnarrow is reached, where a narrow road heads south-east to the Braes of Glenlivet where Braeval Whisky distillery hides near the end of the road.

There is a turning circle by the end of the public road, but also a sign pointing the way up a rough potholed track to a parking area.

There is room for around 10 vehiles in the parking area, where there is a large information board provided by the Crown Estate.

2. Carn Mor

View from a grouse-butt, looking to Ben Rinnes

From the car-park, follow the track as it contunes south-east around a plantation (much of which has been devastated by storms) and over farmland towards the old College of Scalan . Well worth having a nebb around, this was not only a farming community up until the early 2000's but was also where a secret seminary stood where Catholic priests were trained in the 1700's.

At the back of The Scalan, a dilapidated gate stands under some trees - head over this gate and follow a fence and some old draining systems uphill. The fence meets with another fence crossing its path - through a gate, turn left and follow the fence for around 500m north-east until you meet with a line of grouse-butts heading up Carn Mor's north-west face.

A faint path can be traced connecting these butts, above which pathless heathery ground is climbed for a further 100m or so. The ground levels and a small lochan is met, ahead is the final push up Carn Mor with a path to follow.

On Carn Mor's summit a lonely trig point stands exposed to the elements.

Approaching Carn Mor's summit

3. Lecht Mine and alternatives

Lecht Mine

From Carn Mor, follow a worn footpath travelling south-westwards along its crest. After around 1km, there's a slight rise up to a minor top, Monadh an t-Sluich Leith , followed by a drop to a shallow bealach where options present themselves.

Keeping south-west and picking up a line of fence-posts will end up at the Lecht Ski Centre.

Aiming due east will lead down into Coire Buidhe, where a faint path can be picked up and followed above the west bank of a burn to Lecht Mine .

Alternatively, turning north-west will travel along more high ground to then drop to the Clash of Scalan , where a signposted route leads back via Wester Scalan to The Scalan and return to the car-park.

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