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The Black Pinnacle


A mountaineering journey into the heart of Scotlands wilderness. On this experience we trek long miles through the UK's most spectacular glacial valley to wild camp at the foot of Scotlands third highest mountain. Waking the next morning to climb an intricate route hidden in the intimidating buttress above.


Route Length 



Max Ratio



Experience Grade

Hard- Grade 4 Scramble


Approach Length (Approximate) 

5.5 hr


Total Trip Length



Meeting location 



Experience Duration 

2 days



Very strong summer hillwalking experience. Some previous experience of scrambling at Grade 2 or above. 


Is it for me? 

Leaving the cars behind and after briefly passing through some woodland, we begin to gain height gently on the shallow lower slopes of the mountains, ahead of us is the famous Lairig Ghru, a mighty glacial pass carved arrow straight through the Cairngorm mountain plateau. Shortly after passing through the famous Chalamain Gap we enter the jaws of this massive valley on our long, long approach on the afternoon of our first day. Eventually we pass into An Garbh Choire, contender for the wildest and most impressive corrie in Scotland. This is our wild-campsite for the night. The massive geological feature of An Garbh Choire, with its four hanging corries serving as backdrop for an evening of well earned rest.


The route itself offers a linking of mountaineering grade slabs, buttresses and airy aretes in a wild and remote setting. The ingenious line takes us through some commiting terrain, bypassing a massive pinnicle before leading us, via a spectacular finish, directly to the summit of Braeriach, the UK's third highest mountain. From the top of the route, views from the plateau include excellent views of Northern Cairngorm Munros, such as, Cairn Toul and Ben Macdui, and of course the complex corrie system you have just escaped. 


The return from here is long miles still, however most of it is on good paths and with gravity assisting us. Plenty of time to reflect on your experience, one that is bound to stay with you for years to come. 


Mountains included in route 

Braeriach 1296m

Sron na Lairige 1184m


Additional information 

This is a two day expedition to a remote venue. Camping equipment is not provided. You may climb several routes during this experience.

Multi-day experiences typically start at 8am on day one and finish at 6pm on day two. Please note that very remote crags or long routes require the experience to start earlier and finish later than this. You will be guided on the routes by an independently qualified, fully insured and competent Rock Climbing and Mountaineering Instructor. The instructor will choose routes based on your experience, fitness and preferences and will aways try to give you several options. All climbing equipment required for the route and instruction on its use is included. Clients may use their own equipment following an inspection by the Instructor. Clients must ensure they bring appropriate clothing and equipment as listed on our kit list page. In case of dangerous weather conditions an alternative activity or a full refund will be offered. Please read our Terms and Conditions for further information.

The Black Pinnacle

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