Bynack More: Solo Peak In The Cairngorms
While perhaps not being the most popular hike in the area, Bynack More is a spectacular viewpoint with vistas of the rest of the Cairngorm mountains to the south, and over all of Moray to the north.
The mountain displays its real character from the north where it forms a cone-like shape, unique because it’s dissimilar to the majority of rounded, dome-shaped mountains in the Cairngorms.
It’s somewhat separated from the rest of the range making it difficult to climb Bynack More as a combination with a few more peaks. The vast majority of ascents are straight up and back down the same way.
- Bynack More – 1090 metres (3576 ft) – pronounced BINACK-MORE
Take the B970 through Aviemore and follow the road towards the ski centre. Take a left turning straight after Loch Morlich following signs for Glenmore Lodge. This single track road will continue for about a mile before you reach the impressive Lodge to the right. Straight after there’s a layby to the left where you can park up. The walking track continues past the green gate ahead.
You can find the exact starting point on Google Maps.
Bynack more is undoubtedly in the ‘easy’ bracket of Munro hikes.
The walk towards the summit is a steady ascent with one or two short and steep sections. The only real challenge is the final steep climb up to the cairn. Here you should watch your footing because the final stretch is rocky and uneven.
Duration & Length
Duration: 5 – 7 hours
Length: 12.2 miles (19.6 km)
Where To Stay
There are plenty of options in the nearby area.
- Rothiemurchus Camp and Caravan Park is a good budget option.
- Macdonald Aviemore Hotel if you’re willing to splash out a little more.
After leaving your car slightly beyond Glenmore Lodge, the start of the hike is quite self-explanatory. Follow the clear and wide track which initially winds its way through a beautiful Scots Pine forest.
After a short while another track will join from the right, continue straight until you reach the first worthwhile stopping point.
On your right-hand side, at the foot of Creag Nan Gall, is a beautiful and quaint An Lochan Uaine. It’s well worth a stop and maybe even a picnic on a nice day.
Straight after this gem, the proper wilderness walking begins. You’ll reach a fork in the track with a sign signalling right to Braemar and left to Nethybridge. There’s also a smaller placard underneath warning hikers of the environment they’re about to enter.
This is especially important during the winter when the Cairngorms is known for having conditions akin to those in the Arctic.
The track is initially quite flat and steady making for some pleasant country walking when the conditions are decent.
You’ll pass Loch a’ Gharbh-choire to the left and cross over the river Allt a’ Gharbh-choire.
After about a mile on the same track, you’ll reach a bridge crossing over the River Nethy which continues south down the valley. There are footpaths either side of the river but you want to continue over the bridge and east towards Bynack More.
This is the beginning of the steady ascent towards the day’s peak. Looking directly south you get brilliant views down Strath Nethy, straddled by the northern slopes of Cairn Gorm.
As the contour lines closen and you make your way along the moorland, it becomes strikingly obvious why so many walkers lose their way here in the winter.
The vastness, especially to the east beyond An Lurg, is apparent and snow drifts would make navigation a nightmare.
As the climbing abates and the terrain flattens out again, you’re met with another fork. You take a right here where the summit of Bynack More sits a comfortable distance ahead.
Believe it or not, you’ve actually climbed about 450 metres (1500 feet) since the little Lochan. The final 1000 feet or so lie ahead.
From here it’s a relatively simple task of hiking up the northern ridge of the Munro. The path winds its way up the slopes slightly below the rocks above.
If you so wish you can head up to the rocks to get a better view while hiking but it’s very exposed. I’d recommend sticking to the path, especially if it’s wet or windy.
The summit offers excellent views all around, especially over Moray to the northeast.
Looking south is the extent of the Cairngorm national park and plethora of Munros at your disposal.
The easiest and best route back is retracing your steps. I’m not normally a fan of this but Bynack More is one of the few Munros where there isn’t much option.
While Bynack More is maybe not the most inspiring walk, the views from its summit certainly make the ascent worthwhile. A bonus is, in the right conditions, it’s a peak you can take youngsters up.
If you plan on doing lots of hiking in the Cairngorms then I’d maybe recommend you use Bynack More as a sort of ‘taster’ of things to come. It’s also good for beginner hikers.
As always, thanks a lot for reading and please leave any questions or ideas in the comments box below. 🙂