Most people who encounter The Cairnwell and Carn Aosda (yes - inevitably referred to as Cairn Asda), do so during snow, as they form a central part of the Glenshee ski centre. Amongst hillwalkers, these hills have a mixed reputation. On one hand they are not the most shapely of spectacular mountains, they are very easy to climb as they can be reached from the high point on the A93 where the Tay/Dee watershed is breached at the ski centre. Then, once climbed the hills suffer from the detritus of the skiing industry, fences, ski-tows, and such like, while the Cairnwell suffers from the further ignominy of being used as a base for all manner of radio antenna and associated equipment. On the other hand, these hills do provide wide and lovely views of many others mountains. Perhaps more importantly though, given their ease of access, for many walkers these two hills are their very first munros, where new mountain experiences are gained and the infectious love of the hills gained.
I wandered up these hills again on Saturday afternoon, as part of our church men's weekend. Although I've been them before, it was good to be out in the fresh air and to glimpse the mountains again. Significantly for at least three of our group, these were their first hill-climbs in Scotland. Not maybe the greatest hills, but still a good afternoon.