Cairn Gorm

(Carn Gorm, Cairngorm)

Cairngorm at Dusk
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Cairngorm at Dusk

Giving its name to the Cairngorm Mountains, the highest mass in the Grampians, Cairn Gorm rises to height of 1245m (4084 feet) on the border between Highland and Moray Council Areas. It qualifies as a Munro.

The granite peaks of the Cairngorms, created over 400 million years ago, have eroded to their present rounded tops which support a Sub-Arctic Alpine flora and fauna. During the 1960s the north facing corries of Coire na Ciste and Coire Cas were developed as ski pistes and a chair lift was installed. In 2001 an all-season funicular railway was established to take tourists and skiers to the summit of Cairn Gorm.

The mountain also gives its name to a smoky brown form of quartz, valued as a semi-precious stone. The largest known single crystal of Cairngorm weighs 23.6 kg (52 lb) and is displayed at Braemar Castle. Cairn Gorm has also yielded spectacular specimens of beryl and topaz.

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