Cycling The Cairn O'Mount


The Cairn O'Mount, at 1473 ft, is the highest point of the B974 road which climbs over the eastern edge of the Cairngorms between Fettercairn and Banchory.

From the south the climb is a formidable 2 mile long category 3 road climb with an average gradient of 9.8%. Look out for it in the final stage of the 2021 Tour of Britain and see how the pros cope with it.

It features in a few of the local sportives and charity bike rides held through out the year so there is no excuse for not getting this one ticked off from your bucket list.


Cairn O'Mount - Vital Statistics

Overall Distance: 2.07 miles

Climbing Distance: 2.07 miles

Descent Distance: 0.0 miles

Flat: 0.0 miles

Total Ascent: 1049 ft

Longest Ascent: 2.07 miles

Longest Descent: 0.0 miles

Highest Point: 1473 ft at 2.07 miles

Total Descent: 0 ft

Steepest Ascent: 18.6% at 1.8 miles

Steepest Descent: N/A

Ave Gradient: 9.8%

Cairn O'Mount Route Description

The Cairn O'Mount climb on the B974 starts at junction with the Auchenblae road, a few metres from the Clatterin Brig Tea Room.

There is no gentle introduction to this hill. From the junction, you pass a road sign warning of the impending 16% gradient - it should infact show 18%. Then you pass through the snow gates, reminding you that you are entering wild country. There is no tree cover, the landscape is barren with only the ruined shell of a house near the road side to distract you from your efforts. The initial kick eases into a sustained 12% for the next half mile before easing back further to a relatively modest 8% for just under a mile. Use this section to recover before you the hit the successive increases in incline round the tight bends, and then give a final push to pass the car park and reach the cairn.

Route map for Cairn O'Mount (from Clatterin Brig) by Cycle Grampian on


The Cairn O'Mount Profile



Facilities near The Cairn O'Mount

  Free parking in Fettercairn, Banchory and Auchenblae.

Toilets in Fettercairn and Banchory.

Cafe at Clatterin Brig, and in Banchory.

Nearest shops, bars etc in Fettercairn and Banchory.

Mobile phone signal good all over.

Nearest cycle repair shops are in Banchory.

Getting to the Cairn O'Mount

Although the Cairn O'Mount is in the heart rural Aberdeenshire it is still relatively easy to get to.

From the South

From the A90 (the main road from the south towards Aberdeen) take the turn off for Fettercairn. Go under the Royal Arch, into The Square, and follow the signs for Clatterin Brig and Cairn O'Mount.

From the North

From Banchory, turn at the traffic lights onto the B974 and cross the River Dee. Continue for 3 miles to Strachan where turn left signposted Fettercairn. This takes you over the easier north side of the Cairn.

From the East

From Stonehaven head for Auchenblae, either on the A90 or the quiter less direct Glenfarquhar Rd. In Auchenblae take the Glen Road, passing the Drumtochty MTB trails to join the climb at Clatterin Brig.

Other Classic Climbs to Try

Suie (North)

Distance: 1.3 miles   Ascent:560ft
Gradient; 8.4%Ave  22.5%Max

Suie by Stanley Howe
📷 Stanley Howe (cc-by-sa/2.0)

On the Suie road from Clatt the climb starts just after the junction with the Leslie road. A steady start, a steep ramp, and a long sustained push.

Cycle the Suie...


Queen's View

Distance: 3.25 miles   Ascent:930ft
Gradient; 2.7%Ave  7.2%Max

Queens View Tarland
📷 © Alan Reid (cc-by-sa/2.0)

On the B9119 the climb starts as you exit Tarland. A kick to start, a recovery flat then 2.5 miles of sustained climbing with stunning views back down the hill.

Cycle the Queen's View...