Carn a Mhaim sits at the end of a long sharp ridge connected to Ben Macduiís southern face via a high col. The entire length of the ridge overlooks the Lairig Ghru to the west and is extremely steep and craggy on this side. This craggy nature of ridge is a rarity in the rounded Cairngorms and definitely gives the Munro a good bit of character. The south east face of Carn a Mhaim is bluntly terminated at a set of crags known as Coire na Poite. The SW face has much gentler slopes and is a common route of ascent from Glen Luibeg.
Carn a Mhaim is often combined with Ben Macdui and Derry Cairngorm (both to the north) to make a long but extremely rewarding day on the Munros. Linn of Dee in the south is a common starting point. Much of the walk in can be cut down by cycling the land rover tracks.