Cairngorm Mountains

Submitted by Owen McCafferty on Wed, 2009-12-16

The Cairngorm Mountain Range is renowned the world over for its beauty as well as for the excellent skiing and snowboarding that can be had there. The Cairngorms are a mountain range in the eastern Highlands of Scotland closely associated with the mountain. The Cairngorms national park is known for its wildlife. The area also features a ancient woodland, one of the last major ones of its kind in the British Isles, known as the Caledonian Forest. Much of the remains of this forest are found within the national park.

The Cairngorms provide a unique alpine semi-tundra moorland habitat, home to many rare plants, birds and animals. Speciality bird species on the plateaux include breeding Ptarmigan, Dotterel, Snow Bunting, Golden Eagle, Ring Ouzel, and Red Grouse, with Snowy Owl, Twite, Purple Sandpiper and Lapland Bunting seen on occasion. In the forests, Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Scottish Crossbill, Parrot Crossbill, Crested Tit are found.

The area surrounding the mountains is gorgeous and well worth taking the time to visit. Mountain Bike hire is available locally (in Aviemore) and there are plenty of signposted walks in the area.

The Cairngorm Recreational area is just 9 miles from Aviemore. At CairnGorm Mountain Skiing, terrain park, snowboarding and sledging are all available subject to conditions. There are over 30km of ski runs and a fully maintained snow board fun park, suitable for all levels from beginner to expert. Cross Country, telemark, ski touring and ski mountaineering are also available from specialist operators. There is a recognised ski school that operates on site and Disability Snowsports UK also offer lessons for those with special needs. The Ski School on 01479 861319 (ski season only) or 07881 988480 at other times.

Check out the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue team’s website and find out how they look after visitors to the area. Disability Snowsports UK offer lessons for those with special needs.

The Cairngorm Mountain Railway (Funicular) offers spectacular sites to the visitor. This is the only Funicular in Scotland and also the highest in the UK. Enjoy the trip up the mountain to the Ptarmigan Station. The Funicular runs daily and the journey takes about six minutes.

Visitors can experience the peace and fresh air of the mountain landscape and combine this with a ride on the mountain railway by considering a Walk and Ride. Use the self guided footpath network to walk up through the ski area on a range of clearly marked trails. Visitors are free to explore the mountain from car park level using the footpath network. Walkers can enter the Top Station during opening hours via the Walker’s Entrance and return to the bottom by train. (Tickets can be purchased in the Shop at the Top). Cairngorm Mountains Ranger Service also available. Fantastic, cold and breathtaking experience.

There is plenty of parking available at base as well as a restaurant and changing rooms/toilets, visitor services and friendly and helpful staff.

Ski lifts are operating continually and detailed weather and ski reports can be heard on local Moray Firth Radio or from the Met Office.

Whatever you do on the Mountain be sure that you are safe and properly clothed. You don’t really want to visit the Ski injury Doctors or have the Cairngorm Mountain Resuce Team (C.M.R.T.). Check weather forecast is provided by Mountain Weather Information Service which covers the Cairngorms National Park and Monaliath mountain range.

Also why not visit the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) reserve at Abernethy Forest and Loch Garten. A famous pair of Ospreys are present in the summer months, and they often attract large crowds to see them. The forest is home to the endangered Capercaillie and endemic Scottish Crossbill.

Red Deer, Roe Deer, Mountain Hare, Pine Marten, Red Squirrel, Wild Cat and Otter are all present, as well as the only herd of Reindeer in the British Isles. They now roam the high Cairngorms, after being re-introduced in the 1950s by a Swedish herdsman. The herd is now stable at around 50 individuals, all born in Scotland.

Image gallery (Click on the image for actual size)

Looking over Loch Morlich to the Cairngorms

Heading up for skiing

Cairngorm Mountain Centre

Contact: CairnGorm Mountain Ltd tel: +44 (0)1479 861261, (01479) 861327 [Ranger Service] fax: +44 (0)1479 861207,

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