The Cairngroms are the largest area of arctic mountain wilderness in the British Isles. With 5 of the highest mountains in Scotland, 55 mountains above 3000 feet and the most harsh weather you will find anywhere in Britain, they are a formidable range of mountains with endless possibilities for you to enjoy an adventure in remote and wild places. The UK’s lowest temperature (-27 centigrade) and highest wind speed (170 mph) were both recorded here, 100 mph winds are commonplace and you can see the remnants of record-breaking snowfalls well into August and September. Arctic winter conditions aside, these mountains are home to Britain’s only herd of reindeer and they are holding onto one of the largest remaining areas of the original Caledonian Forest, rooted 12,500 years back in time at the end the last ice age.
Walking around the western slopes of Cairn Gorm and into Coire an t-Sneachda, you leave the crowds of skiers and snow boarders to discover one of several great winter climbing venues, with classic routes like Fingers Ridge and Aladdin’s Mirror. Ascending Fiacaill Ridge and walking onto the Cairngorm Plateau, you pass above Coire an Lochain, home to great winter routes including The Vent and Savage Slit. Further south, you can discover the remote mountains of Braeriach, Ben Macdui and Cairn Toul, with more superb winter climbing venues at Hell’s Lum, the Shelter Stone Crag and Carn Etchachan. With no public roads across a such a wide expanse of mountain wilderness, the Cairngorms are a wonderful place to really get away from it all.