Cairngorm Resort Reviews
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Visitor reviews for Cairngorm Ski Resort
April 04, 2016
Spike Soton from United Kingdom
Just had a great day skiing on the Thursday of the week after Easter with very small queues, perfect snow on most runs above the mid station and mostly sunny weather.
My only criticism is that the short beginners Poma was running a bit fast for an unmanned beginners lift. My daughter got clouted hard before I could get in a position to fend off the buttons.
Overall: 3.2. Based on 26 votes and 87 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Cairngorm.
Public Transport: 3.8
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Cairngorm, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Cairngorm, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.7
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.9
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Cairngorm.
Ski in/Ski out: 1.9
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Cairngorm, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Cairngorm is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Cairngorm relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 3.5
(1) There are no snow groomers at Cairngorm, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Cairngorm are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Cairngorm is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 2.3
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Cairngorm, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.0
(1) Cairngorm usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 3.5
(1) The staff at Cairngorm are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Cairngorm are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 3.6
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.1
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 3.2
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Cairngorm has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Cairngorm, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 3.1
(1) Not even a kicker at Cairngorm, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Cairngorm, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Cairngorm has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.1
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 3.4
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.9
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 2.8
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 3.2
(1) Overall, Cairngorm is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.0
(1) Overall, Cairngorm is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
February 20, 2013
Jo from United Kingdom
The weather has largely been perfect all week. Blue sky and very little wind. Quite misty today, but still plenty of skiing to be done and most lofts and runs still open. The snow cannons are making a real difference this year.
Like has been sad before; check the forecast, get up early (top car park will probably Be full by 10) or use the bus, use the restaurant outside peak times when the ski schools descend and have a fab time using the great snow sports on offer.
December 11, 2012
Cameron from United Kingdom
Would just like to say that the 2012/13 season is now open!
Was up on the opening weekend with the ski club and it was class. Bluebird conditions genuine powder and well groomed pistes. The new snow cannons are obviously doing their work. Please Cairngorm, work on getting a larger area open as the queues were quite bad (however, this is to be expected with great snow, brilliant weather and being the first weekend of the season).
If going to Cairngorm or any other of Scotland's 5 resorts then make sure to check the weather forecast and the snow conditions to stop you moaning on this site when you turn up out of the blue (or sleet) and don't have miles of alpine powder and sunshine.
Here is hoping that this season continues as it has begun.
May 03, 2012
Chris from United Kingdom
Just a quick note of thanks to all the Staff at Cairngorm.
Went on May day (best snow of the season) and had a nasty accident on my first run: dislocated shoulder and 2 fractures.
I have nothing but praise for all the staff who helped me and my wife, very professional, very quick, very positive. Colin and his staff really could'nt have done more to help, even an offer of gas and air for the pain. Arranged x-rays at Aviemore health centre.
The only down side was when the Doc told me I would'nt be back on the mountain next day. Oh well, not long till next season.
To everyone else go and enjoy the fantastic spring snow.
April 22, 2012
Fraser from United Kingdom
Guys, cut 'Gorm'some slack here! They do their best for the conditions they get. Sure it's not guaranteed but when it's good it's awesome. Here are my tips if you're going up:
Car parks fill up quickly, especially at weekends or during school holidays. Get there a wee bit earlier if you want to be in the Cas (upper car park). Even better, car share with someone else, or take a regular bus from Aviemore (right outside train station).
Take cash for buying your ticket. There's a separate queue and it will make it a lot quicker.
The train getting blocked at tunnel mouths used to be a problem. However, they now have a heated door at the top tunnel entrance, so snow shouldn't lie here now. If there is snow blocking the bottom, then there should be enough to run a lift from the bottom, so take one of these!
The surface lifts take a lot of pressure off the train, allowing it to be used for beginners. You can take either the car park T-bar or Fiacaill ridge poma, and then the M1 poma (takes you to the top station) or the Cas T-bar (takes you to the bottom of traverse, and there are some nice greens and blues here.
The Ciste side of the mountain is good if the west wall poma is open, and this is where the most challenging terrain is, some off-piste too.
Things I would suggest to Cairngorm:
Get updates on earlier in the morning, although this is improving.
Get the Ciste Chairlifts running again! It would allow access directly from the Ciste (lower car park) to the bottom of the top bowl! It opens up a lot more terrain, and by not having chairs in use you are falling behind other ski resorts.
So if you're thinking about a trip up 'Gorm, then check the updates on their website or phone recorded message. When it's good, it's awesome. Some days will have more sketchy weather, and fewer runs but they try their best! Also be sure to check out their mini shred areas, these are great fun!
April 19, 2012
Natalie from United Kingdom
I'm just going to write a review based on a comment I just read regarding the poor season. I save up to buy a season ticket for me and my boyfriend each year, and it is my own risk - Scottish resorts are known to be unreliable weather wise and we have had three great seasons the past few years. It costs a fortune for them to open that place and I feel more sorry for them then for me losing out. I don't expect a refund or deal off my next season pass as they can't control the weather! I bet if they had to give refunds out to all the ignorant people they would go out of business. Over 30cm due this week. It's looking good for the next few weeks they are open and again it's only a small bit but at least they are and have been making the most of what they have had. I love Cairngorm, well done all the people who run it and it's not your fault we've not had snow! Roll on next season when it'll be big and best again!!!
April 07, 2012
Scottish skier from United Kingdom
I would like to point out that Glencoe may have had a competition on March 24 2012 but they were not open for general skiing, in fact there was no March skiing in any Scottish ski resort unless you walked up and skied on the few remaining patches. This was a huge disappointment to the resorts and skiers alike.
April 03, 2012
WH regular from United Kingdom
To another reviewer: Yep, folks have invested in season tickets for years. Did you offer to pay more for the last 2 winters? The season ticket has always been a risk. I have had worse skiing than this winter.
Anyway, just as an FYI people have been skiing on Cairngorm in the last seven days using pretty much the same uplift as offered at Glencoe.
[note from editor: text slightly edited for sake of relevance]
March 24, 2012
C Hodgson from United Kingdom
What a disastrous season, absolutely pathetic, lack of snow, thin narrow rocky runs, wrecked skis compounded by totally misleading videos from the mountain manager (we have the best skiing in Scotland).
The lack of snow is part and parcel, but as a regular investor in a season ticket can I ask what discount we will receive for next season. I think I already know the answer as do all the people that have been charged full day ticket prices for 3/4 runs and sometimes less.
While Cairngorm has been closed for a month now can I point out that there is still skiing at Glencoe. In fact they are holding a race today.
March 06, 2012
Scott from United Kingdom
All these people moaning and groaning about the Gorms should quite simply stop going.
Out of the 5 Scottish resorts this is without a doubt the best resort.
Yes, there are queues at the tows at weekends. Yes, occasionally the tows break.
Yes, there can be rocks and icy.
This is not some huge Alpine resort, this is Scotland.
Tips for going to the Gorms.
Most important: check the weather before going, it's very changeable daily. No point of going if you can't see your feet for mist, or be blown off them by 60 mile per hour wind. You must wait for a favourable weather day, and some snow.
Avoid weekends if possible.
Bring your own gear.
Get there early.
We live 2 hours from Cairngorm Mountain and ride here every year.
I have had some of the best days riding ever at the Cairngorms. Runs are not very long in comparison to Europe but for the price of a lift ticket and a tank of fuel I will continue to ride here and support the Cairngorm Mountain in years to come.