Skier & Snowboarder-Submitted Reviews for Cairngorm
Planning a ski trip to Cairngorm? Browse our collection of visitor-generated reviews that rank the mountain and ski town on a scale of one to five stars in the following categories: Overall Rating, All-Mountain Terrain, Nightlife, Terrain Park and Family Friendly. See how Cairngorm stacks up to others in terms of skiing and après, and read up on pros, cons and comments from fellow skiers and snowboarders. Don't forget to submit your own Cairngorm review! Scroll to the bottom of this page to let other travelers know about your ski area experience.
Skier & Snowboarder-Submitted Reviews for Cairngorm
A ski resort's overall star rating displayed here is not calculated based on a simple average but takes several factors, including the age of a review, into account.
All Mountain Terrain
We visited Aviemore last week as a last minute ski holiday because we were due to fly to northern Italy and ski there. The weather was amazing. We are new to skiing but had had lessons prior to our visit. I didn’t get off the nursery slope I used it to build up my confidence. My husband and eldest son tried one of the green runs and my husband said it was scary, very icy and all he could do was to get down alive. It didn’t stop them going down it a few times on our visit. The snow there can be icy. We did have a fantastic time however and would return. Everyone is so helpful and friendly. The views are stunning.... Full Review
I brought my son to Aviemore for a short ski break and we visited the Cairngorm mountain range. We’ve both had lessons and are progressing however we’re technically still beginners. The “so called” green and blue runs at Aviemore we’re extremely narrow, steep, icy, and challenging and there was lots of ice rocks all over the piste which proved difficult. I’ve ski’d blues and reds in France that were easier that the Cairngorm greens and blues. The T-Bar lift also seems temperamental and didn’t retain tension so at times you were sliding backwards for too long - lots of people seemed to fall off them.
There was only one main run open and for the pleasure of that we paid £40 each per day.
Aviemore itself was a lovely place to visit, however skiing wise if staying in the UK I would rather go to Glencoe, or in fact just pay double the price of a holiday and go abroad to be guaranteed much better skiing conditions.
... Full Review
Me and two of my friends went up to the Cairngorm Mountain on the 23/02/15, which was probably not the best day to choose from considering there was twice as much snowfall the following day... Anyway The place itself is a good day out IF you are at least an intermdiate level skier/boarder, I wouldn't say that these slopes are very beginner firendly at all, although this view may have been worsened by the conditions on the day which were icey in most parts and very windy up high (which were considered quite good conditions for this resort). Without sounding like I'm trying to put too much of a damper on it the mountain does have some really enjoyable runs.
On to the main problem... The resort must absoluetly invest in chair lifts! This is its biggest downfall, the T-Bars and the Platter lifts seemed to be very temperamental as many were broken/breaking down throughout the day, one platter lift inparticular was almost impossible to ride for a boarder unless you were well skilled/experienced as it practically launched them off of the ground. As for the alternative Cairngorm Train which takes you straight to the top of the mountain, this is good but just far too time consuming! It runs every 15 mins from 9am - 4pm but you will wait at least 30mins in the queue and then a further 10 mins on the train going up which is a total pain if you're only there for one day like myself.
The surrounding town of Aviemore is very friendly and genuinely nice place to be, has plenty bars, groceries stores and shops for all your skiing needs as expected. The hotels in aviemore seemed to be of a good standard as well, although i did not stay as i only live two hours away in the car. ... Full Review
We spent a few days skiing at Glenshee & Nevis but really wanted to go to Cairngorm as it advertises itself as such a good place to ski. To be fair the location is stunning.
The phone message and website stated that there would be lots of runs open. BUT only 2 lifts were open & the train was not working so the huge numbers of people all ended up in the same queues.
I waited up to 45 minutes for the lifts & a 3 or 4 minute ski down just to stand again for 40mins again. I managed about 5 or 6 runs & even walked all the way up one run as the wait was so long. So a total of about 30 minutes of skiing for £33.50 is outrageous. This place should be ashamed of such a poor service.
At Glenshee & Nevis it was cheaper and although the wind was stronger there were more open runs & hardly any waiting time.
DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY... Full Review
not child or beginner friendly, needs some short travel button pulls at base station to encourage and build confidence for beginners. you may as well because its rubbish for experts. ITS NOT WHISTLER. ... Full Review
Payment system badly managed. A typical example of how this country has no clue how to handle large volumes of people, however efforts to improve are clearly being made but this still not good enough and their system is not clearly advertised.
We were told by a friend to bring cash so we did, when we arrived staff were directing people cash only to go to separate window with a short queue – sweet we thought. When we got to the front we asked for lift pass and hire and the lady rudely told us that this was for ticket only as if we were supposed to know and how stupid we were for asking. I politely asked for an explanation why because this didn’t make sense, no explanation was given and we were again rudely told if you want hire get in the other queue. Whilst in the other queue I asked a passing member of staff why we cannot hire ski in the cash only window and he explained that they need your card details to ensure you return them plus you fill in a form for hire so this would defeat the purpose of a quick cash only system – perfect explanation, why could the cranky old bag at the cash window not have told us that instead of being rude to us (I reported her too).
So to beat the queues:
1 Buy and bring your own gear or hire in Aviemore before you get there.
2 Bring cash for your lift pass.
3 Book online (only for lift pass) pick up at rangers office.
Booking on line sounds like a fantastic modern way to pay however it is seriously flawed, firstly again no ski hire is offered – why? You input your card details so that’s the gear insured – this clearly needs to change. Secondly the queue for the rangers office was small but the guy was taking like 10 minutes per person to serve meaning way slower than the cash queue so basically there is no benefit to book on line. Thirdly the snow gate gets closed regularly so if you book on line and its closed do you get a refund? – Nothing stated online.
So we waited in the huge queue, an hour or so later when I could actually see the window I noted people have to fill in a form for hire. I watched as the cashier waited each time for people to fill it in, so I thought there should be desks and forms and pens on the way to the desk (like in airports) so when you get to the front the form is completed speeding up the process. So I went to the desk and asked if I could hand out some forms and pens to people in the queue. The lady was very nice and said that would be a good idea but unfortunately their forms are numbered and have to be input in sequence. Very frustrating my idea was sound this numbered sequence thing is clearly inefficient and needs to change.
Another idea a mini cash machine. So many people just wanted a pass but had to wait in the hire & pass queue because they had no cash. Yes these mini cash machines charge you like £2 but compared to 2 hours skiing lost through waiting in queues a small price to pay. The companies that supply these machines make a huge profit with this; they would jump at the chance of installing one there.
There you have it; I have no clue about running a successful business but believe I have just improved the ski centre operations in a few paragraphs. Why can’t the simpletons in management see this, in my opinion they just don’t care they think people have travelled this far so they will just have to wait and they are right; we do wait in the cold like total chumps while they sit back in their warm office watching the money roll in.
Finally rant over. The hire staff were friendly and helpful, the skiing is actually quite good, snow perfect but visibility can be shocking and pretty unpredictable but hey – that’s Scotland for ya.
... Full Review
CairnGorm is the ski area above Aviemore, which is a popular year round resort. There's a lot to do here and skiing and boarding are a small part of that so when you book a trip here you should think of it as an all round outdoor holiday and not expect great skiing all week, it's not like that in scotland. But there's a good vibe to the place, good nightlife, dozens of alternative activities like distillery tours, hikibng, biking, fishing, clay pigeon shooting, reindeer herds, climbing walls, steam trains, indoor pools, it's a really good place. It is also fuin to arrive by train - you can even get overnight sleepers from London for as little as 19 pounds all in (Google 'Scotrail Bargain Berths') or cheap glights to Inverness with Ryanair, Flybe and Easy Jet from most Uk airports then its a 45 minute bus or train trip down.
Anyway, the skiing! Aviemore gets real extremes of weather. It can be very cold or very warm in winter so you might need like Arctic level proterction or its too warm for snow in January. Then it can get very windy, it has the record for the windiest place in Britain. So most times there's limited skiing and conditions aren't great. But sometimes there's great snow, no wind, blue sky and it's the best place in the world. The only problem is those days, if its a weekend or school holiday, thousands of people arrive so you spend most of you day queueing to park, queuing to rent, queuing for the lift, on a crowded piste and you wonder if it is worth all the effort. The best thing is when you can ski mid-week on one of those days and you have the place to yourself. Everyone is very friendly and well behaved in lift queues - there is a real etiquette here and queue jumpers get a good telling off from everyone else, if not actually beaten up ;).... Full Review
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