Cairngorm Mountain lies in an area specially protected by European Law and apart from everything expected of a modern ski area this mountain also plays host to the UK’s highest restaurant and bar, winner of two UK Business Excellence Awards 2006. Cairngorm has recently been involved in a huge transformation with the opening of the funicular railway. Many accommodation providers and alternative activities to snow sports can be found in Aviemore the town nearest to the slopes. It is extremely accessible from all areas of the UK making this another ideal location for a last minute break when the weather permits.
The best known of the five Scottish centres, Cairngorm has 19 runs of which there is 1 black, 9 red and 6 blue with a further 3 green runs. There are 17 lifts of which 4 are chairs, 7 pomas and 6 t-bars.
Cairngorm boasts 37km of pisted runs with the longest being 2.2km (1.36 miles). The north facing corries and slopes of the Cairngorm offer great skiing and superb views across Strathspey with a good record for holding snow and a long season.
Since 1961, Cairn Gorm has been a major winter sports destination and still offers skiers and boarders some of the best and most challenging runs in Scotland. Added to that, it has the only mountain railway in Scotland which transports skiers up to the higher lying snowfields in total comfort and safety in only a few minutes.At Cairngorm is the Doppelmayr "people carrier" funicular which now moves skiers up the mountain in the comfort of the "funi" rather than having people sitting on the exposed White Lady chairlift. This excellent form of uphill transport has been installed by the Austrian company - Doppelmayr - and is a tremendous improvement, especially during harsh winter weather!.
Cairngorm is a resort for all levels of skier and the nearby village of Aviemore has a wide selection of accommodation ranging from good b&b at 17 upwards to small and medium sized hotels and a holiday centre.
However, the well-known Aviemore Centre is to be replaced by the summer of 2004 with a new complex costing 30 million pounds. Once the existing centre has been "levelled" there will be 25 luxury "lodges", a four-star hotel, swimming pool, spa and a conference/exhibition centre where guests will also have access to golf and fishing. The new centre is being developed by Macdonald Hotels.
At the top of the mountain can be found the Ptarmigan restaurant (3600ft) just above the new Doppelmayr funicular. The bar here is the highest in Scotland and in clear weather offers spectacular views overlooking the Spey Valley.
Accommodation can be arranged via the Aviemore tourist information centre on 01479 810363, or through ski packages from the Scottish tourist board.
For further information, please contact The Cairngorm Ski Area on tel: 01479 861261 or at www.cairngormmountain.com
If unsure about snow sport locations or the best times to travel visit www.ski-scotland.com for information on lift passes for all centres or accommodation. Ski Scotland is the umbrella organisation made up of the five ski centres, VisitScotland and Snowsport Scotland. In 2007 the organisation launched an SMS weather alert giving an early heads up for all those enthusiasts looking for a quick getaway. Just log on to the website and sign up to receive free alerts.