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Winter Climbs in the Cairngorms

Selected snow, ice and mixed climbs in the Cairngorms and Creag Meagaidh

By Blair Fyffe, John Lyall

Guidebook with topo diagrams, approach maps and clear route descriptions for hundreds of Scotland's best winter climbs in the Cairngorms and Creag Meagaidh. Contains a wide selection of grades, lengths and styles of climb, from straightforward snow gullies to mixed turf, rock and icy routes and advanced ice climbs. Routes are classified by area and style, helping climbers choose according to weather and conditions.


December to March are the most reliable months for winter climbing, but mixed routes are often possible in November and snow gullies into late April.


Aviemore and Deeside (Braemar and Ballater) are the main centres, but Fort William and Dundee are within easy reach of the outlying areas.


Winter climbing requires a good level of fitness, stamina and the ability to navigate and assess avalanche conditions. This book includes straightforward Grade I snow gullies through to extreme ice and mixed climbs of Grade VII and above.

Must See

Towering cliffs of Shelter Stone Crag, Lochnagar and Creag Meagaidh, accessible corries of Cairn Gorm and Glen Clova, remote recesses of Braeriach and Beinn a’Bhuird. Route highlights include The Black Spout; Savage Slit; Deep-cut Chimney; Eagle Ridge; Smith’s Gully.
8 Nov 2023
17.20 x 11.60 x 1.90cm

Guidebook to more than 450 winter climbs in the Northern Corries of Cairn Gorm, Braeriach, Beinn a’Bhuird, Lochnagar, Glen Clova and Creag Meaghaidh. Includes a wide selection of snow, ice and mixed routes of varying grades and lengths, from straightforward Grade I snow gullies through to extreme ice and mixed climbs of Grade VII and above. With clear route descriptions accompanied by symbols denoting the type of climb (snow, ice and mixed) and photographic topo diagrams, this guide helps climbers choose the best route for the prevailing conditions. Advice is given on how the required snow/ice conditions form for each climb, as well as how to evaluate avalanche risk, while approach maps for each climbing area show the best routes to access each crag. The Cairngorms offer some of the most reliable and accessible winter climbing in Scotland. Deep recesses and remote corries are home to some of the best mixed climbing anywhere. In good weather the journeys to and from the climbs can be as rewarding and memorable as the ascents themselves, while in poor weather the conditions will challenge the skill of the greatest mountaineers.

Table of Contents
Blair Fyffe Cicerone author FYFFEB

Blair Fyffe

Blair Fyffe grew up close to Aviemore in the shadow of the Northern Cairngorms, and has always enjoyed being in these hills, particularly during the winter months. He has made first ascents and early repeats of numerous winter routes throughout Scotland. Outside Britain he has climbed new winter routes in the Lofoten Islands of Arctic Norway and in Antarctica, and alpine routes in Kyrgyzstan. He has also climbed in the European Alps and on the big walls of Yosemite Valley. He works as a forecaster for the Scottish Avalanche Information Service during the winter months, as well as a field guide for the British Antarctic Survey.

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John Lyall Cicerone author LYALL

John Lyall

John Lyall has been living and climbing in the Cairngorms since leaving school, learning the craft of mountaineering here. He has climbed around the world, including in the Himalaya, Peru, Kenya, Morocco, Europe and Greenland, but is always glad to return to the endless challenges the Cairngorms provide in winter. He has made first ascent of climbs in the Scottish Highlands and around the world. He has been a member of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team for 40 years and works as a British Mountain Guide (IFMGA), having guided in Scotland, the Himalaya, the Alps, Norway and Greenland.

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