Snowshoeing in the Cairngorms

The Cairngorms in Scotland are a superb place to go snowshoeing with beautiful pine woods and high plateaus to explore. In fact the whole Cairngorms National Park area, the Monadhliath mountains across Strathspey and the Drumochter hills are perfect to explore on snowshoes. Snowshoeing is a brilliant and fun way to travel when there is a lot of snow!

When I first started Snowshoeing in Scotland you met very few people using them in the hills. They are seen more often now when the conditions are right, but still not common. Ideally we need to have a lot of snow and not too much wind to get the full benefits of snowshoes. These are obvious if you’ve ever been wading through deep snow or postholing in unconsolidated snow. Snowshoes stop you sinking thigh-deep in the snow and conserve energy when trail breaking. There’s an interesting article about Snowshoeing in Scotland on UK Hillwalking. After really heavy snowfall snowshoes can be the only way for a walker to make any progress!

Guided Snowshoeing

A guided snowshoeing day will begin with an introduction to Scottish winter conditions, equipment check and route planning. Then we will look at the snowshoes and fit them properly. You don’t need specialist boots for this. It doesn’t take very long to learn the basic techniques of using snowshoes so after covering them we will head out on a walk. This can be snowshoeing in the Cairngorms on the plateau or up a local Munro depending on the conditions. If there is extremely good snow cover to low levels it can be through the forest onto a lower summit or looking for wildlife.

We will also explore the limitations of snowshoes in terms of terrain and different types of snowshoe. Modern design has changed what is possible, but this depends on your fitness and experience. You can enjoy multi-day trips on snowshoes staying out overnight. I had great snowholing on snowshoes trip in the Cairngorms with a friend that you can read about here. You generally use trekking or ski poles when snowshoeing, but otherwise all you need is your regular walking kit.

These days are suitable for hillwalkers with a reasonable level of fitness. You don’t need previous snowshoeing experience and can be experienced or new to winter.

Because snowshoeing is so dependent on favourable conditions I will suggest a back up plan for a winter walk or winter skills refresher at the time of booking. Also due to the variable nature of Scottish winters it might be necessary to travel with an ice axe and crampons if we are planning to go up high.

My snowshoeing days are currently limited to 1 or 2 people because I have a limited supply of snowshoes. You can hire snowshoes locally from a couple of places in Aviemore. If you have any questions or there are more than 2 of you then please get in touch!

Further information on winter skills and safety in the hills is available at Mountaineering Scotland #ThinkWinter!

£200 per day for 1 person

£220 per day for 2 people

This price includes snowshoe hire per person. If you want to book a snowshoeing day please read my booking information and complete a booking form using the button below.