Currently the Funicular Railway structure is under repair with the expectation of it being reinstated by Autumn 2022.
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Cairngorm Mountain Ranger Service

Providing Stewardship and Care of the Cairngorm Estate

The Cairngorm Mountain Ranger Service is deployed and funded by Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Limited to provide stewardship and care of the Cairngorm Estate on behalf of Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Operating from the Ranger Base at the foot of the resort the Ranger Service advises on the use and care of the estate.


Updates From the Ranger Base

Stay up to date with whats going on in and around the estate. Please note the Ranger Base is currently closed to the public, if you have any queries please contact info@cairngormmmountain.co.uk or visit the Mountain Shop on level 1 of the Day Lodge and these will be passed on.

Public Access Diversions

During the summer & autumn seasons in 2021 and into 2022 work is being carried out on the Funicular railway and there will be public access diversions in place to direct visitors away from work sites. We kindly ask that all visitors accessing the mountain follow the signed diversion routes and observe all warning signs and barriers.

There are certain public access points up the mountain from the car park, and down the mountain from the summit that are currently restricted due to these construction works. For details on access restrictions please see the maps below.

Access Diversions from Car Park

Access Diversions from Summit

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Digital Route Cards

If you are using one of our car parks to access the Cairngorms, whether it be for an overnight trip, or a longer adventure, we ask that you fill out a digital route card so that we are able to keep track of cars left in our car parks and can provide assistance to the emergency services if required.

Please fill out a route card in either in advance or when leaving on your journey into the mountains. Remember to sign back in once you have returned safely.

Click Here to Access the Digital Route Card

Click Here to Sign Back In On Your Return 

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Learn More About the Role of the Cairngorm Mountain Ranger Service

Our team are responsible for the conservation of the mountain environment and provide education on the protected lands and wildlife surrounding the ski area. Through their daily duties and managing the operation of our environmental initiatives the Ranger Service play an integral part in the responsible management of visitors to the Cairngorms.

Alongside there duties throughout the seasons the role of our Ranger Service is to provide guidance and share their vast knowledge of the Cairngorm Estate with visitors. Read on to explore and learn more about the work they do here at Cairngorm Mountain.

Visitor Management

HIE and Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Ltd are dedicated to running the mountain sustainably and have signed up to a legal agreement not to permit users of the Funicular Railway access onto the sensitive mountain areas nearby.

As part of the planning conditions for the building of the Funicular Railway, CMSL has a robust Visitor Management Plan. This requires constant monitoring, coordinated and carried out by the Rangers and contractors, the results guide the management of visitors and the resource. The Ranger Service assist the Land Manager in ensuring this plan is adhered to, by talking to staff and members of the pubic to make sure they are aware of the summer restrictions and the reasons for them.

Any changes to the agreement must be approved by The Highland Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and the Cairngorms National Part Authority. We recognise the demand for access onto the mountain and over the years has been working to increase the opportunities in a controlled manner. The guided activities that are now provided for visitors are effective in promoting a better understanding of the mountain environment.

Click here to view our Visitor Management Plan

Read More About Visitor Management

Weather Observation

A key responsibility of the Ranger Service is to monitor and report on the daily weather conditions at Cairngorm Mountain.

Included in their daily weather observations are snow depth, rainfall/snowmelt, ground temperature, soil temperature, wind direction, visibility and air temperature. Monitoring the weather can often be a challenge in the Cairngorms as we experienced during a mid-winter storm in February 2021.

Read More About Weather Observation

Conservation

Highlands and Islands Enterprise takes its responsibilities to the environment of the Cairngorm Estate seriously and recognises the importance of keeping the natural elements of this popular area in as near a natural state as possible.

The Cairngorm Mountain Ranger Service is the public face of these efforts, working with visitors and contractors to reduce the effects of popularity on the mountain. HIE has invested £2 million into the ongoing mountain path repair programme over the years with wide rubble-strewn scars on the landscape now developed into robust and well-maintained mountain paths. Leading from the car park onto the Cairngorm plateau, the path network is integral to the exploration of this spectacular, rugged landscape.

The Rangers work with many researchers advancing our knowledge of the mountains and groups wishing to organise large events within the estate. They ensure the environmental integrity of the mountain and avoid disturbance to wildlife and others enjoying the wild aspects of the mountains.

Read More About Conservation

Recreation

One of Scotland's most iconic outdoor environments, the Cairngorms are hub for adventure and exploration offering opportunity for a wide range of summer and winter recreational activities.

Mountaineering

The high level car parks make the high mountains accessible to people regardless of their skill levels and equipment. This can be a trap for the unwary and there are many cautionary tales to be told. The Ranger Service spends much time advising people about their plans and the suitability of their equipment. The guided walks offered in the Northern Corries are ideal ways of finding out more about this fascinating place. For many people it is their first taste of mountain travel which they never forget. Rangers pass on essential weather and avalanche conditions forecasts.

A brief visit to the Ranger Base could be a life-saver, and is especially recommended if you are unfamiliar with the mountains or are planning to stay out overnight. 

Scottish Outdoor Access Code – Climbing Scottish Outdoor Access Code – Walking

Ski-Touring

Traversing the mountains on ski deserves a special mention as when the tows are operational, Cairngorm Mountain can assist with uplift. Ski mountaineers must ensure they and their kit is fit for this arduous activity before they can enjoy long unmarked and unpisted descents in remote parts of the mountains.

Scottish Outdoor Access Code – Snowsports Touring

Overnights

Taking a tent up to a remote mountain lochan is a romantic notion with much appeal. Arguably, the mountain-goer does not know the mountain well unless they have spent a night out on the high ground. The practicality is challenging: carrying gear and food uphill and being at the mercy of the wind which can, at worst, flatten any tent in winter, well-equipped parties can dig snowholes and survive the night.

In winter, well-equipped parties can dig snow holes and survive the night. Cairngorm Mountain Ranger Service asks snow hole users to bring back absolutely everything, including their human waste, and provides the Snow White facility for this. The facility is available in the summer, too. Campers will find no fuel for burning, and no fireplaces, so campfires are not used on the mountain. The Ranger Service does not promote the use of remote mountain bothies, but can advise people planning to head for them.

Scottish Outdoor Access Code – Camping Scottish Outdoor Access Code – Lighting Fires

Dog Walking

Dogs are a great way of ensuring regular exercise, but need careful control on this open landscape.  Birds nesting on the ground have no defense against them and Rangers always advise dog owners to keep their dogs leashed.

Scottish Outdoor Access Code – Dog-Walking

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Education

The Cairngorms are a fantastic place to visit, to learn about the natural history, wildlife, plant life and see first-hand the efforts to strike a balance of conservation and recreation.

These mountains are incredibly old and tell a tale of ice ages, land mass shifts, climate change, to our present day. With vast knowledge of the history and development of this area our Rangers can offer their insight through guided experiences and small-scale talks and workshops about this incredible place which can be suited to your needs. We welcome educational groups and will work with institutions to create a safe learning environment for both students and faculty.

For further information or to arrange a visit please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Read More About Education

Wildlife

The Cairngorm Mountains are special in so many ways. A versatile Scottish habitat, these magnificent hills and the surrounding area are home to 25% of the most threatened species in the U.K and they survive in some of the most hostile weather experienced in the British Isles.

Iconic Mountain Species

Throughout the year, iconic mountain bird species, mammals, insects, invertebrates make their home here for all or part of the year. When summer arrives, the corries are brought to life with the beautiful bird song of the ring ouzel, meadow pipit, willow warbler, snow bunting, the quiet chirps of the dipper and dotterel and the famous croaking calls of the ptarmigan & red grouse.

Rare Sightings

The Cairngorm Mountain Ranger Base displays what wildlife has been recently seen & recorded in and around the northern corries and general guidance on path routes, where some of the wildlife can be seen. If you have made any rare, or regular, sightings whilst out in the Cairngorms we would love to hear about them. Get in touch or drop into the Ranger Base when your next passing.

Read More About Wildlife

Environmental Initiatives

The Ranger Service support the Land Manager in developing and managing many environmental initiatives here at Cairngorm Mountain. 

'Keep Cairngorm Snow White' Project

During the winter season, it was commonly observed that human waste would be buried in snow, for it only to melt out in the spring. The unsightly mess would slowly break down during the warmer months with a risk of polluting the clear mountain streams and unique sub-arctic habitats in the deep snow patch areas that are common and popular for snow holing. 

Cairngorm Mountain Ranger Service has been operating the ‘Keep Cairngorm Snow White’ project from some years now and continues to be run free of charge. This project runs all year round in efforts to continually reduce the amount of human waste that is left in the mountains.

The ethos of this service was and remains to reduce the amount of human waste left on our mountains by packing out the waste off the mountain and utilising the onsite wastewater treatment plant at the Lower Coire Cas Car Park.

View the Snow White Disposal Map

Scottish Outdoor Access Code – Human Waste

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Keep On Learning

If you are interested in gaining more insight and education on exploring the wilderness our Rangers have put together some resources to help you keep on learning.

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© Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Limited | Registered in Scotland No.SC614703

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