Downhill skiing
With two superb ski centres and some of the longest lying snow in Scotland, the eastern Cairngorms are a mecca for downhill skiers and boarders. Glenshee, the larger of the two ski centres (and the largest in Scotland), boasts over 25 miles of downhill runs, while the Lecht, with its shorter runs and ample uplift, is ideal for families and beginners. The snow can arrive any time from November onwards, with the most reliable conditions being found from January through to April.

Ski equipment can be hired at the ski centres and in and around the nearest towns. Look out for prominent ski hire signs in the towns and on the ski centre approach roads.

Ski Centres
Glenshee Ski Centre
Lecht Ski and Activity Centre
Snowsports in Scotland

Ski touring
With its high table land of undulating hills, gentle slopes and renowned snowholding, the Cairngorms are the best area for ski touring in Britain. The steeper corries also provide excellent sport for the more adventurous. On a sunny winters day, when the whole of the Deeside hills are covered in a thick layer of fresh snow, there is no better way to traverse the hills than on a pair of cross-country skis. Under heavy snowfall and on stormy days, the forests are ideal for touring when they're more sheltered than the high tops.

Equipment can be hired from a number of locations near the downhill ski centres. There is also a specialist ski touring shop in Braemar, whose staff are always willing to provide advice on how to get started.

Books on Ski touring

  • Scottish Mountaineering Club: Ski Mountaineering in Scotland. SMC 1987
  • Angela Oakley: Ski touring in Scotland

Further information
Ski lessons can be booked at the ski centres, while specialist cross-country and telemark ski courses are also available locally. Contact Braemar Mountain Sports (tel: 013397 41242), or the Nordic Ski Centre based in Huntly click here for more information.

Under snow cover, the mountains can be dangerous and it is essential to be well equipped and prepared. Make sure you have a map and compass (and know how to use it), take spare clothes and food, and leave a route map with someone before you go out. After heavy snowfall the avalanche risk can be high, so before you leave, check with the Scottish Avalanche Information Service, to make sure the route you're planning is safe. Click here for more information.

Other useful links
Aberdeen Ski Club

Upper Deeside Access Trust Unit 1, Aboyne Castle Business Centre, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, AB34 5JP
Tel: 013398 87777 Fax: 013398 87785 Email:

Upper Deeside Access Trust 2002