10 Places to Climb in Cairngorms

Try your hand at climbing in Cairngorms National Park 

Climbing is one of the UK’s most popular outdoor activities, presenting people with the chance to get the adrenaline pumping and testing out their physical and mental strength. Here are some of the best places to go climbing in the Cairngorms with venues and routes for all abilities:


Glenmore Lodge

Whatever the weather has in store for you, you can still go rock climbing at Glenmore Lodge thanks to the indoor walls and beautiful natural outdoor routes. With courses for beginners and more experienced climbers, Glenmore Lodge is the perfect place to get to grips with the Cairngorms – literally! With all kinds of different shaped crags and courses to tackle, you can learn more about rock climbing or test yourself to the limit. All gear is available for hire and lessons are taken by experienced, qualified instructors.

Find out more about climbing at Glenmore Lodge here: https://www.glenmorelodge.org.uk/mountaineering-courses/cat-21-rock-climbing/


G2 Outdoor Climbing and Mountaineering

At G2 Outdoor Climbing and Mountaineering centre you can learn how to climb safely from experienced, qualified instructors. A fantastic sport for everybody to try, rock climbing can help you to satisfy that craving for adrenaline while also presenting an opportunity to conquer your fears in a safe environment. Having learned from the instructors you can venture out onto the rocks and put the theory into practice.

Learn more here: http://www.g2outdoor.co.uk/summer-activities/rock-climbing-and-abseiling


Boots ‘n’ Paddles

The Cairngorms National Park is filled with some incredible hills, mountains and rock formations just waiting to be explored. Rather than simply walking up the most accessible routes, why not learn how to climb up to see the park from a different angle? Boots ‘n’ Paddles offers novice and experienced climbers the chance to climb up and conquer a range of indoor and outdoor crags as part of your holiday with tuition and equipment available.

Find out more details here: http://www.boots-n-paddles.co.uk/on-land/193-climbing


The Northern Corries

The Cairngorm Mountains attract climbers from all over the world thanks to their unique formations and the series of challenges they present. With everything from novice-standard ascents to those that should only be attempted by seasoned climbers with assistance, the Northern Corries provide a range of rock climbs that will test everyone to the limits. With the conditions varying by the half-hour at certain times of year it can get easier – and harder – as you climb depending on the weather. Be sure to check the forecast before you go, as the Northern Corries can test even the best of climbers.

Learn more here: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/cairngorms/cairngorm.shtml


Coire an Lochain

One of the quieter areas in the Cairngorms due mainly to its longer approach when compared to similar formations; Coire an Lochain is a particularly steep area that will test your technical skills to the limit. Outdoor rock climbing can become increasingly difficult as the weather takes a turn so be sure to go prepared, especially in the winter when snow and ice can catch even the most experienced of climbers out. That said, it’s one of the most reliable sections during the winter so be sure to give it a try.

Find out more information here: http://www.cairngormclub.org.uk/


Coire an t’Sneachda

Coire an t’Sneachda is one of the most iconic climbing areas in the region, if not the whole of the UK. Right across the Cairngorms there are a wide range of rock formations waiting to be explored, but none are quite as varied as Coire an t’Sneachda. With infamous routes including Jacob’s Ladder and Aladdin’s Mirror, it is easily accessible from the car park meaning that you can carry all of the gear you need to go prepared for anything. Throughout the winter this is an exceptional climbing area with numerous routes remaining open whatever the weather.

Find out more details here: http://www.scotclimb.org.uk/cairngorms.shtml


Ben Macdui

Ben Macdui may get overlooked by Ben Nevis as the largest Mountain in the UK, but while it doesn’t reach the physical heights of Ben Nevis it does take the crown in terms of climbing routes. With such a wide range of challenging ascents, suitable for winter or summer climbing, Ben Macdui attracts novice and experienced climbers from all over the UK – and further afield. The summit is surrounded by steep approaches so be sure to take all of your safety equipment before even setting out on your approach to the top, and there are a range of plateaus and overhangs set to test you throughout.

Learn more about climbing Ben Macdui here: http://www.climbthemunros.co.uk/ben_macdui.php


The Devil’s Point

Said to be the guardian of the Lairig Ghru hill pass, the Devil’s Point is a treacherous part of the Cairngorms National Park. With incredibly difficult walking and climbing routes to get through, it certainly lives up to the legend of being such a strong guardian. It’s a climbing area meant for the most experienced of climbers, or certainly those who are accompanied by experts and full safety equipment. During the winter months this area can become impassable, so be sure to check the weather forecast before you venture out.

To learn more visit: http://www.scottishsport.co.uk/walking/biggie.htm


Creag an Dubh Loch

Often described as the cleanest and most physically impressive of the climbing routes in the Cairngorms, Creag an Dubh Loch is another that attracts climbers from all over the UK, Europe and further afield. If you’re a relatively experienced climber then this is one that you have to put on and tick off your list. With more than 100 different climbs available on the one section, this physically imposing rock formation will test your ability as well as your footing.

For more information visit: www.mcofs.org.uk/climbing-guide-areas.asp


Shelterstone Crag – “The Needle”

Located in the north of the Cairngorms National Park is Shelterstone Crag, also known as “The Needle.” It takes its nickname from the sharp, narrow shape that it’s taken over the years, but despite its tough face and narrow ascent, Shelterstone Crag is one of the most appealing to experienced climbers. With a number of highly challenging ascents for experienced climbers and a number of relatively simple ascents for those looking to challenge themselves to improve their climbing ability, Shelterstone Crag has something for everyone – especially the views!


Find out more here: http://www.marmotte.co.uk/the_needle.htm