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Cairngorm Mountain Trails

Have you ever wanted to try running in the Cairngorms, but not sure where to start? Want to explore some rugged mountain terrain in one of Scotland’s most awe-inspiring areas? Two days of guided trail running in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park is the perfect place to start!

We’re lucky to have access to such a great range of mountains to explore from our base in Aviemore. It’s a mountain running paradise, with stunning views of mountains and smaller summits above the tree-line, before reaching the high arctic plateau and the heart of the range.

Because there’s such a fantastic variety of trails and terrains to explore in the Aviemore area, we can adapt our itinerary to suit the group and the weather conditions - meaning no two Cairngorms Mountain Trails courses will ever be the same!

What to expect

For 2023 we are pleased to be partnering with Ellis Brigham, Aviemore to make this weekend bigger and better than ever. All participants will benefit from expert advice on kit and equipment and a discount on new purchases made over the weekend. 

Each day we will meet in the Ellis Brigham store in Aviemore, before travelling a short distance to start our runs. Ellis Brigham

To give you a guide as to what to expect, here is a sample weekend course.

Day 1 Cairngorm ski area to Inverdruie via the Chalamain gap and Loch an Eilein - 21km 360m ascent

Taking advantage of the ski road to get a high start, this is a route skirting the edge of the mountains, without the hard climbing to start. We cross below the imposing northern corries of Cairngorm and through the Chalamain Gap, a narrow, boulder strewn glacial outflow channel. From here we descend a well-maintained trail into the jaws of the mighty Lairig Ghru. After taking a moment to enjoy our surroundings we will blast along one of the best running descents in Scotland, a swooping trail that weaves its way out of the mountains and back into the forest. From here a detour to visit Loch an Eilein and it's castle takes us back into civilisation on the outskirts of Aviemore.

Day 2 Cairngorm plateau and northern Corries - 15km 750m ascent

The high plateau of Cairngorm gives great rewards for runners willing to make the climb. Intimate local knowledge allows us to tailor a route that takes the sting out of the climb, walking a few steeper sections, but also gently climbing on runnable terrain. Once up onto the plateau the hard work is done and we can enjoy flowing trails over the expansive terrain. Visiting a few hidden gems of dramatic viewpoints along the way. 

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This two day package does not include accommodation or meals, allowing you the flexibility to choose your own. All guiding is included, but no in-course transport. Depending on the itinerary we may do circular runs, or use public transport to access Cairngorm mountain.

Dates for 2023 

Date Price Spaces Booking
29&30 April £100 Places available Book now

Also running this weekend will be our Try Trail Running Weekend if you fancy something easier. 

If you can't wait please get in touch to arrange some bespoke guiding.

Experience and fitness

This trip is all about the adventure and we will find a pace that keeps the team together and allows time to enjoy our surroundings including food breaks and a chance for photos.

This will be two days of trail running, covering around 21km, a half-marathon, each day. It will include some nice running mixed with short steeper walking sections. The trails will be a mix of easy running and some more technical single-track, so some off road running experience is essential. 

A good level of mountain walking fitness along with a base of off road running experience up to steady 20km runs will help you to get the most out of the weekend.


If you have any questions about your fitness please get in touch to discuss your options. 

Kit you will need

We will be aiming for 2 full days of trail running so we will have to be prepared to deal with everything that the Scottish weather can throw us. Whilst we don’t want to be over burdened it is essential that every member of the team has enough equipment to deal with the unexpected. Additional safety equipment will be carried by the guides.

Waterproof jacket (with taped or welded seams and a hood)

We recommend:

Montane Spine Waterproof Jacket (for men)
Montane Spine Waterproof Jacket (for women)

Waterproof trousers (with taped or welded seams)

We recommend:

Montane Minimus Waterproof Pants (for men)
Montane Minimus Waterproof Pants (for women)

Running vest

We recommend:

Montane Gecko VP 5+ (unisex)

Spare* synthetic insulated upper layer

*We recommend carrying approximately 300g of synthetically insulated upper layers.

We recommend:
Montane Men's Fireball Lite 360g
Montane Women's Fireball Lite 320g

Hat and gloves suitable for the weather conditions
For cold conditions, we recommend:

Montane Prism Mitt
Montane Via Stretch Beanie

For mild/warm conditions, we recommend: 

Montane VIA Trail Gloves

Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Waterproof Cap (unisex)

Survival bag 

We recommend:

Lifesystems Light And Dry Thermal Bivi Bag


Adequate footwear - Fell trail shoes only

We recommend:

Inov8 TERRAULTRA G 270  
Inov8 Roclite G 275   

Food - Enough lunch and snacks to fuel a full day in the mountains

First aid kit 

The guides will be carrying emergency first aid supplies but if you can have a small personal kit with blister pack/compeed and any personal medication.

Midge net.

If you have any questions or need advice about any of the equipment please just ask.


When booking you will receive a 20% discount code to use with Montane to help you equip yourself for the weekend. 

Getting here & Timings

We will meet at the Ellis Brigham store, Aviemore

There is on street parking and it is 5 minutes walk from Aviemore train station.


We will meet on both mornings at 9am. Depending on the route we would expect the long route to finish around 2 or 3 pm.


Wigwam accommodation is available at Badaguish outdoor centre 

Alternatively Aviemore has a wide variety of accommodation options

We also recommend Hostelling Scotland hostels in Aviemore or Glenmore where you can get a 10% discount by using the code TRAILRUN



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