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Cairngorms Explorer

Aviemore is a trail runners paradise, with endless trails covering every sort of terrain. The valley floor is full of ancient Caledonian pine forest and glittering lochains, complete with castles and rare wildlife. Exploring above the tree-line gives us stunning views of the mountains and smaller summits to climb before we climb higher onto the high arctic plateau and the heart of the range.

This range of trails mean that we can adapt our itinerary to suit the group and weather conditions, so no two Cairngorms Explorer courses will ever be the same. As a guide here is a sample weekend course, but if you want more or less distance then just let us know.

Day 1 Ryvoan and Rynethin 21km 450m ascent

A taste of all that makes Cairngorm trails so special. Starting in the forest we pass the Green lochain and cross through the Ryvoan pass on a rough vehicle track with views opening up towards Bynack Mor and Strath Nethy. From here it is into the pristine Caledonian forest of the Abernethy RSPB reserve and onto a perfect singletrack trail, before looping back to the start at Glenmore.

Day 2 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 around Loch an Eilein and its castle takes us back into civilisation on the outskirts of Aviemore.

This two day package can be extended on demand and 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 2019

Date Price Availability Book Now
20th & 21st July 2019 £80 PLACES AVAILABLE  Book now


If these dates don’t suit you please get in touch to arrange a bespoke course.

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. The weekend will be two journeys through the mountains, with some nice running mixed with short steeper walking sections. 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.

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 mountains and the Scottish weather can throw us. Whilst we don’t want to be over burdened it is essential that every member of the team is carrying the correct equipment to deal with the unexpected. To ensure your safety the following kit list is therefore compulsory for each individual. Additional safety equipment will be carried by the guides.



2 tops - 2 thin thermal top and a long sleeved warmer layer

Long trousers - Running tights to be carried if running in shorts

Adequate footwear - Fell shoes or trail shoes only

Waterproofs - Jacket with long sleeves and hood and waterproof or pertex overtrousers

Head torch - light weight e.g Petzl e-lite

Survival bag - lightweight survival bag, Blizzard blanket recommended



Maps will be provided

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.

Getting here

We will meet at Aviemore Tennis Club

There is parking on site and it is 15 minutes walk from Aviemore train station.


Aviemore has a wide variety of accommodation options

Previous courses

Cairngorm Explorer May 2018 - Gallery 

"I joined Trail Running Scotland for the Cairngorm Explorer weekend. It was a fantastic experience! Ian wasn't just a superb guide but he also gave us plenty of tips. The weekend was well organised and tailored to our level of experience and fitness. A great experience! Cannot wait for the next run together." Enrico

"I really enjoyed the Cairngorm Explorer weekend, it was exactly what I was looking for, two days of perfect distance in a stunning Scottish mountain setting. Ian was a great leader, aimed the routes at our level and with important breaks to appreciate the views and wildlife. Good technical teaching on running on a range of terrain, thanks will definitely be back for more!" Katie

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