Cairngorm Mountain’s somewhat variable snow cover means the ski centre can be open from late November through to June. However, the skiing can be limited at any time during that period if a warm spell melts all the snow in January or an extreme weather event such as gale-force winds closes the slopes – the strongest ever gusts in the United Kingdom have been recorded here.
Beginners will normally take the funicular up to a flat area of nursery slopes at the top of the Ptarmigan area, at almost 1,100m (3,609ft). The altitude of the slopes means this is one of the most snowsure areas on Cairngorm Mountain, and the centre manages to keep at least some of the area open here, even in a bad year.
Most of the marked trails are suited to intermediate skiers, but there are also some steep runs for the more advanced. The most challenging run is the West Wall black at Coire na Ciste, while The White Lady down to the Sheiling station can also be taxing when the bumps build up.
There's also a terrain park for free riders, the scope of which varies to some extent depending on snow conditions; while smaller areas are also set up at various points when conditions are good.