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Windy Col

Cairngorms National Park

A mellower alternative to Coire an t-Sneachda's more daunting gullies

Ski Touring Difficult

3.2 km
7 m
470 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
634 m
High Point
1.1 km
Windy Col Map

Windy Col provides a much easier route in to Coire an t-Sneachda, compared with some of the more challenging classic routes such as Jacob's Ladder. Windy Col can be accessed by skinning up Fiacaill a' Choire Chais, or by skiing over from the Cairngorm summit. Be aware that Coire an t-Sneachda is outside the official ski area, and it's remote nature makes rescue much more difficult. Be prepared and have the appropriate equipment for a backcountry adventure!


Windy Col is on the skier’s right of the cliffs at Jacob’s Ladder. Make a visual assessment of snow conditions in Coire an t-Sneachda before dropping in, as snow conditions can vary massively in the Cairngorms. The beauty of Windy Col is the fact that’s it’s wider and much less steep than other most routes in Coire an t-Sneachda, so it serves as a good introduction to backcountry skiing in the Cairngorms.

From the bottom of the Windy Col line, you can look up in awe at some of the most popular steep descents in the Cairngorms such as Jacob’s Ladder and Aladdin’s Couloir.

You can either skin back up Fiacaill a' Choire Chais to have another shot at Windy Col, or you can ski right out of Coire an t-Sneachda where you’ll finish close to the Cairngorm base station and car park.



Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

between December and April


  • Cliffs
  • Walk Required

Equipment required

  • Skins

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area