about snowgoose mountain centre

Snowgoose Mountain Centre &  the associated accommodation  have been run by John & Tina Cuthbertson for the past 30 odd years. John is a highly experienced and qualified mountain and paddlesports instructor who offers guiding services, adventure activity holidays & courses with skills based instruction in canoeing, kayaking, sailing and mountain walking holidays. Winter climbing courses, mountain guides for Ben Nevis and wilderness expeditions are highly acclaimed by our students through his inspirational outdoor skills training. The Ben Nevis & Glencoe areas are definitely our home patch as this has been our home for the past 35 years! We actually live here and so have long standing and detailed knowledge of our local mountains, rivers, lochs and coast in Northwest Scotland.

Nearly all of our courses are run personally by John himself specialising in skills based outdoor activities. He holds a  long standing MIC (Mountaineering Instructors Certificate which is the highest UK based mountain quaification), Level 3 Coach Kayak and Open Canoe with considerable sea kayaking and dinghy sailing experience. In his “spare” time John skis and occassionally part time ski instructs at Nevis Range.

Snowgoose Mountain Centre is a AALS licensed centre ( L11006 /RO565) and a Duke of Edinburgh Award AAP (Approved Activity Provider) for expeditions by on foot, canoe & kayak plus residential. John is a DofE Accredited Supervisor and Assessor to Gold Level.

Our Staff : | We do employ well qualified & experienced freelance staff as required many of whom have world wide experience who will all hold the appropriate level of national or international qualifications relevant to the course they are instructing or guiding on. It is important that where clients are paying for professional instruction on the mountains or water that the person leading you or your group is qualified, insured and licensed (where under 18yr olds are concerned) to the best recognised level.

In a former life John was an active member of RAF Mountain Rescue for 15 years with MR deployments to the Trucial Oman States (Desert Rescue), Singapore & Malaysia ( Jungle Rescue), Kenya, Cyprus, Germany, North Africa, Iran and Iraq …  as well as personally climbing & walking all over the  UK, Norway and the Alps.After leaving the RAF John worked for Outward Bound Moray Sea School at Burghead as Head of Mountaineering before transfering to Outward Bound Locheil. From 1977 John’s main occupation was sailing & yacht charter from our base at the developed former goods yard at  Corpach. In 1990 a new building replaced the original “butt n’ ben” with hostel / bunkhouse accommodation along with three self catering apartments. The adventure activity part of the business was located to a new on site building in 1999.

Additional Facilities : |  Over the years we have added a fully equipped meeting / lecture room which accommodates up to 12 persons – both for our own clients and visiting groups. There is a much needed  canoe & kayak storage area plus a lockable bike store. There are 2 efficient drying rooms and laundry facility.


 Snowgoose Mountain Centre offers an ideal base to take part in our skills based adventure activities or to independently explore the surrounding west coast with its unique blend of landscape and a huge variety of outdoor activities for all levels. Or just stay with us if you are looking for comfortable self catering accommodation in our apartments, hostel or bunkhouse near the base of Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands.

Ideally located near the SW end of the Caledonian Canal there is easy access to the Great Glen Way, Great Glen Canoe Trail & Mountain Bike route – as well as the West Highland Way. We are close to Ben Nevis with skiing at nearby Nevis Range and its all year round gondola facility, snowsports and mountain bike trails. Glen Nevis, Glencoe (ski-ing), Glenfinnan, Ardnamurchan and the Road to the Isles are all within easy reach. Experience our unique mountain, coastal and marine landscape of the west coast, a huge variety of other local outdoor activities, local history and heritage, fishing wild life, geology and flora.

Snowgoose Apartments, the Smiddy Bunkhouse & Blacksmiths Backpackers Hostel, near Fort William is our family run self-catering accommodation in the heart of the fantastic Scottish Highlands. If you have some previous experience and skills then independently enjoy the great outdoors with our full range of outdoor equipment hire – sailing dinghy hire; open boating; white water kayaking; sea kayaking; boot, ice axe & crampons; plus full expedition camping gear.