The party from Merseyside set off from the Cairngorm ski centre by Aviemore but could not find their way back after reaching the plateau due to the blizzard conditions.
Eight members of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team (CMRT) went to their aid after the alarm was raised on Wednesday.
CMRT leader Willie Anderson said: “They were climbing a ridge in the Cairngorms, managed that okay, but they had forgotten to take the map out of the car.
“Normally it’s a straightforward run - if they had brought it with them they would have been fine.”
The volunteer rescuers used a tracked vehicle to scale part of the range before making their way on foot.
After five hours battling through poor visibility and snow, the team found the party at around 3,500ft (1,066m) and returned them to safety.