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Scotland’s ski areas top google searches

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https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ski/news/scotland-ski-resorts-most-searched-for-skiing-destination-for-uk/

Good to see UK skiing being so successful. Not sure it has much to do with Brexit however? Surely more to do with excellent snow and reliable weather for skiing.

This summer should hopefully see another chairlift at Glencoe adding a large amount of capacity across the plateaux area.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@Peter S, Were/are there plans for another chair at Glenshee too?

Interesting that the 2 top searches were the 2 Gs, rather than CG or Nevis - just because of being the most southerly, or for some other reason?

Also, from Winterhighland, I gather that the CG artificial slope plan is not necessarily to be regarded as a good thing...
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Hi Grizzler,

Glenshee has planning permission for a new 4 person chair to replace the cairnwell tbar. However the rumour I heard was that it may be put on hold, perhaps because of evidence of excess capacity from a successful season running the new Tiger chair and/or possible wind issues? The old tbar is actually very reliable.

GS and GC are very popular because they are run by skiers for skiers. In contrast the last 20 years has seen a backlash against Cairngorm as its facilities have contracted and it has turned it’s back on the ski community. A shame because for many Cairngorm was always the UK flagship.
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Peter S wrote:
Hi Grizzler,
GS and GC are very popular because they are run by skiers for skiers. In contrast the last 20 years has seen a backlash against Cairngorm as its facilities have contracted and it has turned it’s back on the ski community. A shame because for many Cairngorm was always the UK flagship.


^ +1
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@Peter S, I used always to head to Cairngorm; Mr G learnt to snowboard there, I improved (ahem rolling eyes ) my skiing over many enjoyable trips, weather notwithstanding. However this year - and OK it was a particularly good one - I have firmly grown fond of Glencoe and Glenshee and distinctly grown of a very negative frame of mind against Nevis and, only slightly less so, against Cairngorm. A good number of reasons, but the 2 Gs will get my money from now on if I have the choice.
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Good to see the Scotch resorts finally joining the 21st century and starting to add proper snowmaking and market themselves professionally.

A great season for Glencoe, especially.
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So sad to see the state of dangerous disrepair at Cairngorm under Natural Retreats (or whatever their current name is, it changes so frequently) mismanagement: http://parkswatchscotland.co.uk/2018/07/10/a-walk-through-coire-na-ciste-at-cairngorm/ Crying or Very sad Evil or Very Mad
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Alastair Pink wrote:
So sad to see the state of dangerous disrepair at Cairngorm under Natural Retreats (or whatever their current name is, it changes so frequently) mismanagement: http://parkswatchscotland.co.uk/2018/07/10/a-walk-through-coire-na-ciste-at-cairngorm/ Crying or Very sad Evil or Very Mad


That article pretty much sums up how it looked last time I was up. Its a real shame.

We are up in Aviemore for a week from Saturday, and I won't be venturing up the funi to give Natural Retreats my cash.

Cairngorm, along with glenshee, was such an important part of my teenage skiing years. It is really sad.
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Nelly yes I have fond memories too of skiing at Aviemore most winters.

I think it all went wrong with the funicular. It wasn’t really intended to improve the skiing and proved far too expensive. The debt ever since has caused them to cut back on ski infrastructure and They have lost sight of their USP.

How different would it have been if they hadn’t built the funicular and focused instead on incremental improvements, as the other ski areas have done ?
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nelly0168 wrote:

We are up in Aviemore for a week from Saturday, and I won't be venturing up the funi to give Natural Retreats my cash.


Excellent - the hotelliers and shops and restaurants in Aviemore deserve support. Of all the Scottish ski areas Aviemore has most feel of a proper "ski town" imv. Just such a shame that their businesses are being so adversely affected by the incompetents currently running Cairngorm. Sad

nelly0168 wrote:
Cairngorm, along with glenshee, was such an important part of my teenage skiing years. It is really sad.
Yes, I stayed in Braemar with some friends for a week last season skiing at Glenshee mainly, and the contrast with Cairngorm is so stark - Glenshee is putting in new lift infrastracture while Cairngorm is busy ripping out previous lift infrastracture than than repairing or replacing it. Evil or Very Mad
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Alastair Pink wrote:
nelly0168 wrote:

We are up in Aviemore for a week from Saturday, and I won't be venturing up the funi to give Natural Retreats my cash.


Excellent - the hotelliers and shops and restaurants in Aviemore deserve support. Of all the Scottish ski areas Aviemore has most feel of a proper "ski town" imv. Just such a shame that their businesses are being so adversely affected by the incompetents currently running Cairngorm. Sad

nelly0168 wrote:
Cairngorm, along with glenshee, was such an important part of my teenage skiing years. It is really sad.
Yes, I stayed in Braemar with some friends for a week last season skiing at Glenshee mainly, and the contrast with Cairngorm is so stark - Glenshee is putting in new lift infrastracture while Cairngorm is busy ripping out previous lift infrastracture than than repairing or replacing it. Evil or Very Mad


Bit in bold, absolutely right - also gone there a fair bit with mates for MTB weekends (disguise for excessive drinking, natch !!) and I love the place, well set up as a real "outdoors / mountain town".

Agreed about Glenshee, spending money and - given the seasons they have endured over the last few years - cash must be in fairly short supply.

I cant really understand how Glenshee / Glencoe can get it all so right and NR can make such a mess of it up the road. They must be making a fortune from the coffee shop up the funi and only spending minimal on infra / remedial work????
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Peter S wrote:
Nelly yes I have fond memories too of skiing at Aviemore most winters.

I think it all went wrong with the funicular. It wasn’t really intended to improve the skiing and proved far too expensive. The debt ever since has caused them to cut back on ski infrastructure and They have lost sight of their USP.

How different would it have been if they hadn’t built the funicular and focused instead on incremental improvements, as the other ski areas have done ?


Whos idea was the Funi? And presume public money paid for it? It really annoyed me last time I was up there that you could go up but not walk about unless on a paid "guided tour" - FFS, I walk in many more wild places than there it felt like nanny state......
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Was up in Aviemore the other day.
Spent lots in the town, even if most of it was at the Old Bridge Inn cos it was roasting and that's the first place you pass on the way back from MTBing. Loch Morlich was rammed.
Funicular was shut for a month, so couldn't spend anything with them anyway Wink (no idea why - can't take a month to do an annual safety check, so I assumed they're spending cash on the retail gimmick and not on the ski area)
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You know it makes sense.
Nevis Range has possibly one of the best assets IMHO for experienced skiers with the Back Corries, however they don't open the Braveheart chair often enough and with enough predictability for a last minute visit from Leeds. I usually have a day or two in Glencoe, this year I tried Glenshee after not having skied there for 20+ years and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Just to add my agreement of a lot said above. Aviemore holds many happy memories for me, spent many spring holidays around there winter climbing then skiing. Good selection of useful shops, including climbing/ski ones, decent Tescos, things to go and places to see if the weather's off.
I don't feel that the funicular's done CG any favours. It was opposed by many at the time, and certainly isn't the best quick uplift - though it at least isn't wind affected, which has to count for something Confused
But actually I this year have found Nevis Range the worst of the bunch. Busier than CG, longer queues, significant non-functioning uplift issues (mechanical and wind) on many days (and there it's only 1 lift to get up to the top, so unlike CG you absolutely have to do a draglift, and if it fails then you're stuffed), some significant safety concerns on lifts and mount/dismount areas, etc, etc. By far wasn't the best one for cover, either, but that's besides the point in a way. CG, for all its annoyances, still holds a certain something, even if it's for me the longest and most boring to get to. But NR I really don't want to go to. Well, maybe if the Back Corries are useable and in good nick, or everywhere else is closed: but otherwise there's something about it which really puts me off these days.
Maybe both 'big' resorts are getting something wrong?
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Cairngorm is famous for building a snow funicular that closes every time it snows a bit...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-43414616

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
nelly0168 wrote:
Peter S wrote:
Nelly yes I have fond memories too of skiing at Aviemore most winters.

I think it all went wrong with the funicular. It wasn’t really intended to improve the skiing and proved far too expensive. The debt ever since has caused them to cut back on ski infrastructure and They have lost sight of their USP.

How different would it have been if they hadn’t built the funicular and focused instead on incremental improvements, as the other ski areas have done ?


Whos idea was the Funi? And presume public money paid for it? It really annoyed me last time I was up there that you could go up but not walk about unless on a paid "guided tour" - FFS, I walk in many more wild places than there it felt like nanny state......


There's enough idiots get lost in the mountains without allowing any Tom , Dick or Harold to get a lift to the top ,get out and wander off in their summer clothes and flipflops into a sub-arctic wilderness .
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Good article on Cairngorm and Natural Retreats: http://parkswatchscotland.co.uk/2018/08/21/the-looming-financial-crisis-at-cairngorm-mountain-what-will-hie-do/

Quote of final paragraph "As a consequence there appears a very high likelihood that Natural Retreats will be unable to meet their financial obligations under the lease next year. HIE are apparently currently renegotiating their lease with Cairngorm Mountain Ltd. While some of that is needed – with the abandonment of plans to replace the Day Lodge the clauses relating to that are redundant – any relaxation in the current requirements of Natural Retreats to invest significant sums of money in Cairngorm from next year would be a public scandal. If Natural Retreats cannot find a way of meeting its lease obligations and invest in Cairngorm then HIE should terminate the lease, take back the assets its owns at Cairngorm and start discussions with the Aviemore and Glenmore Community Trust about an alternative plan for Cairngorm."

My view is that the quoted final sentence of the Parkswatchscotland article is crucial. If Natural Retreats (NR) cannot meet its financial repayments obligations they legally committed to when they entered the agreement with HIE then the lease should be terminated. Beware of any attempts by HIE to renegotiate the lease to reduce NR's required repayments. HIE haven't exactly covered themselves in glory by awarding the running of the Cairngorm operation to NR, so to save embarrassingly terminating the lease after such a short time HIE might be looking to cut a "sweetheart deal" with NR. Evil or Very Mad
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Thanks for sharing @Alastair Pink, NR seem intent in destroying lift based skiing in cairngorm Evil or Very Mad
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The situation at Cairngorm just getting worse and worse: http://parkswatchscotland.co.uk/2018/09/07/hies-cover-up-at-cairngorm-and-the-re-birth-of-natural-retreats-uk-ltd/

Sad
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Anyone know if they'll actually replace the platform? I can't imagine the liftie will be too pleased with this set up, especially when a group of children come through!
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Actually looking again it looks like they've raised the ground level, hope so anyways!
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Does anyone know what's going on with the funicular? It appears to be regularly shut, with ongoing restrictions on capacity, and ambient conditions when it can run.
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@Peter S, “reliable weather for skiing”

Puzzled Puzzled
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geoff10 wrote:
Does anyone know what's going on with the funicular? It appears to be regularly shut, with ongoing restrictions on capacity, and ambient conditions when it can run.


Here you go : http://parkswatchscotland.co.uk/2018/09/28/the-funicular-and-the-crisis-at-cairngorm-mountain/

The funicular fiasco is a problem entirely of HIE's own making! Mad
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They must regret the day they went for a funicular.

If only they’d replaced the old chairlifts with something a bit newer and refurbished their existing tows instead of scrap them, they would likely still have a strong snowsports customer base. They would also have avoided the closed system at the summit and therefore probably retained their summer market of walkers and perhaps cyclists. Today they might have had options instead of liabilities and debts.

Oh Well, we are where we are I suppose.
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Thank you @Alastair Pink,
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@Peter S, +1
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@Peter S, +2
And that sounds like the Cairngorm funicular is pretty much finished long term as a ski uplift, hard to see how Cairngorm can survive for uplifted skiing. That is very sad.
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I think its a year or so old, and apologies if posted here before, but seems a pretty detailed article about the impact the funicular has had, including figures of how many fewer uplifts per hour are now possible.

incredible to think that anyone charged with running a snow sports business thinks that reducing capacity is a sensible way to go about business.

Troubled times at Cairngorm
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Although I haven't skied at Cairngorm since the funicular went in I'm very sad at the demise of what was once the UK's premier ski area. Natural Retreats sound like they should have their lease pulled pronto.
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We were hoping to spend some time there this winter, but remembering how it was last year when the funicular was out of action (queues 100 deep for the M1 poma) we'll likely go elsewhere. Such a shame for anyone who has bought their seasons pass already.
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The incoherence behind the decision-making, large and small, at Cairngorm defies description: I was up there last year and, having heard they were doing a 'tourers ticket' thought I'd use a bit of spare time to jump on the funicular for a lap of the plateau before heading down the road. That plan was a non-starter, as you're only allowed to use the surface lifts on the 'tourer's ticket', and they weren't running lower down. They could have had easy money, but got nothing; no lift ticket, no restaurant custom, no parking contribution...
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From the Save the Ciste facebook page:

"Well, it’s official. The Funicular is now CLOSED until further notice while the structural defects plaguing the system are fully investigated. The press release states that the engineering findings are ‘expected’ in November, with any remedial actions then taken after that..... All of this is happening right at the onset of winter, when any meaningful works - concreting, and so on - traditionally would not be able to be carried out. One might surmise, then, that the Funicular’s status this winter could be looking very tedious indeed. No statements have yet been made about season tickets, or the rights of persons who have bought them. If only there were two chairlifts still in Coire na Ciste providing alternative non-surface uplift to the top!! The compounded short-sighted policy decisions of the past are now all coming home to roost."

HIE statement: http://news.hie.co.uk/all-news/cairngorm-funicular-closed-for-further-inspection/
I note the quote from Susan Smith, HIE’s head of business development, "This is a highly regrettable situation, over which we have very limited control." Bearing in mind the cogent comment made by Peter S above, I think it would have considerably more accurate if she'd said "This is a highly regrettable situation, which is down to decisions originally made by HIE".

What a shambles! Sad Evil or Very Mad
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Busses up? It would mean closing a few runs of course. Is there enough space below the track at the midstation? I can't remember. Or even just a bus to midstation, though that doesn't address capacity issues or staff/supplies to the restaurant.
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@Canuck, There is (rightly imv) no way buses (and the track that would have to be constructed for them) would be allowed on the environmentally sensitive ground above the current road access.
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+ there is no way a normal bus would make it up during cold snow/ice/frost periods....even to mid station!

This is a real shame, I used to enjoy skiing at Cairngorm.
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The whole sorry mess by HIE/Natural Retreats at Cairngorm shows it's well past the point where responsibility for Cairngorm infrastructure and operation should be taken out of their hands and given to a local community buyout (provided the price agreed recognizes the white elephant nature of the funicular and doesn't saddle them with unrealistic debt which should remain with HIE as it was their project in the first place!)
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If only Cairngorm had a couple of chairlifts and some other mid-mountain uplift to take the strain off the train.... rolling eyes rolling eyes
Looks like Glenshee, Nevis Range, Glencoe and Lecht will be a bit busier again this Winter. I'll only be passing through Cairngorm if i'm out on the Splitboard.
@Canuck, don't think they'd get a bus under the Funicular track at the bottom, if they can get the tows from the car park operational and running for 8.30am to get the staff and early risers up the hill that would probably help.
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Well, if we can walk it up to Yad Moss, Raise, Lowthers... Laughing Seriously, would it be within the intelligence and business-saving, customer relations/retentions sense of CML/NR and its pals to offer seriously reduced price tickets for those prepared to hike up to whichever uplift has useable conditions? Or invest quickly in artificial snowmaking on the lower tows?
I mean, what's the alternative for them now if the funicular can't provide half station, never mind Ptarmigan, service this season? (Even if it can run at all it'll be stupidly slow and very limited in passenger capacity.) Close everything? Nothing patrolled, nothing pisted? That could be fun for some, I suppose...
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