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Glencoe reopens, and the new owners reveal their plans

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
David Goldsmith, & Lager, thanks for the snow input.
How much of last season was it possible to ski the back of Nevis Range (and get round to the lifts again) ?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ian Hopkinson, nor do I.

D G Orf, you also forgot the cost. An annual season ticket for the whole SBB, the buses and trams of 35 towns, some boats, some cable cars and gets you a discount on the mountain services costs CHF2,900 (£1,275) or CHF 265 a month.

An annual travel card from Welwyn GC to all of London is £2,660 (6,047 CHF).

Nadenoodlee, why drive when you can drink?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
skanky, Well im sure the trains are great etc but you'd still be in Switzerland Razz
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snowball wrote:
David Goldsmith, & Lager, thanks for the snow input.
How much of last season was it possible to ski the back of Nevis Range (and get round to the lifts again) ?


If I remember rightly it was possible to ski round the back but you had a bit of a trek back to the lifts. Don't think they ran the lift for that reason. Not 100% sure though.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Nadenoodlee, yeah, every way you look at it it gets better.
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skanky, id rather skin my own toes than live in Switzerland
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
That's a bit extreme.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Apparently, this is extreme skinning Doesn't look that extreme to me Puzzled
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Lager wrote:


If I remember rightly it was possible to ski round the back but you had a bit of a trek back to the lifts. Don't think they ran the lift for that reason. Not 100% sure though.

Hmm, that shows how bad the snow was. Whenever I skied Nevis you just skied a long traverse from the back bowl and arrived at the bottom of the front lifts again. Or is that what you meant by a trek?
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Nadenoodlee, I don't think that'll be necessary. Wink
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Damn, misread the post.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Tue 6-07-04 16:14; edited 1 time in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Mark Hunter wrote:
Apparently, this is extreme skinning Doesn't look that extreme to me Puzzled


No, it isn't. Ironing still has the edge.
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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
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
Any rastafarians or users of exotic herbs on the thread like to comment whether thats extreme skinning or not.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
David Goldsmith, such is my dislike for the place, I would sacrifice looking good in sandals rather than live there
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
David@traxvax, Laughing

Whereas this is just extreme and not a little scary Shocked
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Mark Hunter, nothing would make me more likely to want to drink. Shocked
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Indeed skanky, it's not like I don't have enough of a problem now rolling eyes

Is this how Superman started out perhaps?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Whilst David Goldsmith, correctly points out that ironing still has the edge, this ironing appears to have gone over it.
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Yes, if he's using a cordless he's in real trouble.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Precisely, but I trust you're referring to his iron. Never a great seller the old cordless parachute.....
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Mark Hunter, sells well, no repeat custom though.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hold on though, isn't that first one you posted merely taken a short while after the second one? Shocked
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
If it was, I hope he was up there long enough to get all the creases out!
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Peter S wrote:
Ise,
One of the joint purposes of National Parks in Britain is to promote public enjoyment.


No it wasn't, you need to read the original enabling legislation.
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Lager wrote:
Compared to the average Alpine resort I'd say that Scottish skiing has far less impact on the mountain enviroment.


I think that's about right, my point was purely that we'd want to mitigate that impact by measuring benefit, more people benefit from, say Val D'Isere, or to use a good example the new link between Plagne and Arcs than did by Aonach Mor. Upgrading and extending Aviemore would have been easier to justify. At a time when the Alpine countries had woken up to the impact of stations and were trying to limit further impact in the UK a choice was made to develop at Aonach Mor. Like most people in the UK mountaineering community at the time I thought it was disgraceful, a widely help opinion at the time in fact.
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snowball wrote:
Lager wrote:


If I remember rightly it was possible to ski round the back but you had a bit of a trek back to the lifts. Don't think they ran the lift for that reason. Not 100% sure though.

Hmm, that shows how bad the snow was. Whenever I skied Nevis you just skied a long traverse from the back bowl and arrived at the bottom of the front lifts again. Or is that what you meant by a trek?


I believe the traverse was broken. Nevis seemed to have plenty of snow higher up, but seemed to be very little lower down. Didn't go up there myself though so I'm just going on what others have said.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Ise,
These are the statutory purposes of National Parks as set out in the Environment Act 1995.
To:
 Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park; and

 Promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the National Park by the public.

In pursuing these purposes there is also a duty on National Park Authority’s to foster social and economic well being.

The 'new' purposes differ from the original 1949 Act only to the extent that they are now more embracing. The primary purposes of National Parks in the UK at least, remains conservation and public enjoyment.

I still don’t understand your philosophy about development. It seems to be that it Ok to build enormous cable cars and supporting infrastructure in Switzerland because lots of people will use it there but its not OK to build small lifts in Scotland because less people will use them ?
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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
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
The obvious solution is for Scotland to become Swiss territory (for the benefit of skiers), or Switzerland to become Scottish territory (for the conservation of the landscape).

I think Peter S has got it right. But, to be less tongue-in-cheek, both Scotland and Switzerland are good examples of counctries that cherish their mountains. Contrast this with France (viz. the Haute Savoie), which is the real culprit.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
David Goldsmith, I've always found the ease with which planning permission can be obtained in some instances in France to be rather surprising. In the case of public projects or large scale private developments, in particular. I remember when a beautiful square (Place Carnot) in front of the old Perrache station in Lyon was razed to make way for a new bus and metro complex, as well as the new motorway, running smack through the middle of the city. Power lines run everywhere along the highest contours, with little effort to disguise them. In the past there was little real debate over routes for new motorways, tgv rail lines etc. Things are changing a little now, but much damage has been done. And a few quid in the right place still works wonders - bribery scandals in local government have been much reported, but the problem is far from being eradicated. Locally, it's still very much a case of who you know.... prospective ex-pats take note!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
PG wrote:
David Goldsmith, I've always found the ease with which planning permission can be obtained in some instances in France


In 1970 the Toulouse city council decided to demolish one of the Roman arched gates that lead into the city to make way for a multistory carpark... they used the remains of the gate, which had stood for over 2000 years, as hardcore.

When I lived in Antibes I went to look for the old Roman aquaduct that supplied the town with water. The tourist board had a book with photos of the structure, a sort of mini Pont du Garde. We found rubble, it seems to have been knocked or fell down when they enlarged the Antibes/Sofia motorway junction.

Still visit the city centre of Ipswich. In the 60s the council knocked down parts of the medieval city centre to build a cold, sterile and dangerous concrete precinct.

City councils the world over a law unto themselves and often run by people with very odd ideas. I wonder if UK councils are any less corrupt than French ones?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Peter S wrote:
I still don’t understand your philosophy about development. It seems to be that it Ok to build enormous cable cars and supporting infrastructure in Switzerland because lots of people will use it there but its not OK to build small lifts in Scotland because less people will use them ?


There's only so many to explain a simple point but apparently unlimited ways to go off at a tangent.

A lot of money was spent and a negative impact on the environment occurred, that's indisputable. The only way the cost and impact can be justified is by the benefit; I'd have thought that was also indisputable.

So, all that can be disputed is whether the cost and impact are justified by the benefit. Since I skied in Scotland, climbed there and contributed to the public funding that financed the development I'm entitled to express my opinion that benefits have been minimal.

It's quite irrelevant what happens in Switzerland, it doesn't alter the value proposition of Scottish skiing in any way at all.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
But, ise, your logic would imply that the Scottish Highlands could justifiably be covered with pylons if the skiing benefit was to be enjoyed by millions.

With respect, I think you're ignoring the intense environmental scrutiny that actually precedes ski development in Scotland (and that included Aonach Mor, where it was decided to run a gondola to the snowline rather than an access road like Cairngorm. Ironically, the chief hurdle that the Nevis Range development upon that mountian had to cross was the concern of Alcan that their water supply to the aluminium smelting plant in Fort William (which is why they own the mountain) might be polluted.

I would have thought that Scotland, viewed as a whole, is a case study of learning environmentalism by experience. The climate change, upon which you can rest your argument that the usage and economic benefit isn't there, is where we should apply our environmental focus.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Clearly a line has to be drawn somewhere. An equivalent situation in France might be the Mont Ventoux. Whereas once the 'Géant de Provence' had a relatively extended season, even three or four weeks of cover has now become the exception rather than the rule. The introduction of snow cannons to compensate was considered unacceptable in terms of environmental impact, and therefore not only is further development out of the question, but the resort itself will no doubt be closed in the not too distant future.

Even if snow cover struggles along at current levels, its unpredictability means that the resort cannot be viable in economic terms. It therefore makes a considerable amount of sense to dismantle the lifts and allow the mountain to return to its natural state, while promoting other activities to help the local community through a difficult period.

I don't really think what is happening in terms of development in other areas of France to be relevant to the situation on the Ventoux.
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Quote:
your logic would imply that the Scottish Highlands could justifiably be covered with pylons if the skiing benefit was to be enjoyed by millions.

David Goldsmith, If that were possible, the infrastructure would already have been in place for many years!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
David Goldsmith wrote:
But, ise, your logic would imply that the Scottish Highlands could justifiably be covered with pylons if the skiing benefit was to be enjoyed by millions.


Reductio Ad Absurdum ? or not ...

Obviously not, you've increased impact to a maximum value and you can never acheive a theoretical maximum value for benefit since the whole population doesn't participate so my point is logically complete I think.
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£9m was spent setting up Aonach Mor which is a modest amount of money by ski infrastructure standards. The facility is very small and gives benefit to Scottish skiers, boarders, climbers, walkers, sightseers and cyclists throughout the year. It is also an important component in the local Tourism industry and therefore the local economy.

Ski development is tightly regulated in Scotland by National Planning Policy Guidance which stipulates where and what type of development can take place. With regard to environmental protection I would have to say that Britain probably has the most rigourous standards of any European country.

I'm therefore confident that the impact on the upland environment of Scotland from mechanised ski development is remarkably small and compact, certainly compared to almost any other skiable mountain range in Europe. I'm also happy that it has and is contributing significantly to the the enjoyment of the public through winter sports recreation and visitors who merely would like to enjoy the view.

Within the existing tight planning controls governing further development, what is wrong with that ?
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PG wrote:
Quote:
your logic would imply that the Scottish Highlands could justifiably be covered with pylons if the skiing benefit was to be enjoyed by millions.

David Goldsmith, If that were possible, the infrastructure would already have been in place for many years!


Incidentally there were at least two mountains identified by the folks on Winterhighland which would be far more suitable for skiing than the ones we have at the moment. Braeriach seems to be the mountain that most winter sports enthusiasts covet, but planning guidelines won't let so much as a drag lift near it.

Just because there happens to be a resort on Cairngorm doesn't mean it's the best place for skiing or boarding.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Very interesting point - though Cairngorm has some great runs - and actually very relevant to Aonach Mor (Nevis Range). The early studies on that mountain, which go right back to the early 70s or before, showed that the mountain was very exposed to high winds. If I'm not mistaken it is stormbound more frequently than Cairngorm.

I think (relative) lack of wind exposure is one reason for the success of The Lecht - where, of course, all but one lift is a surface tow (which tend to operate in near-hurricane conditions!)
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Here's an encouraging update on developments at Glencoe, from Fraser Merrifield, a member of the new management team:

"The resort is now in full swing and we have had a successfull summer period. The aim of the centre is to keep it open 7 days a week summer and winter, in addition to this a vast amount of development is beng done in order to convert the centre into a base for walkers and climbers. This will include rennovation of the 2 restaurants, bunk housing, lodge style accommodation and many other additions to the centre and its activities.

If any of you need more information regarding the centre (not what Neil [Tate] and Dave [Campbell] [the new owners] do appart from Glencoe) either come and visit us up on the hill or send me an e-mail."

[Fraser Merrifield posted that news to www.winterhighland.com ]


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Wed 1-09-04 14:25; edited 3 times in total
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Bloody hell, ise, you've really got it in for us Scottish skiers haven't you ?

The environmental impact of the older areas, especially Glenshee and Cairngorm, was bad, but ironically justified in your terms by the fact that they were absolutely packed with skiers throughout the 80s.

The impact of the Aonach Mor development is much much less. It has a very small visual impact even in summer. In fact I'd say the surrounding commercial forestry is much worse.
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