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Cairngorm Mountain Ltd in administration

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Whitegold wrote:
It's been dragging on for almost a decade...

Tens of millions of UK pounds lost or wasted.

HIE is like a headless chicken.


FIFY. Madeye-Smiley
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
davidof wrote:
I click on the BBC link and I get treated to this filth



Don't worry, that's the only thing Swinney is unable to make a balls up of
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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?
Ski lots wrote:
A few years ago I organised a meeting between the adventure sports industry in Scotland and a Scottish Government Minister, to get some interest in career development in the sector. The meeting was at Glenmore Lodge in November, with snow on the ground. Said Minister turned up in a fun-fur coat and high heels. Her most useful observation was “isn’t it cold” - we didn’t hear from her again.


Constance?
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@DidierCouch, got it in one.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Building a funicular on a concrete viaduct has proved a disastrous choice. It didn’t achieve its objective of providing all weather access to the summit and there is little reason for repeat summer visits because passengers are not allowed out at the top.

In retrospect a do nothing strategy would have been much better. Perhaps the old sideways chair could have been maintained for longer, until a more modern unit could be sourced.

A replacement chair would still have been frequently closed by the wind but crucially it would not have bankrupted Caingorm leading to the premature closure of five other ski lifts, greatly reducing uplift capacity on the hill.

A more conventional Lift would have been easily recyclable at the end of its life and would also have allowed plenty of time to carefully think through future options.

Cairngorm now has to find £15m just to get back to the situation of having a functioning lift but still facing another big bill sometime in the future.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Peter S, Probably plenty of button lifts available in good condition too as alpine resorts replace them with chairs.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Imagine if they had built a gondola down to Glenmore instead of a funicular up to the Ptarmigan. The ski road could have been closed and the Gondola would provide year round access to the hill. The ciste and the cas car parks could have been removed, healing scars in the landscape and returning tranquility to Cairngorm.

Since the Gondola would only extend as far up as the day lodge, or possibly the Sheiling, there would be no reason to restrict visitor access from the top station making the gondola attractive to walkers, climbers and touring skiers. The Gondola would be accessible to all and would open up new opportunities for downhill cycling.

Instead of a bleak car park half way up a hillside the base station would be part of an attractive visitor hub in the sheltered and accessible Glenmore forest. It’s easy to imagine a popular cafe bar, event space, accommodation and a myriad of year round activities centred there, better linked to the rest of the Spey valley.

On storm bound days the base station cafe would still be open and there would still be plenty to do. The hill road would not need significant maintenance at public expense and the skiing would be more responsive to good snow. In exceptional conditions it might even be possible to ski back down to base.

Since there would be year round income with repeat customers, the Ciste chairs, Aonach poma, white lady and Fiacaill Tbars would still be running maintaining uplift capacity on the hill and therefore ticket sales, in good conditions.

A detachable chair from the top of the Gondola would run up to the Ptarmigan and the White Lady would not have been robbed of snow by the funicular viaduct. The ptarmigan cafe would not have needed to be rebuilt and would have retained its unique character.

On days with too much wind it would just be accepted that there would be no lift served skiing.

Of course none of this would have prevented climate change or the attraction of cheap continental skiing and no doubt we would still be moaning about some other aspect of Cairngorm, but it probably wouldn’t be bankrupt.
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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!
@Peter S, spot on with your comments.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I must admit, having spend a fair amount of time there earlier in my skiing/ snowboarding life and in the summer for hillwalking I've never been since the funicular was put in and never been tempted to.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Peter S wrote:
Imagine if they had built a gondola down to Glenmore instead of a funicular up to the Ptarmigan. The ski road could have been closed and the Gondola would provide year round access to the hill. The ciste and the cas car parks could have been removed, healing scars in the landscape and returning tranquility to Cairngorm.

Since the Gondola would only extend as far up as the day lodge, or possibly the Sheiling, there would be no reason to restrict visitor access from the top station making the gondola attractive to walkers, climbers and touring skiers. The Gondola would be accessible to all and would open up new opportunities for downhill cycling.

Instead of a bleak car park half way up a hillside the base station would be part of an attractive visitor hub in the sheltered and accessible Glenmore forest. It’s easy to imagine a popular cafe bar, event space, accommodation and a myriad of year round activities centred there, better linked to the rest of the Spey valley.

On storm bound days the base station cafe would still be open and there would still be plenty to do. The hill road would not need significant maintenance at public expense and the skiing would be more responsive to good snow. In exceptional conditions it might even be possible to ski back down to base.

Since there would be year round income with repeat customers, the Ciste chairs, Aonach poma, white lady and Fiacaill Tbars would still be running maintaining uplift capacity on the hill and therefore ticket sales, in good conditions.

A detachable chair from the top of the Gondola would run up to the Ptarmigan and the White Lady would not have been robbed of snow by the funicular viaduct. The ptarmigan cafe would not have needed to be rebuilt and would have retained its unique character.

On days with too much wind it would just be accepted that there would be no lift served skiing.

Of course none of this would have prevented climate change or the attraction of cheap continental skiing and no doubt we would still be moaning about some other aspect of Cairngorm, but it probably wouldn’t be bankrupt.


^ This. Funicular can't make money in summer for reasons your describe.

Ideally I would also close the road to Glenmore and extend the steam train track from Aviemore. Stops en-route for hikers, bikers and skiers. Make it proper car free national park Scotland can be proud of.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Peter S wrote:
Imagine if they had built a gondola down to Glenmore instead of a funicular up to the Ptarmigan. The ski road could have been closed and the Gondola would provide year round access to the hill. The ciste and the cas car parks could have been removed, healing scars in the landscape and returning tranquility to Cairngorm.

Since the Gondola would only extend as far up as the day lodge, or possibly the Sheiling, there would be no reason to restrict visitor access from the top station making the gondola attractive to walkers, climbers and touring skiers. The Gondola would be accessible to all and would open up new opportunities for downhill cycling.

Instead of a bleak car park half way up a hillside the base station would be part of an attractive visitor hub in the sheltered and accessible Glenmore forest. It’s easy to imagine a popular cafe bar, event space, accommodation and a myriad of year round activities centred there, better linked to the rest of the Spey valley.

On storm bound days the base station cafe would still be open and there would still be plenty to do. The hill road would not need significant maintenance at public expense and the skiing would be more responsive to good snow. In exceptional conditions it might even be possible to ski back down to base.

Since there would be year round income with repeat customers, the Ciste chairs, Aonach poma, white lady and Fiacaill Tbars would still be running maintaining uplift capacity on the hill and therefore ticket sales, in good conditions.

A detachable chair from the top of the Gondola would run up to the Ptarmigan and the White Lady would not have been robbed of snow by the funicular viaduct. The ptarmigan cafe would not have needed to be rebuilt and would have retained its unique character.

On days with too much wind it would just be accepted that there would be no lift served skiing.

Of course none of this would have prevented climate change or the attraction of cheap continental skiing and no doubt we would still be moaning about some other aspect of Cairngorm, but it probably wouldn’t be bankrupt.


Imagine installing snow cannons on the road and using this as a several mile tranquil green run from the current base station down to Glenmore. This would give seasonal skiing from December to March regardless of conditions higher up the mountain.
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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.
Quote:
Cairngorm is like a headless chicken.
But a very decent ski area with a reliable (for Scotland) snow record and a long season. Great access to surrounding ski touring terrain too.

Needs saving....
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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
Peter S wrote:
Building a funicular on a concrete viaduct has proved a disastrous choice. It didn’t achieve its objective of providing all weather access to the summit and there is little reason for repeat summer visits because passengers are not allowed out at the top.

In retrospect a do nothing strategy would have been much better.


HIE ultimately persuaded a lot of the snowsports community to support the funicular because they presented it as having reached the stage it was the funicular or do nothing, they are basically playing the same game now - the funicular gets repaired or it is game over. HIE and CML are the problem, not part of the solution and CairnGorm can not succeed while HIE remain owner and the present long term operations team remain in situ. To be brutally honest, if CairnGorm closed, Aviemore would have the ski area it deserves, when things could have been different, Aviemore didn't want to know. Sad

What HIE weren't open about until the 2009 Audit Scotland report - the original DO NOTHING option, was not do nothing, it involved building the new Base Station and Ptarmigan, extending the Carpark Chair into the Base Station, the White Lady Chairlift would terminate inside the Ptarmigan Station and through running at the middle would again have been possible with a new build Sheiling as well. As an extra, the Carpark and White Lady Chairlift were always capable of running with 4 seat gondolas, utilising 2 chair grips on an articulated arm to cope with the curvature of the guide rails in the stations.

From what can be ascertained, we are now looking at £15m to fix the viaduct, £2m to upgrade the rolling stock and control system / running gear refurbishment and £3m to rebuild the Ptarmigan Restaurant. Visitor numbers will rise sharply for a couple of years as people go for a look to see what's happened, HIE will trumpet how fantastic they are and hope no-one notices in a couple of years when it's back to declining visitor numbers below sustainable levels and more money needs to be ploughed in. Will it be 2030 or 2040 before the viaduct needs another £30m chucked at it?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@haggishunter, I'm afraid if lift served skiing on Cairngorm does eventually die it's epitaph will be "Great Scottish ski area killed by HIE incompetence" Sad Evil or Very Mad
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The whole story might make an Insightful TV programme ?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Highlands MSP wants further probe into running of Cairngorm Mountain.

Quote:
"He told the Strathy the Audit Scotland report had highlighted a number of serious failings at the attraction. "It suggests that HIE mismanaged their commercial contract with the previous operators of Cairngorm Mountain. There was a lack of scrutiny, a lack of regular monitoring and a lack of documentation," said the MSP.
"However, the report raises more questions than answers. This is why I am requesting that the PAPLS Committee hold an inquiry and take evidence from the Scottish Government, HIE and the previous operators of Cairngorm Mountain".

Finally someone with some, albeit limited, authority is speaking out on this omnishambles. Perhaps all hope is not lost.
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