Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Cairngorm Funicular to be Repaired

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
GreenDay wrote:

I don't see this happening, not least because someone would have to sanction destroying hundreds of trees and hence wildlife habitat to build a new car park at the imaginary base station.


Have a look on Google Maps Satellite image at 57°09'24.9"N 3°40'33.2"W
Just an idea. But there's no large trees there, and it's slightly higher up than the marshy river plain.
(This is where I'm suggesting for the base station and village. https://goo.gl/maps/2rHzETk5uQazS1ZAA)
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
HIE did a study in 2018.
https://www.hie.co.uk/media/5558/cairngormplusmainplusfeasibilityplusreportplus-plusnovplus2018.pdf

Not sure what happened to it.
However, quite a lot of thought went into it.
They recommended cutting down the scope of the Funicular and building some high-speed chairlifts.
snow report
 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?
GreenDay wrote:
SkiPresto wrote:
Hi Idris
Yes, and a Poma lift will move 1400 pax/hr at 3.5m/s.

They need a few more at Cairngorm.

But the main uplift needs to be a gondola.
I still say run a decent 3S Gondola from Glenmore. 3S (two support cables and one puller) is rock solid -even in high winds, and would be a thrilling and marvellous passenger experience.

It would solve a lot of the current problems, and save a lot of money if you include the road costs and high-level car park.
Car exhaust pollution on the access road must also be a problem.


I dont see this happening, not least because someone would have to sanction destroying hundreds of trees and hence wildlife habitat to build a new car park at the imaginary base station.


You wouldn't need to destroy hundreds of trees, not least a carpark in the forest doesn't need to be the same continuous entity that it does high up for snow clearing purposes. There are areas around Glenmore with relatively few trees on ground that is old ploughed commercial forestry areas.

There is also a big disconnect between where parking is, mostly on the mountain and where it is needed in summer, ie Glenmore - traffic management has been an increasing nightmare in summer as well as disruption to day to day life from queues at the snowgates in winter. Moving the ski area base to Glenmore deals with many of the issues facing both CairnGorm and the Glenmore corridor in one package, they simply have to be managed as a whole.

50% of the carpark capacity on the mountain can be achieved by diagonal nose in parking either side of the road from the reindeer centre to the picnic area a short distance above the existing snowgates, so the scale of new off road parking needing to be built isn't as big as you might expect. Also it would be possible to run a half hourly bus to Glenmore with the same resources as required to run the hourly service to CairnGorm and that would make a dent in the number of cars needing to be parked.

The problem is that a 3S or Funitel is hugely expensive for relatively modest increase in wind tolerance over a mono cable gondola, thus economically the best option would be a mono-cable gondola to the lower and less exposed Ciste Carpark Area, but by ramming through the funicular repair with no public or parliamentary scrutiny of the (non) business case locks in a Cas based and thus probably road accessed future. IE £40m plus to restore a status quo we already no is unviable. Mad
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@haggishunter, Aye, the area noted on that map is deffo old commercial forestry, I have biked a lot over that area so accept that is not a forest as such.

I would say that its entirely a non starter because - regardless of the use of the land at the moment, nobody is going to sanction tarmac-ing over and bulldozering land to install pylons / power etc etc.

It just aint happening.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I Suspect the cost would be the bigger barrier. The base could avoid a sensitive area and the trees lost could be offset elsewhere. Also the closure of the hill road to public traffic and removal of the cas carpark would be major environmental enhancements.

The large sums already spent on the funicular has probably ended any likelihood of this project in the forseeable future unfortunately.
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Some years ago BASI L3s were offered free Cairngorm season passes.
I realised that I disliked the place so much, I wouldn't be going. Even for a free pass.
I would much rather ski at Glenshee and Glencoe.
The Mayrhofen story shows what a real ski resort does. They pulled out a lift that was only 20 years old, but no longer fit for purpose, and built the Penkenbahn.
That was in 2016.
What did they do at Cairngorm?
They didn't set a goal. They set a budget.
They allowed themselves to be compromised right from the start.
They are now managing a very expensive failure.
I would be very surprised if this refurbishment lasts 8 years, and still that'll not solve the problems of inefficiency and labour intensity.
They'll still be telling the world that there aren't the skier numbers to warrant installing proper ski lifts. While the skiers languish in long queues to get up the mountain and down again.
The car park has to be rebuilt and so does the access road.
The funicular and the road will still be blocked every time it snows.
Nobody thought of simply getting contractors in from Austria. The whole thing is simply a political mess, and there's no way out of that now.

Oh. Did anyone write to Sir Edward Mountain?
He may be the last hope of stopping this madness.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
SkiPresto wrote:
Some years ago BASI L3s were offered free Cairngorm season passes.

The Mayrhofen story shows what a real ski resort does. They pulled out a lift that was only 20 years old, but no longer fit for purpose, and built the Penkenbahn.


Topic drift warning.

Why did they do this. I've only ever been to Mayerhofen once, in the year the old new lift opened 1996 I think and was really surprised to see that it had been replaced so quickly. My main memory of it was it turning a corner over the mid mountain peak at full speed with no midstation.

Any idea why it was changed?
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
SkiPresto wrote:

Oh. Did anyone write to Sir Edward Mountain?
He may be the last hope of stopping this madness.


A number of local businesses and groups including the 'Campaign for a better Cairngorm' and Save the Ciste are in communication with various local MSPs / MPs including Edward Mountain. Unfortunately the Aviemore Business Association appears to have gone dormant again following the departure of Natural Retreats from the scene. A long hard winter that prevents any meaningful progress on repairs will be required to have any chance of a change of plan, but to do so will almost certainly require the estate to be removed from HIE or HIE to be dismantled.

It is clear that politicians in Holyrood had no sight of what was going on at the point earlier this summer when a different decision could have been taken. I gather HIE had the deal signed and sealed by 10th August! Neither the Scottish Parliament, nor Audit Scotland, never mind the public, had sight of the business case prior to it being made public, let alone the before the deals to make it a fait accompli were signed.

HIE's behavior throughout the entire story of the CairnGorm Funicular has been highly questionable at best. The conflict of interest as land owner, ski area operator and enterprise funding body is wholly unacceptable and the proposal to subsidise CMSL's operational revenue by £2 to £3 million per annum is a complete abuse of it's public sector position.

HIE unquestionably presented the case to the relevant minister as spend £17m and have nothing or spend £16m and have something. The business case is an absolute joke, if it had seen light of day before the decision was taken it would have been destroyed instantly.
ski holidays
 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.
stevew wrote:
SkiPresto wrote:
Some years ago BASI L3s were offered free Cairngorm season passes.

The Mayrhofen story shows what a real ski resort does. They pulled out a lift that was only 20 years old, but no longer fit for purpose, and built the Penkenbahn.


Topic drift warning.

Why did they do this. I've only ever been to Mayerhofen once, in the year the old new lift opened 1996 I think and was really surprised to see that it had been replaced so quickly. My main memory of it was it turning a corner over the mid mountain peak at full speed with no midstation.

Any idea why it was changed?


I had a look at this.
The previous lift had two cables only and required a direction change at the first pylon.
Also, the safety built in was a big improvement.
Management of childrens' groups is another.

The direction change is done on a new first pylon using a 50m section of "Haul-Rope Saddles".
There is new safety built in such that cabins can be wound down in case of breakdown stoppage.
Childrens groups have their own loading arrangements.

https://en.isr.at/singleview-en-old/article/world-first-for-mayrhofen
latest report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
SkiPresto wrote:
stevew wrote:
SkiPresto wrote:
Some years ago BASI L3s were offered free Cairngorm season passes.

The Mayrhofen story shows what a real ski resort does. They pulled out a lift that was only 20 years old, but no longer fit for purpose, and built the Penkenbahn.


Topic drift warning.

Why did they do this. I've only ever been to Mayerhofen once, in the year the old new lift opened 1996 I think and was really surprised to see that it had been replaced so quickly. My main memory of it was it turning a corner over the mid mountain peak at full speed with no midstation.

Any idea why it was changed?


I had a look at this.
The previous lift had two cables only and required a direction change at the first pylon.
Also, the safety built in was a big improvement.
Management of childrens' groups is another.

The direction change is done on a new first pylon using a 50m section of "Haul-Rope Saddles".
There is new safety built in such that cabins can be wound down in case of breakdown stoppage.
Childrens groups have their own loading arrangements.

https://en.isr.at/singleview-en-old/article/world-first-for-mayrhofen


From the great link

New benchmark for the quality of the ride

Quote:
In order to achieve the smoothest possible ride on the 3S Penkenbahn, Doppelmayr designed long rope saddles (approx. 50 meters in length). As a consequence, passengers only realize that the cabin is negotiating a curve when their line of sight changes. “The 3S angle tow­er in Mayrhofen underlines once again our potential for innovation with tricable systems. In terms of the quality of the ride, attractive­ness and safety, we actually managed to exceed our customer’s expectations,” adds a satisfied Peter Luger.


On the old one the first thing you noticed going round the bend was the huge clatter and sway!
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
That is good info from HaggisHunter.

I think they'll realise that keeping the funicular is something they have to do to save political face.
But that doesn't mean they won't need to buy additional capacity.
Anything built up the mountain will cost 10x the price and do 10x the damage.
For that reason, someone in the next 10 years may propose to close the access road and move the car park to the less sensitive land at the bottom, thereby solving management, environmental and access problems.
A new lift from Glenmore would solve so many of their endemic problems, which are really hangovers from the way things were done 60 years ago.
I don't suppose anyone will think of visiting Austria to see how these projects are built and managed.
But you never know.
latest report
 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.
Interesting article from ParkswatchScotland on the funicular repair: http://parkswatchscotland.co.uk/2020/12/28/will-the-repair-of-the-cairngorm-funicular-railway-work-1/

It seems that HIE have no copies of the original funicular design and construction documentation, even though it appears that information should have been held for the lifetime of the funicular. The Construction, Design and Management Regulations 1994 (the version in force at the time of construction, there are more recent versions) specifically state it is a legal requirement that a Health & Safety file (which one might expect would contain some design and construction details) is to be handed to the client once construction is completed and the client must retain the file and if a new owner takes over (as HIE did in 2008) then the file must be copied or handed over to the new owner.
ski holidays
 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
Alastair Pink wrote:
@mountainaddict,yes, even less of a bargain, not mentioned in the BBC report, but identified in HIE's "business case" for repairing the funicular is that they acknowledge that even with the funicular back in operation the Cairngorm operation will run at a loss, with a provision of between £9.76m and £14.57m over a five-year period to support the operating company until 2026. rolling eyes Quite what happens beyond 2026 is anyone's guess.
snow conditions
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Alastair Pink wrote:
@mountainaddict,yes, even less of a bargain, not mentioned in the BBC report, but identified in HIE's "business case" for repairing the funicular is that they acknowledge that even with the funicular back in operation the Cairngorm operation will run at a loss, with a provision of between £9.76m and £14.57m over a five-year period to support the operating company until 2026. rolling eyes Quite what happens beyond 2026 is anyone's guess.


Just a thought.
Brexit deal and level playing field.
Can the state pump lots of .money on to a private conpany?
I'm not saying they shouldn't and I can't see Val d'sere quacking in their boots at the thought of a state subsided UK ski resort.
But if i were glencoe, or Glenshee......
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
stevew wrote:

Topic drift warning.

Why did they do this. I've only ever been to Mayerhofen once, in the year the old new lift opened 1996 I think and was really surprised to see that it had been replaced so quickly. Any idea why it was changed?


The 90 minute queues to get up the mountain in the morning and the 60 minute queues to get back down again (no home run) might have been part of it...
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
How many people go skiing to Scotland... Enough to justify the amount of investment they're throwing at the area?? From what I've read not enough..
snow conditions
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
yorkshirelad wrote:
How many people go skiing to Scotland... Enough to justify the amount of investment they're throwing at the area?? From what I've read not enough..


Plenty people go skiing in Scotland. The main objection to the funicular is that it was designed for summer tourists wink
snow report
 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?
Haggis_Trap wrote:
yorkshirelad wrote:
How many people go skiing to Scotland... Enough to justify the amount of investment they're throwing at the area?? From what I've read not enough..


Plenty people go skiing in Scotland. The main objection to the funicular is that it was designed for summer tourists wink


Yes. Literally a tourist trap! Are there any other mountain lifts anywhere in the world where travellers are locked inside the top lift station in summer?

Just wondering... Puzzled
snow conditions
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Bergmeister wrote:
Haggis_Trap wrote:
yorkshirelad wrote:
How many people go skiing to Scotland... Enough to justify the amount of investment they're throwing at the area?? From what I've read not enough..


Plenty people go skiing in Scotland. The main objection to the funicular is that it was designed for summer tourists wink


Yes. Literally a tourist trap! Are there any other mountain lifts anywhere in the world where travellers are locked inside the top lift station in summer?

Just wondering... Puzzled


Does that directive re locking in at the top still apply from 1st January 2021? - i thought the Visitor Management Plan was as a result of EU funding?
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
What do you mean they are locked in the top station during the summer? So you can’t get out and go for walks etc on the summit of Cairngorm from the funicular?
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Ricklovesthepowder wrote:
So you can’t get out and go for walks etc on the summit of Cairngorm from the funicular?

Correct, if you want to walk you have to start from the carpark at the bottom.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I don't think the top building has any proper doors, just emergency exit and door which I assume are loading doors for the shop etc. There is a door where walkers can enter, but it's not a free for all and is manned and you have to sign in or something. We walked up, were going to go in for a slash and bite to eat before going up to the summit and then re-enter the retail emporium to go down the funicular, but decided that was too much faff so did the summit first and blagged our way in afterwards. Next time if/when it eventually re-opens, I think there's an emergency exit from the viewing area, so I'd scramble up there. But realistically, that's not going to be for a very long time (if ever).
Our philosophy is you can only tick off a Munro if you get there on foot (or by bike), so going up the funicular would be cheating. Fair game to descend though.
No idea how it worked in winter, but I guess one of the fire doors gave easy access to/from the funicular?
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ropetow wrote:
Bergmeister wrote:
Haggis_Trap wrote:
yorkshirelad wrote:
How many people go skiing to Scotland... Enough to justify the amount of investment they're throwing at the area?? From what I've read not enough..


Plenty people go skiing in Scotland. The main objection to the funicular is that it was designed for summer tourists wink


Yes. Literally a tourist trap! Are there any other mountain lifts anywhere in the world where travellers are locked inside the top lift station in summer?

Just wondering... Puzzled


Does that directive re locking in at the top still apply from 1st January 2021? - i thought the Visitor Management Plan was as a result of EU funding?



Typical miss-information, it's due to planning laws nothing to do with the EU.
latest report
 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.
OwenM wrote:
ropetow wrote:
Bergmeister wrote:
Haggis_Trap wrote:
yorkshirelad wrote:
How many people go skiing to Scotland... Enough to justify the amount of investment they're throwing at the area?? From what I've read not enough..


Plenty people go skiing in Scotland. The main objection to the funicular is that it was designed for summer tourists wink


Yes. Literally a tourist trap! Are there any other mountain lifts anywhere in the world where travellers are locked inside the top lift station in summer?

Just wondering... Puzzled


Does that directive re locking in at the top still apply from 1st January 2021? - i thought the Visitor Management Plan was as a result of EU funding?



Typical miss-information, it's due to planning laws nothing to do with the EU.


The visitor management plan (preventing visitors leaving top station) was a condition of the UK / EU funding.

FWIW (as a skier) : I am actually in favor of the VMP restrictions.
The Cairngorm plateau is sub arctic tundra - an environment unique to the UK.
The environment (ground, flaura and wildlife) is particularly susceptible to damage by large number of visitors.
Letting thousands of tourists out of the top station to wander about the plateau would be massively damaging.

However VMP rules only apply in summer!
So when ground is snow covered you can leave the top station.
Irrespective if you are a ski-tourer or a tourist in track suit bottoms!

The fundamental problem with the Cairngorm funicular is that its the wrong type of lift in wrong place.
Its no use for skiers. In summer it is nothing more than a tourist-trap that cant be used for summer recreation (repeat custom).

A much better idea would be a Glenmore gondola to replace the access road.
This could generate revenue all year round from hikers, bikers, skiers <etc>.
Plus it would solve the persistent problem of snow-clearing on the road!
latest report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Interesting to see that the ski road is currently closed. That suggests that it could be closed to public traffic permanently in future.
snow report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Peter S wrote:
Interesting to see that the ski road is currently closed. That suggests that it could be closed to public traffic permanently in future.


there is no bigger critic of Cairngorm management than me!
however road is closed by the ski area is shut and staff on furlough until covid travel ban ends.
ski area clear the road and police dont want people driving up to 600m without ploughs clearing road.

locals aggrieved as it limits access for ski touring.
ski holidays
 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.
Yes it’s interesting though that the road can be legally closed, albeit with good reason. It presents a precedent for replacing it by a cableway (in theory).
snow report
 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
Pretty sure I've seen that the locals have turned the access road into a piste.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
russ_e wrote:
Pretty sure I've seen that the locals have turned the access road into a piste.


Originally posted by MorningGory

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-scotland-55499363 (Video - road turned into Piste)
snow report



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy