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Cairngorm Funicular to be Repaired

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Haggis_Trap wrote:
ster wrote:

If it was the SNP SG that DIRECTED the HIE acts/projects since 2007 then just own it.


Uhhm : Cairngorm was operated by a private company (CML followed by Natural Retreats) until HIE stepped in as public owner of last resort in 2018. Shortly after the structural issues with the funicular concerete became public. However it is clear you know very little about the funicular, it's history, nor the structure of HIE. Rather you came here to gleefully point score about the SNP

Quote:
I'm looking forward to when you get around to explaining who was responsible for the CalMac Ferry scandal, the illuminati, the masons?


Start a new topic and I will happily give you my positive experience of Cal Mac ferrys. 97.2% of routes on time this week (see below) : though you won't read that on BBC when there are local elections tomorrow Cool

Out of interest, when did you last sail with them?

https://www.calmac.co.uk/article/6280/Information-on-Performance-Monitoring


You do realise that is 'example' data??? Toofy Grin (author one G. Potemkin, I believe)

Read the real stuff then weep:

https://www.calmac.co.uk/media/1439/Ardrossan---Brodick/pdf/ARD-BRO_Mar-2022.pdf

https://www.calmac.co.uk/corporate/route-performance
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
DidierCouch wrote:

Read the real stuff then weep:


Summary table here Cool
Close to 100% reliability for much of the last month.
https://www.calmac.co.uk/calmac-performance-data-browser

Out of interest : when did you last sail Cal Mac ?
Every time I do it is excellent. The equivalent road tarrif has been a game changer for the islands...
Please do start another topic if you wish to discuss Cal-Mac (which I happily will - but not on here).
ski holidays
 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, sorry I thoguht you would have known what I was referring to, but this might not have made it past your filters. wink

I was referring to this debacle:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-61306935

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-49042833

Hard to get great reliability when the ferries still havent been finished!

Contract given to the highest bidder. Late, massively overbudget and no refund guarantee. Anyone wanting to claim the credit for this deal?


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 5-05-22 13:16; edited 1 time in total
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
^ kindly start a new Cal Mac topic and I will happily engage. derailing this one with off topic political agenda is bad form.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

Please do start another topic if you wish to discuss Cal-Mac


+1

please................
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
GreenDay wrote:
Quote:

Please do start another topic if you wish to discuss Cal-Mac


+1

please................


No need really, its a pretty straighforward bit of ham-fisted pork-barrel politics (oh, two porky references!). Its all there to read so happy to leave it there. wink
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
ster wrote:

No need really, its a pretty straighforward bit of ham-fisted pork-barrel politics (oh, two porky references!). Its all there to read so happy to leave it there. wink


@ster : lets try to stay on topic (Cairngorm funicular).

Remember that :
a) The funicular was constructed in 2001 (6 years prior to SNP government being first elected). The concrete pilar issues didn't become apparent until ~2018.
b) HIE took public ownership of Cairngorm in late 2018 after the previous private operators (CML and then Natural Retreats) were both liquidated.
c) In 2017 the opposition parties voted to ensured that HIE maintained its own board specifically independent of Holyrood

With that in mind what action should the Scottish government take now given the circumstances?
i) close the funicular for good.
ii) allow HIE to repair the funicular but using their existing allocated annual budget.
iii) allow the funicular to be repaired but provide additional funds to HIE.

clearly it is a complex issue given the role Cairngorm plays in local economy and funds allocated to date.
for now 'ii' seems to be Strugeons preferred option.
while option 'iii' is what the opposition parties (Edward Mountain of the Conservatives) advocate in the article below.

Personally I am all for a full government inquiry into how HIE have got into such a mess.
Susan Smith, Charlotte Wright (of HIE) and David Gorton (of Natural retreats) have a lot of questions to answer.

Sturgeon challenged over repairs bill that led to officials considering Cairngorm mountain resort closure
THE FIRST Minister has been urged to “think again” over a decision not to agree further funding to the beleaguered Cairngorm mountain resort
https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/homenews/20114627.sturgeon-challenged-repairs-bill-led-officials-considering-cairngorm-mountain-resort-closure/?fbclid=IwAR08VfYCfMM9m5EsyWPD65CrmLU3eaof53CuWoUslqMd36_driGHL4rx66c
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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!
[quote="Haggis_Trap"]
ster wrote:


Remember that :
a) The funicular was constructed in 2001 (6 years prior to SNP government being first elected). The concrete pilar issues didn't become apparent until ~2018.
b) HIE took public ownership of Cairngorm in late 2018 after the previous private operators (CML and then Natural Retreats) were both liquidated.
c) In 2017 the opposition parties voted to ensured that HIE maintained its own board specifically independent of Holyrood


A couple of pedantic points, but construction work commenced in spring 1998 - before devolution never mind before the first term of the SNP Scottish Government. HIE took CML into public ownership in May 2008 to stave off a formal insolvency, 'leased' the shareholding to Natural Assets Investments Limited (NAIL) in July 2014, only to have to rescue CML from formal administration in just over 10 years on from the previous nationalisation!

Why was there no traditional tender process for returning CML to the private sector, why was the base criteria for eligibility set to exclude the community, exclude a newly formed local consortium of businesses and exclude the community interest company running the snowsports school on CairnGorm by setting a 3 year turnover threshold just above the snowsports schools turnover then barring its bid? What or who dissuaded Nevis Range from continuing its bid? Lots of questions even in that relatively short period for a Public Inquiry, let alone what went on before and after. Given everything that is now known, a competitive dialogue tendering process looks like a sure fire way to go when the the outcome of the tender process was predetermined before it every begun. rolling eyes
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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.
^ Fully agree (& thanks for filling in the fine details) : the cosy relationship between HIE and Natural Retreats should be certainly investigated. As does decision to deliberately remove ciste chairs when funicular concrete issues became known.

Though as I see it the funicular was always doomed to financial failure no matter who was in charge. The VMP prevents repeat custom for x8 months of the year. Wrong lift in the wrong place. Providing further funding simply repeating previous mistakes
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Haggis_Trap wrote:
^ Fully agree (& thanks for filling in the fine details) : the cosy relationship between HIE and Natural Retreats should be certainly investigated. As does decision to deliberately remove ciste chairs when funicular concrete issues became known.

Though as I see it the funicular was always doomed to financial failure no matter who was in charge. The VMP prevents repeat custom for x8 months of the year. Wrong lift in the wrong place. Providing further funding simply repeating previous mistakes


^To be honest I think the level of financial basketery is so bad that the Visitor Management Plan / Section 50 agreement is probably not that significant. It is absolutely the wrong lift, in the wrong place, for the wrong reasons.

Quite unbelievably none of the millions getting spent now address even a single one of the operating inefficiencies or problems encountered over the Funicular's just under 17 years of actual operation. The SE Group report even admitted that the funicular struggles to attain HALF it's notional 1200 people per hour uplift capacity, which means it isn't actually shifting any more people than the detachable chairlift it replaced.

The SE Group Report Highlighted the major existing challenges:

* Unreliability of winter road access to Coire Cas.
* Periods of lack of snow - particularly lower elevation.
* Difficulty of snow clearing the funicular and tunnel - meaning it is often not available when demand is high.

In other words a Cas centric snowsports area based around the funicular and entirely dependent on road access to Coire Cas is unlikely to be viable. Then to fit with the HIE narrative, the SE Group recommended 'solutions' which didn't address any of these problems. See the video:


http://youtube.com/v/z4fypwKfLbY

A huge issue was made in the mid 90s about the high costs of operating the Cairngorm Chairlift and the weather unreliability, but the funicular probably shifted the operating costs by close to an order of magnitude. The funicular has proven to have it's own significant weather vulnerability, the fact snow drifts and drifts a lot on Cairn Gorm! In fact if you dig into the stats for February which with the half term is the really commercial make or break point of the season, despite the funiculars much touted wind tolerance, its operational reliability for the month of February is lower than either the Nevis Range gondola or the Glencoe Access Chairlift.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
^ entierly correct (Alan?). The funicular was always the wrong uplift for skiers. The real failure is that it's also, clearly, the wrong lift for summer.

That could have been tolerated if alternatives (Ciste chairs) had been maintained... Instead the finances show that the 8 winter months subsidy the summer : which is just lunacy.
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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.
It’s a bleak outlook for Cairngorm. No chance of recouping the losses through winter or summer operations. A big bill waiting the eventual removal of all that concrete. Less and less reliable early season snow. A decline in demand for skiing after February. Touring will no doubt remain popular when the snow is there but that won’t pay the bills on the hill.

Is there an alternative that doesn’t require large amounts of spending? Could a community business or not for profit hybrid somehow manage part of the skiing assets separate from the funicular?
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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
I think Cairngorm is past the point of saving if I’m honest. Too much needs to be done to bring this once fantastic resort up to scratch with other Scottish destinations.

One potential lifeline could be if one of the big global ski companies were to show interest and invest a lot of money. Inadequate snow cover, poor uplift and accessibility issues could all be addressed with the right capital, and the only way I see a Cairngorm beyond the next 5 years is if one were to invest
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Cairngorm will survive as loss making trainset plus top basin lifts and cafe.

The frustration is that had they got investment correct then something like a Glenmore gondola (as alternative to access road) would have generated year round revenue which would have justified investment in ski area
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Haggis_Trap wrote:

The frustration is that had they got investment correct then something like a Glenmore gondola (as alternative to access road) would have generated year round revenue which would have justified investment in ski area


Very true. So sad that what was once Scotland's premier ski area has been ruined by incompetence and/or corruption. Sad
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
ster wrote:
@Haggis_Trap, you can say all you like re what the SNP SG wanted to do about HIE, then did or didn't do, ultimately the HIE is still responsible to the SG, something on which you are silent. Is the HIE responsible to the SG or not?


Excellent blog article below on the funicular

What has gone wrong?
In my view the basic problem is that HIE is an unaccountable organisation which, since it assumed ownership of Cairn Gorm, has managed it without regard to the needs of skiers, the natural environment or the financial costs
..
The staff responsible, like Charlotte Wright and Susan Smith who were responsible for the Natural Retreats fiasco, get promoted instead of facing the consequences (Ms Wright became Chief Executive of HIE, while Ms Smith is now Chief Executive of Cairngorm Mountain Scotland Ltd).

http://parkswatchscotland.co.uk/2022/05/10/the-cairngorm-funicular-financial-disaster-and-its-implications/


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 12-05-22 13:49; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
An interesting read:
http://parkswatchscotland.co.uk/2022/05/12/the-funicular-construction-health-and-safety-file-and-its-implications-2/
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