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TroutWrestler


Posts: 162
Joined: Jan 2006
Last Visited: 18:01
16th Feb 2021
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope folly back in planning
Date Posted: 21.06hrs on Wed 21 Mar 18
My submission:

Object to planning application

I am a regular skier and season pass holder at Cairngorm. I cannot see the value in this proposal and I do not believe there is a market for such a development.
This is the wrong place to build a dry ski slope. It is too far from any centre of population, and is too far from Aviemore/Strathspey to encourage casual evening or school use. With regard to schools, simply consider the extra distance, time and transport costs versus a facility in the valley.
The mountain environment here means that weather conditions will be hostile more often - this area of the mountain is known as Windy Ridge for a reason. Ironically, this facility will not be able to be used if there is snow on the surface as it will be considered to be too dangerous.
A far better location would be in a sheltered place in the valley bottom close to the accommodation/residential areas. This would enable all year usage, barring the small number of days when there is significant snow at lower elevations.
Skiing on real snow is justification for travelling up to Cairngorm Mountain. Skiing on a dryslope is not. Any notion that people will be prepared to travel to the Aviemore area then travel all the way up to Cairngorm on a daily basis to learn on a dryslope needs to be dropped immediately. This is pure folly.
By Cairngorm's own admission in their submission "The majority of summer visitors are inactive day visitors – those that come as part of a bigger coach party or with friends and family to utilise the funicular as a way to access the mountain. They will enjoy food in the Ptarmigan or Storehouse and buy gifts and souvenirs in the Outfitters. The wider demographics range from families with young children, to older people, some with disabilities.
The more active summer visitors such as walkers, nature enthusiasts, hikers and mountain bikers who do not typically use the funicular and tend to walk from the base station to the top of the mountain and beyond to explore the wider Cairngorms. "
This development will not appear to either segment. The inactive visitors are not visiting to participate in active sports, and the active visitors already have plans that do not involve using the mountain infrastructure. An experienced mountaineer or hillwalker who has travelled all the way to Corie Cas to participate in their chosen pastime is not going to derail their plans for the day by switching to a 1 hour ski session on a plastic mat.
I support Cairngorm diversifying into more sustainable, year-round operation, however in order to be successful, a plan needs to be able to generate return visitors. This proposal will not.
A well planned and executed diversification into mountain biking that offered a range of trails with the opportunity for variation and progression for all levels of ability - from beginners/families to expert/international competition - would be a far better plan.
Please remember that Natural Retreats, in their tender submission to HIE expressed an aspiration to host the Winter Olympics at Cairngorm. While I salute ambition, this naive statement tells me all I need to know about the competence and capacity of this organisation. This proposal is a knee-jerk reaction unrealistic expectations by an organisation that had no clue as to what they were getting involved with when tendering to run Cairngorm Mountain. The first mistake was HIE awarding the tender. Approving this application would be to add insult to injury.


Bigshaw


Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2014
Last Visited: 09:56
30th Dec 2019
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope folly back in planning
Date Posted: 21.40hrs on Wed 21 Mar 18
I agree.the other Scottish ski resorts will be getting my money not cairngorm . They’d be better wasting the money on a snow factory in aviemore so it can be utilised all year round by schools and potential Olympic heroes . Probably cost less too .

Keep it real

Maf


Posts: 161
Joined: Feb 2007
Last Visited: 15:44
3rd Apr 2021
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope folly back in planning
Date Posted: 10.18hrs on Fri 23 Mar 18
If you want to have some input into the review of Cairngorm go to the SE Group website. They have an enquiry form you can complete to ask how you can submit your views on how Cairngorm Ski Area should move forward.

[segroup.com]

paulo


Posts: 129
Joined: Mar 2006
Last Visited: 21:31
16th Apr 2021
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope folly back in planning
Date Posted: 12.52hrs on Fri 23 Mar 18
TroutWrestler Wrote:
My submission:


Please remember that Natural Retreats, in their tender submission to HIE expressed an aspiration to host the Winter Olympics at Cairngorm. While I salute ambition, this naive statement tells me all I need to know about the competence and capacity of this organisation.


I hadn't heard that one!! Indeed it does say a lot about Natural Retreats.

Is that Charlie by the way? It's been a while, hope you are well.
cheers
Paul P.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 12.52hrs Fri 23 Mar 18 by paulo.

tim1mw


Posts: 700
Joined: Nov 2006
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope folly back in planning
Date Posted: 17.53hrs on Fri 23 Mar 18
TroutWrestler Wrote:
Please remember that Natural Retreats, in their tender submission to HIE expressed an aspiration to host the Winter Olympics at Cairngorm.


I thought it was the X games, or something very similar, which doesn't require a major host city or 800m vertical for a mens downhill. Slightly more realistic, but I think your basic point still stands, the claim was pure hubris. If that was what they really wanted we'd be seeing plans for 6 pack chairs and extensive snow making not a piddling little dry slope in a poor location.

If a reasonable guarantee of snow could be made, then you might stand a chance of persuading the FIS to run a world cup level slalom or snowboard event at Cairngorm, something that can go ahead in relatively challenging conditions as long as there is snow cover.

In the mean time, I see little point in going to Cairngorm until the uplift is improved. Glenshee has had all my money so far this year, but I'm planning a few days at Glencoe as well.

some frustrated skier


Posts: 236
Joined: Mar 2003
Last Visited: 21:55
16th Feb 2021
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope folly back in planning
Date Posted: 21.14hrs on Sat 24 Mar 18
Maf Wrote:
If you want to have some input into the review of Cairngorm go to the SE Group website. They have an enquiry form you can complete to ask how you can submit your views on how Cairngorm Ski Area should move forward.



Message send,asking if regular customers would be asked to give their thoughts

alan


Posts: 10768
Joined: Nov 1994
Last Visited: 19:43
29th Feb 2024
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 21.29hrs on Mon 26 Mar 18
The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has called in Natural Retreats proposed dry ski slope on the Windy Ridge. Aviemore Community Council has indicated an objection to the plans.



alan


Posts: 10768
Joined: Nov 1994
Last Visited: 19:43
29th Feb 2024
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 13.16hrs on Tue 27 Mar 18
A lengthy and detailed article about the dry slope, why the location is wrong for a beginner slope, why there almost certainly isn't a business case: [parkswatchscotland.co.uk]



Doug_Bryce


Posts: 1373
Joined: Jan 2003
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 14.18hrs on Tue 27 Mar 18
Submit your planning comments below....

[www.eplanningcnpa.co.uk]

The correct location for any proposed dry slope should be in Aviemore itself or maybe the Hayfield ? A short poma tow on the Hayfield might allow limited sliding on days when the road is closed / hill storm bound - sheltered location, more suitable for kids lessons, less visual impact <etc>.

Doug.

[www.haggistrap.co.uk]

alan


Posts: 10768
Joined: Nov 1994
Last Visited: 19:43
29th Feb 2024
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 22.57hrs on Tue 27 Mar 18
The planning application states that the dry slope material is under consideration and not finalised - this is completely contrary to past statements that the slope will be snowflex.

Snowflex by it's higher friction nature as a continuous mat requires misting while in use - something that obviously creates an issue for winter use in that the slope can not be misted when ground or air temperature is below 0°c.

Despite the claim in the planning application that the slope material is not determined, there is the following in accompanying documentation on drainage:



If the slope material has not been finalised how can the plans know that a misting system is required?

There are plenty grounds on which the proposal is objectionable both in planning terms and because it will be an absurd waste of limited capital for urgently required investment in CairnGorm Mountain.

For now however the application should simply be rejected as incompetent as it can not be regarded as complete, nor can planning make a full decision until the slope material is included in the plans as this has an effect on extent of ground works, gradient of slope and whether misting is or is not required.

Could the omission of this critical detail of slope material have anything to do with the fact the CNPA has already stated issues with the unsuitability of snowflex for the location due to its solid nature and limited uniform colour options?




Edited 2 times. Last edit at 23.06hrs Tue 27 Mar 18 by alan.

Attachments: Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 23.51.31.png (55kB)  
Doug_Bryce


Posts: 1373
Joined: Jan 2003
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 09.31hrs on Wed 28 Mar 18
^ snowflex matting, being soft, is great for dry slope freestyle and jump features. it is not great for skiing / learners as it doesn't allow edge to grip. would be unusual for an entire dry slope to be constructed solely of snow flex - though both types of matting require misting.

sadly "absurd waste of money" isn't grounds to refuse planning consent winking smiley however Coire Cas (i.e national park) isn't, IMHO, a location where we should be covering the ground in plastic.

jabuzzard


Posts: 885
Joined: Jan 2010
Last Visited: 11:02
16th Apr 2021
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 11.22hrs on Wed 28 Mar 18
alan Wrote:

[SNIP]

If the slope material has not been finalised how can the plans know that a misting system is required?



Because traditional diamond ski matting also needs misting would be the obvious answer. Even a quick Google shows that a modern system like proslope needs misting. I would be surprised if there was a "dry slop" matting system that didn't benefit from misting to be honest.

alan


Posts: 10768
Joined: Nov 1994
Last Visited: 19:43
29th Feb 2024
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 11.38hrs on Wed 28 Mar 18
jabuzzard Wrote:
alan Wrote:



If the slope material has not been finalised how can the plans know that a misting system is required?



Because traditional diamond ski matting also needs misting would be the obvious answer. Even a quick Google shows that a modern system like proslope needs misting. I would be surprised if there was a "dry slop" matting system that didn't benefit from misting to be honest.


Dendex slopes are by and large wetted from off mat sprinklers and while it certainly makes them quicker, it is not a show stopper if the mat is dry - it is with snowflex. The integral nature of the drainage and misting systems within the slope structure is a feature of snowflex slopes.

Neveplast slopes are built without misting or sprinkler systems and require less underneath groundworks than dendex which in turn requires a lot less preparation than snowflex. So the mat choice has significant implications for the scale of works required and thus is a planning issue.

sadly "absurd waste of money" isn't grounds to refuse planning consent


Not directly, but the potential for the slope to have to be reduced in size, removed or relocated is a potential planning issue because of the significant implications of doing so in terms of hydrology, visual impact, ground stabilisation / erosion risk, regeneration of vegetation cover etc.


CMartindale


Posts: 128
Joined: Aug 2014
Last Visited: 20:31
25th Jul 2019
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 13.22hrs on Thu 29 Mar 18
I've submitted my comments...

In summary a definitive yes to a good sized dry slope in the area. But half way up the most prominent mountain in the area - in full view of the whole valley - is really not the place.

Stick it in the forrest and I'm okay with it.

jabuzzard


Posts: 885
Joined: Jan 2010
Last Visited: 11:02
16th Apr 2021
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 22.05hrs on Sat 31 Mar 18
alan Wrote:
So the mat choice has significant implications for the scale of works required and thus is a planning issue.


Yes but you said how can they know a misting system is required if the mat choice has not been made. I was just pointing out that all mat systems benefit from a misting system so you can know in advance of mat choice that a misting system is required.

Sure mat choice has planing implications, but that is not what I was responding to.

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