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Posts: 14
Joined: Apr 2018
Last Visited: 10:44
23rd Mar 2020
Re: CairnGorm - Natural Retreats development proposals
Date Posted: 10.07hrs on Mon 16 Apr 18
The most likely explanation is people have dug themselves a hole and no one wishes to resign or lose their job by admitting it.

Britain has a very hierarchical and deferential culture so robust WALOFB contributions are almost always absent.

If I owned Cairngorm and could do a master plan, there would be:
1) Bunkhouse accommodation for 100 climbers at Coire Cas Car Park;
2) Bunkhouse accommodation for 100 skiers at Ciste Car Park (walkers in summer);
3) Shuttle bus operating Ciste-Cas when snow conditions and crowds dictate;
4) Four Shuttle buses morning and evening from Aviemore to Coire Cas Car Park running at 7.45am, 8.15am, 8.30am and 8.45am; 3.45pm, 4.15pm, 4.45pm and 5.15pm in Jan and Feb; replace 3.45 with 5.45pm from March onwards. A deal with certain hotels/B&Bs to benefit those using tourist accommodation in Aviemore.
5) 7.30am funicular for ski tourers, walkers etc and those wishing to eat breakfast as the sun rises at the top station. Run only from mid Feb onwards.
6) An annual ski marathon race covering the Four Tops and the classic ski descent into the Lairig Ghru. Start from Coire Cas and finish there, with exceptional conditions start at Loch Morlich. Likely date early to mid March. Attract racers from Europe and build it into a race for 500+ over a decade. Just needs a dedicated line to skin up the Cas slopes, leaving the rest of the area open to regular skiers.
7) An annual fell race in summer taking in the magnificent mountain scenery.
8) An annual mountain biking marathon Aviemore-Braemar-Aviemore.
9) A series of walking paths providing gentle to strenuous walks of 1-5 hours, suitable for pensioners, younger children, families etc.
10) Two or three iconic mountain biking circuits.
11) A single access chair into Coire na Ciste, a double chair serving the Ciste Wall area.
12) A dedicated piste on weekdays for school groups (Highland schools should having boarding/skiing as part of PE), including gates for advanced groups.

If you want facilities for no snow/bad weather, the obvious is an ice wall and a snow dome down near Aviemore. That should be a JV between the mountain operator and the town of Aviemore, maybe Inverness too, as the facility should complement the mountain, not undermine it.


Posts: 667
Joined: Jan 2011
Last Visited: 15:45
11th Aug 2019
Re: CairnGorm - Natural Retreats development proposals
Date Posted: 16.52hrs on Mon 16 Apr 18
Some good ideas there.....I challenge you to present them to HIE...and see what they say ?......I and a few others know already !

Try Susan Smith, Keith Bryers, James Gibbs and/or Charlotte Wright.

And also copy in Fergus Ewing and Kate Forbes....MSP's.

All the best.


Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2014
Last Visited: 09:09
6th Apr 2021
Re: CairnGorm - Natural Retreats development proposals
Date Posted: 13.40hrs on Sat 21 Apr 18
The great thing about setting up a snow dome at Aviemore as a JV, despite its cost, would be that on bad days & pre-post season, staff from CGM could be running the lifts, ski hire and cafe in the snow dome, then on good days the snow dome would be shut and the staff moved back onto the mountain. It goes against the policy that you should make the best possible use out of a facility, but it would make for a reliable and sensible employment strategy in a industry affected so much by the weather!


Posts: 128
Joined: Dec 2013
Last Visited: 09:19
17th May 2020
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 13.52hrs on Sun 22 Apr 18
Quality first post, rtj1211


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: 09.39hrs on Wed 25 Apr 18
Some of the supporting statements submitted for the dry ski slope are such baloney you'll be picking yourself off the floor after reading them. I was starting to think maybe some of comments were a put-up, but now I think they might actually be satire!

As owners and operators of key landmark businesses and tourism / leisure sites around the UK, we at Heritage Great Britain are fully aware that year round, high quality experiences for the visitor are crucial if such destinations are to be sustainable.... and not just for the businesses themselves but for the destination, the region and all that live and work there.

Without such year round activity and facilities such destinations and operations are just not viable anymore as the days of low and high season, with the costs now incurred by tourism and leisure companies, are long gone . Hence Cairngorm must have year round operations AND be able to operate in when the snow DOESNT fall. It must be weather independent and sustainable.

So this application and decision is a critical one for the entire destination and region. It must be supported.

I'm 100% sure that this enhancement will also be of the highest quality and be a great asset to the mountain and those that work there.

The greatest concern is that the directors of CML actually believe the above which is echoed in the official Natural Retreats supporting statement.

None of the directors are resident in Scotland let alone resident locally to actually gain the knowledge, experience and understanding of the mountain required. For if they were they would realise that far from being the savour of CML the financial burden this slope - financed by loan capital, in this location and of this scale, will against the income it will generate be a weighty burden ever tightening the noose around CML's neck.

There will be plenty of days with SW winds when conditions will be less severe in the Ptarmigan Bowl than on the Windy Ridge. There will be plenty of days it will difficult for an adult to stand up on this slope, let alone teach small children.

Depending on material the slope could well end up being out of use for large parts of the winter season, while in summer the evidence from the other four areas is the demand will be a very round number. A big fat zero is the number of ski lessons last summer on the dryslopes at Nevis Range and Glencoe, while the previously installed slopes at the Lecht and Glenshee have long since been lifted.

The supporting documentation from CML implies the business case for the slope is arrived at on the basis that all beginner lessons on CairnGorm Mountain will be on the dry slope rather than snow in the Ptarmigan Bowl and that this will improve the ski experience for more advanced riders by removing beginners from the Top Basin!

A more modest slope of a suitable material at a lower elevation on or near CairnGorm, on a carefully chosen site to minimise exposure / visual impact and not reliant on road access to Coire Cas could be viable with much lower construction cost, laid out to ensure it's suitability for tubing. As an activity that people can just come up and do, requires no coaching or skill, a tubing slope will get plenty of use as per the experience at Glencoe, but ski instructors expecting a summer windfall are going to be disappointed.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 09.44hrs Wed 25 Apr 18 by alan.


Posts: 871
Joined: Jan 2009
Last Visited: 20:58
10th Aug 2019
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 21.54hrs on Sun 29 Apr 18
If it's too windy to ski at the top then it's best to go to the Lecht. If it's too windy there, forget skiing with kids. If that is the case, the idea of going to a dry slope at 600m+ above sea level, completely open to the elements is so absurd that only Natural Retreats could come up with it.

Time for community ownership, and replacement organisation for HIE.


Posts: 87
Joined: Jul 2006
Last Visited: 20:30
7th Aug 2019
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 17.56hrs on Tue 1 May 18
Nobody is going to drive 50 - 100 miles to take lessons on a dry slope.Why do that when you can go to your local dry slope instead .

Instead of wasting large sums of money on plastic mats, why not invest in Snow factory technology and open up a Summer camp on the Ptarmigan tow.Real snow is what the punters want

Cairngorm summer camp would be open mid May to early July. We all know that the Ptarmigan tow could easily run into June with a bit of patching up..

This Summer Camp would feature Park like jumps and race training facilities.

The snow factory would pump out the snow when required, but also massive snow farming could also be done from the Chiste Mheraid patch just over the back.

The nearby Ptarmigan cafe and Funicular will do a great job of supporting this development.

This may sound like a fantasy project but with modern technology all year round skiing/snowboarding is now a possibility...even in Scotland


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: 09.39hrs on Sun 15 Jul 18
Earlier this month a new batch of supporting documentation for CML's proposed Windy Ridge Dryslope were submitted to the CNPA and these are now available to view in the ePlanning portal.


Search for Cairngorm or PH22 1RB for this application.

A few standout points:

Neither the dryslope or the Ptarmigan Improvements are intended to or projected to increase winter snowsports visits.

The Clearway Order will be signed and enforced on the Ski Road (to force people to use the main carparks which are now charged for).

CML are proposing to use anti-freeze in the open misting system for the dry slope, despite this being an open system that will also collect surface run off and rain water and feed into soak aways and existing Cas Carpark drainage.

This is referenced in a section on visual impact: "During initial snow fall it is likely that the dampness and the anti-freeze within the misting system of the ski slope would prevent snow from settling".

From detailed schematics of the structure of the slope it is almost certainly a snowflex slope (or very similar) which makes the application dishonest as it says the slope material has not been decided on.

The re-profiling of the slope to accommodate the beginner mat gives a X section not dissimilar to the problematic upper section of the road into Coire Cas. If this were a ski run contouring round the hill that would be great, but for a beginner slope served by magic carpets running parallel to the fall-line it's a disaster.

The area has been known by generations of climbers, walkers and skiers as the Windy Ridge for good reason, that means a lot of snow drifts here and when there is any downslope component to that drifting the snow will attempt to fill the cut of the dryslope to restore a uniform slope profile. That means the upper section of the magic carpets being buried by 3 to 5m of snow.

Every aspect of this proposal is an absurdity. The wrong slope material in about as wrong a location as it is possible to get for the wrong reasons.

To be proposing to use an anti-freeze in the misting system that will drain into the environment beggars belief, though it does at least show they've been forced to concede that the laws of physics do apply on CairnGorm Mountain.

The final question then must be, why are Natural Retreats so absolutely determined to force this economic basket case through planning?

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 09.47hrs Sun 15 Jul 18 by alan.

Attachments: profile-beginner.png (106kB)  

Posts: 128
Joined: Dec 2013
Last Visited: 09:19
17th May 2020
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 13.53hrs on Sun 15 Jul 18
yeesh. If anyone downstream's got a pet cat they won't for much longer...


Posts: 3550
Joined: Oct 2005
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 03.42hrs on Tue 7 Aug 18
The fecking arsholes...

They planning on dumping gallons per second on it all winter to try and stop nature doing a natural thing? They should put big fans up too and get them blowing back against the wind. Getting punters to leave their cars running so they can pipe some kelvins fae the exhausts up and under the plastic shite could work

The funts behind that toxic application should be neutered, fed a strict vegan diet for 6 month then composted.

They'll probably be bringing in monsanto to clear the fecking 'weeds' before contruction, keeping them on tae help turn the run aff fae the shite above intae safe drinkable population control . Blackwater(academi) will be regularly checking lift passes, accents and guarding the new IDE snow machines.. [] will be doing the catering............

These funts are as thick as fook and should get back to the glamping for twats.


Posts: 162
Joined: Jan 2006
Last Visited: 18:01
16th Feb 2021
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 20.16hrs on Thu 9 Aug 18
LOL, Don't hold back, say what you think Growwild...


Posts: 3550
Joined: Oct 2005
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 22.25hrs on Sat 11 Aug 18
That really freaking pissed me aff big time... We should have a whip round tae send some of Clydebanks finest feck ups up there every weekend for a season full of tonic vino..

I guess the fisheries in the area know about these tramps trying tae feck up their water too?

Is this plastic shite gonna be a big white canvas or green? (cannae be fecked reading it, snapped a joint in anger the other night sad smiley )


Posts: 186
Joined: Dec 2013
Last Visited: 12:36
3rd Mar 2021
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 09.56hrs on Tue 9 Oct 18
News just in:-

CNPA is recommending approval of this application when is gets decided upon this Friday...(no surprise there)


So that's the "plan B" for then the funicular is FUBAR then??...don't bother offering what we had in the past...just state .."sorry no train, so use the dry ski slope"....

Then they (NR & HIE) will be able to claim "we told you so huge numbers of people using the dry ski slope"....

---That was not a fall, I intended to do that!---


Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 2016
Last Visited: 11:49
19th Feb 2021
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 13.18hrs on Tue 9 Oct 18
The paper being considered at the CNPA meeting on Friday can be found here:



Posts: 885
Joined: Jan 2010
Last Visited: 11:02
16th Apr 2021
Re: CairnGorm - Dryslope plans called in by CNPA
Date Posted: 17.45hrs on Tue 9 Oct 18
Of course just because you have got planning permission to do something does not mean that it actually goes ahead. Given the nothing short of catastrophic problems at Cairngorm at the moment with the funicular there is a strong chance that this won't go ahead even if granted permission.

Personally if I where NR I would be having my lawyers go through any agreements with HIE for any loop holes that would let me walk away without any penalty as a matter of top priority.

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