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dhorsley


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16th Mar 2021
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Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 13.48hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
Well if I can't ski the Ciste side (ie no uplift in the Ciste gully) the chances of me returning to CairnGorm and buying a lift ticket is very low.
Doug_Bryce


Posts: 1373
Joined: Jan 2003
Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 14.11hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
full report can be found below.
HIE tendered out the uplift review for 80K.
so only ~10K a page winking smiley

[www.hie.co.uk]
brianwr


Posts: 223
Joined: Feb 2004
Last Visited: 20:09
26th Feb 2021
Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 14.47hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
Doug_Bryce Wrote:
full report can be found below.
HIE tendered out the uplift review for 80K.
so only ~10K a page



To be fair, that is just the executive summary ;-)

At least they have identified most of the obvious problems and some of the obvious solutions (snowmaking, new charilifts). It's just that where to deploy them doesn't seem to have been quite as obvious as you'd think!

The most important thing in the short term has to be getting rid of Natural Retreats and getting the place in hands of someone with a skiing scooby.
alan


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Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 14.50hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
well just from the front page of that Executive Summary:

• Cairngorm doesn’t have a high enough skier capacity to justify the expense of reopening and running Coire na Ciste, nor would it effectively resolve the overcrowding and long queues.


The carrying capacity of the mountain isn't big enough, so best to limit it further to just Coire Cas effectively? How does that make sense? eye rolling smiley

Then:

New infrastructure and technology should be put in place to mitigate against closures of theaccess road, funicular, lifts, and terrain due to weather events.


That is exactly what uplift from the Ciste Carpark does. It is an order or magnitude easier to keep open the road to Coire na Ciste than it is to Coire Cas.

Alternatively for the scale of budget being talked about, you remove the mountain road entirely and the uplift starts from Glenmore.

Operating costs of a Glenmore Gondola are offset against savings in the cost of operating the mountain road and carpark clearing costs will be substantially reduced.

The days of chaos in Glenmore when the snowgates are shut when hundreds expected them to open would be replaced by people being able to park up, get out of the vehicles and spend money in local businesses instead of crippling everyday life in Glenmore. A half hourly bus service could be provided using the same resources that struggle to maintain an hourly one to Coire Cas.

Immediate access to the mountain and snow as soon as the storm abates, not many hours or in some cases days later while an attempt is made to dig out the road. A road which is subject to severe overnight ground drifting by katabatibc winds of the Cairngorm Plateau down the Windy Ridge even in otherwise generally benign weather.


Ciste Base Area - How was viability assessed?

The executive summary and News Release accompanying the video state that two base areas are not viable, yet there does not appear to have been consideration to the full range of services that could be provided at Coire na Ciste.

Low key accommodation consisting of pods and possibly small bunkhouse, camper van hooks etc that could be safe, reliably accessible and acceptable in the Ciste in a way they would not be at the existing Cas base. That would have a significant impact on the viability question and could turn a split base into an asset.

There appears to have been no consideration of Hydro Power, which could contribute to running snow making and reduction in water flow would in itself enhance skiing by allowing natural snow to lie lower and for longer in the Ciste Gully.


Geographic limitation on SE Groups Remit

It might be impossible to find out via FOI how much HIE steered SE Group to focus on redevelopment of the Funicular Corridor in Coire Cas.

But our understanding is HIE restricted this review to their own Cairngorm Estate which precluded any look at an integrated approach to various issues affecting Glenmore and CairnGorm.

Without redevelopment of Coire na Ciste, CairnGorm Mountain is not complete and can not offer the fully rounded and well balanced ski area of equal merit to all abilities that it could do. Without consideration of the corridor between Glenmore and CairnGorm, all potential options have not been considered.

There would be substantial environmental benefits from removal of the steep mountain road, including the vast reduction in use of rock salt in this environment and somewhere close to 2million vehicle km saved per year.





SnowmanDave


Posts: 186
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3rd Mar 2021
Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 15.57hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
alan Wrote:
big post of sensible stuff


Sorry to burst your bubble but there is no way in hell HIE would understand any of that...they don't do well researched, reasoned, logical discussion & ideas..


Give them a 30min power point BS presentation & they'll throw money at you...but then again you have to be one of "them"....& you aren't...


Forcing abuy out of the whole place from HIE when they have that attitude is not going to be easy...put it this way If I won the lottery I'd buy the whole place (CGML & Land/buildings)from HIE..& I'd do it going via the Scottish Gov...get them to force their stupid agency to sell it...

HIE etc should have been disbanded years ago as a money wasting fad..thats all they are..money for stupid consultants...

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


Posts: 885
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16th Apr 2021
Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 16.21hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
alan Wrote:
well just from the front page of that Executive Summary:

• Cairngorm doesn’t have a high enough skier capacity to justify the expense of reopening and running Coire na Ciste, nor would it effectively resolve the overcrowding and long queues.

The carrying capacity of the mountain isn't big enough, so best to limit it further to just Coire Cas effectively? How does that make sense?



Right so reopening lifts that would spread people around significantly larger areas of the mountain does nothing to resolve overcrowding and long queues? Over jamming everyone in the same area as now. Oh and with high speed chairlifts you are going to be spending more time skiing than on the lifts over the current lift infrastructure making exacerbating the situation further. What sort of idiot wrote this?

The "consultants" wibbled on some extra pistes, I am not entirely sure the routes are terribly viable. I get the feeling the consultants didn't quite comprehend that this is not the Alps, and "pistes" have to go where the snow naturally lies with a little help from fencing or you are stuffed.
Hipennine


Posts: 1061
Joined: Dec 2005
Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 16.28hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
A few points to consider:

1/ It would be possible to have an intermediate station convenient for the Shieling area, in the proposed car-park to cas 6 pack if the proposed line is moved further east. there's plenty of alpine examples of such staions where you can chose to get off/on or ride straight through.

2/ The Ciste T bar, and West wall poma are shown as continuing to operate in the visuals.

3/ The report mentions the problem of lack of capacity in the Cas car park, but fails to address this problem (which if the plan works will be worse because there'll be many more people on the hill they claim).

4/ While it has "tested" the viability of a ciste base (so they say), the argument seems to be more about whether the development of the ciste adds access capacity rather than actually recognising that lots of people want to ski there if the facilities are appropriate. All the arguments in favour of removing the old tows in the cas in favour of modern chairs apply equally (if not more so) to the ciste.

5/ It does assume that the funicular will contiue to provide access to the ptarmigan area

6/ A chair is not the only solution to provding uplift to the higher parts of the mountain to access coronation wall and all that area (which is a bit niche anyway). Compare with Zermatt where they have replaced a frequently wind closed cable car with a modern Tbar to access the mega snowfields off the Stockhorn. the proposed chair would be much better up the old white lady tbar line.
tupp


Posts: 234
Joined: Apr 2010
Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 16.33hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
I can see the influence of one of the chief clowns at CML all through this. IMO HIE need to invest in a large broom to brush him and his cronies off the hill along with his employers as a first measure.

£80k of nonsense. I'd be amazed if much of the original draft remains in that press release.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 16.35hrs Wed 7 Nov 18 by tupp.
jabuzzard


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16th Apr 2021
Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 16.41hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
Doug_Bryce Wrote:

In return for their money they now have a swanky you-tube video (which could have been knocked up in a few days) advocating some new chairlifts and a zip-line in Coire Cas. The proposed plans are so obviously flawed they don't even merit serious discussion : a chairlift to above ptarmigan at 3550ft !?!?



Well as long as you can get take the chairs of the line overnight (and it is a high speed detachable they suggest) then I am not sure this is too much of a problem.

The funicular assuming it fixable would easily be able to provide uplift for the vastly reduced numbers on days winds prevent operating the chairlifty. With the chairs off the line it far less likely for the cable to come off, and if it does getting it back on is a simpler operation. You could even have some sort of remote control actuator to clamp the cable down if a storm was forecast for even lower chances of it being blown off.
SnowmanDave


Posts: 186
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3rd Mar 2021
Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 16.49hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
jabuzzard Wrote:
Doug_Bryce Wrote:

In return for their money they now have a swanky you-tube video (which could have been knocked up in a few days) advocating some new chairlifts and a zip-line in Coire Cas. The proposed plans are so obviously flawed they don't even merit serious discussion : a chairlift to above ptarmigan at 3550ft !?!?



Well as long as you can get take the chairs of the line overnight (and it is a high speed detachable they suggest) then I am not sure this is too much of a problem.

The funicular assuming it fixable would easily be able to provide uplift for the vastly reduced numbers on days winds prevent operating the chairlifty. With the chairs off the line it far less likely for the cable to come off, and if it does getting it back on is a simpler operation. You could even have some sort of remote control actuator to clamp the cable down if a storm was forecast for even lower chances of it being blown off.


I think he's more having ago at the fact the line of said chairlift is over the steepest bit of the traverse (needs closer look at video)….

& that bit gets very windy...many a time I've had to battle downhill...& just around the corner no wind...


Like said at the beginning of thread...nice ideas, just badly planned/routed...& as Alan says for that money why not go the whole hog & gondola it..get rid of all the near accidents on the road & days closed etc...more eco, less salt/grit...


sorry I must stop talking logical sense...

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


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29th Feb 2024
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Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 16.52hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
I originally misread the accompanying statement with the video as expecting 150k skier days in the best seasons, the objective is actually 150k average with significantly more skiers in a good season.

You can not achieve even a 100k skier day season on CairnGorm Mountain without significant use of the Coire na Ciste Carpark, so the aim would be far greater use of Coire na Ciste for parking. There can be nothing world class, in fact not even acceptable to have significant use of this carpark without so much as a proper toilet.

Add in the cost of shuttling people and the degree to which the need for the shuttle bus can in itself start to put a cap on demand in busy periods and the prognosis that operating from the Ciste Base is unviable becomes highly questionable.

This smacks of he who paid the piper, a report to back up HIE's agenda and to save HIE face.

The full unadulterated report received by HIE must me made public along with the communications from HIE to SE Group.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 16.54hrs Wed 7 Nov 18 by alan.
Doug_Bryce


Posts: 1373
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Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 17.27hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
^ obvious chicken and egg scenario here...

if they seriously want to increase skier numbers then restoring Coire na Ciste to former glory is the best way of going about it. plus the Ciste gully is the most reliable section of natural snow on the mountain.

so much of that report simply doesn't make sense.
written by management consultants rather than skiers.
PeterS


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13th Mar 2021
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Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 17.58hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
I think there is a fundamental question about whether it is possible to make money out of Scottish skiing. I think a not for profit business with volunteer support is more realistic ie. returning the facilities back to their roots.

Putting aside the practicalities and risks over whether a big complex chairlift on high pylons would even function reliably above 3000’ and whether snowmaking on this scale would work or even be permissible, surely the huge cost and risks would mean much higher lift pass prices making Cairngorm less accessible to millennials and families?

A reality of Scottish skiing is that there are no perfect solutions. You always have to walk a bit and battle with the weather. That is actually part of its USP. Perhaps they should seriously rethink whether the benefits outweigh the costs of trying to get beginners and non skiers up to the Ptarmigan.

Alan’s alternative of a Glenmore gondola seems so much more appealing, environmentally friendly and attractive from a visitor perspective. The cycling, zip lines, toboggan runs, car parks, bus service, accommodation etc would ultimately be much more appropriate below the level of Corrie Cas and down on the forest floor. The landowner is I think forestry Scotland. I couldn’t think of a better partner there.

In the medium term and for a fraction of this money, Cairngorm could do what everyone else does and refurbish existing lifts and buy second hand. We know that tbars, pomas and fixed grip chairs will work if located carefully. They are more easily maintained, require fewer staff and will run in a much wider range of weather.

Perhaps someone should make a parody video of all the other Scottish centres, except with 8 person heated chairs going to their peaks ?

Beastie


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17th May 2020
Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 18.01hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
If I were putting in an FOI for this I'd be asking for all previous drafts, comments, track changes and so on. They'll have done their best to keep that controlled but someone somewhere is always lazy and keeps an old version.
alan


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Re: HIE reveals £27m 'new vision' for CairnGorm Mountain Ltd
Date Posted: 18.16hrs on Wed 7 Nov 18
Beastie Wrote:
If I were putting in an FOI for this I'd be asking for all previous drafts, comments, track changes and so on. They'll have done their best to keep that controlled but someone somewhere is always lazy and keeps an old version.


Please put in an FOI, the more submitted the more chance some more info will see the light of day!
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