UKC

Scottish ski infrastructure spending plans

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 Kalna_kaza 12 Aug 2020

An interesting take on alternative spending plans for Scottish skiing. Has Cairngorm taken too big a slice of the pie from other areas for too long?

http://parkswatchscotland.co.uk/2020/08/11/beyond-the-funicular-4-glen-coe-canyon-triple/#comment-7909

Post edited at 14:40
 Kalna_kaza 13 Aug 2020
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

I'm surprised no one on here had any comments, clearly too warm to think about winter sports!

In reply to Kalna_kaza:

Think they'd do better to change their business model, 9 months of the year as downhill and trail mountain biking venues with a potential 3 month ski season as a bonus if conditions allow. 

With climate change etc.. they are clearly just not looking forwards realistically at all. Perhaps they need to consider other side lines such as paragliding venues where slope aspect allows. 

Cairngorms could easily build a world class trail from near the summit that runs nearly all the way to Aviemore, it could become the uk's mtb mecca, with trail riding in the various forests below. 

1
 OwenM 13 Aug 2020
In reply to summo:

I think  there are a lot of planning restrictions on them preventing that kind of development. Like they can take summer visitors up the mountain but can't  let them wander off from the ptarmigan.  They're not suppose to let walkers who have walked up enter the cafe, not that they can differentiate between the two. 

 Kalna_kaza 13 Aug 2020
In reply to OwenM:

Given all those restrictions it begs the question is the funicular worth it. I've used it a couple of times to ski and it just seemed a waste of time being stood around in a windowless shed waiting for the second or even third "train" to turn up rather than being out on the mountain. At Nevis Range you seldom wait long to get on the cable car.

 OwenM 13 Aug 2020
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

> Given all those restrictions it begs the question is the funicular worth it. 

A question that should have been considered before they built it maybe.

 MJAngry 13 Aug 2020
In reply to OwenM:

> A question that should have been considered before they built it maybe.

Aye but they were too busy with the back handers. 

In reply to Kalna_kaza:

Unless you get a 1000m+ ascent any ski lift system that requires you to remove skis, walk around, head through a building etc.. is a failure. It's fine for tourists in summer, but useless in winter. 

1
 Doug 14 Aug 2020
In reply to summo:

> Unless you get a 1000m+ ascent any ski lift system that requires you to remove skis, walk around, head through a building etc.. is a failure. It's fine for tourists in summer, but useless in winter. 


As was said by many back in the 1990s when argueing for a gondola & against the funicular. But HIE knew better (or not as it turned out)

 kathrync 14 Aug 2020
In reply to summo:

> Unless you get a 1000m+ ascent any ski lift system that requires you to remove skis, walk around, head through a building etc.. is a failure. It's fine for tourists in summer, but useless in winter. 

Yes, if infrastructure for skiing had been the driver they would have been better with a fast quad or 6-seater chair, or failing that a gondola.  I think it's fairly clelar though that the driver was actually getting lots of tourists up there in summer to spend money in the cafe and gift shop.

It seems clear that Scottish ski centres are going to have to change their business model to survive, and some of them have been improving their infrastructure for downhill and trail biking, notably Glencoe and Nevis. As someone else said, there are planning restrictions at Cairngorm preventing them from doing that. Given those restrictions, the funicular seems an even odder choice to me - if I were taking my parents out for a touristy day I would choose to take them up the gondola at Nevis or the chair at Glencoe over the funicular at Cairngorm anyway - you can get out, go for a stroll and look at the view properly rather than being trapped in the building.

The proposed triple chair at Glencoe from the OP's link looks great to me - but I may be biased because Glencoe is my closest and most often visited resort

In reply to kathrync:

If you put in 50km of paths and mtb trails on just cairngorm and a couple of surrounding hills it would represent a fraction of the total land area. Folk can of course choose to walk anywhere they want under their own steam anyway. It would be better to build paths in exactly the right places and folk would likely stick to them. Just like in alpine areas in summer. 

1
 kathrync 14 Aug 2020
In reply to summo:

> If you put in 50km of paths and mtb trails on just cairngorm and a couple of surrounding hills it would represent a fraction of the total land area. Folk can of course choose to walk anywhere they want under their own steam anyway. It would be better to build paths in exactly the right places and folk would likely stick to them. Just like in alpine areas in summer. 

Agree - I am not saying the current restrictions are right, I am just pointing out that they are there. If they want to attract people to visit, they need to let people out whether on foot or on bikes, and as you say a good network of well-made and well-kept trails is probably the best way to stop the majority of folk from tramping everywhere.

1
 Doug 14 Aug 2020
In reply to kathrync:

The origin of the restrictions at Cairngorm are the predicted visitor numbers for the funicular from the developers which were ridiculously high in an attempt to get private investors. They didn't get the investors but  couldn't argue against the restrictions without admitting there predictions were very wrong.

 Kalna_kaza 14 Aug 2020
In reply to summo:

Building the walking and biking routes plus keeping some pistes would be great, especially if they planted some Caledonian pines to take the edge off the development, assuming the trees can grow that high up. 

 kathrync 14 Aug 2020
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

There is an area between the base station and mid-station where local schools have been planting native trees including Scots pines over the last couple of years. Most of them are still small-bush-sized though


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