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alan


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16th Nov 2018
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CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 00.12hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10
Following the most successful season in terms of skier days since the 1990s (now well up on even 2001 with hopefully a good few thousand more to come) hopefully the powers that be at HIE will take stock and seriously look at the role snowsports must play as the linchpin any new business model for CML and start to allocate the proposed new funding appropriately.

For both CML and Scottish Snowsports in general there is a critical need to build on this season with something concrete, something which can generate and maintain positive forward momentum.

Is it time for HIE to consider a snowsports specific new development that will also be a hedge against future climate changes in either direction, quite literally onwards and upwards at CairnGorm and finally deliver the forever talked about Summit / Marquis Wells' Tow?




WelshWizard


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3rd May 2015
Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 07.02hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10
Much as it would be good, you can just see the hoohaa - even though there is already a mast on the summit...
Olderalan


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8th Nov 2018
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Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 07.57hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10
Sound idea....medium to longer term planning for specifically snowsports projects would be what everyone would like to hear....if it contained the right things.
In the hear and now, and in my view, emphasis and focus must remain with efforts to get HIE to agree to the re-instatement of the Coire Na Ciste and West Wall Chairs.
Once the uplift that already exists has been brought back from the 'dead' then focus should shift to new projects. Of course, that re-focussing could happen immediately...it simply requires an announcement that the chairs are to be refurbished and will spin next season.

Regards

Olderalan
HTH


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20th Feb 2018
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Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 08.38hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10

As I understand it, there are 2 main ongoing items; reinstatement of chairs, and installation of snow making.

Both these projects are low-risk financially. It's just a maintenance activity for the chairs, and the snowguns are a proven technology at 2 other Scottish centres. - There is no great wisdom required to get on and do it.

A summit lift would be an asset, but I expect it to require serious & sustained support from the CML Board if it were to get all the necessary approvals for construction & funding.

One thing which bemuses me about Cairngorm Culture, is how the smallest of jobs cannot be done without stage-lights & an orchestra to spin it into some fictional adventure. - For example *Harry Potter & the Snowgun of Doom*...it's just a snowgun for goodness sake.

Likewise, the maintenance of lifts which ought to happen as a matter of routine, requires a public campaign to get some attention. - While other self funding centres, maintain lifts without fuss, and if the CNPA permit there will be a new short chair erected this autumn as evidence that this year's revenue is being put to work for the good of the sport.

I think the best you can hope for is chair maintenence & further snowgun trials, based upon this season. - I am certain that any other projects will be contingent upon another good season being seen to follow this one....nobody at CML Board will stick their neck out for a new lift, because it's against the flow of policy.
David Goldsmith


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6th Nov 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 09.41hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10
Another key priority would seem to be having monster snow-clearing machines for the access road, 'just in case'.

When talking to the operator of a rival Scottish ski area about 2 weeks ago, I was told that a specific former chief executive of CML had run down this aspect of the operation ... even to the extent of refusing to buy a set of snowchains for a snowplough. It seemed that the mountain's revenues were diminished by road closures. Also ... would it help to have some form of mechanised snow clearance for the funi track?

Has anyone put a figure on the reinstatement cost of the Ciste/WW chairs? I haven't seen an amount mentioned.
HTH


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20th Feb 2018
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Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 10.09hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10
David Goldsmith Wrote:
Another key priority would seem to be having monster snow-clearing machines for the access road, 'just in case'.
.
.
Has anyone put a figure on the reinstatement cost of the Ciste/WW chairs? I haven't seen an amount mentioned.

One of the strengths of the case to revive Ciste chairs is that it permits access from Ciste Carpark, thus reducing the need to send cars up the blocked road. - It is a systematically safer system of work, if the public don't have to drive up a road in marginal clearance conditions. It would also reduce the times when centre has closed because the public have to be sent down the road before drifts accumulated.

Reinstating the chairs has the potential to increase operational days (sales) and to reduce the need for capex costs on road clearance equipment...not to mention that it makes the skiing experience better. - I know it's not the CML way, but the Ciste work would be self-funding, it's a matter *will* rather than *means*.
jabuzzard


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16th Nov 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 11.18hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10
HTH Wrote:

I think the best you can hope for is chair maintenence & further snowgun trials, based upon this season. - I am certain that any other projects will be contingent upon another good season being seen to follow this one....nobody at CML Board will stick their neck out for a new lift, because it's against the flow of policy.


Article in the latest New Scientist. Might well be that the current winter will become the norm for a while smiling smiley

[www.newscientist.com]
David Goldsmith


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6th Nov 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 11.46hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10
HTH, I recall that in the years I worked Cairngorm - 1974 to 1976 - it was indeed the case that the Ciste chairs would sometimes run when we couldn't get anyone up to the Cas carpark and chairs etc. This was fine for intermediates.

However, it's not a lift for 'chairlift newbies'. Even in those years, when detachable chairlifts didn't exist, we couldn't send inexperienced users of chairlifts up the cable.

I wonder what Cairngorm has spent - over the past 50 years - on clearing those few hundred metres of road that get drifted over, and what the capital cost of a covered road would be
HTH


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20th Feb 2018
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Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 12.00hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10

Yes this Solar Minimum concept is getting a lot of publicity, and maybe it will pan out. Would be good if we can have a run of snowy winters.

Chionophile wrote on another thread about the culture of not questioning climate-related projections, because it is politically sensitive. However it is quite feasible that our local climate could shift in either direction, warmer or cooler, according to how these processes impact our regional airflows.

But at Govt & HIE levels, there is only one *gospel* which cannot be questioned...snowsports is in a managed state of decline due to decreasing snow. - It is simply not a good career move for any board member to speak up in favour of snowsports investment.

Maybe I will be proved wrong, but I don't think any senior person will have the guts to approve money to buy a new lift.
Jamie


Posts: 983
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Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 12.05hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10
David Goldsmith Wrote:
Even in those years [1974-76], when detachable chairlifts didn't exist

The White Lady Chairlift was a detachable chairlift - built on CairnGorm in 1961!

David Goldsmith Wrote:
However, it's not a lift for 'chairlift newbies' ... we couldn't send inexperienced users of chairlifts up the cable.

Several company development plans state a desire to redesign the on and off ramps on both of the Ciste Chairs to make them beginner friendly and enable proper downloading etc. Technical and financial investigations were carried out on this by the company, and the work - which would have opened up the chairs to everyone - was to be carried out as 'Phase 2' of the [abandoned] Coire na Ciste upgrade plan in the late 1990s.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 12.06hrs Tue 20 Apr 10 by Jamie.
David Goldsmith


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6th Nov 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 12.43hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10
Jamie, you're absolutely right that the original Cairngorm chairs were detachables (I gather they're more detached than ever right now, swinging from people's trees). Vis-a-vis the Ciste/WW chairs (for those who are new to Cairngorm), they weren't 'skis on' - you sat sideways, holding your skis upright.

On your second point, that's most interesting information. I wonder what the cost of installing the rolling carpets at the base and top stations of the Ciste/WW chairs comes to?
alan


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16th Nov 2018
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Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 13.14hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10
On your second point, that's most interesting information. I wonder what the cost of installing the rolling carpets at the base and top stations of the Ciste/WW chairs comes to?


Almost certainly a fraction of the cost of building new detach lifts, but I'd be delighted to see the stations remodelled with shallower bullwheel ramps and flat areas suitable for walk on/off loading and unloading to start with.

Loading/Unloading carpets would be in my view a better medium term objective than going for modern detach replacements of the Ciste Chairs, we already have the chairlifts in place - I think we should use the existing chairlifts to maximum advantage and put any new lift investment into something else.
cmorrison


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14th Nov 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 13.30hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10
IMO the magic carpet on off's will never happen. The money it would cost would be better spent elsewhere. A redesigned on/off area similair to that of the Glencoe access or Glenshee Sunnyside lift is all that is really required.
Hipennine


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16th Nov 2018
Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 14.47hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10
cmorrison Wrote:
IMO the magic carpet on off's will never happen. The money it would cost would be better spent elsewhere. A redesigned on/off area similair to that of the Glencoe access or Glenshee Sunnyside lift is all that is really required.


Also:

David Goldsmith Wrote:
"However, it's not a lift for 'chairlift newbies' ... we couldn't send inexperienced users of chairlifts up the cable."

Agree with cmorrison. For decades, many "access" chairs in the alps were (in some cases still are) of similar/identical design to the Ciste and W.Wall. For that matter, there are many quad fixed-grips on both sidea of the atlantic in use for beginner's lifts, and they are much more difficult for newbies to cope with. It's much easier to get 2 newbies up to the loading line, than 4 of them. IIRC, the problem with newbies on the Ciste/WW was that landing them at the bottom of the Ciste tow meant a very steep (insurmountable ?) learning curve to reach the Ptarmigan, plus no newbies ski route down that side of the hill (can't actually remember if you could download on the WW chair, having never rode down it as a customer).

Observations of moving floor loading ramps seem to show a bigger problem for newbies (ie sliding onto the ramp at the correct time without falling over, or getting caught in the control gate) and I can't help feel that it is just another mechanical device to maintain in far from ideal Scottish conditions. I have seen some successful alpine installations on 2 and 3 seaters, where they are used to increase capacity (by fixing more carriers on the line, and running at higher speeds), but only where the anticipated user is intermediate or above. I have read somewhere that many offloading moving floors have been scrapped and replaced by normal ramps.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 14.55hrs Tue 20 Apr 10 by Hipennine.
daveski


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8th Nov 2017
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Re: CairnGorm Mountain - Onwards and Upwards?
Date Posted: 17.27hrs on Tue 20 Apr 10
I dont think it is as cut and dried as some make out, yes the ciste has potential to get peoplpe on the hill when road blocked or uplift on Cas fails, but in reality how often is that. I have heard that of the 20 days the road was blocked earlier in season the ciste chair would of still been closed due to wind direction, speed and potential avalanche risk (got to see to assess) for 18 of them. How many times in the last 5 years has the road been blocked?

The chair may solve some of the problems but there are a lot more problems from the logisitcs and safety side that also need addressed.

How would you decide who was competent enough to use the chair and get off the mountain under their own steam (need to have a another set of evacuation procedures).

The chair will be the only means of getting provisions to the top (no facilities at the bottom) as all the KB's will be needed to prepare the runs and improve access.

Plus whether we like it or not the infrastructure is all on the Cas side.

As a starting point to me the main reason for re-instating the cist is access to ciste snow over and above the cas side of the mountain, not to address the few days a year where it would of been the sole access method. I would much rather see getting the ciste up and running for minimum spend and look at other new uplift being added, like the suggested Summit / Marquis Wells' Tow, or another drag uplift to supplement the train/M2 poma.








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