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David Goldsmith


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6th Nov 2018
Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 17.16hrs on Sun 7 Mar 04
This article in today's Sunday Times raises the theory that mountainbiking might boost revenues sufficiently to save Scotland's ski areas.

But am I right in saying that it omits one rather important factor - the type of uplift you can use to hike a bike to the top of the hill is ideally a modern chairlift with design adaptation, so can this really solve the problems of Glenshee and Glencoe?

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Post Edited (17:18 hrs on Sun 07 Mar 04)
stuartm555


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 13.10hrs on Mon 8 Mar 04

You're probably right about Glenshee, but I wouldn't have thought that the access chair at glencoe would have any problems carrying bikes. And the terrain underneath that would be perfect for downhill mtbing (mtbing = mountain biking by the way).

Even if they did have to install a new chair at glenshee though, surely it would be a worthwhile investment (not sure where they'd get the money from though!). The thing about mtbing though is that isn't dependant on any weather conditions (except not snowing!) - even if it was poring with rain there would still be people out every day. Just look at how busy Innerleithen is - you usually have to book ahead at weekends.

Surely the only problem with mtbing is the erosion factor - i'm not sure how bad this would be but it's certainly an argument the conservationist people would be able to use quite well. Then again the ski areas aren't exactly beautiful, with metal poles sticking out of the ground everywhere.
alan


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 13.20hrs on Mon 8 Mar 04
Erosion would become an issue if there was a free for all, but building designated downhill tracks, means that with good maintence erosion can be prevented.

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David Goldsmith


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 13.56hrs on Mon 8 Mar 04
I wonder if experimental work has been done on draglifts to adapt them to pull bikes uphill? Obviously, some kind of foolproof safety release would be needed in case the rider falls.
stephen knight


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 14.15hrs on Mon 8 Mar 04
Draglifts can pull sleds, and inflatuble rings, so I can't see why they can't be adapted for bikes. HSE might though!
stephen knight


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 15.01hrs on Mon 8 Mar 04
Many resorts abroad are open to mountain biking, so it only makes sense that Scotland should follow. If a resort could get 1/10th of the Scottish market, that would be 20,000 visitors. Charge £10 for a day lift pass, and that would be £200,000 revenue in just one summer from mountain biking, excluding extras made from food, souvenirs, etc etc.
alan


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 15.06hrs on Mon 8 Mar 04
The only thing stopping mountain biking on CairnGorm Mountain is HIE! I think this no mountain bikes beyond this point is absurd on the hill track when it's used by piste bashers, landrovers, quad bikes etc!

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Charlie Leppard


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 15.58hrs on Mon 8 Mar 04
I spent a couple of hours in a 'piste basher' at Glenshee at the w/e. The snow was dire and if it wasn't for the help of the driver I wouldn't have been able to run the 'Tele-X' race at the Telemark Festival. He sculpted an amazing course out of and 'out-of-bounds' windlip/drift.

HOWEVER - my point is: Glenshee may be considering a kind of Management Buy-Out and are thinking about MTB. A pretty full-on course could be built from the top of the Cairnwell, and a very significant drop could be created if the run went down to the A93 on the Perth side of the hill. Most of this run would be out of site from the valley. Very few walkers would see it.

Going back down to the road would also be possible, the hillside is very very rock in place (plenty of building material) and is already scared with ski runs/fences/lifts.

On Sunnyside (the facing slope) there is a shorter 2 man chairlift with excellent potential for a 4X course.

The only problem here is a complete lack of forestry/ shelter. XC routes would be possible with the amazing High-level routes possible, but lack of shelter/environmental concerns may put an end to this.

By the way is Nevis totally over-run with bikers - I doub't it - Is another centre for biking really needed?

Charlie
alan


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 16.08hrs on Mon 8 Mar 04
Glencoe would be better placed to tap into the central belt market for mountain biking than Nevis, the Nevis trade is largely fairly local for mountain biking.

The other thing is that the Nevis course is pretty damn hard-core! It's regarded as one of the most technically demanding of the world cup courses.

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EB


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 19.06hrs on Mon 8 Mar 04
*** "By the way is Nevis totally over-run with bikers - I doubt it - Is another centre for biking really needed?"

Glen Tress is 40 minutes drive from Edinburgh, and it is over-run with bikers. To the point where it's almost worth avoiding!!

Plus new bike businesses springing up in the borders. Nevis may not be over-run, but as Alan says it's v hardcore and nearly 3 hours away from the major population centres.

I haven't read the article, but presumably the fact that mtb gave ski centres the world over a major income stream, is reason to consider it for here.

Glenshee's problems are the wind and realtively inhospitable environment. All the success stories in MTB have been done in Forests, working with the forest commission - as they offer a weatherproof environment. A trip to Glentress gets you muddy, but you don't often actually get that wet.

20million people in the UK own bikes, 5m use them regularly.

I still think that Glencoe, could put in an amazing mtb centre, aimed at families, punters and dh thrillaz!

EB
SussexSnow


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 09.43hrs on Tue 9 Mar 04
Re: Glenshee Cairnwell MTB track.

Are we talking going down the Tiger basically? Isn't that horrendously steep?

Or would a track go towards Bucharts and swing about a bit?

As for demand I think it would be high. The MTB mags have all covered Nevis and various 'epics' in Scotland. (most MTB rides seem to be 'epics' when cycled by journalists). This PR is good and the message is Scotland is a world-class for MTBing - Innerliethen, Glentress, Nevis Range. Adding more big hill riding centres will just add to the momentum and encourage people to go and ride. All good for subsidising ski lifts.

Also, there is somec ross-over between summer bikers and winter snowsporters. Exposing summer visitors to the lifts may encourage a winter return visit.

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John B


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 13.15hrs on Tue 9 Mar 04
Can't the lazy b***** cycle up the hills?.......
David Goldsmith


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 13.36hrs on Tue 9 Mar 04
John B. I hope you don't mind me plagiarising your line, and substituting one word:

Can't the lazy b***** ski up the hills?.......

I mean, let's be honest, who's lazier in terms of energy input - bikers or skiers? The point about this debate is to save Scotland's ski areas from bankruptcy. I know very little about what goes on at Glencoe in the summer at the moment. I know they run the chairlift sometimes. Do they allow bike carriage as things stand?
Andy


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 14.40hrs on Tue 9 Mar 04
It doesn't have to be mountain biking that "saves" the ski areas. My folks for instance have never been into hillwalking but they really enjoy going up the finicular at the gorm; it lets people who wouldn't normally get the chance to go up a mountain do it in a civilised way. Nevis probably makes a large amount of it's money just from sightseers, who go up and have a look at the view and have a bite to eat at the resturant.
I think mountain biking at glencoe could be part of it but I think if they had a nicer resturant at the top of the chair (although a covered chair would also be good)they would get a lot of passing trade, especially tourists in the summer months.
The lecht has summer activities , dry slope , devil carts etc
Nevis has the gondola , resturant
Cairngorm has the finicular, resturant , shop
but glencoe and glenshee don't offer anything apart from maybe a lift up a hill when the lifts are running (if they still do in the summer).
alan


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 15.01hrs on Tue 9 Mar 04
I'd like to see anyone cycle UP the Nevis Track! :p

There is a point about this diversification arguement, Glenshee Chairlift Company did not just bury it's head in the non-existant snow as some people have suggested, it did diversify but off-site at Glen Isla with the golf course. However this may have actually helped things to where they now are, because all investment the company could muster went into golf, not the ski areas which were in bad need of infrustructural improvements.

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John B


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 15.37hrs on Tue 9 Mar 04
That's fine, I only skin or walk up myself. The Cairngorm/Braemar areas are already great for mountain biking and suspect only a limited number will want the pure downhill thrill ride offered by lifts, most people will ride about the forests and the longer distance tracks as they do now.
Jamie


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 18.47hrs on Tue 9 Mar 04
How about grass skiing in the summer - perhaps the winter too sometimes eye popping smiley

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Post Edited (18:47 hrs on Tue 09 Mar 04)
SkiBeard


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5th Oct 2006
Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 10.53hrs on Wed 10 Mar 04
Just to add to the list of new mountain biking centres - I believe they are going to build one in Glenmore Forest when the Forestry Commission have decided where to put it!
stephen knight


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Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 11.33hrs on Wed 10 Mar 04
Or how about another mountain recreation activity, quite popular in Germany for some reason. The alpine slide. Here's the website for the most propular manufacturer [www.wiegandslide.com]

They can even use chairlifts to automatically lift the sled to the top of the run in some cases!
SussexSnow


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18th Apr 2019
Re: Can mountainbiking save Scottish skiing?
Date Posted: 11.37hrs on Thu 11 Mar 04
I think there is an Alpine Slide at Sheffield Ski Village. However the Great British Rain might limit the use. As a 10 year old my parents dragged me off on a cycling holiday in Germany's Westerwald. After hacking all the way up the hill to the top of an Alpine Slide we were told it was shut as it was too wet from the night's rain. Really annoyed me. Never got to go on it.
I guess its the same principle as water and dendix, it makes things go faster.... and HSE always like to check things that go fast in case they are fun.

cheers

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