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?
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.