Re: Caringorm Season Pass Refunds...
I guess HIE/Administrators can argue (somewhat legitimately IMO) they made a good faith attempt to operate a normal season but the weather was against them. Can anyone comment on what difference the funicular would have actually made this season?
We are now the latest into the season we have ever been without the Top Basin tows having opened - and it's not because there hasn't been the snow to either operate them or at times access them via surface lifts.
The Ciste Gully was being skied from the top bowl right down to the old boardwalk location for several weeks November into December, but there was no uplift on the mountain at all. There were several periods where the Top Basin could have been open to some extent or other and thus lift served snowsports available but it didn't happen because of the Funicular. Thus the situation on CairnGorm has made this Scottish season overall appear even worse than it would have done under normal circumstances.
Given at least a factor in many families going for a CairnGorm season pass was access to high level gentle terrain by non surface uplift and indeed the ability to access the full Cas side of the mountain by the Funicular which is the difference between CairnGorm being a go to for families and no funicular when frankly it is a place to avoid because of the difficult and steep surface lifts to the top.
The above really ties into the big push on early bird season passes in September, when they were aware that even that early in the autumn there were hardly any days the Funicular could run under it's 'restricted operating parameters'.
The continued push of early bird passes and the concurrent sale of 2-4-1 funicular tickets on ITISON in September, with the funicular closure being announced just after the early bird offer concluded was quite simply a disgrace. Any families who bought early bird tickets in that period should also at least speak to trading standards so this shameful behaviour by Natural Retreats can be formally investigated.
It is also the case that lifts did not run when they could have done, indeed a number of lifts (top t-bars, Cas T-bar, Fiacaill Ridge Poma) were lacking t-bars / buttons when they could have been operating earlier this month.