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Re: Media Thread
Posted by: ScottB who has made 394 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 20.12hrs on Sat 9 Feb 08

I like the link at the bottom:

'check the Scottish resorts weather reports'

and where does the link go? The heavily funded Ski-Scotland? Of course not....

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 20.12hrs Sat 9 Feb 08 by ScottB.

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: roga who has made 1123 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 15.20hrs on Sun 10 Feb 08

Nice one from the Guardian there grinning smiley

I've noticed they manage from London to consistently paint a far fairer and more positive picture of Scottish snowsports than certain Edinburgh based papers!

^ LOL, they also seem to know where to get the best online information about Scotland too!

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 15.21hrs Sun 10 Feb 08 by roga.

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: alan who has made 10747 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 23.02hrs on Wed 13 Feb 08

Link to P&J Story reviewing the first weekend of Feb.


Clearly a good weekend for the Lecht with 1000 on Saturday and 1500 on the Sunday when CairnGorm was closed.

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: II who has made 1283 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 11.23hrs on Sun 7 Sep 08

Revealed: £50m bill to clean up Cairngorm railway
from Sunday Herald, 07 September 2008

The financial mess that is the Cairngorm mountain railway could end up costing taxpayers a massive £50 million to clean up, according to internal government documents obtained by the Sunday Herald.

The growing prospect that ministers will be asked to pay the bill for dismantling and removing the controversial funicular from the mountain near Aviemore has been described as “daunting” and “scary” by Scottish government officials.

The documents also reveal how the company that ran the funicular was on the verge of going bust before it was taken over by the government agency, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), in May - and how this fact was hidden from the public by HIE at the time.

When the funicular railway was originally given planning consent in 1997, a legal condition was imposed obliging HIE to remove the entire facility and reinstate the land. This would come into force if the funicular was closed for more than two years.

Since then, as the funicular has tried to weather a series of worsening financial crises, the risk of closure has loomed ever larger. The prospect was confronted in private correspondence between HIE and the Scottish government in May this year.

HIE disclosed that it had estimated the total cost of reinstatement at between £30 and £50 million. This is much higher than the figure of £6 million previously mentioned by the government’s Forestry Commission, which had also investigated taking over the funicular.

The estimate was high, HIE explained in a memo to government, because much of the equipment might have to be carried out by helicopter in order to avoid damaging Cairngorm’s sensitive mountain habitat. Helicopters had had to be brought in during construction, causing “cost escalations”.

In an email on 1 May, one government official expressed concern about throwing “good money after bad” on the funicular. “The prospect of a £30m bill for removal is pretty scary in financial and reputational terms,” he said.

HIE has released more than 250 pages of memos and correspondence about its take-over of the funicular earlier this year. The documents were requested by the Sunday Herald under freedom of information legislation.

For the first time they uncover the full story of how close the funicular company, Cairngorm Mountain Limited (CML), came to bankruptcy. According to a confidential report to HIE from the accountants KPMG, the company was approaching a crisis last autumn.

CML had made “significant losses”, KPMG reported. “Recent balance sheets showed that CML was substantially insolvent, and that on an earnings basis, there was no prospect of that position changing.”

Because of a drop in the number of visitors, the company made a loss of £167,000 in the year to 30 April 2007, and then a further £193,000 loss between 1 May and 26 August 2007. CML’s total liabilities at the end of April 2007 stood at £6.3 million.

Allowing the company to go into insolvency “would appear to present all parties with a scenario which would be problematic in terms of potentially damaging PR, and political problems”, KPMG warned.

Despite a good skiing season last winter, the crisis at CML came to a head in the spring, so an urgent HIE take-over was proposed. An emergency meeting of CML directors on 8 May was told that the company’s bank account had been “frozen”.

The minutes of the meeting recorded: “HIE believed that failure to agree in the short term could result in the company having to go into receivership. The company and HIE want to avoid this at all costs.”

None of this was explained at the time. A draft HIE briefing advised officials to answer “no” if asked by the media whether the HIE take-over was “to avert Cairngorm funicular railway going bust”.

HIE argued last week that this was not misleading as there had been no risk of the railway itself going bust, as opposed to the company that ran it. But the government agency was still accused of “media manipulation” by Dave Morris, director of Ramblers’ Association Scotland and a veteran opponent of the funicular.

“HIE’s credibility is melting away faster than a snow bed in a Cairngorm corrie,” he said. “Government ministers must act to resolve this environmental and financial disaster at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park.”

Roy Turnbull, vice-convener of the Badenoch and Strathspey Conservation Group, added: “We and other critics of the funicular consistently argued that it was likely to be an economic disaster, as indeed it is proving.”

go slide....

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: KingOfTheC who has made 17 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 15.18hrs on Mon 17 Jan 11

I've been reading through this thread and noticed that it has not been updated for over two years, so I thought I would add a few seeing as this year was a pretty early-starter (in stark contrast to a lot of the news stories above from 2006 and 2007).


13 November 2010:

Dozens of skiers and snowboarders have taken to the slopes in the Highlands as early snows signalled a start to the season.

CairnGorm Mountain, near Aviemore, said that more than 130 people had taken advantage of the snowfall only 145 days after the end of last season.

Spokeswoman Tania Alliod said light winds and reasonable visibility made it a great first day on the hill.

Runs will be open on Sunday, with conditions reviewed for Monday.

Mr Alliod said: "This has been a great start and we've received many appreciative messages of support for making the effort to open up this weekend.

"We hope the cold conditions continue and we can add to the great base that is building up.

"Conditions are still not suitable for beginners but there is plenty of terrain for intermediates and experts to find their snow legs."

Helen Rennie, from Inverness, has hiked up the Cairngorms for snow to ski on in every month of 2010 so far.

She said: "It's been great to get a lift up after walking up all summer.

"I've just skied down the Traverse. The Gun Barrel is the best bit because it's fresh snow."


21 June 2010 Last updated at 12:16
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Cairngorm runs ski tows for first time in midsummer
Skiing at the CairnGorm Mountain resort Skiers at CairnGorm Mountain

More than 100 skiers took advantage of ski tows being open at the Cairngorm Mountain resort for the first time in midsummer.

Previously at this time of year people have been able to ski in the Cairngorms, however, they had to trek to where the snow was.

Two temporary rope tows were being provided on Sunday and Monday.

CairnGorm, along with Scotland's four other ski centres, benefited from freezing conditions over the winter.

CairnGorm spokesman Colin Kirkwood said: "Although some of our more intrepid skiers have walked up the hill in previous years to find patches of snow on which to ski during the summer, this is the first time in living memory that we have skied with the benefit of mechanized uplift at CairnGorm at midsummer.

"Our customers seem to be delighted that we been able to provide this facility for them as the finale to this season."
Bike ride

More skiers were expected at CairnGorm on Monday, the last day of the snow sports season at the centre.

The Met Office forecast for the Cairngorms was for temperatures of 7C to 12C above 900m, but reaching 19C in Aviemore, the nearest town to the ski resort.

Meanwhile, the Cairngorms National Park marked the summer solstice with a night-time mountain bike ride.

Alan Rankin, chief executive of tourism body Visit Cairngorms, said the long winter had benefited many businesses in the park.

He added: "Despite the fact that there is still a wee bit of snow on the very top of some of the park's highest mountains, we are definitely open for summer activities."

I'd say an overly more positive outlook in last 2010 / early 2011 than in previous years!

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: KingOfTheC who has made 17 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 15.20hrs on Mon 17 Jan 11

Friday 26 February 2010:


Glencoe ski site 'is world's snowiest'
Catherine Bruce, pic taken by Allan Bruce
Catherine Bruce skiing her first red run at the Lecht ski centre

The ski centre at Glencoe Mountain had the most new snow of any winter sports resort in the world on Wednesday, its operators have claimed.

Spokesman Andy Meldrum said data collected by the British Ski Club revealed the area experienced a fall of 80cm over 24 hours.

Heavy snowfalls were also experienced at other Scottish ski resorts.

Snow fell to a depth of 70cm at CairnGorm, 60cm at both The Lecht and Nevis Range, and 50cm at Glenshee.

Mr Meldrum said: "We have had a colossal amount of snow. At car park level we've probably got a metre of snow.

"The amount of snow on the mountain is absolutely epic."

Mr Meldrum added: "We must have a metre and a half of snow up there."

Glencoe came out ahead of the Sugarbush and Mount Snow resorts in the USA which had 76cm of new snow on Wednesday.

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: KingOfTheC who has made 17 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 15.25hrs on Mon 17 Jan 11


Record numbers of skiers take to Scotland's slopes

Business booms at Scottish ski resorts after best snow conditions for more than a decade

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* Patrick Collinson
* guardian.co.uk, Friday 8 January 2010 17.00 GMT
* Article history

Skiing in Scotland Some 20,000 skiers have so far visited Aviemore, Scotland’s biggest resort. Photograph: Murdo Macleod

Blizzards, whiteouts and temperatures plunging to -17c (1F), but they couldn't be happier. "It's better than Utah" declares the CairnGorm's snow patrol, as Scotland's ski resorts revel in perfect powdery snow.

The best conditions for more than a decade have sparked a boom at Aviemore, Scotland's biggest resort, where 20,000 skiers have so far taken to the slopes, four times the number at this time last year. Beaming Scottish tourist officials report that ski accommodation bookings are up 500%. At Ben Nevis, the highest skiing location in the country, resort manager Heather Negus said it expected to be "mobbed out" after slashing the cost of a one-day pass including lifts, tuition and ski kit to £23.50 – for this weekend only.

The heavy snow is also drawing record numbers of skiers to England's "premier ski slope" at Yad Moss in Cumbria. There is only one ageing tow-rope, and it's staffed entirely by volunteers, but the three pistes have never been so busy.

Usually it's open just a few days a year, with grass poking through in places, but conditions this week were "utterly fantastic", said skier and snowboarder Georgie Cray, 24. "There's deep powder and you can even potter off piste." Visitors are being told to dig their own parking space out of the snow – and to expect "serious queues" this weekend.

The early snow and persistent sub-zero temperatures enabled Scotland's main resorts – Aviemore, Glenshee, Glencoe and Nevis – to open much earlier than usual and enjoy a bumper Christmas season. Angela Dingwall, general manager of the Glencoe resort, said: "This year was the first time since 1999 that we opened before the New Year. We haven't had any thaw at all, with lots of powder and only the odd patch of ice. It's picture postcard stuff."

Only three months ago Glencoe's skiing facilities, the oldest in Scotland, was threatened with closure after several years of mild winters and thin trading conditions. Its owners put it up for sale, and only a last-minute takeover in November allowed it to open for the 2009/10 season.

Aviemore, the best-known resort, suffered as its 1960s-built centre dated quickly and unreliable snow meant it struggled to draw visitors. But this winter the Highland resorts are celebrating a "perfect blizzard" as the high euro deters British skiers from the Alps while the heavy early snowfalls attract some, for the first time, to Scotland.

"We've seen evidence of people feeling the pinch. They're fed up with paying £7 for a beer in an Alpine resort," said Colin Kirkwood, spokesman for CairnGorm Mountain, which manages the ski facilities around Aviemore. A day pass at the resort is £30 (£96 for four days) which gives access to 39km of piste.

In Austria, a day pass for Kitzbühel costs €41.50 (£37) although that covers 168km of runs. But the Alpine resort has just 60cm of snow on its upper runs; there is 150cm in the Highlands.

The problem for many visitors to the Scottish resorts is the journey there. As much as the snow is welcomed, it also regularly blocks access roads. Recent posts on CairnGorm internet forums warn of hazardous driving conditions and unreachable car parks. "Very disappointed not to get anywhere near the mountain AGAIN!! Why can Cairngorm not cope with a decent amount of snow?" wrote one recent visitor. But Kirkwood said: "Access is generally not bad. There have been a number of days this year when it has taken a couple of hours to open the car park, but that's all."

Current weather forecasts, which suggest temperatures remaining low and more snow to come, is raising confidence that the number of Highland skiers could return to the peak years of the 1960s and 1970s.

At the Met Office, a spokesman said he wouldn't recommend investing in Scottish ski lodges. Its climate predictions suggest that by 2080 the average winter night-time temperature in the Highlands will rise by 4C. Even a two-degree rise will permanently reduce the amount of lying snow by up to 90%.

But for this winter at least, the Scottish resorts are enjoying the rare pleasure of not having to use their snow cannons. CairnGorm even apologised last week for making too much of the white stuff. "Sorry about the amount of snow on the lower slopes, we forgot to switch the snow cannon off last night," its website said this week.

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