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Re: Media Thread
Posted by: alan who has made 10706 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 13.00hrs on Thu 1 Feb 07

The UKCIP senarios don't paint that scenario - indeed the BBC global warming program last week which was based on the 'worst case' warming scenario actually (shock horror) made the point in their winter 2050 'forecast' that it still snowed in the Cairngorms!

As with 88/89 we are in an El-nino winter which (so far) is warmer than the worst case scenario warming for 2080 - we are still skiing. It sort of proves the point that average temperatures are not the whole story, its the weather cycles and the pattern they follow. In the late 80s the doom-mongers said there would be no skiing in 10,15 maybe 20years in Scotland.

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: boarderdownunder who has made 509 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 21.58hrs on Thu 1 Feb 07

Sorry to drag the thread off topic again but I don't think anyone could argue we're doing a lot less skiing now than we did in the 80s. We used to assume the snow level would be at about 2000ft - roughly the altitude of the top gondola station at Nevis, or the roadside at the Lecht; and then you could more or less count on snow from that height up for most of the season. That level has been moving progressively upwards in my experience. 7 or 8 years ago you could for example reliably ski to the bottom of the goose T bar at Nevis, or to the mid station at Cairngorm. Now it seems we're retreating higher and higher up the mountains; pretty soon we'll only have the summit button at Nevis, and the ptarmigan at Cairngorm. The Lecht and Glenshee only seem to open after exceptional snow dumps but rarely survive the thaw that occurs before the next one....

Bad day at work, maybe I'm just a bit pessimistic this evening.

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: StevieMcK who has made 1160 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 12.05hrs on Tue 13 Feb 07

[news.bbc.co.uk]

--------------------------------
Majority back Cairngorm transfer

A consultation on proposals to transfer Cairngorm Estate to the Forestry Commission Scotland has found a majority in favour.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which manages the 3,500-acre estate, wants to pass on the land to a new owner.

The estate includes the Cairngorm ski area and funicular railway.

Three quarters of those who responded to the consultation expressed concern about suggestions that some ski infrastructure could be removed.

The year-long consultation process came to an end late last year.

The area, owned by HIE, includes the summit of Cairn Gorm, the ski slopes and the mountain railway.

About a third of the estate, which lies within the Cairngorms National Park, is currently leased to CairnGorm Mountain Ltd.

The company operates the ski area and mountain railway, which opened in 2002 and attracts 200,000 paying customers each year.
--------------------------------

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: andrewr who has made 236 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 16.58hrs on Fri 16 Feb 07

[www.strathspey-herald.co.uk]
Cash concerns on estate takeover
Published: 14 February, 2007

SERIOUS concern has been expressed over whether Forestry Commission Scotland has enough financial muscle to take ownership of one of Scotland's most famous estates.

The fears of a number of organisations came to light yesterday (Tuesday) when the contents of the consultation on the proposed transfer of the Cairngorm Estate from Highlands and Islands Enterprise to the commission were made public.

CairnGorm Mountain Ltd, who operate the ski area on the estate, including the 19 million funicular railway, are worried that they could suffer from a lack of investment if the transfer takes place.

The company has said that it is not objecting to the transfer contrary to what is stated in the commission's 33-page analysis but admitted to having financial concerns.

As well as funding, there is also anxiety among many of the national ski bodies as well as individuals responding over the commission's long-term objectives if they take over, with fears that skiing could be run-down and eventually end.

This has partly been prompted by a recommendation within the consultation paper produced by the commission and HIE to remove some of the uplift from the Cairngorm ski area as part of what are termed "environmental improvements" on the 1,418-hectare estate.

The suggestion received the most responses and criticisms, especially over the plans to take away uplift in the Coire na Ciste area used by more experienced skiers.

The consultation report states that there were 59 respondents in favour of the transfer of the estate and nine against, but only four of these provided details.

They are listed as Cairngorm Mountain, two individuals "who expressed a general distrust of Forestry Commission Scotland or of politicians" and CairnGorm Mountain Ltd.

Bob Kinnaird, Chief Executive of CairnGorm Mountain, said: "Any suggestion that CairnGorm Mountain Ltd. is opposed in principle to the proposed transfer of the ownership of the estate to Forestry Commission Scotland is quite wrong and misleading.

"What we are sounding, in common with many respondents, is the cautionary note that certain financial and other guarantees on the long-term sustainability of recreation in the Cairngorms should be in place prior to any agreement to transfer."

Their response stated that their landlord would need to provide long-term investment, especially in light of global warming and the changes they would have to make as a result.

Mr Kinnaird said that all indications were that Forestry Commission Scotland would have no additional budget for such work and other new developments.

CairnGorm Mountain Ltd wants assurances that there will be a new source of funds for them for development plans which were recently unveiled which could turn the attraction in the "Eden Project of the North".

Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber MSP Fergus Ewing has also expressed his doubts whether Forestry Commission Scotland could carry out the job properly. He wants a detailed financial plan to be produced for the Cairngorm Estate with funding commitments before any transfer.

He said: "There is no doubt that the commission has the experience and the expertise to run the estate, but I share reservations that they have an insufficient budget, for example, to invest new ski uplift and general maintenance to improve the facilities.

Concern was expressed on downgrading of ski facilities

"The plan to transfer the financial responsibility from HIE to the commission always seemed to me to be motivated more by a desire on the part of HIE to reduce or eliminate its financial responsibilities than to find the best solution for the estate.

"I am now urging Environment Minister Ross Finnie to say exactly what financial planning is there for Forestry Commission Scotland to invest in the estate should they become the owners."

Sportscotland, which has invested in ski uplift in the Cairngorms since the 1970s, including 105,000 for upgrading the M1 ski tow and 44,000 for improving the Coire na Ciste and West Wall chairlifts, have also expressed their concern over possible financial shortcomings.

They also pointed out that if any of the lifts they have helped fund were to be removed as part of "environment improvements" then there could be requirements for their grants to be repaid.

Similar concerns over skiing and in some cases future finances of the estate if the estate was transferred were echoed by the Scottish Ski Club, The British Downhill Association, the Snowsport Industries of Great Britain and a host of individuals.

The three-month consultation launched in August last year attracted 79 responses from 25 organisations and 54 individuals.

Mike Shepherd, of The Ski School and The Snowboard School, which teaches around 3,000 customers to ski each winter at Cairngorm and employs over 80 instructors, was critical that they and other ski bodies had not been consulted directly over the plans.

The report revealed concern from respondents (76%) was that proposed "environmental improvements" would lead to downgrading of ski uplift facilities and limit wintersport opportunities on the mountain.

Proposed for removal in the consultation were the Coire-na-Ciste chairlift, West Wall chair, Fiacaill T-bar and Aonach Poma, as well as the demolition of the former ticket office and toilets at the Coire-na-Ciste car park.

Future decisions regarding ski infrastructure, the two agencies have stated this week, will remain the responsibility of the ski operator and "will be dependent on the climatic conditions and the business case for retaining them".

The ski area attracts 220,000 paying visitors per year and is an important attraction for the area, but the Cairngorm Estate is also highly valued for its wildlife, hosting mountain plants and sub-arctic birds such as dotterel and ptarmigan.

David Jardine, Forestry Commission Scotland, Inverness Forest District, said: "Forestry Commission Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise welcome the positive response to the consultation process. Valuable information and balanced opinion has been collected through this consultation process.

"Cairngorm is an important, yet complex estate. Reaching the best possible solution for the future of this area of land is a lengthy process, but it is imperative that every possibility is given due consideration and that the decision reached is the best one."

HIE have said they want to transfer the estate because it is no longer their policy to own such tracts of land.

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: al who has made 128 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 13.28hrs on Mon 19 Feb 07

[www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk]

BRAEMAR SKI-ING FESTIVAL CANCELLED FOR SECOND TIME

19 February 2007

An Annual ski-ing festival on Deeside has been cancelled for a second year in a row.

Braemar Telemark Festival, which attracted hundreds of visitors to the area and gave winter tourism a welcome boost, has been called off again.

The event was run by a small group of volunteers through the non-profit Braemar Telemark Club.

They decided to take a year off from the pressures of organising the event last year and said there was a strong possibility of it returning.

Organisers confirmed last night it would not be going ahead this year.

Sheena Cooper said: "It was organised by a small number of people and they all have different commitments." Mrs Cooper added: "We haven't closed down altogether.

"I think there have been some attempts to get more people to organise it, but I am not sure if they have been successful."

At its height, the three-day Telemark Festival, which began in 1999 and was hosted by Glenshee Ski Centre, brought 500 visitors to Braemar.

The last event in 2005 brought an estimated 30,000 into the local economy.

Glenshee director Stewart Davidson said he hoped the event could be revived.

He said: "It wasn't a big generator of income for us but it was good for local hotels and businesses in Braemar.

"It would be good for the area if it is revived because it improves the profile of the area."


Re: Media Thread
Posted by: gregor who has made 437 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 18.46hrs on Mon 7 Jan 08

[www.pressandjournal.co.uk]


BUMPER START TO SKI-ING SEASON
Date : 07.01.08



Most of Scotland's ski resorts celebrated a bumper start to the new season yesterday, just days after whiteout conditions forced the evacuation of more than 200 skiers at Cairn Gorm.

Fans of winter sports from across the country reaped the rewards of last week's snowstorms, which gave several centres a perfect start to their new season.

This came as a relief after a sudden deterioration in conditions on Friday forced resort bosses at Cairn Gorm to bring 220 people off the mountain in a race against time.

The adverse weather meant the centre remained closed on Saturday, although it was able to open with four tows yesterday.

It was a different story for Glenshee, which came out on top at the weekend with nine tows open.

Centre finance director Stewart Davidson welcomed the early start to the season.

He said: "We are opening two weeks ahead of the usual schedule. We had 2,000 visitors yesterday and 1,200 on Saturday.

"We've had skiers up to intermediate level here but, with more snow forecast, we should be able to cope with advanced skiers this week."

At the Lecht, seven lifts were open on Saturday and eight yesterday.

Centre director Pieter Du Pon said: "We had 1,500 people on Saturday and 1,200 yesterday.

"On Saturday, we reaped the benefit of Cairn Gorm having to remain closed. And yesterday, conditions were really alpine here, with a blue sky and sunshine.

"We haven't had such an early start to the season for a couple of years."

The Goose and Alpha runs were open at Nevis Range and staff prepared the summit for opening today with de-icing work.

High winds in Glencoe kept that centre closed at the weekend.

Elsewhere, the cold weather was not so welcome as emergency services dealt with three accidents within two hours on icy roads in Strathspey, although no one was badly injured.

A Northern Constabulary spokesman said: "There were a number of bumps in that area due to the icy road and we contacted the local authorities to request that the routes be gritted."

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: gregor who has made 437 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 18.52hrs on Mon 7 Jan 08

[www.pressandjournal.co.uk]

GOOD START TO THE SKI-ING SEASON
Date : 07.01.08

For a change, the first ski-ing story to come out of Scotland this winter is one of good news. Last week's snowstorms meant that several ski centres enjoyed a traditional early January weekend of open runs and thousands of enthusiasts out on the slopes. This is the best start to a ski-ing season for years, but operators are holding their breath for the cold spell to continue.

It is pointless consulting weather forecasters, who seem reluctant to speculate much further forward than a few hours.

The reality for skiers, however, is that no matter what the winter throws up, there is a growing consensus that the clouds over Scotland just don't make snow like they used to.

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: gregor who has made 437 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 19.01hrs on Mon 7 Jan 08

[www.stv.tv]

Ski centres give warm welcome to wintery weather
Date: 07.01.08

(click link for video footage)

Most of Scotland's ski resorts are celebrating a bumper start to the season.

The first major snowfall of the year brought thousands to the slopes over the weekend.

Hundreds of early-season skiers packed the funicular train at Cairngorm. Four out of Scotland's five resorts had lifts and runs open over the weekend.

At the Lecht in Aberdeenshire, nearly 3,000 togged-up skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes.

Neighbouring Glenshee was able to open two weeks earlier than expected, with another 3,000 enjoying the snow there.

But bad weather forced the temporary closure of the Cairngorm Ski Centre when a sudden white-out
Industry bosses have welcomed the weather conditions
threatened to trap up to 700 skiers.

Last winter, the second mildest on record, proved to a particularly poor one for the Scottish ski-industry, so this year's snowfall is getting a warm welcome.

Only two runs were open at the Nevis Range and high winds at Glencoe meant it was unable to open.

But overall, last weeks snowstorms appear to have given winter sports fans a bright outlook for the rest of the season.

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: StevieMcK who has made 1160 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 18.01hrs on Mon 14 Jan 08

Glencoe was on Newsbeat on Radio 1 tonight. A very positive article, although the reporter claimed that the resort doesn't normally open until "mid febrary" and this was early snow.

The lifties set him straight about all the global warming rubbish and receding snow line.

I'll dig out the listen again link, once its posted up.

Re: Media Thread
Posted by: motatapu who has made 509 posts. (IP Logged)
Date: 23.56hrs on Fri 8 Feb 08

Here's a good one:

[www.guardian.co.uk]

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