CAIRNGORM: PISTE BASHER TO BE USED AS SKI LIFT
15th October 2019 | Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Last modified on December 19th, 2019
A brand new piste groomer will be used to move skiers and snowboarders up the mountain when there’s no snow at the base.
The owners of the Scottish ski resort have confirmed that they are purchasing the vehicle and associated accessories at a cost of £220,000 excluding VAT.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise says the Kässbohrer PistenBully 100 has a “passenger cab capable of transporting skiers and boarders to help them reach the higher slopes and access the surface lifts when there is no snow cover at the base station.”
The news comes as the resort prepares to go into a second winter without its main ski lift.
The funicular has been out of action since October 2018 when structural problems were identified.
There are plans to repair it but it is not clear yet when work will begin.
The PistenBully 100 will replace Cairngorm’s existing piste grooming machine, which is more than 20 years old.
The new vehicle is said to be more powerful and more fuel efficient.
It will, of course, be used traditionally too.
“Employees will use it to keep slopes groomed with a mix of artificial snow from the snow factory machine and natural snow,” Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) says.
HIE will own the machine and lease it to the mountain operator, Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Limited.
HIE says the purchase is part of wider investment at Cairngorm by CMSL and HIE to improve the resort’s overall attractiveness and reduce its carbon footprint.
It includes refurbishment of the Day Lodge café and bar areas and upgrading the power supply on the mountain to enable snow cannons to run from mains electricity instead of diesel.
“There is real momentum at Cairngorm, with the whole CMSL team working hard to continually improve facilities and customer service,” says HIE area manager, James Gibbs.
“The purchase of a new piste grooming vehicle is another progressive step for the resort and we look forward to hearing how it is improving conditions on the slopes.”
The interim Chief Executive at CMSL, Susan Smith, says the piste groomer will ensure the best possible conditions on the slopes for skiers and snowboarders while reducing the resort’s carbon footprint and running costs.
Later this week, Cairngorm will release details of its winter ski plans which it says are aimed at keeping Cairngorm open on as many days and to as many people as possible while the funicular remains out of service.
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