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Thursday October 17, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

The Scottish ski area has announced its plans to keep snowsports going as it prepares for a second winter without its main lift.


The landowners say ‘all the stops are being pulled out' to ensure skiers and snowboarders have the best possible experience at Cairngorm this winter.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is aiming to avoid the debacle at Cairngorm last winter after safety concerns closed the funicular mountain railway indefinitely.

It led to the closure of the main ski school with the loss of around 50 jobs and the cancellation of a major festival.

The operators of the ski area later went bust and HIE set up a new subsidiary, Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Ltd, to take over.


With work to repair the funicular not due to start until at least next Spring, the management are keen to make the best of things and limit any further damage to Cairngorm's reputation for snow sports.

Earlier this week it was announced that the resort is buying a new piste grooming machine which will be used to transport skiers and snowboarders up the mountain if there is insufficient snow at the base.

Piste grooming machinePiste groomer

Now they've announced the rest of their winter plans:

  • 9 surface lifts all of which will operate ‘when snow cover and customer demand permits'
  • A children's ‘high 5' innovative snow park area for beginners with some features added for the more advanced
  • Between 43 and 61 people working on the mountain each day to ensure the highest level of customer service
  • Designated hosts during busy periods to meet and greet, manage queues, give out information
  • Discounted tickets. Day tickets: adult £28; junior £17; senior £21; student £22; family £80.
  • 3 ski schools, Free Ski, Ski Norwest and School of Snowsports, operating from Cairngorm Mountain.
  • Ski hire from the 3rd floor of the Day Lodge.
  • For a trial period and to reduce delays, ski fitting and collection will be available on Friday and Saturday evenings, weather permitting
  • Snowmaking to begin at the end of October to allow the beginners' slopes to be ready for the season opening on 7th December.
  • The Cas Bar will serve hot food and have a quick entry/exit.
  • The Ptarmigan (with a scaled down offering of food and drink) will also open when the surface lifts are fully open
  • The shopping area in the Day Lodge will be open all season.
Cairngorm MountainCairngorm Mountain

Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Ltd - CMSL, says it's been talking to snow sports clubs and season pass holders to maximise their enjoyment.

"We are absolutely determined that visitors to Cairngorm this winter will see and feel a marked improvement in all areas of the business," Susan Smith, the interim Chief Executive said.

"We are pulling out all the stops, with a heightened focus on customer service.

"Clearly, with the funicular still out of action, we will prioritise the remaining uplift, together with the snow factory and cannons, to make sure as many people as possible can access the slopes when conditions are right.

"Catering and queues are other key issues we have targeted in the new approach, with both the Cas Bar and the café open for food and drink.

"We very much look forward to welcoming our winter visitors and working hard to make sure their all-round experience is positive."

Cairngorm funicularCairngorm funicular













HIE's area manager, James Gibbs, said there had already been a marked improvement in catering, facilities and customer service on the mountain, and this would continue throughout the winter season and beyond.

"We recognise and share the frustrations that many people have over the funicular problems and are working hard on solutions to this.

"We hope to be able to start repair work in spring 2020, subject to a business case being approved by the HIE Board and the Scottish Government.

"In the meantime, Cairngorm continues to offer an excellent prospect for visitors. There has been very positive feedback on the improvements already made.

"The winter season is of course crucial for the resort and CMSL are well-prepared to offer the best possible experience."

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Related Articles

CAIRNGORM OPENS THIS WEEKEND (Saturday December 7, 2019)
SCOTTISH SKI AREA INVESTS £1M (Thursday November 28, 2019)
CAIRNGORM FUNICULAR: £13.3M TO REMOVE (Thursday October 10, 2019)
30 DAYS OF SNOWSPORTS BACK FOR 6TH YEAR (Wednesday October 2, 2019)

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