The schools are out for February half term, and it is all go in Strathspey. On Cairn Gorm, while the Coire na Ciste Chairlifts stand still, several shuttle buses will be on stand-by in the Ciste carpark to ferry skiers round to the facilities in Coire Cas.
Today, we consider some of the benefits that our multi-stage proposals (being created at the request of the mountain’s new operator) for redeveloping Coire na Ciste and for reinstating the two Chairlifts will have for visiting holidaymakers as well as for regulars.
If our vision for Coire na Ciste is realised, upon parking in the Ciste carpark you would be able to:
- Stay at a micro-lodge (or your campervan, utilising new hook-ups) in the redesigned Base Area
- Stop in at a new cafe/bar in the new Base Building – from breakfast-time through to dinnertime.
- Have toilet and shower/changing facilities at the Ciste Base Area
- Buy your ski pass, collect your ski hire, and meet your ski instructor
- Head on up the chairlifts!
Once on the Chairlifts and up in the Coire na Ciste ski area you can:
- Get started with learning to ski in our dedicated new snow-reliable Learners Zone in the most sheltered part of CairnGorm (Lower Ciste area), and gain confidence quickly by having the Chairlift rather than a T-Bar for uplift.
- Get to grips with freestyle, or push your level, in our new snow-reliable world class terrain park (Lower Aonach area).
- Stop for food + drinks, toilets, and shelter, at our new Hydro Scheme Turbine House building (environmentally sensitive in design) in the mid-coire area.
- Continue on up the West Wall Chairlift to enjoy the expert runs or access the rest of the mountain.
Mid-line loading on the Lower Ciste Chairlift will provide uplift in the lower coire area without requiring to ski back to the carpark, and we plan to install an extra lift for the Learners Zone / Terrain Park.
Snow-making equipment is calculated to make both the terrain park and Learners Zone snow reliable for up to (or over) 100 days per season. The Lower Ciste Gully can be made additionally snow reliable by mitigating the stream melting the snowpack through installation of a tailrace as part of our Hydro plans.
We plan to make the runs back to the carpark as snow reliable as possible, and as part of this have surveyed a new double fenced line which we believe will improve the reliability of being able to ski back to your car in Coire na Ciste from the M2 / Daylodge Poma. And of course, if you were staying in our new redesigned Base Area, you will be able to ski back to your accommodation!
Anyhow, enjoy the Valentine’s Day snow, folks – oh, and for the avoidance of doubt, a pair of skis is allowed to count as a significant other!
In the meantime, please don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook, or ‘share’ with the buttons below. And as ever, you can show your support for the redevelopment of Coire na Ciste and its chairlifts by signing our e-Petition which remains live at www.savetheciste.com
Picture: a full line of skiers on both the West Wall and Coire na Ciste Chairlifts, with a full Coire na Ciste carpark behind. We are working hard to prove the financial case to make this a reality once again.