During the first week of the half term period snowsports ticket sales were suspended on several days because of limited uplift and terrain, on other days the limited offering made demand self limiting – but both have the same outcome potential snowsports customers disappointed and revenue that could have been taken by the mountain business lost permanently.
So what if there was a good long Red Run served by a chairlift that could accommodate around 200 extra snowsports customers on the mountain, while making the offering significantly more attractive to customers? Well actually there was such a run, the Ciste Gully and as seen in this photo taken on Wednesday 15th February was complete to well below the level of the old boardwalk back to the West Wall Chairlift (indicated by the red line).
With replacement of the largely ruinous snow fencing on the upper leg of the Laogh Mor Return further advanced terrain in the East Wall Gullies would have been available, while our proposed Bynack Traverse would given the direct direction likely have allowed the M2/Overyonder route to be skied off the West Wall Chairlift providing intermediate terrain as well as advanced terrain.
Even where the new rail fencing is in place on the West Wall Poma, the uptrack was not complete as the strongest winds were blowing too parallel to the fences scouring any snow that did lie along the single fenceline. Even in the depth of winter, the West Wall Poma can be inoperable due to lack of snow when the Ciste Gully and other runs in the Ciste could be open and served by the West Wall Chairlift.
Without the Chairlifts CairnGorm Mountain is no longer a complete snowsports area. Access to advanced terrain is reduced and significantly compromised reducing the appeal of CairnGorm Mountain to that segment of the market (as witnessed by increasing market share at Glencoe, Glenshee and Nevis Range over recent years). Further the West Wall Poma is a very steep and challenging surface lift, it is unsuitable on it’s own to serve the blue graded intermediate M2 & OverYonder Runs.