Why the West Wall Chairlift mattered

Why the West Wall Chairlift mattered in a single photo.

wwcvspoma

It’s not just late spring this happens, that was the situation through February half term in 2017 – see here .  The above photo is from early May 2014 – a whole month after the WW Poma last run, meaning the Ciste Gully was complete for the entirity of the School Easter holidays, but without uplift. Aside from the White Lady T-bar which was somewhat a victim of lack of foresight in planning the funicular, the other uplift lost on CairnGorm helped form a whole far more valuable than the individual parts.

Why? First simply for capacity to get the numbers on the hill when conditions are good, secondly given the fickle nature of Scottish winters, having the full lift network spread across different aspects at different elevations meant more days uplift could be operated. It’s not accidental that Glenshee has uplift on North, South, East and West aspects!

The marginal cost savings of reducing uplift come at the expense of a much greater amount of revenue. It becomes a self fulfilling cycle of decline with only one endpoint – the cycle needs broken with significant well thought out investment off the back of a complete strategic change of direction on CairnGorm Mountain.

And in numbers :

2010:
180 days – Ciste Gully skiable to old Chairlift boardwalk
57 days (32%) – West Wall Poma operated
68% of the time – Coire na Ciste without any uplift

2011:
140 days – Ciste Gully skiable to old Chairlift boardwalk
44 days (31%) – West Wall Poma operated
69% of the time – Coire na Ciste without any uplift

2013:
152 days – Ciste Gully skiable to old Chairlift boardwalk
52 days (34%) – West Wall Poma operated
66% of the time – Coire na Ciste without any uplift

2014:
131 days – Ciste Gully skiable to Chairlift boardwalk
14 days (11%) – West Wall Poma operated
89% of the time – Coire na Ciste without any uplift

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