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CairnGorm Mountain: funicular closure will not disrupt ski season

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Mountain Technology,

CairnGorm Mountain in Scotland has confirmed that it intends to open for the upcoming season despite the closure of its funicular railway earlier this month over safety concerns.

The first meeting of a new response team, held in Aviemore on 10 October, brought together stakeholders to address the potential impact of the closure. Engineers are currently undertaking investigations, with their findings not expected to be released until next month.

Landowner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and operator CairnGorm Mountain Ltd (CML) confirmed at the meeting that they are actively exploring all options to deliver the best possible skier experience without the funicular, and ensure the resort is ready for business.

A key component of the plan will be the potential use of snowmaking equipment at lower levels, making the mountainside accessible for beginners, and reducing congestion in other high traffic areas. Earlier this year, HIE supported trials of snowmaking technology at three of Scotland’s ski centres – CairnGorm, the Lecht and Glencoe – with generally positive results.

Ewan Kearney of Natural Retreats, a UK travel company that offers accommodation in the area, said: “There is no doubt that this is going to be a challenging season, but we have operated skiing without the funicular in prior winters; and are confident that with additional planning and resource we will be able to continue to offer great skiing this winter as well.

Charlotte Wright, Chief Executive of HIE, said: “Wednesday’s meeting was the first of several we’ll be hosting, and it brought forward a variety of great ideas that will form the basis of an action plan for HIE and our partners to take forward over the coming weeks and months.”

The meeting included representatives from: Aviemore and Glenmore Community Trust, Aviemore Business Association, Cairngorm Mountain Trust, Cairngorm Business Partnership, CML, the Cairngorms National Park Authority, HIE, the Highland Council, Snowsport Scotland, and VisitScotland.

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