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Assurances sought over access to Cairn Gorm

Monday 17th December 2018, 4:43pm

Mountaineering Scotland has written to Highlands & Islands Enterprise seeking assurances on CairnGorm Mountain Ski Resort.

Following the decision to place CairnGorm Mountain Ltd into administration, and HIE’s decision to take over the running of the snowsports centre, Mountaineering Scotland Chief Executive Officer Stuart Younie has written asking for reassurance that the ski facilities will remain open through the winter season and that the road and car park will remain accessible to the public.

Addressing HIE CEO Charlotte Wright, Stuart said: “Our interest and concern lie with those walkers, climbers and ski tourers who want to take access to the mountains through and beyond the managed resort. The maintenance of the access road and car parks is essential for the continuing enjoyment of outdoor recreation, and we hope that you will continue to keep these facilities open through the winter for the benefit of the public.”

He has expressed Mountaineering Scotland’s concern with the situation and hopes that a resolution will be found for the benefit of the local community and for everyone who enjoys the access it affords to the Cairngorms.

He has also asked for clarification on the position regarding the mandatory car parking charges announced earlier this year, saying a preferred option would be for a reversion to a voluntary donation scheme, and asking if there is an investment plan in place to improve the car parking and basic infrastructure as a result of these charges if they are to be retained.

The funicular railway on Cairn Gorm has been out of action since October because of a structural problem.

CairnGorm Mountain Ltd was placed into administration last month due to "unsustainable cash-flow problems". Its parent company, Natural Retreats, had a 25-year lease to run the site near Aviemore. Staff and other assets will transfer to the new company, which will trade as Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Limited. HIE has said the new company will honour season tickets purchased for this winter season.

You can read the full text of Stuart Younie’s letter to HIE here.

Photo by Richard Cross