It follows a specialist engineer’s report on the condition of the chairlifts in Coire na Ciste, which have been unused since 2005.
The report recommended that in the short-term the cables and any associated chairs be taken down with a view to the removal of the towers in the medium term.
Early this year the associated cables were taken down and the towers are now being removed along with access ramps, motors and lift huts.
Other remnants including concrete bases at the former White Lady T-Bar, Aonach Poma and Fiacaill T-Bar lift lines are also being removed with the project set to be completed in Summer 2018.
In order to preserve the potential to re-establish lifts in the Coire na Ciste, the power supply to this Coire is being retained.
The removal of disused and decaying installations will enhance the appearance of the Mountain during the majority of the year when there is no snow. In turn this will improve the experience of non-skiing visitors, an important market in making CairnGorm a year-round visitor attraction.
The potential reinstatement of mechanised ski uplift in Coire na Ciste is to be one of the options examined in the review of the infrastructure at CairnGorm due to be commissioned by HIE once the tender process has been completed.
Meanwhile Coire na Ciste will continue as an attractive skiing location when conditions allow. To support this, the West Wall ski tow has had its top station replaced and been slightly extended upwards. The stretches of snow fencing that are still in good condition will continue to serve skiers and the programme of fencing renewal will continue.
HIE owns Cairngorm Estate, including the ski area which is critical to the Strathspey economy. We have invested £1.7 million over the past three years for repairs to buildings and to enhance the life of the ten operating ski-tows.
The facilities are leased to CairnGorm Mountain Limited (CML). The company’s 25-year lease of the facilities began in 2014.
CML has worked with HIE to identify the areas in need of attention and produce a schedule of the clear up tasks required, which predate the current operator’s lease of the facilities.