Tourism

Clearing the way for snow sports at Cairngorm Mountain

Snowsports enthusiasts visiting Cairngorm Mountain will have greater access to the resort thanks to new top of the range snow clearing equipment.

Operator, CairnGorm Mountain Limited (CML) has purchased a snow blower, gritter and snow chains after securing a £33,000 grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

CML now also has access to a £124,700 Mercedes Benz Unimog, purchased by The Highland Council with support from HIE.

Based at the foot of Cairngorm, the Unimog will enable the council to ensure access roads to the area and its surrounds remain open wherever possible. CML will also be able to use the machinery to clear the entrance to the resort.

The Unimog and associated equipment will help increase access for visitors to the ski slopes and funicular railway during particularly wintery conditions.

Susan Smith, head of business development at HIE, said: “It is important that as many people as possible can access the Cairngorm ski resort when conditions are at their best. In the past there have been problems with keeping the access routes clear, and this has been a source of frustration. We have worked with The Highland Council and CML to look at this holistically and come up with a solution. The availability of this new equipment will improve the visitor experience and benefit the business overall by attracting more tourism trade to Cairngorm.”

Convener of The Highland Council and Councillor for the Badenoch and Strathspey Ward, Bill Lobban said: “This new equipment has already been put to good use ensuring that the ski road was kept open during the busy half-term period. The economic importance of ensuring access the ski area and the spin off to the local community it provides cannot be understated. The purchase of this new snow clearing machinery was only made possible by Highland Council, HIE and the ski area operator working together to find a solution.”

Colin Mattew, winter operations manager at CML, said: “We are delighted to receive this road clearing equipment. We have to date, been fortunate to have such good snowfall, and this equipment will significantly bolster our road clearing capabilities during extreme winter conditions.”

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