Its the conflict between conservation and tourism that has led to this ridiculous situation
Interesting. I totally agree with this bit.
with various groups not wanting to compromise properly leading to this absurd situation
But completely disagree with this bit. In my view it is precisely because of the compromises that we are in this situation.
The skier lobby wanted to build a train. The anti lobby didn’t want them to, largely on environmental grounds. The two sides were at loggerheads.
The train goes through a completely stupid, pointless and expensive tunnel at the top due to a daft compromise between the groups. The tunnel was hideously expensive which contributes to the financial problems. The tunnel was hard to build. The tunnel is a **** PITA for skiing as the **** thing fills up with snow and takes days to dig out after a storm. As a consequence it is shit as a means of transporting skiers. Massive compromise for skiers. The railway is there and is patently a complete eyesore.
Massive compromise complete fail for environmentalists.
As a sop to the envos, they agreed to map out the position of every rock where the tunnel was dug, and replace it in the same place. This cost a fortune and contributed to the huge cost. Result was less money for other Scottish ski infra and closures every now and again when they run out of money. Do the envos benefit from these rocks being put back? I guess so but not a huge amount.
The compromise on summit lockdown… mountain bikers lose, climbers lose, I guess ramblers lose a bit. The local community loses huge income stream of not getting a world class MTB facility. See problems with income, debt and cash diversion above. The Envos do gain a bit from this but in my view the damage to the area is miniscule compared to the damage caused by building the damn thing, and the journeys people make.
They made loads of stupid compromises like the above, which actually don’t really benefit anyone significantly ( except Aonach Mor 🙂 )
They still have some ghastly buttugly concrete monstrosity scarring the landscape. It sucks in nearly all the Scotland ski budget just to limp along. It doesn’t work for days after it dumps and various activity and revenue streams that could offset its shitness in some form are all banned.
They should have either:
* Not built it at all. Rebuilt the White Lady chair at a fraction of the cost. Kept the Ciste Chair and the upper Fiachail ridge Poma and the other lifts. Skiers would have been happy as they would have had much more uplift capacity. MTBers would have been happy as they’d have been able to take bikes to the top. Envos would habe been happy, no concrete elephant.
* Build the **** thing properly so it could be used by all. It would have cost loads less money. Bikers, climbers and touroids would benefit. Other ski areas would benefit. The planet* would benefit because less Avies would drive to Nevis Range for their DH fix and less people would drive to the alps for their lift assist mtb fix. OK, there would defo be more erosion on the plateau, but TBH would the Envos be any better off than they are now…?
* appreciate this bit of my argument is pretty weak 🙂