Cairn Gorm is a mountain and listed Munro in the Scottish Highlands. It is part of the Cairngorms range and wider Grampian Mountains. With a summit elevation of 4,084 ft (1,245 m) AMSL, Cairn Gorm is the seventh-highest mountain in the British Isles. The high, broad domed summit overlooking Strathspey is one of the most readily identifiable mountains from the nearby town and regional centre of Aviemore. Since the 1960s over 600 hectares (1,500 acres) of the north-western slopes of the mountain in Coire Cas and Coire na Ciste have been developed for alpine skiing. The ski lift infrastructure includes a funicular railway in Coire Cas. The corrie south of Coire Cas, Coire an t-Sneachda, is separated from the ski area by a ridge known as Fiacaill a' Choire Chais. The southern slopes of Cairn Gorm overlook the remote Loch Avon (pronounced Loch A'an).
Cairngorm Mountain Ski Resort is embedded in the Cairngorm Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Fauna and Flora species are monitored and the region has undergone projects to diversify habitats, by creating new peatlands for example.The Resort opens seasonally and while summer activities are still active, the area isn’t burdened by artificial snow, when naturally there wouldn’t be any.
Scotland has an abundance of freshwater due to its many lakes and rivers and rainfall, reaching its highest average in the Cairngorm region of 77mm in October. Snow making is however a very water intensive process. In 2019 nearly 100 tonnes of snow were made daily for a month using the equivalent mass of water.
Cairngorm Mountain ski resort and the adjacent town of Aviemore are accessible via public transport. The number 37 bus travels from Aviemore to the Cairngorm Mountain resort and is a good alternative for a car. The resort does not have charging points for electric cars.
Source of Energy
Due to Scotland push to use renewable energy, it produces most of its electricity from renewable energy. The Government estimated that on 2020, 56% of electricity was generated from renewables. 13% are still from fossil fuels, while 30% are nuclear. Cairngorm Mountain Operates an electric snow factory and electric funicular. While not completely green, the funicular can generate its own electricity , when the lift coming down has greater mass than the one going up. This electricity is fed back to the national grid.Cairngorm has recently made a change to its machinery, using Hydro treated Vegetable Oil (Biodiesel) instead of Diesel as fuel. This change to snow ploughs and snow cannons decreased their carbon emissions by an estimated 90%.
Due to the resorts location in a SAC, any future building works, will need to be consulted by an environmental survey to ensure wildlife and natural resources are protected. The CairngormMountain estate has created a Masterplan for future applications. This plan includes environmental sustainability, ecology and habitat restoration, helping to educate the public, and providing research opportunity.