Cairngorm Mountain

The National Centre for the Mountain Environment

CairnGorm Mountain Limited (CML) are the UK’s largest ski-field and mountain visitor attraction. They faced some unique challenges, the primary one being how to run a ski business with no snow. Other challenges included an extremely complex network of stakeholders, often with conflicting interests - and operating in a very delicate and unique natural environment.

My role was to develop a sustainable strategy to diversify the business away from snow-dependancy. This involved working with the senior management team, staff and stakeholders.

At the core of the work was helping CML to understand the psychology of why people are attracted to wild mountain environments. From this foundation, a ‘no-snow’ plan was developed based on offering visitors a rich and unique educational experience.  The proposal was to develop the 'National Centre for the Mountain Environment', which provided multiple benefits to the diversity of stakeholders, while mitigating the impacts of climate change on snow reliability. The ultimate aim of the approach was to encourage people to live sustainably in their everyday lives, inspired by their experience of the wild CairnGorm mountains.

Although very successful in terms of staff development and stakeholder engagement, the project was terminated when the Chief Executive resigned. This happened after the Royal Bank of Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise - the main financial stakeholders - rejected the proposal. The company was sold in 2014 and filed for bankruptcy in 2017.

2020 update: There has been a curious development with this project! See here for details >>

Cairngorm Mountain
Cairngorm Mountain
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