Recently the team have been working on essential repairs to strengthen the existing loading area of the Cas T-Bar and remove the elevated queuing platform. This work was required in order to make the structure safer following a comprehensive engineer’s inspection. As we needed to ensure that the tow would be able to run at the beginning of last season, we put a short-term solution in place.
Since the start of the summer we have been working on completing a longer term solution including the necessary groundworks. This solution has improved the line of sight for skiers approaching the cross-over into the Car Park T-Bar dismount area, which has always been an area of congestion. It has also created a safer and wider piste on the lowest Zig Zag and will improve snow making potential in this area, which will benefit many beginners next season on the main route to the base of the mountain. Now that the structural works are well underway, the team have been busy working on the reinstatement of the embankment between the Car Park T-Bar and the water tank at the pumping station, next to the Hill track.
As part of the reinstatement and ground improvement work we are using Seed Aide (pictured above) a pelleted cellulose mulch which we used during the construction of the Funicular Railway. This mulch is blue in colour so that that covered areas can be clearly identified. Although it has a bright blue appearance at first, it will gradually ameliorate with water into a dull, green colour over time. We have used this technique for many past projects where it has been proven to enable regrowth and seeding by stabilising soils on steep banks. As it retains water it also reduces stress on vegetation during dry spells. Although we haven’t experienced many dry days this summer! It also creates a layer of protection beneath the snow cover, and during snow melt into the following growing season.
The pictures above were taken during and after the embankment was reshaped and the stored turfs were relaid. This reshaped area has smoothed previously bulldozed banks, that were created during the construction of the original hill road during the 1960’s. Below you can see work already underway to reinstate the vegetation in this area, using the techniques described above. When the snow falls in the winter, the new works will significantly widen the width of the piste which has historically always been a bottle-neck for skiers making their way down to the lower slopes.