McGowan were responsible for reprofiling the Cas slope. They completed the task with a combination of engineering expertise, specialist equipment and respect for environmental integrity.

Location: Cairngorm Mountain
Type of works: Reprofiling

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Cairngorm Mountain offers some of the most testing weather conditions in the UK, combined with a short growing season, thin soils and many months of lying snow. These factors make it a difficult place for environmental contractors. Over the past ten years McGowan have been commissioned to carry out many construction projects to secure the high standard of workmanship and environmental integrity required on the site.

The diverse portfolio of projects tackled by McGowan ranges from upland paths, drainage and hill track repair, to bridged culverts, engineered drainage solutions for the Funicular Railway tunnel, interpretive walling features, and ski tow and safety cabling installations. 

Reprofiling leads to better skiing

McGowan’s most recent project was won on tender, for a contractor capable of delivering a quality, precision job in a sensitive environment. It was featured on the BBC documentary, The Mountain, and involved the reprofiling of the whole of the Cas slope. The team installed a new tow so that the slope could be skied during the winter season, even with minimal snow. The reprofiling included installing the structures, placing concrete foundations, replacing turf and ensuring good drainage. 

The project has helped bolster the local economy by extending opportunities for skiing, even when snow levels are low.

“The attention to detail in reinstatement of fragile vegetation, along with a partnership approach to execute the client’s needs on the ground, make the difference in a sensitive mountain environment. It is a real benefit, having McGowan with high environmental standards and wide ranging skills, based locally within the Cairngorms National Park.”

Jim Cornfoot
Natural Retreats (owners of Cairngorm Mountain)