Plans have been approved to create two new permanent hill runs near the Day Lodge and by the Shieling in the mid station area at Cairngorm Mountain.
Members of the Cairngorms National Park Authority Planning Committee unanimously supported both Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Ltd applications at their last meeting.
The company had provided a long list of operational benefits that the tracks will provide.
The base station route will run from the Chur Cas car park to the east side of the base station building and will be approximately 150 meters long.
CMSL bosses said this helped enable the ‘future realization of the Cairngorm Master Plan’ with on-site improvements to buildings and parking.
Since the completion of the funicular track, entry to the hill access track is between the Day Lodge and the base station, then under a low underpass on a short steep section of the track from the hill.
Station bosses had told planners that vehicle access in summer and winter was therefore limited.
The new course will also facilitate the movement of downhill gear in the event of poor snow conditions and will improve access for snow sports enthusiasts to the base of the Day Lodge Poma.
The space could be developed “imaginatively in the future for a better customer experience”.
The new Shieling track will run north to south, passing under the funicular track, and will again be around 150 meters long.
The resort said the works will allow for more creative use of the area for snow sports in future planning. This is currently a pinch point of many trails meeting in the lower slopes.
It will also mean there will be safer vehicle access to service the Sheiling building which still houses toilets, a technical maintenance shop, packed lunch area, race office and ski patrol store.
Both tracks are within the Cairngorms National Scenic Areas but are not covered by any other specific environmental designation.
The resort’s consultants, Atmos Consulting, pointed out that the two proposed permanent sections of track follow the alignment of existing trails. However, the new tracks will be wider.
CNPA Monitoring and Enforcement Manager Ed Swales said in his report, “The purpose of the proposed tracks is to streamline the network of tracks around the two buildings in light of recent changes to the funicular and In other developments, some tracks will be restored as a result of these new tracks.
Mr Swales also said the claimant had confirmed there would be no fences, bollards or signs following the two new tracks.
He told the meeting: “These tracks will be relatively hidden behind existing buildings and will be part of a fairly extensive network of tracks on the mountain.”
Asked by committee member Eleanor MacKintosh about the removal of the tracks and their reinstatement, Mr Swales said: ‘They will be removed and the grounds will be effectively restored to what they would have been before.’
Committee member Willie McKenna said: “In the past, getting under the funicular track at these two sites has proven very difficult and it seems to me it’s to accommodate Kassbhorers (track-bashers).”
CMSL Chief Executive Susan Smith welcomed the green light for both tracks.
She said: “We are naturally very pleased that the planning committee of the CNPA has approved these two applications.
“Work will now commence to secure financial support from our parent company (Highlands and Islands Enterprise) to enable us to undertake the work.”