FURIOUS visitors are planning to boycott the slopes at Cairngorm Mountain after accusations a webcam was “stolen” from a ski hut.
Cairngorm Mountain Limited, owned by Natural Retreats, are accused of entering the Scottish Ski Club hut and taking the camera without permission.
Cairngorm Mountain Limited maintain that they had permission to enter the hut but WinterHighland, who own the camera, say it was taken unlawfully and the
matter had been reported to the police.
The hut sits on the White Lady slope and affords skiers the opportunity to check the weather before planning a ski trip and is one of a number of webcams all over Cairngorms.
The feed from the camera went down on Friday resulting in accusations that it was removed without permission.
And since news of the camera removal visitors, skiers and boarders have revealed they plan to take boycott the mountain by spending their money elsewhere.
Nick Kempe, from the blog Parkswatch Scotland, said: “The camera has been removed without permission.
“I understand Natural Retreats have said the camera can be collected from their office in which case this is not theft.
“This does not mean other criminal offences may not have been committed, for example, unlawful entry to the Scottish Ski Club hut.
“I have no concrete information about what prompted Cairngorm Mountain Ltd staff to remove the webcam.
“Various motives are being mentioned on social media.
“Removal of this camera is outrageous. Winter Highland works with all the Scottish Ski resorts to report on winter conditions and Natural Retreats action now threatens to destroy that arrangement and for skiers to go to one place to get condition reports.
“The action is indicative of the behaviour of the company in the sense that they act without consultation and without adhering to the rules.
“They failed to ensure their contractors working on the Shieling Rope tow last year abided by planning conditions but in this case they may have gone a step further and broken the criminal law.
“Obviously that will be up to the police/courts to decide if, as I understand it, the matter is being referred there.”
Cairngorm Mountain Ltd’s offical Facebook feed has been inundated with unimpressed comments.
John Parton commented: “Not going to support them in any way – what they have done is outrageous – what goes around comes around.”
Peter Crawford posted: “Staggering lack of understanding of customers and community.
“Totally unprofessional. Dwindling numbers will now dwindle even more. Shame.”
Jody Cannon posted: “Not paying for Skiing at Cairngorm till Natural Retreats goes.
“Cairngorm mountain has so much potential. Going backwards instead of forwards. The sooner there is a community buy out the better.”
Jenny Hill commented: “ Did Donald Trump actually take this company over? I won’t be paying to ski here.”
Cairngorm Mountain Limited said: “Our team are working hard to install a new camera at the Scottish Ski Club hut at CairnGorm Mountain.
“The new camera was installed inside the building yesterday with the permission of the Scottish Ski Club, however we are experiencing delays with publishing the live feed. We expect this technical issue to be resolved imminently.
“This camera is a planned replacement for the previous one and we do apologise that this was not up and running straight away.
“We know that this camera location is used a lot by snowsports enthusiasts to plan their trip in advance and get live and accurate information about conditions at the resort.
“We would also like to take the opportunity to correct some misinformation we posted on our facebook page yesterday.
“The camera was located inside the hut and not on the exterior, this was an error on our part, and not intended to mislead anybody.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “The matter has not been reported to Police Scotland.”
The feed for the camera is still not running.