New gondolas galore in Austria

27th July 2016, by Dave Watts

Lots of Austrian ski resorts are building new gondolas for next season - including Sölden

Lots of Austrian ski resorts are building new gondolas for next season - including Sölden

We have already reported on the huge development involving four 10-person gondolas that will make the Arlberg the biggest ski area in Austria.

Zell am See will have a new 10-person ‘zellamseeXpress’ gondola that will open up new terrain in the Glemmtal (the valley that Saalbach-Hinterglemm is in) on the back side of Zell’s Schmittenhöhe mountain.

For 2016/17 there will be a new 3.5km red run down the gondola bottom station and a ski route down to the valley floor. Another lower section of the gondola is due to be built for 2018/19 with a piste all the way down to Viehhofen in the valley floor.

Sölden’s Giigijoch gondola from the valley floor is prone to morning queues, especially when busloads of day-trippers arrive. These should be eased by a new 10-person gondola replacing the old one and increasing capacity by 60 per cent to 4,500 people per hour.

In Saalbach, there have been frequent queues at Vorderglemm at the end of the long, isolated blue run from Schattberg Ost on the clockwise circuit of the ‘ski circus’. These queues should be greatly eased by a new 10-seater gondola that will increase capacity by more than 50% to 3,200 people per hour and make for a much more comfortable ride up to Wildenkarkogel on the opposite side of the main valley floor.

At the Stubai glacier the six-seater Eisgrat gondola from the base area to the heart of the ski area is to be replaced by a 32-person gondola. This should be much better able to cope with the crowds of day visitors who arrive by car and bus every day.

Gerlos is one of the main resorts in the big Zillertal Arena ski area a few km down the valley from Mayrhofen and covered by the Ziller Valley lift pass. For 2016/17 Gerlos will have an additional 10-person gondola out of the resort to reduce the queues for its existing eight-person one.

In Söll, the slow double Salvenmoos chair that serves the terrain park at Hochsöll will be replaced by a 10-person ‘experience’ gondola which the resorts says ‘will offer guests an entirely new dimension in cable car pleasure’. They are not yet revealing what this pleasure might be!

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