Swiss resorts replace ancient gondolas

20th July 2016, by Dave Watts

This high-speed six-pack is replacing a 45-year-old gondola in Zermatt

This high-speed six-pack is replacing a 45-year-old gondola in Zermatt

In the ski resort of Zermatt the old gondola from Gant (on the slopes in the valley between the Gornergrat and Rothorn sectors) to Blauherd below Rothorn is at last being replaced by a fast six-seat chairlift.

The arrival of this new ski lift is not before time — its predecessor was built in 1971 — but replacement had been delayed because the lift company had hoped to build a new piste to a lift in the Findeln area. However, this has proved unviable, hence the new chair at Gant which will give skiers a much quicker ride and cut queues.

In the neighbouring resort of Saas-Fee, easily reached by ski tourers but almost two hours by public transport, the 40-year-old gondola from the foot of the slopes to the Spielboden sector is at last being replaced by a new 10-seater gondola. This will transport around twice as many skiers as the old gondola in almost half the time.

Also in Saas-Fee the Ice Pavillion, the world’s largest ice cave which is carved into the glacier at Allalin (3500m), is being completely remodeled with new ice sculptures and attractions.
These include “telling the story of the ice on a timeline (the upper ice layer is only a few years old, the lowest layer is over 2000 years old), a special room designed for children, an avalanche simulation room with a real shock wave, a viewing platform overlooking Saas Fee, and more…”.



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