It used to be when you boarded the gondola to Silver Mountain in Kellogg, Idaho, a huge sign proclaimed, “Welcome to the World’s Longest Gondola.” At 16,350 feet, the Silver Mountain Gondola held that title from its opening in 1990 until May 2009. That’s when Doppelmayr completed the Ba Na Cable Car in the mountains of Vietnam. A hundred and fifty feet longer than Silver’s gondola and a thousand feet taller, it broke world records for both length and vertical rise.
Fast forward a couple years and Leitner has crushed the ropeway length record again with a gondola in Turkey that opened in 2014. Like the Silver Mountain Gondola, the Bursa-Uludag Gondola connects a city with a ski resort but this one is split into in three sections. It starts in Bursa (Turkey’s fourth largest city) at only 1,300 feet above sea level and tops out at the Uludag resort town and national park at 6,000 feet. The combined system is just under 29,000 feet long with a vertical rise of 4,600 feet. It has 139 Sigma Diamond cabins and 44 towers. The entire system takes only 22 minutes to ride at 6 m/s, replacing a 35-kilometer drive on a mountain road that took over an hour.
As if the Ba Na Cable Car and Bursa-Uludag Gondola aren’t cool enough, there’s also a 26,000 foot 3S gondola under construction in Vietnam that will relegate Silver Mountain’s gondola to the world’s fourth longest.