- Timberline Lodge, unsure whether its ordered new lift can be built this summer, holds off on removing Pucci.
- In Serbia, the world’s longest multi-stage gondola gets set to open next month (29,088′ slope length!)
- Another postponement: the Goldenhorn surface lift at Aspen Highlands, now scheduled to be built next year.
- Carvatech, an independent manufacturer of gondola and tramway cabins, launches a cool new website.
- Mexico’s Grupo Vidanta updates customers on COVID-19 and includes awesome footage of its future gondola system.
- As tax revenues fall, a new chairlift for Great Bear may be one of the first items to go from the City of Sioux Falls’ 2021 budget.
- Jon Schaefer, the first US ski area owner to close due to the coronavirus and creator of Goggles for Docs, turns his attention to getting resort employees back to work.
- Aspen Skiing Company delays updating plans for the Pandora’s expansion due to COVID-19.
- The new owner of Teton Pass calls reopening a success.
- A Vail lift operator may not have been paying attention leading up to a man’s death on the Skyline Express in February.
- Citing favorable financing conditions, Zermatt Bergbahnen AG commits to spending $62 million on lifts over the next two years, including a D-Line gondola and the Alpine Crossing 3S.
am I the only one who gets a “google doc error” and can’t load any pages on here?
You have to clear the cache in your browser/history. I have to do that from time to time if you are like me and love looking at all the specs and photos.
I get that sometimes, I usually switch to Safari from Chrome for a few days and it sorts itself out.
That did not work :(. I guess I will just have to use a different browser!
I’m very enthusiastic about the Kumme D-line gondola. That’s some of the best terrain in Zermatt and the way the old (and historic) lift went out was sad.
I have more mixed feelings about the glacier crossing 3s. That klein matterhorn used to feel like the most unique place on earth when it was just one tram. Now with three lifts it’ll feel a lot more like a ski area and the unique factor will be lost.
More importantly, there are better places to install lifts. Gant-Hohtali serves an important link between the Rothorn and Gornegrat areas of the resort yet is only serviced by a low capacity tram and is usually plagued with long lines. It should become a 3s. Lift service should also return to stockhorn, which has been without a lift for several years now.
The section of the resort close to the matterhorn has arguably the worst skiing but the best lift service by a longshot because new lifts over there are great for marketing.
I agree that they are increasing capacity at Klein Matterhorn at too fast a rate, but I do understand their reasoning for doing so, as it is the most marketable and desirable place to ski for tourists. The last time I was at Zermatt, the tram was the only way there, and it had the longest line of any lift. I am also happy with the Kumme gondola because, in addition to the excellent terrain you mentioned, I have found the Sunnegga/Rothorn area to be less crowded as well and the old lift was one of my favorite pods on the mountain. As for Stockhorn, there are plans for a new Hohtalli – Stockhorn tram, although I have no idea what their timeline looks like. I also agree Gant is underserved, but I think the solution would be a Breitboden/Grunsee – Gornergrat/Gifthittli lift so skiers can lap that terrain without having to take the same lift as the people heading back to Gornergrat from Sunnegga/Rothorn.
Zermatt is correct in that prices are low for ski areas who can afford to undertake lift projects at the moment. I am just waiting for the day they get really ambitious and build a Gornergrat-Trockner Steg 3S gondola for their own Peak 2 Peak.
The reason I think a Gant 3s is the way to go is that it also provides the only access to Rote Nase (and later on stockhorn), as well as its own pod. IMO Hohtalli needs more capacity than a single tram.
A high speed quad is already in their plans from Breitboden to Rosernitz, but IMO it would be better if it continued all the way to Hohtalli.
As for a Gornegrat-Trockener Steg 3s, I don’t think it quite makes sense from the very top of Gornegrat. The Gornegrat train is the only access to the top and it has a fairly low hourly capacity. It would make more sense to have it start from Gifthittli. While it would be less spectacular of a location to start at, it would be way more accessible.
The reason I would go for Gornegrat over Gifthittli for a potential 3S to Trockener Steg is because of potential non-skier traffic. A small lift to access Gornegrat from the terrain below would also most likely have to be built.
Unrelated side note, but zermatt posts a pdf with all their lifts and specs. I wish other resorts would do something similar. Here’s the link if you want to take a peek at it: https://www.matterhornparadise.ch/Panoramakarte/PDF%20English/Unternehmen/EN_Anlagen%20der%20ZBAG_%C3%9Cbersicht%202018.pdf
In a quick look at that pdf, there are a few surprises:
Blauherd A tram with a 1960 pph capacity. It is only 3300’ long and huge cabins.
Trockener A tram and perhaps its 3S replacement at 12,000’ long.
Gandegg A T-bar 9800’ long.
Att Vert Length pph m/s Time Const yr.
Blauherd, 2’586 Rothorn, 3’100 514 1’009 1’960 10 3.5 1996 Garaventa Car for 150 passengers
Trockener Steg, 2’929 Kl. Matterhorn, 3’820 891 3’672 600 10 8.2 1979 Von Roll Car for 100 passengers
Trockener Steg, 2’923 Kl. Matterhorn, 3’821 898 3’672 2’000 7.5 9 2018 LEITNER 28-seater gondola
Gandegg, 2’916 3’246 330 2’990 1’100 3.5 14.2 2003 Von Roll
I didnt realize that almost 10000 foot long t bars existed.
Gandegg is, in fact, the longest surface lift in the world. It even has its own (German language) wikipedia entry: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skilift_Gandegg_(Zermatt)
I don’t think skiiers are the main reason for the new Klein Matterhorn lifts. Zermatt (like many other remarkable mountains in Switzerland and Austria) does a lot of business with tourist that just go up the mountain for sight seeing, and the profit margin on those tourists is a lot better than on skiers.
Peter, thanks for continuing to upload. I really enjoy reading your articles and roundups on this website and I appreciate the sustained news in spite of all the craziness going on.
On a purely selfish note (after seeing the video you led this article with)- as a mechanic I wish we could get the Leitner terminals here in the States. Same footprint as the LPOA terminals, but more maintenance-friendly. Might be just me, but there are a few items that seem better thought out.
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I guess this is the closest you get:
Is there any reason that LPoA won’t just replace their detacheble lineup with Leitner models? Other than affordability (LPA terminals are Omega based which means they’re probably cheaper to manufacture).
Oh wait, that’s not in the States… Here:
Other than this and a fixed grip at Granby, doesn’t seem like Leitner built anything else in the US.
The Canadian lifts were ordered by RCR?
Leitner only built 7 detachables in Canada. Five of them were at RCR resorts (Fernie, Kimberly, and Lake Louise).These include:
Timber Bowl at Fernie, BC
Great Bear at Fernie, BC
Northstar at Kimberly, BC
Larch at Lake Louise, AB
Glacier at Lake Louise, AB
Lara’s Gondola at Big White, BC
Champlain Express at Georgian Peaks, ON
It’s definitely less expensive to manufacture a terminal for the domestic market. Copper’s original Flyer, for example, was built in France and shipped here in containers so that couldn’t have been cheap. Don’t get me wrong, the current LPA terminals are pretty nice- there are just a few things I like better in the Leitner (and Poma of France) machines.
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Should be interesting as I believe in the next few years LPOA will be updating their design but who knows with the current mess.