Soelden, Austria – Visitors to the Austrian ski resort of Soelden this winter will be whisked uphill aboard a gondola with the greatest uphill capacity of any similar lift in the world.
Soelden’s new Giggijoch Mountain Gondola, built by Doppelmayr, has an astounding capacity of 4,500 passengers per hour. It will carry riders in 10-person cabins from the lift’s base station at 1,362m to a top terminal at Giggijoch at 2,283m (over 3,000 vertical feet), in just nine minutes.
Innsbruck architect Johann Obermoser, who also designed the lift terminals for Soelden’s 2009 gondola to Gaislachkogl Peak that is featured in the latest James Bond film “Spectre”, has included such skier amenities as a ski storage area and retail shop in the new lift’s top station. Like the Gaislachkogl gondola, the new Giggijoch gondola’s top terminal will be housed in a huge foil-coated steel construction with a transparent exterior. A new 200-meter long tunnel will link the Giggijoch Restaurant with the top terminal.
Guests can board the Giggijoch Gondola after riding one of two escalators or two elevators from the parking lot, and purchasing lift tickets at one of eight ticket windows in the base terminal. Once aboard, they’ll find extra room as the lift’s cabins are 20cm larger than similar 10-person designs.
Both the base station and the top terminal are equipped with environmentally friendly and sustainable heating systems that confirm to the energy management guidelines of lift operator Bergbahnen Soelden. While the base station has a geothermal heat pump system fed by underground water, the top terminal boasts a modern heat recuperation system including heat exchangers and two air-to-air heat pumps with concrete core cooling and air-blower heating elements.
This is the third lift that Soelden has built to lead to the top of the Giggijoch. After almost 37,000 hours of operation the old gondola will be transferred to Hochoetz, entering operation there in the coming winter season to replace the Ochsengarten Mountain Gondola.
Soelden’s new Giggijoch gondola will be completed in time to operate during the upcoming 2016-17 winter season.