Soelden, Austria – Preparations are underway for the construction of a new high-tech gondola reaching the summit of Gaislachkogl Peak in Soelden that resort officials are already calling “one of the most spectacular architectonic highlights in all of Austria, offering the latest technical standards.”
Designed by Innsbruck, Austria architecht Johann Obermoser, the €35 million Doppelmayr ski lift’s base, mid-mountain and summit terminals will house the necessary steel structure in an exterior built from a transparent and tear-resistant plastic foil.
In the base station, lateral access platforms will be reached via either fully automated escalators or with an elevator. Riders will have a choice to exit the lift at a middle station (2,174 m), housing grooming equipment in an underground garage below, or continue on to the summit, where the top station will be moved northwards for some 30 meters due to permafrost. The existing “Tre Milla” mountain restaurant and the Big 3 viewing platform will remain undisturbed.
The lift’s lower stage will consist of a traditional single haul rope. On the lift’s upper stage, however, the lift’s gondola cabins will be supported by two track ropes and one haul rope. The current mountain gondola has four lift towers in its second segment while the new lift’s three-rope system requires only three. Presently, the distance between the towers of the existing lift is about 750 meters. By contrast, the new cable railway will feature a maximum distance of no less than 1,200 meters between the giant pillars.
The new lift will have a total length of 4,018.48 m (13,184 ft.) and will rise 1675 m (5,495 ft.). Riders will be able to cover the entire distance in just over 12 minutes. Foundations for the top station were poured last summer, and construction will get resume at the base and mid-mountain terminals this April, putting the lift in operation in time for the 2010-11 ski and snowboard season.