It seems like 10 seater gondolas are the be the next big thing across the Alps for the 2012/13 ski season.
Although these gondolas have been installed before – you are already able to ride these gondolas at Plan de Corones in Italy (pictured) and Kitzbühel in Austria, this is the first lift of this kind in Switzerland.
The new gondola is due to open on December 15 2012, with another 10-seater opening in the same month in the world’s largest ski area, the Three Valleys in France in the same month.
Leitner’s 10 seater gondola at Plan de Corones / Kronplatz. Image credit: Leitner
More skiing, less queuing
The Leitner built Swiss lift is being built at the small ski resort of Savognin and will connect Tigignas and Somtgant, replacing a nearly-30 year old chairlift on the route, and alleviating a frustrating bottleneck at Tigignas where several runs combine and meet the top of a fast 4-man chairlift.
The capacity of the new lift will be double that of the old lift, with the potential to increase the uplift to 2,600 per hour during busy periods.
In the Three Valleys, the lift company S3V have invested €17.2 million in a project in Meribel to replace the first two stages of the Plattières gondola. These lifts are up for renewal having been constructed in the 1980s. The new gondola will knock 13 minutes off the existing journey time of 22 minutes as they climb the 734m in just nine minutes. The new gondola will carry 40% more skiers and boarders per hour, with an uplift of 2,800 people per hour.
Goodbye to the 1980s Plattières gondola. Image credit: Merinet.com
Another new lift for Meribel
Phase 2 of the replacement of the Saulire gondola lift is also taking place over the summer in Meribel. This follows on from the installation of Saulire Express 2 in 2011, with Saulire Express 1 being completed for December 2012. The completed Saulire Express will rise up 1265m to reach Saulire in just 12 minutes, saving eight minutes off previous journey times. With an investment of around €20 million, this new lift will have eight-seater cabins and will carry up to 2400 people every hour.
The new Saulire Express will be completed over the summer.
Image credit: latania.co.uk
Saulire gondola information courtesy of Merinet.com
This post was written by Amy Fletcher of Crystal Ski.