On 15 December, 4,500 winter sports enthusiasts attended the opening ceremony for the new Saanersloch cable car in Saanenmöser. The many visitors who attended all enjoyed numerous attractions and made the most of the pristine ski slopes.
On Saturday morning, the first gondola set off to transport the first group of winter sports enthusiasts up to Saanersloch. There had been much interest in the opening ceremony, drawing a crowd of 4,500 people to Saanenmöser to enjoy rapid yet smooth rides up to the mountain station. Featuring a glass dome design, the two stations enjoy unique world-wide significance. Naturally, they’ve attracted considerable attention.
The weather offered a big helping hand
The cold snap and the snow shortly before the opening ceremony came just in time. These weather conditions meant that the season’s first winter sports enthusiasts were greeted with slopes in ideal conditions. The steel-blue sky and the snow-covered landscape provided the ideal backdrop for snapshots of this symbolic day.
Winter sports instructors from all the region’s ski schools offered free lessons to showcase the offerings under the promotional slogan of “A free trial with our ski instructors”. There was also a treasure hunt with some great prizes and young musician Nickless gave an open-air performance at the mountain restaurant to get everyone in a party mood.
The gondola lift – a showcase project
This ambitious project worth CHF 29m went without a hitch and was completed on time. According to Thomas Rentsch, representing the client, everyone involved should be really pleased with the culmination of a great collaboration project. Matthias In-Albon confirmed that the gondola lift construction marked the start of the BDG’s future strategy, following their renovation phase.
Tourism Director Sébastien Epiney also issued a statement to confirm the far-reaching significance of this project: “Skiing activities are still the most popular pass-time in a mountain resort. However, the market is stagnating worldwide and even going into decline in Switzerland. As a result, many mountain railway and gondola lift companies are no longer able to finance new projects. This makes it all the more important to update our facilities to stay ahead of the game. In the future, only the best will survive. The new Saanersloch gondola casts a positive light over the entire region.”
Justine Hewson / AvS
The new Saanersloch cable car, called the D-Line by the manufacturer, is the most modern model available on the market.
A striking feature of the new design is that the individual stations are no longer enclosed in the conventional sense. For example, the mechanism of the middle station is housed in a glass dome. Access to and exit from the gondolas is easier and more straightforward than before. Most noteworthy is that the design of the valley and mountain stations features open spaces and very few angles, making the facilities appear very welcoming and user-friendly. Notably, there are fewer support poles holding the transport cable that runs up to Saanersloch. With an emergency power system and two independent braking systems, the new cable car fully complies with today’s safety standards.
Justine Hewson / AvS