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Lifestyle

Make Way For Stylish Comfort

Sölden’s new Giggijoch mountain gondola with state-of-the-art cabins for 10 persons features the highest capacity world-wide. But what does it mean for the passengers? Sölden does things always in a big way: a masterpiece of mountain lift technology, an eye-catching architectural highlight, a plus when it comes to top modern comfort! The Bergbahnen Sölden Mountain Lift Company adds another attraction to its superb range of offers. We made a test gondola ride.

Before we get going: We discover a new dimension in technological finesse, hourly capacity and comfort straight from the outstanding base station (1362 m) in the valley to the access area at the top station (2283 m). It’s a pity that Sölden guests rather want to go skiing than mountain gondola riding …

Die Talstation der Giggijochbahn in Sölden, Tirol
The base station of the new Giggijoch Mountain Gondola.
© Bergbahnen Sölden / Photo: Obermoser arch-omo ZT GmbH

Access area at the highest level

Those expecting a typical, charmless mountain lift building somewhere in the Alps will be disappointed for a start. The superb Giggijoch base station, designed by the outstandingly stylish architect Johann Obermoser, is a true eye catcher as the surroundings doesn’t offer very much space for this kind of top-notch technology.

Since the overhanging access area was lifted to a height of 13 meters, the entire station covers a minimum of surface on its ground level. The slim, tower-shaped central part of the building in massive style accommodates all technological features and can be seen from far, reminding of a new landmark.

The lifted access level almost disappears behind a perforated, huge format panorama of the Ötztal Alps. Standing below the terminal tower, the mirrored centerpiece creates a feeling of lightness. The mountain panorama picture features varied light effects creating different moods. Bling Bling?

Not at all. Simply beautiful. In addition to all technical attractions, service and modern comfort are of utmost importance. Two escalators give quick and easy access to the terminal which is directly connected to the ski slope and the covered car park. This is how mountain gondola access works in 2016/17: all areas at the same level, more precisely at the highest one.

Plenty of space, air and light! The slender and striking base station with its south entrance hosts a skipass cash desk hall with eight selling points, equipped with the latest information technology for the entire ski area. Another astonishing element: the shaft for straining the wire makes an architectural attraction itself – from the cash desk hall you can watch the metal anchoring moving up and down through a transparent tower. Really spectacular. But now it’s time to enter the mountain gondola and off we go!

One Heaven of a Ride

At the base station we meet architect Johann Obermoser – it’s not a coincidence – and builder-owner Jack Falkner, managing director and head of the Bergbahnen Sölden Mountain Lift Company. We share a gondola cabin with them and take full advantage of their expert knowledge. The architect shows us the only red gondola cabin among 134 black ones. His personal architectural design highlight.

Waiting times are a thing of the past thanks to an hourly capacity of 4500 persons and a sophisticated access system. The new Giggijoch Mountain Gondola whisks sport fans to the ski area at a speed of up to 6.5 meters/second. A relaxing – and swift – panorama ride is guaranteed because every passenger has 20 cm more space than in similar 10-person cabins.

Die Schirmherren der neuen Giggijochbahn bei der Eröffnung der Gaislachkoglbahn in der Saison 2010/11
From left: architect Johann Obermoser, builder Jakob „Jack“ Falkner and lift constructor Michael Doppelmayr at the Gaislachkogl Gondola Opening in winter 2010/11.
© Ötztal Tourismus / Photo: Ernst Lorenzi

The ski guest is king

The latest mountain lift technologies, developed by the world’s market leader Doppelmayr and used for the very first time with the new Giggijoch mountain gondola, promise a visible effect: an extremely smooth operation mode for passengers also in windy or fully loaded conditions. Thank you for that!

The hourly capacity is unrivaled when it comes to 10-person gondola cabins around the globe. In fact, there is no stronger 10-seater mountain lift world-wide! No more time left for technical details as we reach the top station in no time. Wow, what a sight! Mister Obermoser smiles, satisfied. By the way, he built already Sölden’s fabulous Gaislachkogl mountain gondola and the superb iceQ gourmet restaurant on top of Gaislachkogl peak.

Thanks to the Gaislachkogl Gondola and the brand-new Giggijoch Gondola our superb ski area features the two most powerful feeder mountain lifts which are currently available world-wide.

Jakob „Jack“ Falkner, Managing Director of Bergbahnen Sölden

This Station Is A Peak Performance

Once arrived at the top terminal, passengers enjoy the advantages of top modern technology to the full. For the very first time, the access and exit zone is built in a bone-shaped way which means that 10 gondola cabins are close together in a single line, ready for leaving and entering easily. Similar to an underground unit, this so-called “level walk-in” promises a comfy, quick and barrier-free access to the nearby ski lift and slope – another unique feature of the Giggijoch mountain gondola.

The moment you leave the cabin is just perfect to indulge in the whole new dimension of the top terminal. A huge foil-coated steel construction hosts not only the passenger station and the terminal with 400 meters of rails located above, but also a sports shop and a ski storage area covering about 250 m² each. A one-of-a-kind experience.

Peak

A secret tunnel

A cube made of concrete emerges from the ground, hosting the complete range of drive technology and supply engineering. “A logistics tunnel links the top station and the restaurant which is 200 meters away. But this part won’t be visible to the eyes of ski guests,” explains the architect by catching a glimpse of it.

The terminal building at the top station.
© Bergbahnen Sölden / Photo: Obermoser arch-omo ZT GmbH

This is what skiing means in Sölden

You leave the mountain gondola in your cozy winter boots, take the escalator or the elevator down to the ski storage area where your skis and heated ski boots are already waiting for you. Of course, also non-skiers are warmly invited to enjoy a panoramic and very stylish gondola ride, followed by an exploration of the marvelous lift terminals.

Details Of Giggijoch Monorope Gondola With 10-Person Cabins

It took Bergbahnen Sölden and the construction companies only seven months to complete their masterpiece: the old mountain lift was replaced by the brand-new Giggijoch mountain gondola comprising base and top stations, lift towers, rope, cabins, and a lot more …

  • System: detachable mountain gondola with 10-person cabins
  • Altitude base station: 1362 m
  • Altitude top station: 2283 m
  • Difference in altitude: 920 m
  • Hourly capacity: 4500 persons
  • Number of cabins: 134
  • Maximum gradient: 78 %
  • Official opening: 25 November 2016

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Gastautor

Author Gastautor

... varied guest authors write about their adventures and experiences in the Ötztal / in Sölden / in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl.

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