Launch of the new SCHILTHORN 20XX cableway project

The planned aerial shuttle cableway consists of 3 sections with 2 cabins each (Stechelberg – Mürren – Birg – Schilthorn). Its distinguishing feature is the replacement of the existing transport cableway from Stechelberg to Mürren by a new shuttle cableway as the 1st section, thus eliminating the need for a changeover.

Around 50 years after access to the Schilthorn – Piz Gloria was opened up by cable car, Schilthorn Cableway Ltd has presented the new project SCHILTHORN 20XX. The idea behind it is to replace the current cable car with a new aerial cableway. Based on the existing buildings and lines, the new infrastructure and cableway will ensure public transport connections to and from Gimmelwald and Mürren and optimize access to the Schilthorn – Piz Gloria excursion peak.

A model image of how the Schilthorn 20XX project will look like. Schilthorn 20XX.
A model image of how the Schilthorn 20XX project will look like. Schilthorn 20XX.

The current aerial cableway dates from 1965 (linking Stechelberg – Gimmelwald – Mürren – Birg) and 1967 (Birg – Schilthorn). While many electromechanical components have been continuously replaced, the structural infrastructure remains largely in its original state. The 2016 – 2026 financial plan includes age-related measures on the aerial cableway, which are due to be implemented in the next few years to comply with existing regulations. The cableway has also comprehensively exhausted its capacity reserves. Today, the 100-passenger cabins can only carry a maximum of 80 passengers, due to increasing space requirements (passengers now weigh more on average; rising transport volumes of equipment for leisure activities etc.) At the same time, passenger numbers have risen both in summer and winter in recent years.

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QC Terme, the Italian spa experience arrives in Chamonix

A new QC Terme opened in Chamonix - a sauna surrounded by skis.

QC Terme, the Italian brand of deluxe spas has just opened in Chamonix, by the Mont Blanc. There has been for years another QC Terme on the other side of the Mont Blanc, at Pré de St-Didier.

In this new QC Terme spa, nature is the protagonist, offering an indulging experience of swimming amidst the snow and grassy meadows.

Infinity pool at the QC Terme in Chamonix.
Infinity pool at the QC Terme in Chamonix.

The spa has an unexpected combination of warmth and freshness, water and earth. Within the spa’s 3,000 square meters there are more than 30 wellness practices, offering a multi-sensory journey. An infinity pool with a reflection that merges with the water of the adjacent Alpine lake and the Bossons Glacier.

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The “Engadin airport”-Samedan Regional Airport and Europe’s highest-to be revamped.

The Samedan Regional Airport, "Engadin Airport" is Europe's highest airport. Photo: Samedan Regional Airport.

The Samedan Regional Airport, known as the “Engadin airport” is preparing for its future as a modern non- Schengen regional airport. The existing buildings will be replaced in several stages and the further infrastructure will be expanded. The winning project came from Hosoya Schaefer Architects / Blarer & Reber Architects, and it is now being developed into a construction project that will be executed in phases, to revamp Europe’s highest airport.

Interior of the hangar at the Engadin airport, Samedan Regional Airport, Europe highest's airport. Photo: Samedan Regional Airport.
Interior of the hangar at the Engadin airport, Samedan Regional Airport, Europe highest’s airport. Photo: Samedan Regional Airport.

A first phase of development includes measures to guarantee the operation in the long term by replacing essential business related infrastructure. The “Landside” operating building with terminal, control tower, office space, food services as well as the entire customs and immigration processes is the focus of this phase. To the southwest, new helicopter hangars are being built for Rega and other regional helicopter companies. The execution of the first phase is planned to start from the year 2021.

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A fire destroys Chamonix cable car months before the resort opens for winter- Grands Montets ski area opening informations

A fire destroys Chamonix cable car in the Grands Montets ski area, but the area will open for the winter.

Compagnie du Mont Blanc press release- In the early afternoon of Tuesday 11th September, a fire broke out during work to repair the roofing of the upper station of the 1st cable-car between Argentière & Lognan (Les Grands Montets ski area). This work was entrusted to a specialist sub-contractor.
The fire spread almost instantaneously throughout all the buildings of the arrival station, creating severe damage to the infrastructures of the two cable-cars.

Les Grands Montets funicular on the ground, luckily there were no victims.
Les Grands Montets funicular on the ground, luckily there were no victims.

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Leitner presents the “Matterhorn Glacier Ride” the world’s highest cablecar, located in Zermatt designed by Pininfarina and showcasing Swarovski crystals.

The new Matterhorn Glacier Ride is opening end of September to take you to the Petit Cervin/Klein Matterhorn. Project by Leitner Ropeways. Pinifarina, Swarovski crystals

Zermatt’s latest attraction, the “Matterhorn glacier ride”, is set to open at the end of September. The world’s highest 3S cableway, combining the ultimate in design sophistication with maximum comfort, will serve Europe’s highest cableway station. The new 3S cable car ride built by LEITNER ropeways will enable visitors to reach the Klein Matterhorn, a popular destination for excursions, 365 days a year. The making of the “Matterhorn glacier ride” is a story as extraordinary as the ride itself. A total of 38 companies from Switzerland and Italy have been involved in Zermatt Bergbahnen AG’s largest-ever construction project. With the project due to be completed in an incredible 600 working days, they are turning the vision of the “Matterhorn glacier ride” into reality.  Zermatt Bergbahnen AG and LEITNER ropeways worked together with Swarovski to produce a very special premium product: a state-of-the-art ropeway technology in Pininfarina design meets premium crystal finishing, and provides an as-yet unrivalled level of finishing and design.

The station for the 3s Bahn that will ride to the Klein Matterhorn. Zermatt Bergbahnen. Zermatt Tourism Office.
The station for the 3s Bahn that will ride to the Klein Matterhorn. Zermatt Bergbahnen. Zermatt Tourism Office.

Europe’s highest construction site

145 people from 38 different companies have been involved in the biggest construction project in the history of Zermatt Bergbahnen AG. From September 2018, the 3S (three-cable system) cableway will transport up to 2000 passengers an hour to Matterhorn glacier paradise (Klein Matterhorn) – 365 days a year.

The Klein Matterhorn usually has daytime temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees, wind speeds reaching 240 km/h, heavy snow and dense fog.

Continue reading “Leitner presents the “Matterhorn Glacier Ride” the world’s highest cablecar, located in Zermatt designed by Pininfarina and showcasing Swarovski crystals.”

A trekking day with the family in Cervinia.

The sky allowed us to see for a bit the Monte Cervino, later the clouds covered it. Photo by The-Ski-Guru.

We were lucky this summer to stay for a week in Courmayeur, and we had a couple of days out going on different trekkings. I’ll write about our week in Courmayeur later. We decided to visit Cervinia one day with the family. From Courmayeur to Aosta, you have 40’ through the national route or 30’ through the A5, and then you continue to the east and for half an hour to the north through a windy road you arrive to Cervinia. All in all is about 1 ½ hours away.

 

Arriving into Cervinia through the last tunnel. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Family day in Cervinia
Arriving into Cervinia through the last tunnel. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Family day in Cervinia

Arriving in Cervinia

The first thing you start seeing on the road is the majestic Matterhorn, which is called Monte Cervino in the Italian side. The Matterhorn/Cervino is surely the most photographed and known mountain in Europe, not the tallest- that is the mighty Mont Blanc (just between Courmayeur and Chamonix)

I have been a couple of times in Zermatt now (and will write a must-read guide soon), but the first thing that called my attention, is that the Cervino’s peak seems much bigger on this side. This is, I was told, because you are at a higher altitude in Cervinia than in Zermatt, so you are just more near the peak.

The boys with the Monte Cervino in the backdrop. A trekking day with the family in Cervinia.
The boys with the Monte Cervino in the backdrop. A trekking day with the family in Cervinia.

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Save the Date: Vail Snow Days is Back and Bigger Than Ever

Gondola One - Gold Cabin - photo by Jack Affleck - Vail Mountain. Vail Snow Days is back.

Vail Snow Days kicks off the 2018-19 winter season and returns bigger than ever with a four-day festival Thursday, Dec. 13 through Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018.
Vail Snow Days brings the entire community together to celebrate the early season. The schedule of activities for Vail Snow Days 2018 will include time-honored early season traditions including, the return of headliner concerts Friday and Saturday as well as new events including, the Pray for Snow Kick-off Celebration, pub crawls, and Bloodies and Bluegrass on Sunday.

Vail SnowDaze - Michael Franti. Photo Zach Mahone- Vail Mountain. Vail Snow Days.
Vail SnowDaze – Michael Franti. Photo Zach Mahone- Vail Mountain. Vail Snow Days.

The four-day festival will feature two nights of free concerts at Ford Park, presented by Bud Light. Big name headliners will be announced this fall and guests will have the opportunity to purchase Private Reserve VIP tickets.
The launch of Savor Vail will debut with early season offerings from local restaurants, bars, retail locations, galleries and spas.

Snow Days LIVE! will showcase live music all weekend long between Vail and Lionshead Villages as well as on-mountain.

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Crans-Montana Must–Read Guide

Denis Emery - photo-genic.ch- Courtesy Crans Montana Tourism Office.

Check no more! Here is your must-read guide to Crans-Montana:  Crans-Montana is a world-renown ski and summer resort in the Valais area of Switzerland, celebrating its 125th year this year. Easily accessible by train and a funicular, the resort has two big towns, Crans and Montana that are almost now linked into one bigger town.

Crans-Montana is a lively town, with lots of people that live there year-round. This is not the classic resort that opens only for the season and then nothing happens anymore; it is pretty big and busy.

Crans-Montana unique selling point is its vista and the sunny terrace where the valley is sitting.
Crans-Montana unique selling point is its vista and the sunny terrace where the valley is sitting. Your must-read guide to Crans-Montana.

Crans and Montana are located in a wide sunny valley, perched at 1500m, with magnificent south views of the mountains of the Rhône Valley in Valais, from the Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn- 19 peaks over 4,000 meters are facing Crans-Montana.  Hotels and condominiums are dotted in town amongst hotels, from 3 stars to deluxe 5 stars with all the services.

Crans-Montana has been a magnet for stars, from Roger Moore who had a house there, Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo, who used to stay at the Grand Hotel du Golf & Palace. The Kennedy’s family and Mr Bourvil used to holiday in Crans Montana. Also David Guetta comes for a discreet winter holiday to Crans-Montana.

People go to Crans-Montana for the vistas, they are magnificent; for it’s skiing, with nice sunny pistes to all type of skiers, and in the rest of the year for its golf. With an 18-hole golf course by Severino Ballesteros and a 9-hole by Jack Nicklaus, and many hotels offering direct access to the golf course (or the cross country trails in winter), it is the best you could get in Switzerland! Plus the biking is pretty big now, lots of hiking and water sports around, to make it a year-round resort.

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IKON Pass and the NFL’s Denver Broncos enter into a three-year strategic partnership.

NFL's Denver Broncos to enter in an agreement with the IKON pass for three years.

DENVER, Colo., September 6, 2018 – Alterra Mountain Company’s Ikon Pass and the Denver Broncos are teaming up on an integrated multi-year partnership, making the Ikon Pass the Preferred Ski Pass of Broncos Country.

The partnership is designed to provide Ikon Pass exposure to millions of fans nationwide throughout Broncos Country, a passionate group of fans who follow the team and visit Broncos Stadium at Mile High during each Broncos home game.

The IKON Pass signed up a three years agreement with the Denver Broncos to be the Preferred Ski Pass of Broncos Country.
The IKON Pass signed up a three years agreement with the Denver Broncos to be the Preferred Ski Pass of Broncos Country.

Creative elements at Broncos Stadium at Mile High will provide a glimpse into Ikon Pass premium destinations and generate visibility for the multi-resort pass product through branding at the Mile High Mountain Village between Gates 4 and 5 and LED in-stadium signage. The partnership also includes website, TV and radio advertisements and activations featuring appearances by Broncos mascot, Miles, cheerleaders and alumni.

“Football season is here and winter 2018-2019 is around the corner, which means it’s the perfect time to announce a partnership between the Ikon Pass and the Denver Broncos,” said Jimmy Huh, Director Media Marketing. “These are two brands with passionate fan support and a natural fit for anyone who is a fan of the Denver Broncos.”

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Alterra Mountain Company to acquire Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington.

A table with a view of Mount Rainer- Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington state acquired by Alterra Mountain Company.

Expanding Regional Access to the Company’s Family of Destinations. Alterra Mountain Company, the owner of the IKON Pass,  announces that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington, which would bring the company’s total to 14 year-round mountain destinations throughout North America, including the world’s largest heli-skiing operation.

“With the addition of Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington, we are able to expand our reach into the Pacific Northwest and offer our guests incredible experiences in the Cascade Mountains, while also giving Crystal Mountain Resort skiers and riders the opportunity to explore all the other premier destinations on the Ikon Pass,” said Rusty Gregory, Chief Executive Officer, Alterra Mountain Company. “Crystal Mountain is Washington’s premier resort and has been a favorite year-round destination for those in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area for years, and we are excited to include it in the Alterra Mountain Company family.”

Crystal Mountain Resort, last acquisition of Alterra Mountain Company - to be enjoyed by IKON Pass holders.
Crystal Mountain Resort, last acquisition of Alterra Mountain Company – to be enjoyed by IKON Pass holders.

Crystal Mountain Resort will be available on the Ikon Pass for winter 2018/2019. Access will be unlimited with no blackout dates on both the Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass. (Any Ikon Pass access or benefits at Crystal Mountain Resort is contingent upon the completion of Alterra Mountain Company’s transaction to acquire Crystal Mountain Resort.)

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