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Ischgl: New Palinkopf D1 ski lift

Design - Innovation - Convenience

The Palinkopf tow lift in the Ischgl/Samnaum ski area began operation in 1973 and opened up some highly prized ski runs in the Palinkopf area. Then in 1985 this lift was replaced by a double-seat lift, which was then replaced in 1996/97 by a flexible four-seat lift. In the summer of 2017, after 20 years of operation and moving about 12 million skiers, this unit was replaced by the newest-generation six-seat lift manufactured by Doppelmayr Corp. (cable lift engineering).

The valley station at 2,413 m is located near the Schwarzwand restaurant in the middle of the Silvretta Arena; the 16 steel tube towers pass over one of the most lovely and highest sites in the ski area – the Palinkopf (2,853 m).

Everything on the Palinkopf lift was fully redesigned – from the entryway to the comfortable seat upholstery. The unique back sides of the seats are especially interesting; they depict the stars from previous Top of the Mountain concerts.

The new facility is packed full of the latest technology. The D-line cable system incorporates 205 new features, 31 innovations and 14 patents.

Great convenience for users and smooth operation make the new Palinkopf lift a first-class unit. The new high-tech cable lift incorporates a number of noticeable improvements for our guests:
  • Individual, ergonomically designed seats 
  • 520 mm-wide, heated seats 
  • Optimized safety design 
  • Convenient safety lock bar 
  • The next generation cable lift is very low in noise and vibration – all to ensure maximum comfort and convenience for our guests
Environmental Considerations
The impact on the environment was also taken into account in the construction of the new lift. For example, five support sites were eliminated by the new cable run. We also plan to remove about 400 linear meters of avalanche retention wall and replace it with a remote-controlled system for temporary avalanche generation. The quad lift will be disassembled and then reused at another winter sports site in Scandinavia.

The new lift is expected to go into operation in time for the new winter season of 2017/18. The current progress of construction can be checked on the construction blog at www.ischgl.com. 

Key data on the new Palinkopf lift
Type: 6 CLD/B-H
Capacity: 2,800 persons per hour
Linear length: 1,577 m
Elevation, valley station: 2,413 m
Elevation, mountain station: 2,853 m
Number of towers: 16 supports
Transit time: about 5.75 min.
Number of compartments: 89 
Compartment features: Weather hoods, seat heating, D-line
Persons per compartment: 6
Location of drive unit: Mountain station
Maximum slope: 77 %
Manufacturer Cable lift engineering: Doppelmayr
Lift cable: Teufelberger
Drive & control unit: Frey Austria
Investment expense: € 12 Million

A Heart Transplant

The Silvrettaseilbahn AG has been operating the Idalp snow-making system since 1985; over the years it has been expanded into a large-scale system to serve nearly the entire ski area.

The snow-making system relied on the Idalp reservoir with a water volume of 32,000 m3. The existing reservoir site, together with the upper and especially the lower slope, are permanently in motion and thus were no longer officially approved for operation after the end of the winter season 2016/17, and so a new site had to be found. This new site had to be as near as possible to the former location so as to connect the water lines conveniently and then to move the water into the wide-ranging network of existing lines without unnecessary excavation work.

After many inspections and consultation with the property owners, a suitable site was found at the Viderböden which is geologically quite safe, as demonstrated by examinations of subsoil core samples. Beginning in the winter 2017/18 the new Viderböden reservoir with a volume of about 52,000 m3 will serve as the central source of snowmaking for the Ischgl ski area. Construction work will begin immediately after season end so that the reservoir can be completed by the beginning of the following season.

The heart-shape of the reservoir has a symbolic character, since the Viderböden reservoir project and its operation as a source and cornerstone for the Idalp area proverbially represents a “heart transplant” from the Idalp reservoir to the Viderböden reservoir.

The Idalp reservoir will be partially restored to its original pond structure after completion of the Viderböden reservoir, and serve as a retaining pond; it will fit visually into the surrounding Vider Truja Park landscape.

Key data about the new Viderböden reservoir
  • 52,000 m³ volume
  • The reservoir will operate in coordination with the Wildbach and avalanche retaining structure within the natural geology
  • Plastic lining with protective fleece and gravel covering
  • High levee top: 2,325 m
  • Primary and secondary pumping stations, each with 400 l/s capacity
  • Overall project management by AEP Engineering Agency
  • Investment expense: € 4.5 million 
The Alp Trida restaurant will be renovated during the summer months.

In the winter the Silvrettaseilbahn AG employs about 550 staff members and is one of the most important employers in Tyrol. The Samnaun AG and Silvrettaseilbahn AG ski lifts together operate 45 cable lifts and lift facilities, 238 kilometers of ski runs and 11 restaurants in the Silvretta Arena ski region. Since the incorporation of the company, shareholders have waived the disbursement of dividends to allow reinvestment in the ski area.

Awards for Silvretta Arena
Ischgl/Samnaun was again awarded various distinctions in the winter of 2016/2017:

www.snowplaza.de - Best Ski area 2017
In the period from 1 September 2016 through 19 March 2017, precisely 54,849 visitors from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Holland, Belgium and Great Britain voted in the “best ski area” questionnaire at www.snowplaza.de. This Snowplaza Award is the most prestigious public prize for ski areas in Europe.

Ischgl/Samnaun was chosen at the best ski area in Europe for 2017 and received 4,208 votes.

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