With so many fantastic destinations for skiing, it may be difficult to choose the best place for your family holiday. With the snow arriving very late in Europe in the current ski season, some resorts were closed, other resorts could only keep some of their slopes open. One of the effects this had on the traditional December ski holidays, was that many skiers descended on the limited number of resorts with skiable slopes. This of course puts great pressure on the ski lift systems at those resorts. It made me realize that the success of a ski holiday is to a great extent directly proportional to the functionality of the ski lift system at the resort of your choice. Obviously this applies to skiers and snowboarders, but also to non-skiers: visitors who want to go up the mountains, enjoy the breath taking vistas and have a hot drink at a high-altitude restaurant. I would like to introduce you to 5 of the very best ski lifts in the world. How many have you been on?
Peak2Peak, Whistler, Canada
Fly over forests and the gorgeous Canadian mountain scenery when you hop on board Peak2Peak’s gondolas. These lifts link the impressive Whistler and Blackcomb mountains of British Columbia, and boast some of the most beautiful landscapes of any ski lift in the world. Some gondolas even have glass floors, allowing you a bird’s eye view on the gorgeous valley 1430 feet below your own feet! Get lifted the scenic way with this fabulous cable car.
Titlis Rotair, Engelberg, Switzerland
The Titlis Rotair was the world’s first revolving aerial cable car and is a great way to be lifted to the perfect skiing spot as well as viewing the beautiful Engelberg of Switzerland. You ascend from the ground station to the middle station by means of a traditional cable car system.
There you board the Titlis Rotair gondola and because everyone is standing, the lift can take a large number of travellers with ski gear - I counted more than 40 in our gondola! The impressive Titlis Rotair lift rotates slowly as it moves from the middle station to the mountain summit at 3020 m. On your way up you will see the sparkling snow of the mountain, the minute skiers flying down the slopes underneath, the interesting rock formations, painted by the winter sun, and the Alpine peaks stretching to the horizon.
Hirafu Peak Chair Lift, Niseko, Japan
This single chair lift is a classic. Not recommended for lively little ones, as it does not have a safety bar but great for experiencing the beauty of Hokkaido first hand. Here you will ski through bamboo stands and be spoilt with soft, thick snow falling throughout the year. After a day of off-piste skiing, you will be treated to traditional cuisine, the finest sushi and have the option of taking a relaxing bath in a public onsen.
Galzigbahn, St Anton, Austria
The futuristic design of the Funitel Galzigbahn will remind you of a big wheel at a theme park but do not worry for one second: this lift is exceptionally safe and on the forefront of technological advances. The 28 gondolas start at the base station and then move up the wheel to the top of the mountain. With its interesting lighting and glass panels, the aesthetic design of this lift is sure to fascinate you almost as much as the beautiful mountain scenery.
Penken Combibahn, Mayrhofen, Austria
The Penken Comibahn combines traditional chairlifts with gondolas to allow you to choose how you would like to experience the mountain scenery. When the weather is good, the open chairlift with its safety bars is a great way to enjoy the fresh air. But on less cloudless days the gondolas allow you to see the beauty of the mountain comfortably and protect you from wet conditions. Enjoy these ‘chodolas’ in Mayrhofen (Austria), Alpe d’Huez (France) and in parts of Sweden.
Marvel at the advances of engineering technology that elevate you safely and effortlessly to some of the most picturesque mountain tops in the world!
Celine Renaud is Head of Sales for Leo Trippi.