The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier above Kaprun in Austria plans to celebrate its 50th birthday next year by opening two new high-speed, high-capacity lifts and reinvigorating its entire glacier ski area at a cost of €25m.
Work on the new Glacier Jet 3 and 4 lifts has already begun with the 18 month construction schedule due to be completed in autumn 2015 to tie in with the centre’s half-century celebrations.
Austria´s first glacial skiing area was opened on the Kitzsteinhorn in 1965 and was originally planned as a summer skiing area. It has had a snow guarantee from October to May for most of the last 50 years.
Hinting that the new lifts might mean the ski season is extended a Kitzsteinhorn statement said,
“The new Gletscherjet 3 and 4 lift route means the glacier will be reached even faster and more directly, the whole year through. The central glacial ski area will be completely restructured and wider pistes will open up for winter athletes.”
“The heart of the glacial ski area is currently developed with chairlifts and drag lifts. From autumn 2015, the central skiing area on the Kitzsteinhorn will be significantly altered, with newly situated and extended lifts. The glacier will be accessible much more quickly the whole year round, the comfort and capacity will be greatly improved. The new efficient axis opens many more innovative possibilities for the future.”
Gletscherjet 3 starting from the Alpincenter will combine 10 person gondola cabins and 8-seater heated chairlift on one cable. Gletscherjet 4 will be a gondola lift with cabins for 10 persons that will ascend over the Schmiedingerkees glacier to the foot of the Kitzsteinhorn summit – nearly 3,000 metres above sea level.
The new lift line will substantially alter the central skiing area of the glacier. The Gratbahn lift will be removed and the Kitz- and Kees-drag lifts will be combined into a double drag lift and the Magnetköpfl lifts on the glacial plateau will be repositioned. A new beginner’s lift, near the Gletscherjet 3 and 4 middle station will also improve the glacier skiing area.