4 May 2019 from Danielle in Latest news

Last year, Fiesch started construction on a multifunctional base station in Fiesch that will include the lift, the train and the bus. Once the project is completed, it will be even easier to reach the Fiescheralp (2212m above sea level) from Fiesch. In this article we'll cover all the technical details of the upcoming gondola and the future of the Aletsch Arena.

New 10-person gondola to the Fiescheralp

The construction of the new gondola from Fiesch to Fiescheralp marks the end for the two large gondolas that have been in use since 1966 and 1974, respectively. Doppelmayr's 10-person D-line gondola will double the hourly capacity up to 1800 passengers. The time required to whisk skiers and snowboarders up to 1144m above sea level in the Aletsch Arena will be slightly longer, from six minutes to just under eight minutes. However, due to the increased hourly capacity, passengers will easily make the time up thanks to the shorter queues at the base station in Fiesch.

All-in-one valley station with lift, train and bus

The valley station will be home not only to the gondola, but also to the train and the bus. Visitors to Fiesch will find the station of the Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn on the middle floor, with the Swiss Postbus terminal located below. This "ÖV-Hub" ("public transport hub") will boast easy access to the slopes by means of escalators and elevators. Hopes are that this will reduce car traffic through the valley by encouraging people to use the convenient public transport. It's a vast improvement from the old system, when the train station and the lift were located 400m apart.

Facts & Figures: New 10-person gondola in Fiesch

Top station: Fiescheralp Length: 2702m
Altitude top station: 2227m Altitude gain: 1144m
Speed: 7 m/s Duration: appr. 8 min
Capacity: 10 ppl Overall capacity: 1800 ppl/hr
Number of cabins: 48 Location: Fiesch

Lift already under construction

Construction of the new ÖV-Hub has been underway since the beginning of October 2018. Trees have been cleared along the planned route of the gondola, and workers have started to build the foundations and the pedestrian tunnel. Construction will continue this summer on the lift stations and the lift itself. All in all, the ÖV-Hub is projected to cost 45 million Swiss francs.

ÖV-Hub in Fiesch
Multifunctional valley station in Fiesch (Photo: © Aletsch Arena AG, Schmidhalter Partner Ingenieure AG)

More info: The Aletsch Arena

The Aletsch Arena has bragging rights for being home to the longest glacier in the Alps. The Aletsch Glacier measures around 23km and provides a stunning backdrop when exploring the pistes of the ski area. Access to the slopes can be done from any of three authentic pedestrianised mountain villages: Riederalp (1925m), Bettmeralp (1950 m) and Fiescheralp (2212 m), with options for ski-in, ski-out accommodation. As for the ski area, it has just over 100km of slopes, with slopes to suit every ability level from tentative beginners to confident kids to experienced skiers.

New gondola in Fiesch
Artist's impression of the new gondola in Fiesch (Photo: © Aletsch Arena AG)

Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!