The Kumme 3-person chairlift in Zermatt was destroyed by an avalanche in January 2018 which started on the Unterrothorn (3104m) and swept through the Tuftern valley. Only a few concrete walls and the foundation remained. Now, two years later, the green light has been given for construction of a replacement lift. The new 10-person Kumme gondola is expected to be ready for use by the 2020/21 ski season.
The new 10-person Kumme gondola in Zermatt will have a slightly altered route compared to the original 3-person chairlift. The bottom station will be located at Tuftern (2215m) and will take passengers past a midstation at Tufternkumme (2775m) on its way to the Unterrothorn. Work is expected to start soon and if everything goes according to plan, December 2020 will see the inauguration of the new 10-person Kumme gondola.(Photo: © Zermatt Bergbahnen)
The aim of the project is not only to restore the damaged infrastructure, but also to give a boost to the Unterrothorn area. With a capacity of 1500 passengers per hour, waiting times on the Unterrothorn should be vastly reduced. This part of Zermatt is often overlooked by skiers and snowboarders, and the lift company hopes that this will no longer be the case once the gondola is in use.
Facts & Figures: 10-person Kumme gondola in Zermatt
|Top station: Unterrothorn||Length: 3220m|
|Altitude top station: 3100m||Vertical rise: 885m|
|Speed: 6m/s||Duration: appr. 9:50 min.|
|Cabin capacity:10 pax||Total capacity: 1500pax/hr|
|Total cabins: 56||Location: Zermatt|
There is a rumour that the 10-person Kumme gondola will be the first lift in Switzerland to run without staff. The manufacturer, Garaventa, has implemented new techniques which eliminate the need for staff to be present at all times. In the beginning, a person will be present at the midstation, but it's expected that in future this point will also be unmanned. Val Thorens in France already successfully uses a similar lift. Total costs for the construction of the 10-person Kumme gondola are budgeted at more than 25 million Swiss francs.(Photo: © Zermatt Bergbahnen)
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!
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