On December 18, Zermatt Bergbahnen formally opened its new 6-seater chairlift Hirli. The innovative ropeway supplied by LEITNER ropeways, which has an environmentally friendly DirectDrive system, replaces the Hörnli ski lift that dates back to 1963. Comfortable seats with bubbles to protect passengers from the weather and safety devices for children will make journeys more pleasant for skiers in the area west of the Schwarzsee. The patron of the new chairlift, who has her own seat, is the ski racer Lara Gut from the canton of Ticino. The Swiss skier was enthusiastic about having the opportunity to support the new chairlift from Joscht to Hirli: “It’s an honor for me to be the patron of this new lift in Zermatt. I’m very pleased about it and I can hardly wait to carve a few turns there.” A specially designed seat on the chairlift is dedicated to the elite athlete and has upholstery printed with her photo.
The ropeway is powered by the unique, environmentally friendly DirectDrive system from LEITNER ropeways. With a top speed of six meters per second, it is one of the fastest chairlifts in Switzerland. Its comfortable powder-coated seats, which are protected by blue bubbles, make the ride a pleasant experience. Locking footrests and the kidstop system ensure that children can travel safely on the ropeway. The transport capacity has been increased from 600 to 2,000 people per hour. In addition, a new route leads to completely new stations. From the top station, passengers can reach the Schwarzsee intersection with runs to Stafelalp and across the steep slope no. 54 to the Stafelalp-Furi traverse. The valley station has one special feature. The passengers climb on board the chairlift in the driving direction at 60 degrees to the route, without having to pass through entry barriers.
The new chairlift marks the beginning of an exciting collaboration between LEITNER ropeways and Zermatt Bergbahnen. By 2018, the company from South Tyrol will have completed the world’s highest 3S gondola lift along the Theodul Glacier and up to the Matterhorn. “Our innovative lifts are a significant addition to the product portfolio of Switzerland’s largest ropeway company. The Hirli chairlift and the new 3S gondola lift that will open in 2018 offer the perfect combination of comfort, design, safety, and sustainability,” said Martin Leitner, member of the Board of Directors of LEITNER ropeways, at the opening ceremony of the CD6C from Joscht to Hirli.