Austria's highest cable car unveiled atop the Pitztal Glacier
Perched atop of the Pitzal Glacier at an altitude of 3440 meters (11,286 ft.), the spectacular Wildspitzbahn became Austria's highest coffee destination when it opened its doors late last year. The visitor center designed by Austrian architectural firm Baumschlager Hutter features a free-suspension outdoor terrace to make the most of the breathtaking views across the surrounding Alps and is accessible by a new 61-gondola mono-cable ropeway.
Building atop of one of Europe’s most impressive alpine landscapes is always going to be challenging. Approximately €20 million (US$26.75 million) went into the 18 month-long project that saw workers facing icy and unpredictable weather conditions. Heavy steel and construction materials transporting had to be helicoptered to a base site before being brought to the summit via a cable pulley.
The 61 working gondolas transport a staggering 2185 visitors per hour over a distance of 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) and altitude of 600 meters (1968 ft) in only five minutes and 40 seconds. The 8-person gondolas also feature heated seating and enough space for users to carry their skis and snowboards with them, making getting in and out significantly easier.
During the long winter season which extends from September to May, the Pitztal Glacier offers a total of 68 kilometers (42.25 miles) of impressive natural snow slopes, ranging between altitudes from 1,700 meters (5,577ft) to 3,440 meters (11,286ft).
The Wildspitzbahn cable car and complex is open all year round. Be sure to head to the gallery to check out the impressive facility and building process of the cable car.