Skiers and snowboarders visiting Val Gardena this season can look forward to riding one of the world’s newest cable cars. The “Piz Seteur” 10-person gondola lift in Plan de Gralba is due to go into service right on time for the season opening on 6 December 2017. The lift was built with the specific aim of making the connection to the Sella Ronda quicker and easier. It was only one year ago that this area of the popular North Italian resort opened the “Gran Paradiso” chair lift – Italy’s first 8-person chair lift with heated seats.
More comfort and better performance
The new “Piz Seteur” lift built by Leitner reflects the operator’s intention to set new standards in terms of comfort, safety and performance. The new lift substantially increases capacity over the previous chair lift to 3,450 people per hour, spread across 77 spacious 10-person gondola cabins. These run over a total length of 1,456 metres between the mountain and base stations.
Heated seats, more legroom and taller cabins
The lift’s cabins are unique worldwide in their design. In addition to under-seat heating, visitors will be able to enjoy substantially more legroom (81 cm), larger seats (46.5 cm), more head room (216 cm) and wider entrances (90 cm) than has been used as standard to date. The external design of the gondolas themselves is also special – they were conceived by the Italian company Pininfarina, which also designed the new middle station. The construction of the new boarding area is also well thought-out: Although the cabins spend a slightly longer 65 seconds in the station itself, no less than six cabins can be boarded simultaneously.
Facts and figures for the new “Piz Seteur” lift
3,450 people per hour
|Number of cabins|
77 gondolas, each with room for 10 people
|Vertical difference||313 m|
65 seconds (simultaneous boarding for 6 cabins)
Heated seats, more leg room, wider seats, higher cabins, wider entrance
New connection to the Sella Pass in winter and summer
The new gondola lift is the last connecting piece in the modernised connection to the Sella Ronda from Plan de Gralba. The first step had already been made with the construction of the 8-person “Gran Paradiso” chair lift. This carries skiers up from the Hotel Piz Seteur to the Sella Pass, where they can tackle the popular and famous Sella Ronda circular tour around the Sella massif.
As the gondola and chair lift will also be running during the summer months from summer 2018 onwards, hikers will have access to the Sella Pass in just 25 minutes from the car park in Plan de Gralba. This makes the pass easy to reach, even on car-free days. By the way – three new trails for mountain bikers are also opening at the foot of the Langkofel in summer 2018.
More news from Val Gardena
In addition to the new gondola mentioned above, winter 2017/18 will also see the opening of new infrastructure in St. Ulrich/Überwasser. The old Furdenan ski lift will be replaced by a new and longer ski lift. Over the course of the next few years, further overhauls within the lift network are earmarked to take place, ensuring that the 79 lifts across the Val Gardena ski region remain attractive and up-to-date for skiers and snowboarders.
Additional investment in hotels and businesses
Several operators of accommodation and eateries have also invested in the valley ahead of the coming winter. There are several new chalets with apartments in St. Ulrich (Ghilga, Sophia, Tiscion and Paruda) as well as the new 5-start Hotel Montchalet. Visitors to St. Christina can also look forward to fresh features at the Alpenhotel Plaza (new pool and extended range of rooms), Hotel Interski (new panoramic pool), Vitalpina Hotel Dosses (renovated rooms, restaurant, entrance area and wellness area) and Alpinchalet Luispeck (new apartments). New openings in St. Christina include the Chalet Arpa and Hofschänke Paratoni. In Wolkenstein, the outdoor pool of the Hotel Portillo Dolomites and an extension at Käserei Valin are further notable new offerings.
Events in the winter season 2017/18!
The ski season in Val Gardena runs from 6 December 2017 to 8 April 2018, and promises plenty of fun and thrills across 79 lifts and 175 kilometres of runs. The towns within the valley also have plenty of events in store throughout the season. These prominently include the weekly ski shows and torchlight events organised by the local ski school as well as the lovingly curated Christmas markets in St. Ulrich (1.12.-6.1.), St. Christina (1.12.-30.12.) and Wolkenstein (7.12.-7.1.). New Year and Fasching carnival time are also marked by parties, shows and processions.
Val Gardena also shifts into the global spotlight on the weekend of the 15 and 16 December 2017, when the world’s best skiers come to town for the Super-G and Downhill. Amateurs, in contrast, can test their mettle towards the end of the season on 7 and 8 April 2018 at the Gardenissima, the world’s longest giant slalom. The event “Vertical up - One hell of a run” is also full of thrills and spills, as skiers attempt to descend the original Saslong run (almost 3.5 kilometres in length and 839 meters vert) as fast as possible. The Sellaronda Skimarathon is being held on 24 March 2018 this season.
Other notable highlights this winter include the “Rock the Dolomites” festival from 10 to 18 March 2018 in Wolkenstein, the “Spring Race Party” fun race from Seceda to St. Ulrich on 16 March 2018, a snowman competition from 27 to 30 December 2017 in Wolkenstein and an ice sculpture competition from 15 to 19 January 2018 in St. Ulrich.