Sunkid Designs Lift Solutions To Cope With Glacial Melting On Tsanfleuron

Climate change represents a major societal challenge. Although change and its causes are generally understood, there are still many open questions that could contribute to a solution.
The melting of the polar ice caps and glaciers is an indisputable fact that will not be stopped anytime soon. This means that you have to adapt to this situation and try to make the best of it. In order to be able to support mountain railways with this challenge, Sunkid products are constantly being further developed and adapted to the new circumstances.
The global phenomenon of glacier melting does not spare the Tsanfleuron glacier in Switzerland either. The glacier melts at an average rate of 5 meters per year at its edges and 50 centimeters at its center. These and other melting values ​​and speeds forced those in charge of the Glacier 3000 ski area to act, as hollows form which make access to the slopes difficult - the installation of a new ski lift became necessary.
The Glacier 3000 cable cars found the ideal partner for this solution in Borer Lift AG, which is part of Sunkidworld.
A removable Sunkid Mega Comfort Star was installed so that the guests of the ski area can easily get back to the starting point of the Combe-d'Audon slope and then carve down the 7-kilometer black slope. A mobile metal foundation enables temporary use of the small ski lift. This special steel construction replaces the conventional anchored concrete foundation. It is buried in the snow and can be removed at the end of the ski season without leaving any residue and without irreversible consequential damage to the terrain. The metal foundation is quickly installed, mobile and reusable. This saves time and money for the Glacier 3000 cable cars.
The flexible assembly and dismantling is necessary because no lift would withstand the glacier flow, the periodic snowfalls in summer, etc.
The Sunkid small ski lift ensures a high level of comfort for customers, which is a priority for the director of the Glacier 3000 cable cars, Bernhard Tschannen.
This project was something very special for Borer Lift AG, because it is the first Mega Comfort Star that was mounted directly on a glacier. This type of lift was chosen because it features numerous technical innovations that are ideal for use on a glacier. One example is that the new generation of the tried and tested Sunkid small ski lift is continuously height-adjustable from 1.0 to 5.0 meters. This feature enables the lift to go up in the evening so that an optimal route can be prepared overnight.
“The construction of this lift presented Borer Lift AG with previously unimagined challenges. A construction site at 2,729 m above sea level cannot be compared to one near the valley. For example, there is no electricity from the network, and parts of the lift cannot be delivered by truck. This requires a helicopter, and not just any one, it requires a “strong fellow”. The weather repeatedly thwarted the planning. Heavy snowfall, wind, restricted visibility, etc. influenced the construction work. In addition, huge amounts of snow had to be moved at the installation site on the glacier in order to create a suitable route. All of this required a high degree of flexibility from the team and presented great challenges, which we were able to master with flying colors. We are very proud, that we were able to realize this exciting project. It is the first Sunkid Mega Comfort Star with flexible and seasonal use on a glacier ”, sums up Axel Halder, Managing Director of Borer Lift AG.
Fact box Mega Comfort Star Glacier 3000:
  • Length: approx. 150 m
  • Difference in altitude: approx. 30 m
  • Number of plate hangers: 30 pcs.
  • Travel time: approx. 79 s at a speed of 1.8 m / s
  • Capacity: approx. 640 p / h
  • Control line between valley and mountain: fiber optic cable

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