The scale of development ahead of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, is becoming increasingly apparent with the world’s leading lift manufacturer, Doppelmayr revealing that they are in the process of completing 20 new lifts connected with the Games in time for 2014.
The biggest project is for a new world record sized sized ‘3S’ or ‘tri-cable ropeway’ – a kind of ultra-stable, high-capacity, high-speed lift the combines the benefits of cable cars and gondolas – famous examples including the Peak2Peak lift at Whistler Blackcomb. The large cabins hand beneath two track ropes like a cable car for maximum stability and are pulled by a haul rope, but rather than stopping and starting like a conventional cable car, there are multiple cabins moving around continuously like a gondola.
The new lift, Doppelmayr’s 100th installation for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) links the main Apline sports venue at Krasnaya Polyana to the Laura ski area where the Nordic competitions of the 2014 Olympics will be staged.
The lift will rise 1,000 vertical metres from 600 to 1600m above sea-level over its 5,383m length – a new world record for this lift type and for any type of continually moving cable lift. It will take only 11.25 minutes to make the 5km+ ascent in one of the 43 30-passenger cabins which will together be able to transport 3,000 people per hour. Work is due to commence this May with completion in 2013.
The value of the order by Gazprom has not been disclosed but the company remarked it decided on the lift because of, "Doppelmayr’s high professional competence and the spectacular references for 3S installations".
Set between the golden shores of the Black Sea and the soaring snow-capped Caucasus mountains, Sochi is a treasure among winter sport enthusiasts, who can discover here a paradise of alpine valleys and skiing trails. Beautiful weather and an abundance of powdery snow are enough reasons to travel to Sochi.
The Caucasus Mountains, which form a backdrop to Sochi, are one of the few large mountain areas in the world that have escaped significant human impact. Extensive tracts of undisturbed forests, from the lowlands to the sub-alpine zone, are unique in Europe. The mountain scenery of high peaks, wide valleys, mountain lakes and 60 remnant glaciers will be an unforgettable but undisturbed backdrop to the most celebrated winter sporting event in the world.