Skiinfo reports the people of Switzerland’s Saas Valley are voting tomorrow (June 16th, 2011) on plans to open the highest gondola in Europe, and the continent’s highest lift, up to 4,000m on Längfluh.
Projects already planned for the next two years are include the extension of snowmaking facilities on Längfluh and on ski pistes in the Spielboden-Längfluh sector.
A new 8 place gondola from Saas-Fee to Spielboden to Längfluh and a new restaurant at Längfluh are also planned but the local population are due to vote on the lift company’s plan to go further with this gondola, up to 4000 meters.
The current highest lifts in the Alps are two drag lifts reaching 3899m at neighbouring Zermatt. A 4000m high lift would be among the world’s three highest, overtaking lifts at Breckenridge in North America and Gulmarg in India and, following the closure of higher ski areas in the South American Andes, leave only one small ski area at Jade Dragon Snow Valley (over 4500m) in the Chinese Himalayas as higher.
The original Längfluh cable-car was one of the first in Saas Fee and opened on 23rd December, 1959. It was rebuilt in 1977.
Saas-Fee is based at the foot of the Dom, which although not as internationally well known as the Matterhorn, is in fact Switzerland's highest mountain, and one of thirteen 4,000 metre (13,120 feet) plus peaks surrounding the village. These may be viewed at your leisure from the world's highest revolving restaurant on the Mittelallin at 3,500 metres (just under 11,500 feet).