In Kaprun, plans for a gondola connection from the village of Kaprun, via the Maiskogel and up to the glacier are now on the verge of coming to fruition, fulfilling a dream that has been a generation in the making. As a first step, Kaprun’s two lift companies are scheduled to merge in autumn 2017. Detailed planning and the approval process will run in parallel with this. The ambitious goal of connecting the village center of Kaprun with the glacier on the Kitzsteinhorn is expected to be completed by December 2019.
When you hear the name “Kaprun”, you immediately think of two mountains and two ski areas: the Kitzsteinhorn, Austria’s first glacier ski area, with a striking summit and an array of year-round opportunities for high-alpine mountaineering adventures, and the gentle Maiskogel, a family mountain accessible right from the center of town. The desire to create a lift connection between those two mountains, and thus make the Kitzsteinhorn easy to reach from the valley, has existed here in Salzburg’s “glacier village” for decades. Currently, detailed planning, discussions with land owners, as well as preparations for the various approval proceedings are well underway.
Planned fusion of the two lift companies in September 2017
The merger of the two lift companies is planned as a first step. The general meetings of Maiskogel Betriebs AG as well as Gletscherbahnen Kaprun AG, which took place in January and February 2017 respectively, both passed the required authorization measures to begin preparations for the merger. Resolutions authorizing the final merger of the two companies are set to be approved in September 2017, at the general meetings of both organizations.
From Kaprun village up to the glacier on the Kitzsteinhorn
Actual construction of the lift axis will then proceed in two stages: In spring 2018, the groundbreaking will take place for the new link. The first step foresees opening a 10-passenger mono-cable gondola with mid-station up to the Maiskogel in December 2018, then one year later, a tri-cable gondola from the Maiskogel (elev. 1,570 m) up to the Langwiedboden on the Kitzsteinhorn (1,975 m). By December 2019, it should be possible to ride essentially a gondola “string of pearls” rising over 2,260 meters to the TOP OF SALZBURG Kitzsteinhorn mountain station at 3,029 meters above sea level, directly from the town center of Kaprun (769 m).
Ski-in/Ski-out thanks to the longest gondola link in the Eastern Alps
The new gondola link will open up a whole new dimension of mountain tourism for the Zell am See-Kaprun Region: Ski-in/Ski-out (setting out from the town center of Kaprun, then over the gentle Maiskogel – a popular destination for families especially – and ultimately up to the glacier itself) increases convenience and enjoyment significantly, promoting Kaprun into the elite league of Alpine ski areas. This project also represents a continuation of Kaprun’s pioneering lift achievements. After opening Austria’s first glacier ski area in 1965, building one of the world’s tallest cable-car pylons and installing the first live panorama camera, this new gondola connection will not only represent the longest continuous lift axis in the Eastern Alps, it will also boast the greatest elevation gain (2,260 meters). The Gletscherjet lifts, which depart from a terminal in Kaprun Valley (6 kilometers from Kaprun town center), will continue to run as before and throughout the year. The new gondola on the Maiskogel is also intended to operate in summer.