Gstaad continues to rely on snow safety by TechnoAlpin
The expansion of the snow-making system in the eastern sector of Gstaad Mountain Rides officially started with the ground-breaking for the Eggweide middle station on the Rinderberg cable car on 17th June. In this year alone TechnoAlpin is providing snow-making systems for 8.5 km of pistes. These are for the piste sections Saanerslochgrat – Chübeli and Saanerslochgrat – Lochstafel, the new Horneggli-Direttissima and the Rinderbergspitz – Büelti section.
To provide water for the new 160 A9 snow lances the flow capacity of the line from Saane near Gstaad to the reservoir on Hornberg must be increased from 75 l/s to 187.5 l/s. This is to be achieved by extending the water capacity, the main pump station and the pressure increase station from the 1,000 kW achieved in 2007 to 3,000 kW. When fully complete the delivery system should then have a filling capacity of 250 l/s and electrical output of 4,000 kW.
A new pump station with a capacity of 312 l/s (final stage increase to 437 l/s) will be installed at the Hornberg reservoir. The system has been designed such that the water for snow making can be taken directly from the Saane into the snow-making network. Therefore the volume of the existing reservoir lake, which mainly acts as a buffer, need not be increased. A compressor with air output of 58 m³/min at 8 bar and electrical output of 315 kW will be installed in the pump station to centrally provide air to the snow lances. It will supply over 50 A9 lances in the Saanersloch – Hornberg and Saanersloch – Chübeli areas and over 40 A9 lances in the Horneggli-Direttissima section.
In the Rinderberg area an existing system with stream access, pump station, pressure increase station and various snow generators will be integrated into the TechnoAlpin ATASSplus control system. In addition, a new pressure increase station must be created with a total output of 70 l/s at a height of 770 m. Output of 100 l/s is desired for the final stage. This will supply around 40 A9 lances in the Eggweid – Büelti – Rinderberg mountain station section. All these lances come complete with shafts. To support the 2008 expansion stage in the Eggweid – Büelti – Oeschseite area 2 high pressure pumps are to be added in the pump station with an output of 70 l/s at a height of 310 m. The expansion also includes a compressor with an air output of 48 m³/min that complements the Oeschseite compressor station, which was completed in 2008.
Expansion also in the western sector
In the current year Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad AG will also implement other projects. These include expanding the snow-making systems in the western sector between Pra Cluen and Chalberhöni (Saanen/Rougemont). All of these areas will have a snow guarantee for the coming winter season onwards from the mountain station to the valley below, "which represents a decisive success factor for us," explains BDG director Armon Cantieni. This is to be provided using 75 A9 snow lances along the pistes. They are supplied by a new booster or pressure increase station with an output of 55 kW and 15 l/s from the Chalberhöhni pump station, whose existing equipment will be integrated. In future it will have an output of 160 kW or 17 l/s. The two existing Les Fontaines and Ciernes pump stations are integrated into the ATASSplus control system.
TechnoAlpin is providing a total of 12.6 km of pipes, 14.3 km of field lines and 14.4 km of cables for data and electricity. All of the new and extended systems should be ready for operation on 23rd October. "The aim is to make snow on all the main BDG AG pistes in 60 hours from 2011," commented Armon Cantieni, director of Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad AG. BDG has budgeted just under CHF 18 million for this year's construction activities.
Nine cable car companies merged to become Gstaad Mountain Rides as early as 2004. Today the joint ski pass offers 61 ski lifts between 1,000 and 3,000 m above sea level that cover 250 km of pistes, of which 57.5 km can receive snow produced by the snow-making systems.
Key: Breaking the ground for the snow-making systems in the eastern sector of Gstaad Mountain Rides (from left): Alex von Bergen (contractor), Daniel von Grünigen (land owner), Christian Moor (St. Stephan council), Erich von Siebenthal MP, Martin Siegfried (St. Stephan council), Bruno Hammer (BDG AG advisory board), Andreas Hurni (vice-president of the BDG advisory board), Michael Schletti (Zweisimmen council), governor Michael Teuscher and Armon Cantieni (BDG AG director). Photograph: BDG AG