New ropeways

Detachable chondola in La Berra

This year the Bartholet company will be building its first detachable chondola in Canton Fribourg in Switzerland. The combine chair and gondola lift will open in the La Berra Ski Area in time for the 2013/2014 winter season.

The idea of an upgrade for La Berra is nothing new. The operating permit for the ski area’s existing double chairlift, which was built in 1976, expires in 2014. That has finally persuaded the ropeway operating company in La Berra to replace the lift with a new high-capacity system. The choice of a modern chondola was taken to symbolize the beginning of a new era in the development of the ski area. The combined installation is designed for winter and summer operation, which will permit the development of an all-year leisure area for young and old alike. At a shareholders’ meeting in June 2010, approval was given for the capital increase needed to invest in the development project. The contract for the new ropeway was awarded on the basis of a public tender to the Swiss ropeway engineering company Bartholet Maschinenbau AG of Flums (BMF).

Focus on nature protection

Planning permission for the chondola was granted subject to a number of nature protection conditions nature protection conditions, which were something of a challenge in the planning stage. The area around La Berra, especially at higher elevations, is a noted habitat for black grouse. For that reason a number of conditions were imposed by the authorities to ensure the preservation of quiet zones. That in turn required extensive investigations, including noise and frequency tests. Only then was it possible to submit the plans for the new ropeway and obtain the necessary approvals. For the terminals, too, special sound insulation measures had to be taken to meet the requirements of nature protection.

System design

In the initial operating phase, the La Berra chondola will have four 8-seater gondolas and seventy quad chairs. In the final design stage, the installation will operate with ten gondolas and 77 chairs for a rated capacity of 1,500 P/h. The system is designed with carrier parking in the terminal basement with sloping conveyor access. Work on the ropeway is due to begin in the spring of 2013.

Other projects

Following the completion by Bartholet of its 6-seater Porsche chairlift at the White Arena in Laax, several follow-up projects are now planned. BMF say that a number of potential customers have made the trip to Laax to take a look at their reference installation there. The modern design and USP value of a chairlift with 45° of rotation in the chairs apparently have great pulling power. At the Interalpin trade show in Innsbruck on April 10 - 12, 2013 Bartholet will present the latest version of the deluxe Porsche chair at its stand in hall B1 (stand B145).

Another major gondola lift project, this time for Saas Fee, is now in the planning stage at BMF: a ten-seater gondola lift to be built in three stages. So Bartholet is certainly making its mark on its domestic ropeway market.

BMF systems have full certification pursuant to the CEN cableway installation standards and thus satisfy all the provisions of the EU Directive Relating to Cableway Installations Designed to Carry Passengers.


La Berra chondola Project (final design figures in brackets)

Elevation top station 1,044 m
Elevation bottom station 1,640 m
Line length 2,202 m
Vertical rise 596 m
No. of carriers:
gondolas 4 (10)
chairs 70 (77)
Rated capacity 1,200 (1,500) P/h


Top station of Bartholet´s La Berra chondola. Photo: Bartholet

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