A new gondola with eight-passenger cabins is the new world’s longest of its type and also climbs the greatest vertical of a single lift, according to its manufacturer, the Swiss firm Bartholet.
The lift, with an inclined length of 5682 metres, has been built at the new Turkish ski area of Düziçi, and is, “the world’s longest monocable gondola lift for eight people in a single section,” the company reports.
However it is not only the length that is spectacular, but also the outstanding topography that is overcome. The line leads over rough and smooth terrain, past barren rocks and climbs a total vertical of 1,551 metres, a second world record.
“Extreme weather conditions, challenging terrain and limited local resources,” made the installation even more challenging according to a Bartholet spokesperson, who added, “The cable pull was particularly impressive. It is a rope loop of about 11.2 kilometres, with two ropes spliced together in the middle of the track. Even the transport of the two rope bobbins by truck into the impassable terrain was a major event as each metre of rope weighs about eleven kilograms.”
Prior to the actual rope, a nylon leader was placed with the help of a drone and pulled in manually. Then several more ropes of increasing strength were pulled through, followed finally by the actual steel cable.
Düziçi is located in Southern Turkey, not far from the Syrian border, close to the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea and almost due north of Israel and Lebanon. The city, with a population of 80,000, has existed since ancient times and in the past has been ruled by civilisations including the Ottoman and Egyptian Empires and has been a military flashpoint in more recent times too.
The ski area development here, first announced in 2017, is known as Düldül Mountain, which is reported to be snow covered for 10 months of the year with an average snow depth of 150cm (five feet) in winter.
“With the completion of the ski area project, Düldül Mountain …will be remembered not with terror, but with tourism, entertainment and happy memories,” said Düziçi Mayor Ökkeş Namlı at the time, adding that, “…we will make Düldül Mountain the region’s Uludağ.” – a reference to Turkey’s long-standing best-known ski area.
The new gondola, one of several the company is building at the resort, ascends from a valley station at 695 meters above sea level and above the town of Düziçi and has 25 support towers for the ascent up to 2,246 metres above sea level. The ascent takes 17 minutes and from the top there are views over Syria and the Mediterranean.