A thrilling ride from then to now

The history of Galtür’s cable cars

24 December 1950 was a big day in the history of Galtür. After all, it was the day that Bergbahnen Galtür inaugurated the ski resort’s first pendulum lift – a pioneering achievement that paved the way for the region’s successful history as a holiday resort.

Find out about other milestones of Bergbahnen Galtür and discover the fascinating history of the ski resort in the Paznaun region:

The 1950s: foundation of Schilifte GmbH Galtür

  • With the foundation of Schilifte GmbH Galtür, construction works started on the first drag lift on the Böscha – a pendulum lift with a length of 750 meters that was inaugurated on December 24, 1950.
  • Four years later, in 1954, the Böschalift was replaced by a new, longer drag lift with a length of 950 metres.
  • In the same year, the diesel-powered Kleine Gampenlift with twelve T-bars was built. However, it took several modifications until the lift started operations in the April of 1982.

The 1960s: construction of Austria’s longest drag lift

  • On August 7, 1960, Alpkogel-Schilift GmbH was founded as Galtür’s second lift operator.
  • The autumn of 1960 saw the construction of Austria’s longest drag lift, the Alpkogelschlepplift. On January 19, 1961, the first guests were transported on the 1,620-metre facility.
  • 1963 was dedicated to the construction of the Große Gampenlift, which started operations in April 1984. At the same time, the drag lift at Hotel Paznauerhof was built.
  • In 1965, planning and construction works started on the first chairlift of the Birkhahnbahn, which started operations on January 17, 1966.

The 1970s: construction of numerous drag lifts 

  • On June 1, 1970, the two companies merged into the Galtürer Schilifte u. Seilbahnen GmbH & Co. KG.
  • 1971 saw the construction of the Soppa drag lift, which transported the first guests in April 1995, almost a quarter of a century later.
  • In 1972, the Ballunspitze I drag lift was built, requiring comprehensive terrain correction works for the access road and slopes. Ten years later, the facility was fitted with longer bars.
  • In 1973, the Klein-Zeinis drag lift was built. Due to the long sunlight hours in December and January, this facility is particularly popular with skiers.
  • On September 7, 1976, the Federal Ministry granted permission for the Kops drag lift. Due to missing nature conversation permissions, the facility couldn’t start operations in the upcoming winter season. Following numerous negotiations and interventions, the permission was finally granted on March 22, 1978. 
  • In 1978, the tourism association took over the indoor swimming pool of Galtür.
  • In the autumn of 1979, construction works started on two indoor tennis courts, one squash box, three bowling lanes and a restaurant.

The 1980s: even more mountain facilities for Galtür

  • 1983: Thanks to the construction of the Breitspitze double chairlift and the “Rückbringer“ drag lift in the municipal area of Gaschurn, the range of slopes could be expanded by one third. 
  • In 1987, construction works continued on the Ballunspitze II drag lift as a parallel facility to Ballunspitze I.
  • In 1988, construction works finished on the Birkhahnbahn as a detachable four-seater chairlift with weather-proof covers.
  • One year later, the Kops II drag lift was built as a parallel facility to Kops I.

The 1990s: major modernisation works

  • In 1992, the sewage drain from the valley station of Birkhahnbahn to the valley station of Wirl was built. Since then, a panoramic camera has been transmitting daily live footage from the ski resort to the Austrian TV channel ORF 2.
  • Between 1993 and 1996, a new snow-making system with storage reservoir was built in Ballun-Boden, making it possible to cover 20 hectares of slope surface with artificial snow.
  • In 1998, the modern six-seater chairlift up the Ballunspitze replaced the drag lifts Ballunspitze I and II.
  • In the same year, flood-lighting was installed on a 2.2-kilometre section near the Birkhahnbahn.  

The 2000s until today: lots of highlights

  • At the start of the century, the indoor swimming pool of Galtür was completely reconstructed and fitted with a new slide, separate children’s area, adventure pool and event space.
  • In 2004, the eight-seater Alpkogelbahn continuous ropeway cable car was inaugurated.
  • On July 15, 2007, the SILVAPARK via ferrata on the Ballunspitze was inaugurated.
  • 2009: Emil the snowman, sculpted from several tons of snow, greeted visitors to the Alpkogel throughout the winter season.
  • In the same year, Galtür for the first time hosted the Telemarkcross World Championships.
  • On February 3, 2010, See-based artist Stefan Juen and Swiss Simon Norgentaler built a giant snow mammoth in only three days, supported by slope manager Walter Sonderegger and his team.
  • Ski trail number 17 was built in the autumn of 2010.
  • Organised by SC Silvretta Galtür, the first World Freeheel-Masters Cup took place at Silvapark Galtür. Andreas Kathrein from Galtür won the race, bagging the coveted title of Telemark Freeheel Worldmaster.
  • On March 3, 2012, the Ö3-Pistenbully touched down on Silvapark for the first time, delighting skiers and holidaymakers alike.
  • During spring of the same year, the Kid’s Blocks Boulder Park was built, offering fun and action for the whole family.
  • Together with the mountain guides of Galtür, a family via ferrata was built above Birkhahnbahn mountain station in 2004. The entrance to Little Ballun is only a few minutes’ walk from the mountain station and suitable for children aged eight and above – a new family-friendly summer attraction!
  • In 2015, a new attraction was built at Sector 03-Actionpark: the YIPPY YEAH run with thrilling steep turns, moguls and jumps. Manoeuvring their way around suspended bottles (punching bags), skiers tackle this action-fuelled funslope.
  • On July 5, 2016, Bergbahnen Silvretta Galtür were granted permission to build the new Breitspitzbahn. Following a work-intensive summer, the cable car started operations on December 10, 2016. What’s more, Bergbahnen Silvretta Galtür invested a total of eight million Euros into the new detachable ten-seater gondola lift as well as into slope construction and artificial snow-making. As a special feature, the cable car has four gondolas themed around the history and legends of Galtür.