Arosa Bergbahnen AG
With the new construction of the KuhBar at the Tschuggenhütte at 1,991 m above sea level, another eye-catcher and lighthouse is created for Arosa. The chosen architectural language ensures great recognition value. A unique atmosphere is also to be created in the interior. With the use of local building materials as well as the integration of the photovoltaic system into the roof formation, sustainable values are taken into account.
Arosa Bergbahnen AG is setting a new trademark with the KuhBar event venue at the Tschuggenhütte. A good mix of culinary delights is an integral part of a successful snow sports day. This also includes an outstanding party venue in the middle of the ski area in a prime location. The mountain railway company is investing a total of CHF 3.5 million and will start operating the smart venue from winter 2023/2024. Construction work started at the beginning of June. Following the construction of the floor slab, the timber constructor has been installing the steel girders and the prefabricated timber elements since the beginning of August. The new KuhBar is slowly taking shape.
A look back at how it all began
In 1992, the city of Chur built the well-known Schirmbar on the Tschuggenhütte site. From the beginning, Arosa Bergbahnen AG managed the Schirmbar sub-operation under the label "KuhBar". In winter 2015/2016, a temporary open stage with two music box towers on the sides was built next to the Schirmbar to create more space and make the performance of the acts and artists more visible. This concept was implemented for two years. This open version showed that when the weather was bad, entry to the covered umbrella bar was limited to a small part of the audience and the other guests left the area. An enlargement of the covered or sheltered space for the après-ski area proved to be necessary in order to ensure an economically acceptable occupancy rate even in doubtful weather. In summer 2017, the old umbrella bar was dismantled and disposed of after more than 20 years of use. At the same location, Arosa Bergbahnen AG rented a temporary structure in alpine chic style, dismantled each spring and erected in the fall. With the temporary alpine hut as the new KuhBar, the demanding needs of the guests were better met without having to immediately build a permanent structure with extensive investments. With the temporary alpine hut as the new KuhBar, the demanding needs of the guests were better met without having to immediately build a permanent structure with extensive investments. This provisional solution also had the initial advantage of gaining experience in operation and capacity utilization over several winter seasons. It soon became apparent that an improvement could be achieved in terms of appearance. In addition, there was better acoustic compatibility. From the point of view of the needs assessment and test phase, the previous concept with the temporary building was the right way. With regard to the intended long-term use, however, the concept had many disadvantages. The temporary building was not insulated, the heating oil consumption for minimal heating was correspondingly high, and the energy loss was enormous. The time and effort required to erect and dismantle the temporary building, which had to be delivered by truck with its superstructure, as well as the entire dismantling process, were time-consuming and associated with high costs. In addition, there was a high operating expense with the complete clearing out at the end of the season and the reinstallation of the bar interior with all the equipment before and after the winter season, which was also time-consuming and cost-intensive.
The new KuhBar building is designed as an event venue. Après-ski in the winter season remains the main use. Based on the long-standing après-ski offer at the Tschuggenhütte and the various development and expansion steps, the new KuhBar building meets the requirements of the location constraint in terms of Art. 24 of the Federal Spatial Planning Act (RPG) for catering establishments in intensive recreation areas. Arosa Bergbahnen AG had to demonstrate this location constraint in its proof of need for the building application to the licensing authorities in a comprehensible manner. The new party venue can accommodate up to 800 guests indoors. Together with the spacious outdoor area, up to 2,500 guests can be accommodated, for example for a concert. Around 20 employees work in the KuhBar. The toboggan run and the slope to Innerarosa are illuminated. In the winter season, the KuhBar is open from Christmas to Easter or until mid-April, which means that it is open approximately 115 days a year. During the humor festival, the KuhBar serves as before as a meeting and performance venue for visitors and up-and-coming artists.
Architectural design and functionality
The connection of the new KuhBar to the existing log cabin was deliberately chosen both functionally and constructively. The inclusion of the raclette bar creates space and room for a generous bar area with work surfaces and storage space. The Mountain-Mac remains integrated, the outdoor bar invites you to linger when the weather is nice. This new building is valuable with regard to the idea of sustainability due to the concise roof shape with integrated photovoltaic system (dark panels). The electricity production from solar energy covers not only the own demand, but 50% of the total electricity demand of the Tschuggenhütte. Only local wood is used. The project is integrated into the context, forming a visual and spatial unit with the existing buildings. Existing lines and part of the building services will be taken over.
With the new construction of the KuhBar as a new beacon also in terms of architecture and cultural program, the highest quality après-ski venue in the Swiss Alps should be positioned The Arosa Bergbahnen AG wants to celebrate a cultivated après-ski and make the guests happy, who are enthusiastic about the KuhBar in the long term, tell others and come back. The selection of live artists with a stronger reference to Swissness quality ensures a qualitative après-ski image. The event venue offers top quality in terms of sound, service quality and staff. In the coming winter season, top acts will provide the atmosphere. They will be joined by well-known DJs such as Ginny, Marco Mzee and DJ Biene. Arosa Bergbahnen will open the new KuhBar once for the public at the official start of the winter season on Saturday, December 2 from 2.15 pm. Until then, pictures and illustrations from the interior remain deliberately hidden. The first look into the new KuhBar should remain a surprise for the guests. Afterwards, the pub will be available for the humor festival. From 22 December it goes into continuous operation until 14 April. Then it is again: "Das isch mini Welt do doba in da Berga…".
Construction work for the eight blasting pylons for the purpose of securing the slopes on the Plattenhorn/Hörnli started in mid-July 2023. The construction of the mast foundations in the steep and difficult-to-access terrain is demanding and requires some preparation and expertise. The blast masts will replace the previous Avalancheur system with explosive darts.
In the Hörnli-Plattenhorn ski area section, the important transfer slope runs along the southern flank. Large snow deposits are frequent there after heavy snowfalls with wind, which is why the section of the track and the rail facilities between Hörnlistein and Gampibach (Plattenhorn altitude) have been blasted by the patrollers of Arosa Bergbahnen AG using the Avalancheur system since 2013. These explosive darts with nitrogen are composed of three parts. With this, the Piste/Rescue Service (PRD) advises a total of 15 targets in the Hörnli/Plattenhorn area. The blasting is personnel and cost intensive. The liquid explosives are assembled by hand, and the blasting team, consisting of two patrollers and one railroad employee, must independently climb the mountain to prepare and trigger the blast. One blasting dart or shot costs CHF 500.00 for one target. After triggering the blast, aluminum residues remain, which are collected in the spring.
After the very good experiences with the new blasting system on the Brüggerhorn (two blasting masts with synthetic explosives and automatic triggering), the Arosa Bergbahnen have developed a concept for the replacement of the Avalancheur blasting. Instead of 15 blasting targets, this concept provides for only eight. The eight avalanche blasting masts will be built on a concrete foundation. Each blasting mast has 12 5 kg charges. The charges can be activated by GPS transmission with remote triggering. This method has been tried and tested in numerous snow sports areas and is considered the standard solution. The advantages are that a blast can be triggered at any time and regardless of the weather, personnel costs are significantly reduced and work safety is significantly increased. In addition to the time saved, no residues remain on the ground.
The blasting pylons cost CHF 110,000 each, plus the foundation costs of around CHF 25,000. This results in total costs of around CHF 1.1 million for the final construction of all eight blasting sites. Arosa Bergbahnen will proceed in stages and construct all foundations for the eight sites in summer 2023 and equip the first two sites on the Plattenhorn with blasting pylons. In the following years, the aim is to fully equip all sites.
Arosa Bergbahnen is investing CHF 3.4 million in the widening of piste 9a between Carmenna Mitte and LAW mid-station with terrain corrections and the replacement of the old snow-making system. The progress of construction is very pleasing. The work will be completed by the end of September 2022.
With the realisation of the Arosa Lenzerheide ski region’s connection to a single large ski resort in winter 2013/2014 (opening on January 18, 2014), the two destinations significantly strengthened their international competitiveness. In addition to the size of the ski as the most important decision criterion when choosing the destination, snow reliability is the next decisive factor for the guest, especially in view of international competition.
Arosa Bergbahnen AG focuses its development on the qualitative improvement of the existing product range and the quality of service. Improved product quality includes ensuring technical snowmaking on the existing slopes to guarantee snow reliability throughout the main winter business from December to April. In addition, existing bottlenecks and safety deficiencies must be eliminated with selective terrain corrections. As a welcome side effect, the terrain corrections demonstrably result in lower expenses for the slope construction (snowmaking) and preparation with reductions in water usage and diesel consumption, as well as pasture improvement for alpine farming in summer.
The Carmenna chairlift connects the two ski resort zones Arosa West (Hörnli-Plattenhorn) and Arosa East (Weisshorn-Tschuggen-Brüggerhorn). The piste 9a from Carmenna middle station to LAW middle station is the central transfer piste and of great importance for snow sports enthusiasts in getting from the West to the East side. The planned terrain adjustments widen today's very narrow piste, eliminate safety risks and improve the transparency for snow sports enthusiasts. Modernising the snowmaking system will also increase snow efficiency and considerably simplify the provision of pistes.
Over a distance of approx. 870 m, the narrow, existing piste route between Carmenna middle station and LAW middle station, which is equipped with an old snowmaking system, will be widened to 15 m. The area concerned is approx. 15,000 m2. At the same time, the snowmaking system is being modernised. The cubage of the earth material to be removed amounts to a total of around 19'000 m3 (correction in mass balance).
In consultation with the landowner (civil community Chur), these works will be carried out immediately after the thawing period in spring 2022 (from mid-June). The earth shifts are carried out by a local construction company with the support of employees from Arosa Bergbahnen AG. For the replacement of the snowmaking system in this section, specialist personnel from Technoalpin will be consulted. The responsible employees for project support and control work in the piste/rescue service in winter and are very familiar with the terrain. They guarantee an optimal and most gentle execution of the slope corrections, as proven with previous projects of terrain corrections (Traxloch, toboggan run, ski lift track, Strohkurve, piste 12 Brüggerhorn). The removed earth material is reintroduced in the immediate vicinity without the need for material to be removed or added. The corrected area will be fenced until complete greening is ensured.
Three cooling towers (3 m x 3m x 3 m) will be installed on the North-Western shore of the reservoir. They are used to cool the reservoir water in early winter, allowing a water supply into the snowmaking system at the desired temperature.
The terrain or piste correction eliminates an existing safety risk below the "Briggerhang" with the removal of the peak and improves the transparency at the intersection of piste 9a (from Carmenna middle section) with piste 10a (from Weisshorn-Traxloch). The straightening of the narrow section with a left turn above the reservoir defuses this "bottleneck" and allows a more even slope width, which reduces the formation of humps, significantly improves the flow of guests and reduces the risk of accidents. Likewise, the intersection of piste 9a with the LAW middle section-Sattelhütte hiking trail creates a noticeably better perception and visibility for skiers and winter hikers with the widening. Families and ski schools also actively use this section of the slope. The terrain adaptation ensures more safety for less experienced snow sports enthusiasts and families with children.
Piste 9a between Carmenna middle station and LAW middle station is well frequented by snow sports enthusiasts. This section of the slope is already fully covered with artificial snow. The removal of peaks and the filling of hollows significantly reduces the effort for technical snowmaking, as well as daily slope preparation. It is a proportionate intervention which impairs the landscape to a tolerable extent. The terrain corrections also achieve a desired improvement in pastureland, which is in the interest of the civil community Chur as the landowner and user of the alpine pastures.
The earthworks and master builder work was carried out by the local ARGE Brunold/Allemann, while Technoalpin was responsible for the delivery, laying and installation of the snowmaking system. The construction group of Arosa Bergbahnen provided support. The external environmental construction supervision continuously assessed the project execution. The partners involved worked very well together, so that the time schedule could be kept - also thanks to the almost continuously beautiful summer weather. The result is impressive; the terrain corrections fit in harmoniously with the surroundings.
Arosa Bergbahnen AG is introducing the third staging element in the multi-year concept of the snowsports experience world at Tschuggen for the coming winter with the «Zappelbär» search game. The concept of the Snowsports World of Experience aims to promote the next generation of snowsports enthusiasts. The first stage was implemented in December 2017 with «Honeyland» on Prätschli. In the latest play element, the «Zappelbär» fumbles around cheerfully in the Tschuggen area. Yet, he should have long since found his winter rest. Starting in December, the youngest snow sports enthusiasts will accompany him on the «Zappelbär» search game and help him get tired.
The high-quality staged and lovingly designed bear search game begins on Tschuggen. The starting portal with game instructions is installed there. Children between 4 and 12 years of age are invited to complete this post run on skis or snowboard with their companions. The individual posts are marked on the back of the game card. Attention and a good eye are necessary because the posts are to be explored somewhat hidden at the edge of the slope. In between, a welcome rest on the uphill ride with one of the railroads comes just in time. The fidget bear eats his winter fat with sweet honey, mushrooms or a bush full of blueberries. On the way he meets the mouse in the burrow, the snow grouse in the warm bed and the squirrel counting cones. At the individual posts, the aim is to open the lock to the punch card using the humorously designed game instructions. Once all the stamps have been collected on the playing card, the fidget bear is ready for its winter rest. And for the children there is a fine reward when they visit the restaurants Tschuggenhütte or Brüggerstuba.
The opening of the «Zappelbär» search game is planned for Christmas. The exact date is yet to be announced. Arosa Bergbahnen AG is investing CHF 150,000 in this impressive experience.
"Black Diamond Slope" (Piste 12) - snow sports treat at the Brüggerhorn
The "Black Diamond Slope" starts at the top of the Brüggerhorn in 2,447 m above sea level. The slope branches off eastwards above the monument slope. Below the Brüggerhorn-Schulter, the slope carries on gently, coupled with a dreamlike panorama to the start of the truly steep slope. This one is quite something. After turning into the Tomelitäli, the slope ends at the Tomeli Valley ski lift.
With the technical snowmaking at the «Black Diamond Slope», the Brüggerhorn offers pretty much all downhill options to make the snow athlete's heart beat faster. These include the red slope 10 via Sattelhütte-Traxloch middle station, the panoramic slope Leichte Maran 11 (blue), the yellow descent 12a (secured, marked, but not prepared) through the Tomelitäli, and, of course, the black slope 12 Diamond Slope for the ambitious snow athlete.
How did the naming come about
How did the "Diamond Slope" or "Black Diamond Slope" get its name? The naming of the slopes in the snow sports area Arosa usually originates from the creative ideas of the employees of the slope/rescue service. The veteran slope patroller Willi Kuhn, who died in April 2011 and had to leave us far too early, took up the idea of the American name for the slope. There, one has so-called "double black" slopes. He did not like this name very much, since the challenging steep slope on the Brüggerhorn actually only describes one character of this new slope. The new slope preparation is very varied and has so much to offer in terms of the terrain and the views that it reminds more of the peculiarity of an uncut diamond. Willi Kuhn's proposal to name the slope 12 “Black Diamond Slope” as a diamond slope was unanimously accepted. Unfortunately, Willi didn’t have the opportunity to test the finished Diamond Slope.
Baptism of Fire 2012
The Arosa Bergbahnen AG created this attractive route in the terrain many years ago. However, the previously necessary gentle terrain corrections were delayed until Summer 2011 due to a delayed approval procedure, when finally the earthworks were carried out. For the preparation of the approximately 2.4 km long slope, one thing was required above all before the first opening: a lot of natural snow. Just a few months after the completion of the terrain correction, the snowfall volume on January 2, 2012, amounted to 2.3 m after abundant fresh snowfall. Shortly afterwards, the Black Diamond Slope experienced its baptism of fire, and the snow sports enthusiasts were delighted with the new slope. After that, the slope was never prepared again due to the lack of natural snow until the comeback year 2018. It was marked in the official slope plan as a yellow route (marked and secured, but not prepared) and open to snow sports enthusiasts who wanted to use the slope even with less snow.
The comeback of the “Black Diamond Slope” in January 2018
The snowy winter made it possible. The Diamond Slope at the Brüggerhorn made a comeback on January 26, 2018. For the first time in 6 years, the Arosa Bergbahnen was in the position to prepare this attractive black piste at the end of January. Since the beginning of the year, and after the vast amounts of fresh snow in November/December (total 2.70 m), the management had been checking the chance of a slope preparation. After further snowfall in the first week of January 2018, they decided to include the attractive black "Diamond Slope" in this year's program.
Together with the necessary amount of natural snow, the slope construction is challenging. Especially the steep slope is complex in terms of preparation. The slope preparation takes about 7 days. Since no technical snow can be produced, the snow on the steep slope must be pressed and carefully solidified. The daily preparation of slope 12 takes between 6 and 7 hours. The lift companies to expand the vehicle fleet with an additional rented snow groomer. The additional costs for the "Diamond Slope" in winter 2017/18 amounted to around CHF 100,000.
... and once more in January 2019
Winter 2018/19 was similarly snowy. The snowfall was somewhat more delayed than in the previous year but very intense. From January 3, 2019, one saw a period of frequent snowfall, and January fulfilled all the wishes of those who can never have enough snow. Meteo Switzerland reported on January 14, 2019, with 180 cm in the village the most substantial measured amount of snow in Arosa in 70 years at this early time of the year. Ideal conditions to prepare the "Black Diamond Slope" once more. On January 31, 2019, the time had come: the opening for all snow sports enthusiasts who were delighted with the repetition slope offerings.
"Black Diamond Slope" forever – the project for technical snow making in the Winter 2020/21
Following the realisation of the Arosa Lenzerheide ski area connection, Arosa Bergbahnen AG is focusing on the qualitative development of the snow sports area in the Arosa area. In the course of the planning approval process for the Arosa Lenzerheide connection, the lift company had to make concessions for the extension of the ski area (no development Ochsenalp), thus directing the flow of skiing guests to the slopes and areas of use that have existed for many years. The construction of the new 6-seater chairlift Brüggerhorn in summer 2019 and further planned measures to strengthen the Arosa-East area are intended to improve product quality. This includes the expansion of technical snow making on existing slopes to ensure guaranteed snow for the main winter business between December and April. The project for the technical snow making on the black slope 12, which is the most attractive snow sports slope in the Arosa area, is a unique selling point from a skiing point of view and part of the basic offering in the main ski area.
Qualitative service development on the mountain
The system-independent and unsupported commuter railway between Hörnli and Urdenfürggli (Urdenbahn) is the heart of the new Arosa Lenzerheide ski area connection. The two lift companies, appear together as one snow sports area with the winter brand "Arosa Lenzerheide". As a consequence, the connecting railway (Urdenbahn) is a connecting element between the two destinations Arosa and Lenzerheide from the start of the winter season (at the end of November) to the end of the season (around mid-April) in continuous operation.
To ensure good snow sports from the end of November to mid-April, the technical snow making on the slopes is essential. With the partial revision of the local planning at the Hörnli/Brüggerhorn site in 2014, the prerequisites were created to increase snow safety further. The concentration of forces aims to improve the quality of products and quality of services rather than quantitative expansion. The improved quality of the products also includes the expansion of technical snow making on existing slopes, ensuring guaranteed snow for the main winter business from December to April.
Increase in proportion of snow making on slopes
After the completion of the general development plan for snow making in 2007, about 58.74 ha of snow-covered slopes were available in the Arosa snow sports area. Looking at a total slope area of 120 ha, this corresponds to coverage of almost 50%. The additional snow making areas at Hörnli and Brüggerhorn, as defined in the usage planning, are virtually without exception between 2,000 m and 2,500 m above sea level. With the realisation of the planned snow making facility on the Brüggerhorn as the 3rd stage of expansion, the proportion of slopes with artificial snow in the Arosa snow sports area will increase from 50% to 75%. With this range of usable slopes, the lift company meets the customer's expectations for a secure snow sports operation and the competitiveness to competitors in neighbouring South Tyrol and Austria (snow making level >80 %). All projected snow making facilities are located on intensively used and prepared ski slopes. No additional slope planning is necessary.
The black slope 12 is an attractive alternative to the other slopes in the Weisshorn/Brüggerhorn region with the artificially snowed slope No. 10 from the Weisshorn summit to the middle station. This section of slope increases the variety of options: Arosa has only an 8% share of the total slope offerings, with demanding black slopes. With the replacement of the 49-year-old Brüggerhorn 2-seater chairlift in summer 2019 with a new comfortable and modern 6-seater chairlift on the same lift line from the middle station, the Brüggerhorn will undergo a significant upgrade in the Winter 2019/20. Train frequencies in December and January 2020 increased by 60% compared to previous peaks. On the other hand, the disadvantage is that the flow of guests from Brüggerhorn cannot be routed via slope 12 or the «Leichte Maran» 11 slope with modest amounts of natural snow, and thus sees a strong concentration of skiers on slope 10.
The snow making facility on the Brüggerhorn is located on the already used slope or route within the winter sports zones, which are preloaded with corresponding transport facilities, operational buildings, signal stations, etc. Runway 12, which is intended for snow making, is prepared by machine. In the environmental impact report on the GEP, planners already consider nature conservation zones and inventoried conservation areas for the development of the overall concept. This includes various measures to protect the environment, such as the restriction to the most important areas, no pipelines through valuable wetlands and nature reserves, or the minimization of noise emissions with optimized lines and choice of snow making units. With environmental organizations and landowners, the management was specified during an inspection in Summer 2014 as part of the partial revision to the local planning.
Compared to the initial situation during the partial revision of the Hörnli/Brüggerhorn planning, the situation regarding water supply and water availability for technical snow making has improved significantly in Summer/Autumn 2019. The joint project of the municipality of Arosa and Arosa Bergbahnen AG with the new construction of the promenade pumping station aims to use the groundwater lake Isel to increase the fire water reserve for the inner Arosa area, and to improve the snow efficiency of the technical snow making. The construction work was completed in November 2018, and groundwater could already be used for technical snow making in the Winter 2018/19. The additional water supply of 60 l/s has the positive effect that the construction of another reservoir can be omitted.
In principle, Arosa Bergbahnen AG provides for technical snow making on the Brüggerhorn, slope 12, with mobile snow generators. Due to its preferred topographical location with lower temperatures, the lift company expects more favourable conditions and more efficient use of technical snow making. Slope 12 will be integrated into the snow making concept for the development of the Arosa snow sports area and will occupy a central position in the Arosa East area. Combined with the aim to open the attractive slope 12, if possible, on Christmas day. After completion of the initial snow layer, it is planned to dismantle the snow generators and install them on other sections of the slopes.
The snowmaking pipe starts at the top station of the Brüggerhorn chairlift and leads to the valley station of the Tomeli ski lift via Tomeli-Täli. From there, the guest arrives at the Tschuggen, where he finds numerous downhill variants.
|Pipe diameter:||100 mm to 250 mm|
|Depth:||1.60 m (frost depth)|
|Snow making area:||5.23 ha|
|Construction time:||approx. 14 weeks (70 working days)|
|Execution date:||from the beginning of July 2020 to mid-October 2020|
Avalanche protection with detonation towers
In the upper section of the terrain between Brüggerhorn mountain station and "Pyramid" (field name), the slope runs along a northern flank for about 400 m. There, larger snow deposits are common after heavy snowfall with wind. Hence, this section of the slope has to be secured with altogether two avalanche detonation towers. These are erected on a concrete foundation. Each detonation tower has 12 explosive charges of 5 kg each. The charges can be activated by GPS transmission with remote triggering. This method has been tested in numerous snow sports areas and is considered as a standard solution.
Expiration of construction activities
Two types of construction equipment are used for the trenching and laying work to carry out the work from the Brüggerhorn mountain station and Arlenwaldstrasse. A crawler excavator opens the trench, the pipes are inserted, and the second crawler excavator closes the trench. The two avalanche detonation towers are erected in the terrain by an external specialist company. The electrical development of the snow making facility is carried out in close cooperation with the local energy supply company Arosa Energie.
Based on the planning documents and inspections at the site in Summer 2019, rough cost estimates were given, or indicative offers for the planned snow system requested. The entire project is based on an assumed price base as per January 2020, which should be close to the effectively expected costs:
|No.||Service providers||Costs in CHF (excl. VAT)|
|1||Techno Alpin (manufacturer, supplier of technical snowmaking||1’980’000|
|2||Construction work (route/digging, pumping station outflow)||750'000|
|3||Arosa Energy, electrical access with transformer station||950'000|
|4||Swiss Heli, Transport flights||135’000|
|6||Planning, permits, environmental construction support||20’000|
|7||Arosa Bergbahnen AG, own services||90’000|
|Total excl. VAT||4'425'000|
|Total incl. VAT||4'766'000|
Photos from 20 July 2020: work in progress
Photos from 21 November 2020:
New ski storage centre "Skidepot Tschuggen Ost"
Available from winter season 2020/21 at the valley station of the Tschuggen Ost chairlift
Enjoy the slope, store the equipment, and return to the slopes the next morning with dry equipment! In a top location, directly at the valley station of the Tschuggen East chairlift, Arosa Bergbahnen AG and Luzi Sport jointly create a modern ski depot with 210 lockers for a maximum of 630 guests. Marc Gisler, ABB's project manager, emphasizes: Arosa is a predestined «skiin-skiout» holiday resort. We want to use our location as a ski resort in the village to our advantage with good projects. The need of the guests for a comfortable ski depot with direct access to the ski resort has been known for a long time. Now, we are implementing the project. Located right next to the train station, the depot also appeals to snow-sports enthusiasts from the Chur area. "Guests can now enjoy the journey on the train from Chur to Arosa and back without the tedious carrying of their equipment, Gisler is convinced
The guest can conveniently load the access to the depot on the key card with the ski ticket. The operation via a touch display is straightforward. The total of 210 lockers for skis and snowboards offer plenty of space. Each locker is designed for two adults and one child:
• space for 2 sets of skis or 2 snowboards for adults and 1 set for children
• heating rod for 3 pairs of ski boots or snowboard boots
• shelf for 3 pairs of gloves
• storage for 3 helmets
During the summer months, a sample locker will be displayed at the LAW valley station for inspection. The seasonal or annual rent for a whole locker (2 to max. 3 spaces) is CHF 400 for holders of a valid Arosa Lenzerheide season ticket. Pre-bookings are already possible.
Marc Gisler is satisfied with the progress of the construction: "The work assignments have already been finalized. Together with the depot locker manufacturer Wintersteiger, we attach great importance to a beautiful design with a comfortable ambience and good lighting. The rear room with lavabo will be cladding with reclaimed wood from the Sattelhütte facade." The opening with a public viewing is scheduled for mid-November 2020. Arosa Bergbahnen and Luzi Sport are investing CHF 380’000 in the new «skiin-skiout» offering.
A fantastic panoramic view, as well as a rustic and homely ambience, that’s what awaits the snow-sports enthusiast at the typical Arosa Sattelhütte at 2401 m above sea level. Here, the guest enjoys Swiss specialities and treats himself to a well-deserved break between the descents on the free sun loungers or at the "Sattelbar". The ski club and the EHC are a part of Arosa, just like the «Spiagelai» to our «Sattelröschti». That’s why Arosa Bergbahnen, as the owner and operator of the Sattelhütte, revive the good old days in the two stüblis.
Old is, in the meanwhile, also the roof, which is leaking in some places, just as the facade. From an energy point of view, the ageing building shell no longer corresponds to state of the art, and the heat loss is considerable. Marc Gisler, Head of Building Management and Project Manager, on the program of the complete refurbishment: "The Sattelhütte will receive a new all-round facade made of local larch wood. The old Eternit facade will be completely replaced, and we will replace the Eternit roof with a new slate cover. The entire building shell will get equipped with modern thermal insulation. This will reduce the cost of electric heating." Gisler is particularly impressed by the stylish larch formwork. "This fits perfectly with the mountain landscape; the Sattelhütte will be a real eye-catcher." The construction will begin in July and is expected to last until October. Arosa Bergbahnen is investing CHF 750’000 in the refurbishment. The investment project is part of the lift company strategy to make the snow-sports area Arosa East more attractive and stronger.
A look back
The Brüggerhorn used to be a popular destination for ski tourers. As a result, the Arosa Ski Club built the Brüggerhornhütte (Ferdinandshütte) in 2330 m above sea level at the North Foot in 1911, which was replaced in 1930 in its function by the Weisshornhütte (now Sattelhütte). In 1938, the Arosa Bergbahnen opened up the area with a tow lift. This system, called the Weisshorn or Saddle Lift, essentially followed today's ski slope from the end station of the Riedlift to the Sattelhütte. In 1970, the demolition of the ski lift followed in favour of the Brüggerhorn chairlift, which runs directly to the Brüggerhorn from the middle station of the Weisshornbahn. In the same year, the Arosa Bergbahnen bought the Sattelhütte from the Skiclub Arosa, partially rebuilt and extended the building. The «new» mountain restaurant opened in 1972 and was well received by the public. The next development step is present to all: new 6-seater chairlift and opening on December 19, 2019.
Photos from 20 July 2020: work in progress
Photos from 20 October 2020: new Sattelhütte
Mountain restaurant Sattelhütte in new splendor
The mountain restaurant Sattelhütte now shines in new splendor after a comprehensive renovation of the outer shell. The all-round façade is clad in local larch wood and the old Eternit façade has been replaced by a new slate covering. In addition, the entire building shell was fitted with contemporary thermal insulation. This reduces costs for electricity heating. Marc Gisler, project manager at Arosa Bergbahnen AG, is particularly impressed by the stylish larch formwork. "It fits in excellently with the mountain landscape, the saddle hut is now a real eye-catcher again". The construction work began in July and lasted until October. The beautiful summer weather supported the rapid construction progress. The Arosa mountain railroads are investing CHF 750,000 in the renovation. The investment project is part of the lift company strategy to make the Arosa East snow sports area attractive and strengthen it.
Shortly before its 50th anniversary, the 49-year-old Brüggerhorn 2-seater chairlift was bid farewell on April 7, 2019. With the cult character of the nostalgic lift, the era of "pleasure rides" also came to an end. Dismantling started immediately after the last ride on April 7 and the new lift will be put into operation with the winter season 2019/2020. From December 21, 2019, the new 6-seater chairlift in Porsche design will take you faster and more comfortably to the summit, from where you can start the descent on the universally popular panoramic slope.
Ski run /surface correction "Vettertraverse" (Ski slope No. 15, section Tomelistrasse to the valley station Tschuggen Ost/Seeblickstrasse)
1. Initial situation
The ski run Tschugga East to the village centre and with a direct connection to the station is the most important downhill run in the snow sports region Arosa. With the new Passerelle between the station and Seeblickstrasse, constructed in 2014, the Tschugga East downhill run has become even more important since snow sports fans can now make their way directly (without detour) from the ski run to the station. In the bottom section of the ski run, the so-called Vettertraverse, the Tschugga East ski run becomes narrow and steep, is often frozen-over and too difficult for children and less experienced skiers and snowboarders. With the partial revision of local planning in 2016, the municipality and the Arosa Bergbahnen laid the foundations for the widening of the piste in the area of the Vettertraverse. This will create diversion opportunities. Integrated to the partial revision is also the route of the ski path between "Seeegga" and the valley station of the chairlift Tschuggen East, which was actually already planned for the current zone plan. This cannot be used as a ski run at present due to the current descent.
2. Description of the project
After the presentation of the permission for woodland clearing, respective woodland areas were cleared in September 2018. The clearing concerns an area of altogether 1453 m2. Together with the clearing, changes of the terrain are also necessary. For a distance of approx. 150 m, soil is to be removed immediately after the underpass Tomelibrücke and to be deposited as support for the existing dry-stone wall. The existing narrow ski path will be slightly lowered, and the soil will be deposited directly next to it. The cubic volume of the cleared soil amounts to altogether approximately 1966 m3. No material will be added or removed. The marked area for the path amounts to approximately 1325 m2. With the lowering of the current level of the ski run and the earth shifts, the snow-making facilities from 1996 will be updated and replaced by the new efficient snow producing generation.
The ski run correction eliminates the bottleneck between the Tomeli underpass and Seeblickstrasse. With this project, the current safety risks will be massively reduced. It defuses this “bottleneck” and allows for a more evenly sized piste, which reduces the hump formation, improves the flow of guests, and reduces the accident risk. This involves relatively modest interferences, which will impair the landscape insignificantly. The Arosa Bergbahnen are most concerned with an optimal and most careful execution of the piste corrections, which they have already successfully demonstrated in preceding projects involving area corrections (Traxloch, Schlittelbahn, Skilifttrassee, Strohkurve). The works are to be carried out in summer 2019.
To complete the offers for bikers, Arosa Tourism and the Arosa Bergbahnen AG have decided to realize a temporary skill centre during the summer months, similar to the training area “Honigland” in winter, in the vicinity of the Hörnli-Express valley station, and to submit the application for use with the planning application to the municipality Arosa in February 2019.
A skill centre for bikers offers a training platform with relevant bends, root, wood and stone elements, which will prepare bikers with the necessary bike techniques they might need to enjoy the Hörnli Trail, or individual routes in the area, afterwards. For the construction, only minor earth shifts will be necessary, and no concrete work will be carried out. Additional elements are made available with mobile facilities, which are in each case dismantled by the end of the summer season. This concerns, for example, the conveyor belt, which is already used in the winter for the Honigland at the Prätschli, or mobile wood ramps.
The skill centre is available to all user groups free of charge and will be in operation exclusively during the official opening times of the Hörnli-Express (Summer 2019: daily, between the 29th of June to 20th October 2019 from 9 am to 5 pm).
To ensure that user groups are accordingly equipped, the Hörnli-Express valley station will also offer bike rental and a kiosk. The operation of these services is also reduced to the opening times of the Hörnli-Express. The expected service offerings will be publicly tendered in the current issue of the Aroser Zeitung, which allow interested enterprises to establish a summer business and create jobs.
The bike masterplan of Arosa Lenzerheide points out that there is room for development for Flow Trails in the region of Arosa Lenzerheide. The new Flow Trail at Hörnli in Arosa aims at filling this supply gap. Trail developers as well as other bike experts agree that the Hörnli Flow Trail is set to become a one-of-a-kind bike experience in the Alps. The distance of just 7 km as well as the topographic setting at the Hörnli allow for a unique Trail Flow that can accommodate nearly all levels of riders, even families.
The project of the snow sports experience park Tschuggen highlights the two concepts of Arosa: «the ski area within the village» and «snow sports youth development». The concepts aim at facilitating the access to snow sports and at developing the Tschuggen hill into a unique and creative snow sports experience park over the course of several years. The Tschuggen area is located around the middle station where the bears will find their new homes in summer 2018. In coordination with key service providers of Arosa, the Arosa Bergbahnen AG chose to incorporate the theme of the bears into the development of the snow sports experience park Tschuggen.
Stage 1; «Honeyland» at Prätschli (Opening Winter 2017/18)
Arosa Bergbahnen AG launched the «Honeyland Prätschli» in winter 2017/18 as part of the overreaching tourism project by Erlebnisplan GmbH. The Honeyland is a public and free skiing area for beginners and kids with the aim of facilitating the learning experience to newcomers to the sport. It should also address the needs of returnees and rekindle their joy of snow sports. In addition to a 45m-long conveyer belt and the Prätschli skilift, the area is transformed into a Honeyland with bee hives, honeycomb chairs, honey parcours, etc. The first batch of honey at the Prätschli was «produced» on the 23 December 2017.
2. Stage; Ski lift Tomeli and «Bärensnowpark» Ried (opening winter 2018/19)
The 2. stage includes the snow sports production of the mountain station Prätschli, designed as an apiary, with a passage to the valley station of the ski lift Tomeli, where a hibernating bear, displayed as a photo point silhouette, is dreaming at the station building. The ski lift follows the bear enclosure, along to the Tschuggen. From there, two signposts show the guests the way to the «Bärensnowpark» at the ski lift Ried. There, young snow sports enthusiasts between 6 and 12 years can enjoy the publicly accessible and Bärenfunpark free of charge: on the stream, the forest trail, the rocky slope and the windy river, the children will explore with simple obstacles different routes from the view of a bear.
In order to increase snowmaking efficiency, the Arosa Bergbahnen AG will start using the water reserves at the Isel groundwater lake from November 2018. The partner project between the municipality of Arosa and the Arosa Bergbahnen AG aims at capitalising on existing infrastructure and at avoiding bottle neck situations. The existing groundwater pump at Isel is currently transporting water to the Reservoir Promenade. Following the construction of the reservoir, the municipality can significantly improve the reserve of fire-fighting water in the area of Waldpromenade and Innerarosa and close an important safety gap. The Arosa Bergbahnen AG benefits by feeding the water from the Isel pump directly to the snowmaking system at Tomeli. The water is either used immediately for snowmaking at the Tschuggen or diverted to storage facilities at the middle station of the storage reservoir. Construction and modification to existing facilities will begin in June 2018. The project should be operational at the beginning of the winter season 2018/19.
The first vision of connecting the two winter sports regions of Arosa and Lenzerheide had first been developed in the 70’s. The large-scale project of constructing a pillar-less, system-independent cable car between Hörnli and Urdenfürggli was realised during one summer season in only 8 months. The inauguration took place on 14th January 2014.
The two stylish design gondolas can fit 150 people. Guests travel at a speed of 12 m/s and reach the neighbouring holiday region within 5 minutes.
The new winter sports paradise of Arosa Lenzerheide boasts 43 lifts and around 225 km of pistes. It is the largest connected ski area in the canton of Grisons and among the top ten ski resorts in Switzerland.