In the summer of 1970, almost 50 years ago now, the first lift was built in Kappl. Since then, development has continued apace. More and more people want to go skiing in Kappl. And for a very good reason. Here’s a short journey through time.

The history of the Kappl Mountain Cableway begins almost 50 years ago with a large-scale joint venture. On 7 May 1970, the municipality, the tourism association and a total of 69 private shareholders formed the Kappl-Dias Ski Lift Company, today known as the Kappl Mountain Cableway AG, and laid the foundation stone for the popular ski area of today.

Just two months later, the state government had approved the first plans and the Dia chair lift and the Mardina lift could be built. A total of 2.7 million Austrian schillings (the equivalent of around 200 000 euros) was invested in both facilities. A slope grooming machine was additionally purchased at a cost of 500 000 schillings (36 300 euros), enabling the chairlift to start operations as soon as the following winter, on 14 December, 1970.

16 years later, the original lift was converted into a 4 person gondola monocable car. A huge change, but not, of course, the only one there’s been since the start of the Kappl Mountain Cableways. New lifts were added at regular intervals, and the ski area continued to grow.

In the summer of 1971, for example, the Hirschenbad and Schönebele lifts were added – two drag lifts which were both put into service straightaway the following winter.

A couple of years later, in the winter of 1978/79, the chair lift to Alblitt and the Ablitt drag lift were added, followed the next year by a further drag lift up the 2 690 metres high Alblittkopf.

It was a year which went down in the history of the Mountain Cableway – the first year in which more than a million winter sports enthusiasts were conveyed up the mountain in one season.

Ten years later, in the winter of 1989/90, the very first snow cannons were deployed in Kappl. This service was improved and expanded in the following years, just like the rest of the ski area. Since then, many more facilities have been added. In fact, the complete ski area today boasts 42 kilometres of piste, and 10 cable cars and lift systems bringing 1 600 people up the mountain – every single hour.

Photos: Kappler Bergbahnen