This French train station is located in a town renamed after the famed writer Marcel Proust's fictional name for the village.
Appearing to be old friends sharing a sweet hello, the lifts of the La Videmanette Gondola pass by each other waving slightly in the wind. Since its construction in 1959, the Gondolas have been essential to carrying skiers up the steep slopes of the La Videmanette Mountain to enjoy its run.
While lifts have been in the area since the 1930s, the Gondola today serves Gstaad a popular resort destination among ski enthusiasts and society’s elites. Nestled within a region of the Swiss Alps known as the Gstaad Dolomites, La Videmanette is known not just for its challenging terrain, but also for its highest peak called Le Rubli, and having the longest downhill run in the region.
Gstaad’s first luxury hotel, The Gstaad Palace, opened in 1913. After enduring both World Wars, the region’s tourism returned and by the mid-20th century, Time magazine named the town, “The Place”. Known for its high-profile residents and high-end retailers, the town is an emblem of luxury leisure. Nearby, in the mountain town of Rougemont, the Gondola station sits ready to embark on its twice-hourly ascent.
The first to install a gondola at La Videmantte was GMD Muller, the inventor of the modern detachable chairlift. After decades of use, Mueller replaced the original lift in 1984. Nearly twenty years later, it was updated a second time but without a mid-station creating much more distance between station towers.
The Gondolas don’t stop when the weather starts to warm. They also operate during the summer months and offer transport up La Videmanette Mountain for warm weather activities including via-ferratta, a popular type of climbing that uses steel cables, rungs and ladders.
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