The gondola from Grindelwald has been running for over forty years, but has been on the point of closing for several years now. More than once , it has been given a reprieve and the tiny four man cabins have staggered on from Grund to Mannlichen, sometimes stopping without warning for what always seemed an eternity.
Until 4.30pm today that is, when it will be over. One of the world’s longest cable ways will shut its doors for the last time, having carried millions of skiers and summer visitors. Immediately, work will start on dismantling the old and replacing with the new.
Is anyone sorry to see it go? I am sure many will look back on it fondly, before remembering the thirty minute journey and the peak time queues.
For the cabins, it is the start of a new adventure. All 240 have been sold and will doubtless be found in gardens and allotments all over the Bernese Oberland.
Today is a travel day, so the Idle Skier was up and about early. There were forty of us on the 8.15am cable car from Wengen; we were rewarded with great skiing on empty pistes. The temperature hovered around freezing point until well into the day but now, down on the lake in the mid-afternoon, it is like summer. The golf course near Thun is doing a roaring trade.
A lovely, sunny morning brought 4,169 vertical metres in nine lift rides and 25 kilometres travelled.