The Pajares gondola goes up: work begins to place the poles of the new ski lift

There are just over two months left before the start of the ski season in Asturias. A campaign that, in the case of the Lenense resort of Valgrande-Pajares, seems historic. It will not be because of the number of users – which could also be – or because of the snow falling on the slopes, but because after almost seventy years of life it will open a modern ski lift that will put the complex Asturian winter at the forefront in the north of the country, as a historic resort deserves. From today it is planned to start installing the bollards that will support the cable through which the cabins will slide and up to 2,000 skiers per hour will be transported. The new Pajares cable car is already starting to gain height.

Work at Lenense station is progressing at a good pace. Despite the delay in closing the contract due to the complicated administrative procedures associated with this type of investment, the speed with which the operators of the winning company, Doppelmay, are working suggests that there will be no problem in reaching the time for the start of the ski season.

In recent weeks, work has focused on the assembly of the departure and return stations of the cable car, which will be called “Cuitu Negru”. The first of these was located next to what was until now the exit of the main ski lift of the station, the Brañillín, which, with the arrival of the new device, will be relegated to the status of secondary chairlift between the middle and upper areas of the station, considerably shortening its journey. The return station, where the cabins will arrive, has been located in the highest area of ​​Valgrande-Pajares, also close to the aforementioned Brañillín landing, whose arrival station will remain as it is.

In addition, the operators have also proceeded to dismantle the terminals that are not necessary both in the lower part of Brañillín and in the other lifts that are going to be removed in this first phase of the remodeling of Pajares: Les Patines, El Arroyo and La Pit. In addition to those already closed a few years ago, the two-seater Cueto Negro.

The poles stacked in the lower car park of the station. | A.Velasco

The works also consisted of the foundations of the footings, that is to say the parts on which the bollards will be installed, which, if everything follows the planned plan, will begin to be assembled today. So far, nine of the eleven soles needed to install the poles have been built, one of the fundamental stages in the assembly of the new ski lift, which required an investment of around ten million euros.

In addition, in the parking lot of the lower area of ​​the station, where the operations center was established, the operators also worked and stored the supports. These parts are those which are placed on the terminals, and which carry the running gear or the rocker arms, over which the cable passes. These, in addition to the placement of the wiring itself once everything else is assembled, are the previous steps so that the cabins can finally be installed, more than thirty and with a capacity of 10 people. Thus, the new Pajares ski lift will now be a reality.

The investment commitment of the Principality of Asturias in the Valgrande-Pajares station has been significant. Lena’s project is the highest economically speaking of those approved to be financed by mining funds. In addition, for this next ski season, the resort will be one of three resorts in all of Spain that will open lifts.

Only two complexes of enormous tradition and prestige such as Baqueira-Beret (a resort that has always been linked to the Crown, and where the King and Queen of Spain usually ski) and Sierra Nevada (one of the most visited from Europe) have also opted for the renovation of one of its ski lifts. In the case of the Pyrenees station, a 5.7 million euro detachable elevator will be installed, while in the Andalusian station there will be two seats that will be remodeled.


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