Goodbye to Italy's Oldest Chairlift

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SAM Magazine-Corvara, Italy, Dec. 18, 2006-Listed as "Number 1" in the Italian Registry of Lifts, Corvara's Col Alto chairlift has finally undergone the transformation to a gondola. Installed in 1947, the venerable lift was Italy's first chairlift. It debuted with a capacity of 163 passengers per hour. As time passed, the lift was upgraded, first to a double chair in 1978 and then to a detachable quad in 1990.

Last spring was the final turn of the bullwheel for old Number 1, and last week, the gondola which replaced the chair fired up. The new lift features 44 eight-passenger cabins, travels at six meters per second and climbs nearly 1,400 vertical feet over its over its 3,500-foot length.