Luxe Chairlift in Austria’s Tryolean Alps

Kitzbühel’s sexy new eightpack.

AustriaSkiTwenty or more years ago, American skiers heading for Europe were often put off by the lifts and the liftlines. Many lifts were either high-capacity sardine-packed cable cars or surface lifts (T-bars and platterpulls), while in North America, skiers were accustomed to the relative comfort and ease of chairlifts. And liftlines here have always been orderly.

Fast-forward to now, and the wonders of European lift technology. Swiss cable cars and French and Austrian chairlifts have far eclipsed American uphill transport — and in fact, proved to tough for such American lift-makers as Hall, Riblet and YAN to compete against. Those American lift manufacturers are history.

Here’s a new lift in Kitzbühel, Austria, to show that there’s sizzle as well as steak in the realm of European lifts.

KitzbhuhelLift

It has been called “the world’s luxurious chairlift,” and what with ergonomic, leather seats, heated and bubble- covered, who’s to argue? Leitner Ropeways required 10 months to complete the chairlift, designed with input from  auto industry experts. Audi? Mercedes? Porsche?