Diavolezza History

History

The Berghaus Diavolezza lies at almost 3,000m above sea level, and can easily be reached from the valley station Diavolezza. The Diavolezza cablecar is situated along the Via da Bernina. The cablecar and the Berghaus can look back on a long, rich in tradition history. A few risky mountaineers started the first ascent of the highest mountains in the eastern alps from the valley station. It is told that long long ago, a beautiful, red-haired she-devil used to live on the Diavolezza.

In 1937, a major dispute that had flared up in Pontresina in the mid-1920s finally came to an end. At the centre of the controversy was the question of whether to build a funicular railway from Alp Bondo to the Diavolezza, or from Morteratsch through Munt Pers to the Diavolezza. The second variant triumphed ‒ but only on paper, for in the end the financing fell through. In 1953, the subject of a mountain transport facility was broached once again. This time under discussion were a continuously circulating cable car system with numerous small cars, and a reversible system with two large cabins shuttling to and fro between the terminals. In March 1954 the concession was granted to the latter of the two. Below, you can read what has happened since that momentous date.

Time travel

28.02.1955 After initial difficulties in securing the necessary financing, Diavolezza-Bahn AG is founded with a capital of CHF 0.85 million.
22.12.1956 Luftseilbahn Bernina-Diavolezza (LBD) commences operations with a large-size cable-car cabin able to carry up to 50 passengers; already in the summer of 1958, it is converted into a larger, 62-person carrier.
1959 A diesel-powered Diavolezza ski lift is built on the firn-snow glacier, and in 1960, skiing enthusiasts are able to ski on the Diavolezza in summer for the first time.
1962/63 The Chesa Diavolezza – which is not on the same site as the present-day Berghaus – is purchased and renovated.
1966 The purchase of the first piste-grooming vehicle makes it easier to prepare the ski slopes. The Bernina ski lift is built and the share capital increased from CHF 0.85 to 1.7 million. The Berghaus is provided with a power supply; for the first time it has the luxury of electric lights.
1967 Merger with the Berghaus to form Diavolezza AG.
1969 After the summer season failed to generate any significant income, at the request of guests and the hotel trade, the aerial cable car also starts operating in winter and transports the first skiers up the mountain.
1970 A second ski lift is built on the Diavolezza to cater for summer skiers.
1976 The kiosk and the self-service facilities at the Berghaus Diavolezza are renovated.
1980 Commissioning of the new 125-person cabin operated by the Bernina-Diavolezza aerial cableway.
1981 The old summit station gives way to the expansion of the Berghaus, which is transformed into a tourist hostel.
1987 In order to be able to guarantee snow, the Diavolezza piste area is extended with the aid of artificial-snow machines.
1990 The Diavolezza chair lift is built.
1997 Down in the valley, the ski facilities are extended to cater for young children and beginners by installing a drag lift.
1999 The two ski lifts on the Diavolezza Glacier are demolished. The 9-year-old chair lift is converted into a system with detachable carriers.
2002 The kiosk at the Berghaus Diavolezza undergoes extensive renovation.
2004 The two ski areas, Diavolezza and Lagalb, are linked by an interconnecting piste and a drag lift.
2006 Merger to form Bergbahnen ENGADIN St. Moritz AG.
2011 The Diavolezza aerial cableway undergoes extensive modernisation.

Extensive modernisation of the Diavolezza aerial cableway

In November 2011, the extensive work to modernise the Diavolezza aerial cableway will finally begin, marking the launch of the largest investment project to be implemented by Engadin St. Moritz Mountains. A total of CHF 4.5 million is being invested to put the cable-car facility at the cutting edge of technology and to offer visitors even more comfort on their rides up and down the mountainside. Dieter Bogner, Head of Marketing at Engadin St. Moritz Mountains explains: “We intend to establish ourselves as one of the best ski regions in the world, and have therefore opted for the best technology currently available on the market.” Garaventa, market leader in the field of Swiss cableway construction, has been engaged as general contractor for the project. The new drive mechanism and motor will be supplied by ABB (Oerlikon), while the braking and control systems will come from Frey AG (Stans). While all of these new developments will hardly be perceived by passengers, as they are hidden away inside the building of the Diavolezza bottom station, the cabins promise to be a real eye-catcher. Already at first glance, the new cabin of the Diavolezza aerial cable car stands out as a result of its futuristic appearance. Overall it is slightly smaller, but correspondingly heavier, than the old model. Thanks to the windows that extend right down to the cabin floor, passengers do not feel quite so cramped and can also enjoy the magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding Alpine scenery. A revolutionary new boarding concept, with three electric sliding doors, will make it easier and more efficient for the max. 107 passengers to board and alight from the cabin. All the modernisation measures, as well as the periodic maintenance work, will be carried out between 26 November 2011 and 10 February 2012. Markus Meili, CEO of Engadin St. Moritz Mountains, gives the reasons for this choice of dates as follows: “On the Diavolezza, the spring is the optimal time for skiing in the firn snow, and the area is also ideal for high-altitude tours. In the summer, we can offer some of the best climbing and hiking in all of the Engadin. And if we were to start this renovation work in the autumn, we would not be able to kick off the ski season as early as October. Consequently, we have opted for the “lesser of the evils” and shall be commencing the building work while the other rail- and cableways are in operation. This means that our winter-sport enthusiasts will still have at their disposal a wide selection of railways, cableways, lifts and ski pistes throughout the valley.”

Corvatsch 3303
Corvatsch Park