Flying around the Alps in a helicopter all summer might sound like a dream job to some, but there is one downside: you have to start very early in the morning!
Construction work in the Alps is no easy feat, and building a large complex structure like a ski lift high up on a mountain comes with its own unique challenges. When there’s little in the way of infrastructure and no real roads, sometimes you have to get a little creative during the heavy lifting!
During the installation of Val Thorens’ new Stade chair lift, they used a Eurocopter Super Puma helicopter to manoeuvre the huge pylons into place, while ground teams fixed them to foundations and shimmied up to attach the brackets on top. Definitely not a job for anyone afraid of heights!
Despite the Super Puma’s vast powder – it can lift up to 4 tonnes – it still struggles operating at such high altitudes. The teams must start work early in the morning when temperatures are low – the air is denser when cold, which improves both engine and aerodynamic performance.