The Salomon TV crew check out Courmayeur’s new ‘Skyway Monte Bianco’ lift

Kaj Zackrisson and co shred glorious alpine steeps and couloirs from Punta Helbronner on the Italian side of Mont Blanc

In 2015 Courmayeur opened its new ‘Skyway Monte Bianco’ cable car, replacing the old funivia cable car that previously transported skiers and alpinists up to Punta Helbronner on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. In the first episode of the new season of Salomon TV, the crew (including Tony Lamiche, Alex Pittin, Kaj Zackrisson and Josh Daiek) meet up with mountain guide and alpine legend Oscar Taiola, the safety manager for the Skyway, who tells the story of the old lift and the new.

Skyway – Salomon TV [Explore more Salomon TV] In 2015 the new Skyway Monte Bianco opened, replacing the rustic funivia cable car that for decades transported skiers and alpinists up to Punta Helbronner on the Italian side of Mont Blanc.

Built over four years at a total cost of €138 million, the new Skyway is considered the most expensive cable car installation in the world. Starting at the base station at Entreves (1308m), the lift rises up to the middle station at Pavillon Du Mont-Frety (2172m) in six minutes, then up to Punta Helbronner (3466m) in a further ten minutes. Both cable cars rotate during the journey, affording skiers 360° views of the Aosta valley, and along both Val Veny and Val Ferret.

The lift was designed by architect Carlo Rossi and manufactured by Doppelmayr, and the top station was engineered so as to minimise energy consumption: solar panels and highly efficient insulation bring it close to being a zero-energy building. The top station is partly anchored by a well shaft bored into the mountain, which doubles as access to the Torino hut (via a lift system and tunnel, partly utilising natural caves) for tourists, alpinists and in case of emergency evacuation.