On September, 15th, the lift located at the foot of the Marmolada (whose service life limit has expired) will go out of business: a video invites people to make the fascinating journey before it closes down
It’s a journey to the past whose days are numbered, the one proposed by the vintage basket lift of the Marmolada, which leads from Fedaia at 2057metres to Pian dei Fiacconi at 2626 metres. The 15th September, in fact, will be the last day of activity of this historical lift - the only of its kind in the whole area of the Dolomites – whose service life limit is expiring. The lift, which is nowadays property of the Funivia Fedaia-Marmolada company, but it was built by the company from Trentino Graffer in 1974 (to replace the former lift, with which Giovanni Graffer had launched the time of winter tourism in 1946), retires after 45 years of loyal service.
Therefore, the video “The last passengers”, realised by the journalists Andrea Selva and Elisa Salvi for the Tourist Board Val di Fassa, invites on the notes of a waltz the hikers – as well the simple mountain aficionados – to make one last tour on the lift within the end of the summer season.
It’s a must do for these last days, so, an experience of great charm: to go up from the basement of the Queen of the Dolomites (3343 metres high), to the “mouth” of its glacier (that year after year shows clear signs of its retraction). Going up and turning the eye downward, the vision of the blue tint of the Fedaia lake (artificial basin built in 1954 to produce hydroelectric power) gets wider, while if you look up you see the green leaving room to a candid rock (the toponym “Marmolada” could derive from the Latin word “marmor” for marble, or from the Greek “marmar”, meaning “to sparkle” and so referring to its glacier). The journey lasts about 20 minutes and puts into real contact with the severe nature of this majestic peak that, not by chance, has gained the name of “The Queen” contributing, in the past, to create the myth of the pioneering and most spectacular ascents in the Dolomites (the first ascent to Punta Penia along the “Via Normale” dates back to 28th September 1864, and it was achieved by the Austrian Paul Grohmann with the guides Angelo and Fulgenzio Dimai from Cortina; the first ascent on the Southern side, instead, was an achievement of the English Beatrice Tomasson with the guides Michele Bettega and Bartolo Zagonel from Primiero, on July 1st, 1901, after having recruited, a while back, the local guide Luigi Rizzi). Nowadays, the Marmolada is still a destination that gathers alpinists from all over the world, due to its admirable history of ascents and ski descents that have taken place on its slopes. But, thanks to the basket lift, even those who wish to enjoy a unique landscape and see up close a dolomitic glacier can do it and have fun with one of the last trips of the lift: ladies and gentlemen, all aboard!