The “world’s longest zip line with intermediate towers” opened June 17 at Chamrousse ski resort in Isère, France. The zip line, 6,245 feet long with a vertical drop of 1,770 feet, runs from the summit of the mountain down to the heart of the resort. It has two intermediate towers that allow the zip line to follow the contours of the mountain. Top speed on the line, which has an average 30 percent gradient, is 50 mph (80 kph). The installation is the anchor attraction in a push to expand four-season offerings at the resort outside Grenoble.
The zip line, the third multi-tower facility manufactured by MND Group—a French company that specializes in the construction of cable transport systems such as ski lifts—has some unique features. The group’s experience in the design of cable transport systems allowed it to fashion the towers and cable support system so that the patented AdrenaZip trolleys pass over the towers without detaching. The trolleys use a magnetic eddy current braking system to control speeds during the descent. A hydraulic braking system at the arrival terminal brings riders to a stop.
In addition, the trolleys can accommodate one or two riders, with a weight range of 88 to 330 pounds (40 to 150 kilos).
“This new infrastructure will enable us to diversify our offer[ings], which is a major boost in the appeal of the site,” said Frédéric Géromin, managing director of Chamrousse. “After a successful first weekend of operation and more than 70 bookings a day, the summer season is off to a flying start.”
MND also built a “Himalayan footbridge” at the resort, 425 feet (130 meters) above the black-diamond slope of Casserousse, one of the ski racing venues of the 1968 Grenoble Olympics, which offers a panoramic view from the mountain. Both zip line and footbridge can operate year-round.