Every year the Swiss Alps draw snow enthusiasts from across the globe so it's no surprise that lift construction has kept pace with visitor numbers.

Chris Madoc-Jones' full round up of new lifts can be found in Issue 2 of this season's Ski+board

As with last winter, the expansion of Andermatt takes centre stage in the Swiss Alps. Construction continued apace over the summer and skiers can expect three more lifts to be up and running by the new season. The link to Sedrun won’t quite be complete, but permits are being obtained for the final connection – expect this is 2018/19. Elsewhere, a new luxury gondola at Gstaad looks set to make a big difference, as does a new fast six-seater in Davos – complete with bubbles and heated seats.

Once again, work at the central Swiss resort of Andermatt has grabbed the headlines in the Swiss Alps. Since the takeover of the resort by Egyptian businessman Samih Sawaris in 2009, six new lifts have been built – three of which popped up over the summer. The key lift is an eight-seater gondola rising over 900m from town up to the main ski area at Gütsch. This was joined by two six-seat chairlifts with bubbles at Hinter Bördli - Strahlgand and Forder Felli – Schneehünderstock, bringing the link to neighbouring Sedrun ever nearer. 

It was also a busy summer at Gstaad, where another Porsche Design, luxury gondola was built. The new Swiss-made ten-seater will replace a 34-year-old gondola from the edge of town to Eggli at 1,557m. In addition, the mountain restaurant at the top of this lift has been revamped and snowmaking was added to a popular piste nearby, making the Eggli area more attractive than ever.

Across in Davos, one of the world’s first areas to see lift-serviced skiing saw a major overhaul ahead of the 2017-18 season. A high-tech, fast six-seater chairlift will run the course of an old two-seater up to the Furka Pass from the Parsennhütte. The new lift features luxury racing car style seats and promises to cut the journey to the top in half.

Another six-seater has been installed at the hidden gem of Lauchernalp in the Lötschental Valley. The lift looks set to transform the experience for beginner skiers and boarders – it replaces a slow chair and adjacent draglift on the sunny village plateau. 

Toni Birrer

Although a relatively small lift in comparison to those mentioned, the new fast quad in Leysin is possibly the most complicated lift to be built this summer. It has replaced two 35-year-old double chairs and has two mid-stations, one at the bottom of a valley, from which it ferries people up both sides and another towards the top to serve the popular piste 13. So not only have 20 pylons been installed, but four separate lift stations have been built, driving up the cost to CHF15 million – almost double the price of a “normal” high speed quad.

In addition, two fast four seaters have been built at the small resorts of Grächen, near Saas Fee, and at the underrated Obersaxen, a mere 10km from the freestyle hub of Laax. Over at Verbier, although no new lifts were built, the Mont Gelé cable car saw a total refit over the summer – new cabins are now serving the notoriously difficult itineraries from the top.