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Project overview

10EUB Grebenzen

8813 St. Lambrecht

Entering a New Era

The 1,892-meter-high Grebenzen mountain separates Styria from Carinthia and is also a small but fine ski area. Since Christmas 2022, the record-time constructed 10-cabin monocable ropeway transports winter guests to the top. The ambitious "Greben10" project opened a new chapter in the history of the ski area and also provided an opportunity for future summer operations. Minimalist planning, tight time and cost schedules, as well as the harmonious collaboration of regional companies, enabled the construction of the ropeway in just ten months. Salzmann Engineers were responsible for the entire implementation and were commissioned as the general contractor for the construction and ancillary services.

Initial Situation

St. Lambrecht in Styria is well known for its more than 900-year-old Benedictine monastery, but the venerable abbey is by no means the only attraction of the municipality in the Zirbitzkogel-Grebenzen Nature Park. The Grebenzen mountain, the local mountain of St. Lambrecht, turns into a natural winter sports paradise. Ski Grebenzen St. Lambrecht offers around 25 kilometers of slopes, a 4-seater chairlift, 5 drag lifts, and a fantastic panorama. The ski area is considered a hidden gem away from the crowded resorts and is particularly popular with families.

Ten years ago, the Lift GesmbH St. Lambrecht Grebenzen and Salzmann Engineers started thinking about a modern ropeway infrastructure with increased capacity, comfort, and expansion potential. The suitable route was quickly found, as were the locations for the valley and mountain stations. Technically, the choice fell on a 10-cabin monocable ropeway. Such a groundbreaking and costly project had to be well thought out for a relatively small ski area. Therefore, the plans were initially put on hold.

The ropeway planner as general contractor

In spring 2021, the final decision was made to build the state-of-the-art cabin lift with ropeway technology from the South Tyrolean company LEITNER. Thanks to the creativity and perseverance of ropeway manager Bernhard Plank and Mayor Fritz Sperl, the financing was secured. Once the necessary funds were in place, the planning was finalized, and the project was realized in just ten months. Salzmann Engineers acted as the general contractor, coordinating all construction trades and ensuring absolute cost transparency. Gondola sponsorships played a crucial role in the financing. In close coordination and thanks to the dedicated efforts of regional construction and artisan companies, a project like this was completed textbook-style.

Smooth Implementation

Three months passed from the final go-ahead to the submission of the construction plans. Salzmann Engineers designed the architecture, structural engineering, and ropeway technology, tendered the trades, and addressed fire and nature protection issues in advance with the experts. First ground investigations were carried out on the two construction sites parallel to the commissioning of the executing companies. After the construction negotiation and approval on July 7th, the first excavators were already rolling. Coherent planning, optimal scheduling, punctual material deliveries, experienced companies, and the committed involvement of the client, represented by CEO Bernhard Plank, were the success factors - along.

Christmas Premiere

In early August, the excavation work at the valley station was completed, the path for the route was cleared, and the foundation slab of the mountain station was poured. By September, support foundations, channels, and pipelines were installed. Subsequently, the ropeway technology with the direct drive was assembled at the mountain station. In October, all 17 supports were installed along the approximately 2.8-kilometer-long route, followed by the cable installation. Just in time for the mountain exercise on December 3rd, the fully operational facility shone in all its glory. By December 20th, it received the green light from the authorities.

Since Christmas, guests have been flocking to the ski slopes faster and more comfortably with the "Greben10," a 10-cabin monocable ropeway constructed in record time. The new facility transports approximately 2,000 guests per hour from the valley floor to the serviced Grebenzenhaus at an altitude of 1,654 meters. With 55 comfortable cabins, the barrier-free ropeway is also suitable for sledding or hiking activities and allows the transportation of wheelchairs and strollers. This opens the door for summer operations as well.

Simple, efficient, and cost-transparent

No additional costs, no surprises, and ending up 5 percent below budget: The realization of Greben10 went smoothly from cost estimation to the first ride. "In the ropeway industry, this rarely happens since there are often surprises during the construction phase," emphasizes Marie-Therese Bach. "Good planning with sufficient reserves, the trust of the client, clear decisions, and good communication among all parties involved were crucial for this success," she reports. Salzmann Engineers, in their role as the general contractor for the first time, were able to subcontract all construction trades and control costs on a weekly basis in close consultation with the executing companies.

Minimalism prevailed in the planning phase. "A ropeway works even without bells and whistles. We focused on the essentials and optimized every detail," says architect Katrin Mangeng. The valley station provides storage for the cabins, and there are only as many ancillary rooms as necessary. An option with a covered ropeway technology was discarded in favor of a simple design, and an intermediate station can be retrofitted later. Thanks to visionary planning, future expansion stages can be efficiently realized. When it came to design, ropeway operator Bernhard Plank was open to suggestions and immediately enthusiastic about the classic larch wood facade. The natural appearance harmoniously blends with the landscape and also serves as a statement for the down-to-earth ski area.

Strong regional partnerships

Transparent monitoring is worthless without reliable and punctual partners. That's exactly what the regional companies provided from day one until the last. Not surprisingly, they were also building for themselves to some extent. With the charming idea of gondola sponsorships, Bernhard Plank directly involved the companies in the project, and this involvement is intended to last in the long run. By sponsoring a cabin for ten years, they make a significant contribution to the financing of the modern ropeway and advertise their company with logos and information. "Greben10 was and is a great community project. Everyone gave their all, did their best, and made the impossible possible in the shortest time. The team spirit and the great interest in the sponsorships motivated us every day," Bernhard Plank is delighted.

"Being part of the construction team ourselves fills us with a special pride. We worked almost day and night, showcasing our craftsmanship. We learned a lot, and now we are all ropeway professionals," remarks Bernhard Plank with a smile. The first half of the winter was a resounding success: no incidents, satisfied guests, and positive feedback from the local community. It couldn't have gone any better."


Mountain station
Antrieb und Spannung
Lower station
Antriebsleistung Anfahren
879 kW
Antriebsleistung Betrieb
max. 697 kW
Anzahl Stützen
10-cabin monocable ropeway
July - December 2022
6,0 m/S
Fahrstrecke gesamt
2.810 m
8 minutes
2090 P/h
Höhe Talstation
1.007 m
Anzahl Fahrzeuge
647 m
Höhenunterschied Tal-Mitte-Berg
647 m
Horizontale Länge
2.811 m

With the 10-cabin ropeway, a new era begins at Grebenzen. Our guests can now quickly and comfortably access the slopes, and we are opening up new ones. However, the modern ropeway doesn't only provide a completely new experience in winter. We now have the opportunity for year-round operations and plan to welcome guests in the summer as well.

Bernhard Plank, Managing Director of Ski Grebenzen St. Lambrecht