Hero Image
of the Schmittenhöhebahn AG

History & Chronicles

of the Schmittenhöhebahn AG


  • Gas station Glocknerbahn
  • Renovation of the boathouse incl. installation of a PV system
  • Extension of the PV system office building
  • Reconstruction Panorama Restaurant
  • Additional spring intake for the Panorama Restaurant
  • Pumping station Sonnenalm II incl. reinforcement of BSA Sonnenalm


  • New adventure hiking trail with playground from Sonnkogel to Schmiedhof Alm "The Mystical Forest".
  • Construction Section I zellamseeXpress - completion of the connection to the Glemm Valley
  • New ticket association "Alpin Card" with the Kitzsteinhorn Kaprun and the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn
  • Water catchment Zeller See North
  • Employee house with 14 residential units
  • Construction of ski bridge valley station Sonnenalm
  • New all-season card "365 Classic Alpin Card" and "365 Action Alpin Card" from Schmitten in Zell am See, Kitzsteinhorn Kaprun and Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn
  • Construction of Austria's only Audi Ski Run
  • Opening of the "Franzl" mountain restaurant
  • Construction of section I "zellamseeXpress" (scheduled for 2019)
  • Opening Schmidolin's dragon fire
  • Opening Schmidolins dragon cave
  • Opening areitXpress and AreitLounge
  • Reconstruction Schmittenhöhebahn mountain station incl. Schmitten Museum
  • Opening of the herbal hiking trail "Kraut und Ruam"
  • Construction of Schmidolin's Dragon Tower
  • Opening of the 2nd section 10 single-cable gondola lift zellamseeXpress
  • Slope adaptation Trass slope
  • Extension of the workshop and garage facilities with space for 10 piste machines
  • Groundbreaking Viehhofen zellamseeXpress
  • KIDSSLOPE - fun slope for children
  • Opening of ski touring route Ronachkopf
  • Retrofitting of lockable safety catches Hochmaisbahn and Kettingbahn (child-proof)
  • Slope adaptation standard slope
  • Extension of the photovoltaic system at the valley station of the cityXpress
  • widening of the Trass slpoe
  • Construction of the ski road to Glocknerwiese
  • Construction of the freeride route to Viehhofen
  • Children's land "Schmidolins Drachenpark" at the Glocknerbahn top station
  • Receiving the EMAS certification
  • Extension hiking trail Sonnkogel to Sonnenalm
  • Conversion of the MS Kitzsteinhorn and renaming as the "Kaiserin Elisabeth"
  • Conversion and extension of the Häferl Restaurant
  • Photovoltaic system (installation of 2,300 m² PV panels on the station buildings)
  • New construction of the Glocknerbahn (8-seater chairlift with comfort upholstery, seat heating, weather protection hood and conveyor belt access)
  • Construction of the Funslope XXL, with a length of 1,300 m the longest Funslope in the world
  • Construction of the Schmitten Nightslope, the night slope at the Ebenberg lift
  • Expansion of "Schmidolin's Baptism of Fire" to include the e-motocross course "Schmidolin's Fire Chair
  • Extension of the playground Plettsauteich
  • New construction of the Sonnengratbahn (4-seater chairlift with comfort chair and conveyor belt)
  • Reconstruction of the valley station cityXpress
  • Construction of a conveyor belt on the Glocknerwiese near the Areitbahn I mountain station
  • New construction Fallegglift
  • Foundation of the ecology advisory board
  • Move to the new office building in Salzachtal Bundesstraße 7 (Areit valley station). 
  • Completion of the Plettsaukopf storage pond: after two years of construction, filling of the largest storage pond in Pinzgau begins on September 13. 
    Capacity: 174,000 m³; investment sum: 14 million EUR 
  • Opening of the family adventure trail "Schmidolin's Baptism of Fire" along the former hunter's trail near the Areit I mountain station. 
  • Renovation and expansion of the high-altitude promenade between the summit and Sonnkogel. 
  • Construction of a new Schmittenhöhebahn/trassXpress valley station with a modern ticket office and information area, IS service and rental store and ski depots.
  • Replacement of the red cabins of the Schmittenhöhebahn: the new gondolas were designed by Porsche Design Studio, Zell am See, and are equipped with a bar and multimedia system. 
  • Start of construction of the Plettsaukopf storage pond
  • Construction of the Kettingbahn as a replacement for the Gipfelbahn and Kettinglift
  • Construction of Cabrio Bar Restaurant at Areit I valley station, expansion of snowmaking to 100%.
  • Construction of a "magic carpet" conveyor belt in the Areit I valley area
  • Construction of ski depot with self-catering room
  • Widening of the Hirschkogel ski trail
  • 80th anniversary celebrations.
  • Construction of the trassXpress and the new Breiteckbahn. 
  • Shipping: Acquisition of the Ms Schmittenhöhe. The luxury MS is fitted out with the latest technology and a high level of comfort. On 12th May the ship-baptize is celebrated at the zeller lake.
  • Investments Mountain: Construction at the area of Sonnenalm/Hochmais. A new 6 person chairlift with bubbles and heated seats is built together with a new slope and a snow-system. Investments for Sonnenalm/Sonnkogel: EUR 14 Mio.
  • Year marked by 75 years of Schmittenhöhe
  • Summer: Construction of a second storage pond "Brunnermais", conversion of the Zeller Bergbahn into the "cityXpress", completion of the plateau landscaping at the summit and creation of an Elisabeth circular trail around the summit area of the Schmittenhöhe.
  • Rejuvenation of the “Schmittenweg” path between the Schmittenhöhe and Panorama-Pfiff restaurant.
  • of 75-year anniversary festivities incl. re-enactment of the very first lift ride 
  • Take-over of the Zell am See Cruise & Ferry Service from the City of Zell am See (May 7)
  • Conversion of the Kapellenbahn (to a quad chair lift)
  • Expansion of snowmaking capability to an elevation of 2,000 m
  • Update of the ticketing system (now exclusively touch-free access via KeyCards)
  • Completion of the “Gallery on the Slopes” (now featuring 27 wooden sculptures) 
  • Conversion of the Ebenbergbahn (into a double chair lift)


  • Expansion of the Intersport Schmittenhöhe service network (incl. Zeller Bergbahn and the Drive-In located at Areitbahn III)
  • Hirschkogelbahn is converted into a quad chair lift. Additional snowmaking capability in the area adjacent to the mid-station. 
“Gallery on the Slopes II”
  • Expansion of the Areitbahn with two additional sections (AREITBAHN II/III: gondola lift with 6-person gondolas). This provided a direct lift connection from Schüttdorf up to the Schmittenhöhe. With the new lift completed, a new dining establishment opens at the Breiteck summit terminus
  • Permanent Halfpipe on the Glocknerwiese
  • Areit snowmaking coverage now extended to an elevation of 1,700 m (Breiteckalm).
  • Rejuvenation and renovations to the High Promenade between the Schmittenhöhe and Sonnkogel; Construction of an interactive trail with uniform sign-posting and boards providing fascinating information. Areit Snowmaking Machines: Reliable snow conditions for the “Glocknerwiese”, the “Hirschkogel” hill, connecting trails and the “Schütt” run – taking into account the snowmaking capacity of Zell am See, some 65 hectares are now covered by snowmakers. “Gallery on the Slopes” with ten artworks by renowned sculptors displayed on the slopes of the Sonnkogel and Sonnenalm.
  • Introduction of the Skidata 350 ticket system featuring the KeyWatch, KeyCard etc.
  • Expansion of snowmaking on the “North”, “Standard” and “Trass” hills – total of 38 hectares now serviceable by snowmakers.
  • Since their existence, the 26 lifts – servicing 70 km of slopes – have transported more than 130 million people. New construction of the AREITBAHN and GLOCKNERBAHN: at a cost of 180 million schillings, the Areitbahn is converted into a gondola lift with 6-person gondolas, while the Glocknerbahn becomes a detachable quad chair lift. In the process, great attention is paid to the environment and to blending harmoniously with the surrounding countryside. Through construction of expanded snowmaking capability, now servicing some 17 hectares, snowmaking also becomes possible on the “Standard” and “Trass” hills, on the slalom run and the Schmittental ski trail, thus guaranteeing quality skiing all the way down to the valley floor. The cost is around 43 million schillings.
  • 60-year anniversary of the Schmittenhöhe lift, having now carried more than 12.5 million people since its opening.
  • New construction of the Sonnkogel lift, now a detachable triple chair lift; addition of a mountain restaurant
  • Building of the new Ketting lift and the Schmiedhof lift; conversion of the Breiteckbahn.
  • Building of the Sonnengrat lift and the Edelweiss lift
  • Construction of the new Fallegg lift
  • Construction of the summit lift, a 3-person chair lift
  • Completion of conversions to the SONNENALMBAHN; Construction of the Enzian lift.
  • The ZELLER BERGBAHN commences operations, running from the town centre to the mid-station. Construction of the Sonnengratbahn.
  • Building of the Breiteck lift
  • Building of the Hirschkogelbahn, the Bruckberg lift and the Hahnkopf lift.
  • A second route up to the Schmittenhöhe comes to fruition through construction of the AREITBAHN (double chair lift) and its connecting lift, the “Glocknerlift”; construction of the Schüttlift.
  • Building of the East Face lift
  • Building of the Hochmais lift, as well as construction of the Hochmais and East Face ski slopes.
  • Building of the Ebenberg lift
  • Building of the “Chapel” and Fallegg lift
  • Building of the Ketting Lift
  • Opening of the SONNENALMBAHN
  • Construction of a “Bunny Lift” by the base terminus
  • Construction of a ski lift on the Breiteckalm (opened March 1947)
  • Groundbreaking for the base terminus of the Schmittenhöhe Lift. December 31st: The SCHMITTENHÖHEBAHN officially goes into operation, making it the first cable lift in Salzburg and only the fifth in Austria.
  • Autumn: Presentation of a polished project proposal to the provincial governor, Dr. Franz Rehrl; the trio now became a sextet with the additional support of banker Carl Spängler Jr., hotelier Willi Schandlbauer, as well as the former mayor, Josef Wisgrill. October 18th: First public presentation of the project
  • October 30th: The efforts of Dr. Bittner, Dr. Margreiter, Leo Gastgeber (with the support of the mayor, Josef Ernst) pay off, as they are awarded a preliminary concession for construction of a cable lift.
  • Renewed upswing in the region due to increasing popularity of winter sports.
  • February 19th: First winter sports festival in Zell am See with a long-distance downhill ski race from the Schmittenhöhe.
  • Carl Haschke, owner of the summit hotel, builds the Elisabeth Chapel as a memorial to the Empress Elisabeth, who had been murdered in Geneva in 1898.
  • Dr. Pircher, along with a small group of other enthusiasts, brings the sport of skiing to Zell am See; the two-pole prevails over the one-pole technique.

The Schmittenhöhebahn in Zell am See has been in existence for just under 100 years. It was true winter sport pioneers who laid the foundation for this success story. 

The founders included lawyer Dr. Eduard Bittner from Zell am See, Dr. Ludwig Margreiter and Leo Gastgeber. Banker Carl Spängler junior, hotelier Willi Schandlbauer and former mayor M.A. Josef Wisgrill joined the team of three shortly thereafter, at which point the project was presented to the governor at the time, Dr. Franz Rehrl. Financial plans were forged and in January 1927 the governor greenlighted the construction.

The first cut of the spade for the lower terminus followed at the beginning of May 1927. The cable car became operational on 31st December 1927, when it officially started running at 1.30pm. Therewith the first aerial cableway in Salzburg, and the fifth in Austria, was born.

The Schmitten has evolved into a tourist stronghold and has expanded on all sides. In today’s Schmitten-gondola by Porsche Design passengers ascend the mountain in a modern and comfortable way. 


  • January 3rd: Opening of the Pinzgau local railway line.
  • Construction of the first wind breaks and the stone wall on the Schmittenhöhe.
  • Baron Lambert and Capt. Wittek make the first successful ascent of the Schmittenhöhe on skis. July 1: Emperor Franz Josef visits the Schmittenhöhe and spends the night at the mountain hotel.
  • Construction of the first avalanche-prevention barriers.
  • First post office at the hotel on the Schmittenhöhe, with twice-daily postal pick-up/delivery from July 15th to August 31st.
  • Prof. Koch and Engineer Lukritz plan construction of a cog railway.
  • August 9th: Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) visits the Schmittenhöhe.
  • Construction of the Schweizerhütte (later the lift mid-station)
  • August 21st: Opening of the so-called “Pinzgau Walk”.
  • Construction of the first meteorological station on the summit of the Schmittenhöhe. Founding of the “Beautification Society” (later to become the Tourism Association)
  • The first “Rangglerfest”, a festival of country wrestling on the Schmittenhöhe
  • August 6th: the “Giselabahn”, a railway named after the eldest daughter of Emperor Franz Josef I and Empress Elisabeth, is opened and connects Zell am See to the railway network of Austro-Hungary.
  • August 23rd: Ceremony to mark the opening of the Alpine Association House on the Schmittenhöhe
  • Rudolf Riemann builds the first path up to the Schmittenhöhe.