More building in Oz Station

There has been more building in Oz Station on the new ski lift.

The big blocks of concrete poured last year are now being transformed into a recognizable ski lift.

The builders are receiving deliveries almost every day and parts are stacking up in the car parks. Workers are then assembling them into larger components ready for assembly.

The complex structures at either end of the lift are progressing well giving us an idea of how it will look when it’s finished.

more building in oz station
The upper lift structure takes shape. Pic by Andy Christodolo

The point where the lift line crosses the current Poutran lift is going to look spectacular.

It’s also interesting to compare the terrain in the station with where they are building in Allemond where it is completely flat.

Building with a helicopter

On the way between the ends, the bases for the pylons are being assembled and concrete poured.

Being in the mountains building is done a bit differently with a helicopter taking the place of the traditional concrete mixer truck. It’s hard enough to walk to where the lift line cuts through the forest, let alone get a vehicle there.

helicopter picking up gravel
Picking up a full bucket of gravel. Pic by Andy Christodolo

A “bucket” is dangled beneath the helicopter and filled with gravel, concrete, etc. at an easily accessible place lower down the mountain and then flown to the base of the pylon.

The “bucket” is designed so that the bottom can be opened and the contents fall out quickly. each bucket has around a cubic meter of gravel or concrete in it, weighing anything from 1-2 tons.

helicopter building ski lift
Delivering the gravel to the base of the pylon in the forest. Pic by Andy Christodolo

Once there, the builders open the bottom and the mixture falls out into the waiting hole. The dangers for everyone involved are much higher than a normal building site.

Engineering genius

The degree of expertise needed to pull all this off is truly exceptional. The flying of the aircraft through the trees, with the usually gusty winds we have during the day, is exceptional.

I certainly hope the calculations needed to make sure it all holds up safely have been double-checked and no mistakes are being made. You wouldn’t want to have to do this twice.

more building in Oz station
They put up a sign. It must be true! Pic by Andy Christodolo

The last conversation I had with someone working on the site indicated that it would be ready before the end of this summer. There is a new sign up in the station indicating an opening date of summer or autumn.

Coronavirus complications

No doubt this new date is caused by the restrictions implemented by the authorities due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, this won’t be the end of the works as the smaller lift connecting the base of the Poutran and the base of the Eau d’Olle won’t be built until next year resulting in another summer with more building in Oz Station.

Although this isn’t going to be a big problem for skiers it is going to hamper efforts by pedestrians to walk between the two.

I think they are either going to face a very short steep descent on the snow or a long walk around the houses.

I’ll keep you updated.

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