The cable car that connects Skalnaté pleso with Mt Lomnický štít (2,634 metres above sea level) surmounts the vertical drop of 855 metres within 8.5 minutes and started to operate in 1941. “Today, the cable car uses two stationary ropes to move between the lower and upper station like on rails, plus one haulage rope that provides propulsion. And the latter was worn out and had to be replaced,” said Dušan Slavkovský, the general manager of the Vysoké Tatry mountain resort after the exchange process was completed.
The cable car ropes have a hard time when running especially due to extreme conditions. “In summer, they are often struck by lightning, in winter, extreme frost and also thick glaze ice do their part of the destruction job. The ropes get worn out and need to be checked and replaced regularly. As for the haulage rope, the interval is 5-12 years depending on how worn out it is. This replacement was the fourth one during my 25 years here in the mountain resort,” said Ján Slamený, the cable car chief. The new 4.2-km-long rope with the diameter of 26.5 mm weighed 10,700 kg and had to be driven by car to the intermediate station of Štart and pulled from there up to Skalnaté pleso by using a winch. “There it was attached to the old haulage rope, which helped us stretch the new one between both stations. The new rope was fixed to the cabin grip in Skalnaté pleso while keeping the prescribed traction. The old rope was removed step by step and cut in about 2-metre-long pieces that could be transported down and disposed of. This process which I have described in brief took almost 12 days to complete,” explained Ján Slamený.
After that, the unique aerial tramway had to be checked, tested in the field and is now in top condition and operating again for the general public. It offers comfortable transport to Mt Lomnický štít, where an astronomical station of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and a meteorological station can be found along with the highest located café in Slovakia – DEDO café and two suites that invite clients to spend an unforgettable Night on Mt Lomnický štít. The standard cable car capacity is 14 passengers plus a guard, nowadays the capacity is limited to 8 passengers plus a guard for precautionary reasons due to the coronavirus.
After the haulage rope got replaced, cable cars operate along the whole route between Tatranská Lomnica and Mt Lomnický štít every day again and so does the funicular between Starý Smokovec and Hrebienok. The Solisko Expres chairlift in Štrbské Pleso is available only at weekends for now. After the CODID-19-restrictions got loosened, the resorts in the Tatras are ready to serve their customers and offer them comfort in restaurants, cafés, at attractions and in sports shops. Tourists can spend a night at Grandhotel Praha in Tatranská Lomnica and also in the suites on top of Mt Lomnický štít.
Did you know?
The material used to build the cable car of Mt Lomnický štít was brought by horses to Skalnaté pleso and carried manually by people to the peak of the mountain, i.e. to the altitude of 2,634 metres (it was almost 300 tonnes of material).
About 70 workers from Lendak, Spišská Belá and Kežmarok were building the cable car. One mounting rope was carried by 36 men to the summit.
The cable car station buildings were made of stone which had been brought from a nearby stone pit.
Tatry mountain resorts, a.s. (TMR) is the leader in tourism in Central and Eastern Europe; it owns or leases and operates attractive mountain resorts, amusement parks, golf resorts, restaurant facilities, sports services, stores and hotels. In the Low Tatras, Slovakia TMR owns and operates the resort Jasná Nízke Tatry and hotels Hotel Grand Jasná, Boutique Hotel Tri Studničky, Chalets Jasná De Luxe, Hotel Srdiečko, Hotel Pošta and Hotel Rotunda. TMR is also the owner of Aquapark Tatralandia, the largest Slovak water park with year-round operation, which besides water entertainment includes Tropical Paradise, a special tropical indoor hall with sea water, as well as Fun Park, and accommodation in bungalows and suites of Holiday Village Tatralandia. In Slovakia’s High Tatras TMR owns and operates the resort Vysoké Tatry with mountain areas of Tatranská Lomnica, Starý Smokovec, and Štrbské Pleso, which TMR co-manages. In the High Tatras TMR also owns hotels Grandhotel Praha Tatranská Lomnica, Grandhotel Starý Smokovec, Hotel FIS Štrbské Pleso and A night on Mt Lomnický štít. In Austria the Group owns and operates the alpine glacier resort Mölltaler Gletscher, and its sister resort Ankogel Mallnitz. In Czechia TMR also owns a minority share in Melida, a.s., which leases and operates the Špindlerův Mlýn resort. TMR also leases and operates the ski resort Ještěd, Golf & Ski Resort Ostravice and leases Kaskáda Golf Rezort Brno, where it runs a hotel, a restaurant and a conference centre. In Poland TMR owns and operates Szczyrk Mountain Resort and Legendia – Silesian Amusement Park (Śląskie Wesołe Miasteczko). Real estate projects are mostly focused on development, construction, and selling of apartments and non-residential premises and on hotel lease in the TMR resorts. By the end of 2019 around EUR 400 mil. had been invested into development and modernisation of TMR’s resorts. TMR shares are traded on three European stock exchanges – in Bratislava, Prague, and Warsaw.