Stunning Job in the Swiss Alps




Working where others go on vacation: this is how you could describe this job on an alpine construction. Accompanied by a picturesque mountain panorama, the SENNEBOGEN 613 telescopic crawler crane overcame more than 700 m in altitude with its own travel drive – including steep slopes and narrow mountain roads – in order to be able to take on the lifting work needed for modernizing the snow-making facilities at the mountain lake Lac des Vaux, above Verbier in the canton of Valais, Switzerland.

Over a period of at least 15 years, the 4 Vallées ski area in the southwest of Switzerland is to be further developed and made fit for the future. The snowmaking system in Verbier is considered the heart of the ski area and will be equipped with the latest artificial snow technology as part of this major project. The modernization work is not only about being able to guarantee snow reliability on the slopes in general, but also to produce high-quality snow according to the latest environmental standards, i.e. with as little water and energy consumption as possible. For the necessary crane work, the Swiss crane rental company Consensa Rental AG provided the SENNEBOGEN 613 crawler, which copes excellently with the challenging construction site environment.

The journey to the construction site itself is unusual, as the compact telescopic crane could only be transported by low-loader to the Les Ruinettes gondola station at an altitude of 2,000 m. From this point on, it was a case of “Self-reliance is the thing!”, and the 613 had to get to Lac des Vaux on its own. The climb took a good 4 hours, in part over mountain roads less than 3 m wide and various ski slopes with gradients of more than 20°, to the summit of Les Attelas at 2,726 m. From here, it was finally possible to approach the construction site at the mountain lake at 2,543 m above sea level.

Once on the jobsite, the telescopic crawler crane with its 18.8 m main boom did all the necessary lifting work around the facilities there. Some of the tasks were executed by operating the machine via radio remote control, allowing the operator to keep an eye on the equipment being lifted in.

The 613 crawler provides support primarily for microtunneling through the lake, because in addition to the pumping station at Lac des Vaux, the connected pipeline network of the snowmaking system is also to be renewed. The crane supplies the construction site with the drilling pipes and also lifts the 4.5 t microtunneling machine out of the pit every evening. It is also being used for the formwork and concrete work of the completely new built pump station building.

“With such narrow and steep conditions as it is the case at this mountain site, there was virtually no alternative to the SENNEBOGEN 613 R for the lifging work. The transport or rather the ‘climb’ to the construction site would also have been much more complicated with other cranes. Therefore, the choice quickly fell on the 15 t telescopic crawler crane,” explained Philipp von Dach, product manager at Consensa Rental AG.


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