Switzerland again allows fondue and raclette in gondolas

Kaasfondue

Jhanna
Winter Sports Editor

You can dine in the gondolas in the different ski areas in the Alps. Not one on the floor below, but in fact one still hanging from the cable and taking you in. This is also the case in Switzerland, where, of course, the local specialty is on the menu: fondue or raclette. Until the legislation was amended and banned in 2019… After thorough analyzes and clearly defined actions, the risks are now clear and again allowed.

European firefighting systems

In more than 20 Swiss ski areas, gondola dinners with raclette or fondue have been served. In the gondola there was a nicely set table with a set of fondue or raclette, and while the elevator was spinning, the guests enjoyed a delicious dinner with a view. Super fun especially for cheese lovers and a special activity for your winter sports in Switzerland. You might think it’s pretty innocuous, but there’s an open flame burner on the table in a very small space. All went well for a few years, but in 2019, the European Union amended the minimum fire safety regulations for cable cars and gondolas. The European Union has tightened the rules and as a result the raclette gondolas or fondues no longer meet these regulations and have been banned. However, the ski areas did not give up and began looking for a solution.

possible exception

Fortunately for Switzerland’s ski resorts, Swiss law allows exceptions to EU rules under certain circumstances. This is of course not easy. For example, ski areas had to demonstrate that the exception to the rule did not increase the overall risk. Since this entails a fire risk, this was not easy to prove. After a period of analysis, modification and testing, Seilbahnen Schweiz finally made an offer. And successfully, because the proposal was approved and the use of raclette and fondue in the Swiss gondola was once again allowed.

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clear rules

Guest safety is of course number one. This is also narrated by Berno Stoffel, director of Seilbahnen Schweiz. He noted that the proposal contained a summary of the risk analysis, clearly defined measures to contain fire risks, and a clear description of implementation. The materials used were also considered. For example, the table in the cabin is fixed to the floor and made of fireproof material. All this to ensure the safety of the guests.

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