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You Can Now See the Swiss Alps from a $60 Million Crystal-Encrusted Gondola

Take in the Matterhorn through a glass floor up to 12,740 feet in the air.

Matterhorn Glacier Ride Photo © Zermatt Bergbahnen

Talk about over-the-top. Ski resort entertainment may have found a new peak with the Matterhorn Glacier Ride in Zermatt, Switzerland, which offers views of one of Europe’s tallest mountains from a $60 million gondola ride decked out in one million Swarovski crystals. And its claim to fame goes beyond its hefty price tag—and Instagramable decor. The gondola is the highest tri-cable lift in the world and operates from Europe’s highest mountain station. If that’s not enough for you, it also comes with a glass bottom for an extra thrill.

The ride, which opened late last November, is a collaboration between Italian ski lift manufacturer Leitner Ropeways, automotive design house Pininfarina, and crystal empire Swarovski, according to Bloomberg. It ascends 2,950 feet in nine minutes on 2.5-mile-long cables starting at the Trockener Stage station to the Klein Matterhorn, where it drops off passengers at 12,740 breathtaking feet.
Matterhorn Glacier Ride

Matterhorn Glacier Ride  Photo © AndreaSoltermann

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The crystal cabins are more than attention-seeking tourist draws—they come with triple the capacity, alleviating a 40-year-old system that had passengers waiting up to an hour and a half to get to the top of the mountain.
Matterhorn Glacier Ride

Matterhorn Glacier Ride  Photo © AndreaSoltermann

The new $60 million lift is second only to Austria’s $72 million Stubai Glacier Ride, and for two and a half years it was the highest construction site on the continent. Tickets for the Matterhorn Glacier Ride, however, will cost only $10 apiece. By 2021, two more lifts will be erected to service 335 mountainous miles between Switzerland and Italy.
But if you prefer to remain grounded, the Klein Matterhorn already offers snow tubing, a futuristic cinema lounge, and a subterranean glacier palace.

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