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5. The Freccia, Cortina, Italy

16:00 12th December 2013 by Chris Moran @chrismoranACM


Photo: James McPhail

Type: Cablecar.

Route: The mid station on the Freccia side of Cortina all the way to the top viewing platform at over 3000 metres, which is also a restaurant.

Highest point above the ground: 300 solid metres. Most of the way up too. And you’ll have to come down in the thing since there’s no run from the top.

Age: This is a classic ,early 1960′s James Bond-style cablecar. It’s ancient.

What happens? Put simply, you get in this rickety old cable car, leave the station and immediately head skyward. After ten seconds you’re hundreds of metres above the ground and will stay that way until you hit the one pylon on the route – a mangled, rusty old structure hanging on the edge of a whoppercock cliff.

Dangers: Old cables, sketchy doors that are hand-bolted, fragile aluminium from four decades ago, rock falls, avalanches, vertigo, sphincter over-tightening, claustrophobia, fur coats suffocating you with their musty stench…. the list is endless.

Random fact: Cortina is where they filmed Cliffhanger starring Sylvester Stallone. He shat his pants there too, so you’re in good company.

Chance of it coming off the cable: In 1998 an American fighter jet cut the cable in an Italian resort and the car plummeted over 100 metres killing everyone on board. The Americans were tried by a military court in the US, and (unsurprisingly, given the nature of American military ‘justice’) were basically let off scott free. But don’t worry, if the crazy yanks don’t get you, the 50-year old engineering might.

Don’t get on… if you haven’t got a deathwish.


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