Instagram Tuesday: 83

Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

News Roundup: On Line

Alterra Buys Snow Valley, California

Alterra Mountain Company today announced the purchase of its 15th ski area, Snow Valley Mountain Resort in Southern California. Snow Valley operations will fold into nearby Big Bear Mountain Resort, which includes Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. Snow Valley currently operates nine chairlifts including a detachable six pack and eight Yan fixed grips.

“The acquisition of Snow Valley Mountain Resort is a continuation of our ongoing mission to build a premier portfolio of great mountains in robust markets,” said Jared Smith, President and CEO of Alterra Mountain Company. “As we do with all our destinations, we are excited to invest essential capital to enhance the on-site employee and guest experience to further strengthen our offerings to skiers and riders in Southern California.”

The purchase has already closed and Ikon Pass holders can access Snow Valley beginning Monday, February 20th. Snow Valley’s current Indy Pass participation will likely end after this season.

Real Estate Development Plans Lifts Adjacent to Brian Head

Brian Head Resort and a developer jointly announced a project called Aspen Meadows yesterday, to include up to seven chairlifts and a two stage gondola linking to Brian Head Mountain. Construction has already begun on roads and utilities and Aspen Meadows Group is working with SE Group on ski terrain design. The concept includes more than 850 acres of new ski terrain to the north of existing trails on Brian Head Peak.

Aspen Meadows would include a third base area for the ski area with a village center, additional parking and skier services. Preliminary maps show mostly beginner and intermediate trails above the village with lifts up to 4,000 feet long and vertical rises ranging between 300 and 1,100 feet. The gondola would include a transport segment from the existing Navajo base lodge and a ski section within Aspen Meadows.

“Aspen Meadows is truly a special collection of alpine lands, with the perfect slope aspects for ski terrain never before seen by most visitors to this region of southern Utah,” said A. Flint Decker, president of the Aspen Meadows Group. “We’re proud to be a part of this new chapter in our community’s history as we share new ski terrain and resort amenities with the town of Brian Head and the guests of Brian Head Resort.”

No timeline has been set for the first lifts to go in.

News Roundup: Viral Videos

Sugarloaf to Debut Bucksaw Express Next Winter

The high speed quad servicing Sugarloaf’s planned West Mountain expansion got a name today: Bucksaw Express. The moniker is a nod to the Bucksaw double, a Stadeli which served the northwest edge of the mountain from 1969 to 2015. Sugarloaf began construction on the 450 acre expansion today and it is expected to open to skiers in February 2024.

The Bucksaw Express quad will span 6,574 feet with a vertical rise of 1,433 feet. Some of the equipment for the 755 horsepower lift comes from Big Sky Resort, where it operated as the Swift Current quad. The Doppelmayr detachable will be completely overhauled with brand new UNI G enclosures and many other upgrades. With a 1,000 feet per minute line speed, the lift will move 2,400 skiers per hour up West Mountain with a ride time of just seven minutes. As part of the project, the West Mountain double will be shortened to its current mid-station. The West Mountain project will include a dozen new alpine trails covering roughly 120 acres, which will increase Sugarloaf’s total skiable acreage by nearly 10 percent.

“This is the most significant development project at Sugarloaf since the SuperQuad was built in the mid-1990s,” said Sugarloaf General Manager Karl Strand. “We’re very excited to get to work on what will be a transformative project for the resort and our guests.”

News Roundup: North Dakota