Top Ten Biggest Lifts in North America by VTFH

Vertical transport feet per hour (VTFH) is the best way to measure how lifts move people up mountains.  VTFH combines hourly capacity and vertical rise into one number, usually measured in millions.  Ski Area Management uses this metric each fall when they look at how good of a year it was for the lift-building business.

The second stage of Revelstoke's Revelation Gondola has a VTFH of over 8 million, the highest in North America.
The second stage of Revelstoke’s Revelation Gondola has a VTFH of over 8 million, the highest in North America.

For a lift to score big it has to have a high hourly capacity (think lots of carriers, high speed) and large vertical rise (think big slope length with many towers.)  The Jackson Hole tram has a huge vertical (over 4,000′) but very low capacity so its VTFH is only 2,654,600 – not even in the top 400.  The Peak 2 Peak Gondola has a huge capacity but only rises 119 feet for a dismal VTFH of 243,950.  There are 49 lifts in the US and Canada that move enough people high enough to achieve a VTFH over five million.  Below are the top ten.

1. Revelation Gondola Stage II, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, British Columbia

2007 Leitner-Poma 8-passenger gondola

2,952′ vertical x 2,800 passengers per hour = 8,265,600 VTFH

2. Gold Coast Funitel, Squaw Valley, California

1998 Garaventa CTEC 28-passenger funitel

2,000′ vertical x 4,032 passengers per hour = 8,064,000 VTFH

3. Heavenly Gondola, Heavenly Mountain Resort, California

2000 Doppelmayr 8-passenger gondola

2,874′ vertical x 2,800 passengers per hour = 8,047,200 VTFH

4. Gondola One, Vail Mountain, Colorado

2012 Leitner-Poma 10-passenger gondola

1,996′ vertical x 3,600 passengers per hour = 7,185,600 VTFH

5. Centennial Express, Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado

2014 Doppelmayr 6/10 chondola combination lift

2,102′ vertical x 3,400 passengers per hour = 7,146,800 VTFH

6. Whistler Village Gondola Stage II – Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia

1988 Poma 10-passenger gondola

2,671′ vertical x 2,640 passengers per hour = 7,051,440 VTFH

7. Super Bee, Copper Mountain Resort, Colorado

1998 Poma six pack

2,293′ vertical x 2,900 passengers per hour = 6,649,700 VTFH

8. Eagle Bahn Gondola, Vail Mountain, Colorado

1996 Garaventa CTEC 12-passenger gondola

2,215′ vertical x 3,000 passengers per hour = 6,645,000 VTFH

Jackson Hole's Bridger Gondola can move 2,400 passengers per hour up 2,730 feet.
Jackson Hole’s Bridger Gondola can move 2,400 passengers per hour up 2,730 feet.

9. Bridger Gondola, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming

1997 Poma 8-passenger gondola

2,730′ vertical x 2,400 passengers per hour = 6,552,000 VTFH

10. Northwest Express, Mt. Bachelor, Oregon

1996 Doppelmayr detachable quad

2,336′ vertical x 2,800 passengers per hour = 6,540,800 VTFH

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3 thoughts on “Top Ten Biggest Lifts in North America by VTFH

  1. Somebody... May 22, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    The fact that Snowbowl at Stratton has a higher VTFH than Sublette at Jackson Hole is a sign that this system isn’t perfect. (You have it listed at 2,000 P/h, and it actually is 2,400, making the lift have a 3.312 million VTFH, and Sublette is 2 mil).

    Like

  2. Max Hart February 25, 2019 / 6:26 pm

    I think the second stage of the Blackcomb Gondola just stole 1st place on this list.

    Like

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