Work on Grand Targhee’s fourth quad chair is in full swing this weekend with new stations and towers arriving for the all-new Blackfoot quad amid fall foliage and fresh snow. The first shipment of steel from Doppelmayr included 13 towers and the support structure for the bottom station, which is in a new location uphill of the old Riblet. Still to come are the CTEC-style operator houses, bullwheels, motor room, haul rope and chairs. Concrete is in the ground and towers are nearly assembled for when the weather cooperates to fly them. Although Grand Targhee is scheduled to open Nov. 18, Blackfoot usually doesn’t usually open until December.
The new Blackfoot will utilize a Tristar-model drive/tension station at the bottom with a fixed bullwheel on a concrete mast up top, the same setup as Challenger up the road at Big Sky. We’ve now seen at least three different return station styles and four drive station models on this year’s new Doppelmayr fixed-grips, including the Alpen Star (Wilmot, Red River); Tristar (Big Sky, Caberfae, Targhee); and Eco (Mont Bellevue). I find it interesting how many different station models Doppelmayr continues to offer when their competitors each have basically just two.
Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks from Arizona Snowbowl, Big Sky, Jackson, Powder Mountain and Sundance as the snow flies and this year’s crop of new lifts is completed.