- First LST Ropeways detachable set to finally open in March.
- Silver Mountain’s new owner hints at future new lifts.
- Steamboat paper does a two part story on lift and gondola evacuations.
- Pandora’s lift still in the cards for Aspen Mountain but 1A might come first.
- In France, Poma finalizes contracts to build $121 million urban 3S gondola in Toulouse, $15.6 million jigback in Orléans.
- Arlington says no to Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola.
- Innsbruck to build $12.7 million D-Line gondola.
- Saddleback effort moves forward, but lifts will not spin this season.
- Al Henceroth of A-Basin explains why he chose a fixed-grip quad for The Beavers.
- Town of Gatlinburg to review Boyne’s design for new Sky Lift tomorrow.
- Leitner-Poma presents gondola technology as a potential solution to downtown traffic in Breckenridge.
- Wildfire tears through $24 million Christchurch Adventure Park in New Zealand, where a Doppelmayr high speed quad opened less than two months ago.
- The Skytrac blog has a cool post about the newest Rainforest Adventures park in St. Maarten and its two hurricane-proof fixed-grip quads.
- South Korea prepares for a Doppelmayr Olympics, Poma signs new contract for a 2022 venue in China.
- Whitewater’s Summit double goes up for sale.
- Poma begins hanging 160 Diamond cabins on Santo Domingo’s two new urban gondolas.
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
Let me start by noting this post, like all others here, is my own and not an official account of my employer, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Tuesday nights are my Sunday nights at home before I start my work week every Wednesday. I was watching the news last Tuesday when our risk manager casually posted on Facebook that the power was out in Teton Village. I didn’t think much of it on a day when the roof of the local bowling alley had collapsed due to snow and with both a Winter Storm Warning and Flood Watch in effect. Unlike at some ski areas, losing power is a rarity for Jackson Hole (Crystal Mountain, where I grew up skiing, has its own dedicated power plant for such occasions; Kirkwood and Mt. Baker run without grid power every day.)
Seven minutes after the initial Facebook post, another employee wrote, “the power poles along the village road totally toppled,” just as thousands of workers and guests were headed home. We later learned seventeen 75-foot steel transmission poles had indeed fallen to the snow along ‘the windy mile,’ that last stretch of Wyoming 390 before Teton Village. The time was 6:05 pm, the stamp that would grace the webcams on jacksonhole.com for days. It was no doubt howling that night, but the poles had withstood forty years of fierce winds Wyoming is known for.
Lower Valley Energy is the electricity provider in Teton County. It’s a co-op, owned by 15,000 members like myself. While our tiny utility got to work recruiting much-needed regional help, ski area employees who could make it rallied first thing Wednesday morning. Instead of heading up, cat operators headed out to push ten feet of snow away from the power corridor. Lower Valley conceded at 9:40 am to “expect Teton Village to be out of power for 5-7 days,” and the resort announced it would not open until at least the following Monday. The internet thought it was crazy, we knew it was not.
Complicating matters, Teton Pass has closed earlier that day and ended up staying closed for almost five days amid the biggest storm cycle since 1986. WYDOT also closed the two canyon routes leading into Jackson Hole due to avalanches relentlessly coming down across them. The Teton Village substation also serves the Jackson Hole Airport and all Tuesday night flights were canceled. Whether it was workers, generators or fuel, it became tough to get anything we needed. The mountain was able to buy every available 2000-watt generator from a Honda dealer in Afton, Wyoming.
- Intrawest likely won’t buy any new lifts this year.
- TV station in Maine highlights lift maintenance and oversight with visits to Sugarloaf and Camden Snow Bowl.
- Denver7 lands the first interview with Larry Smith of the Colorado Passenger Tramway Board following Granby Ranch incident.
- Sunshine Polishing moving gondola refurbishing operation to Grand Junction.
- A $67 million, six-year old gondola in Rio sits abandoned.
- Poma double rope evacuated at Mont Orford.
- Heron-Poma double rope evac’d at Sleeping Giant before problem apparently fixed with a screwdriver.
- French lift site reports on two brand new lifts in Quebec.
- Waterville Valley’s new Green Peak triple will finally open Saturday.
- “Mexicable is a great experience and it is something that you need to do should you ever visit Mexico City.”
- Austrian rope manufacturer Teufelberger acquires Italian competitor Redaelli (Fatzer of Switzerland and ArcelorMittal of France are the other big two.)
- See more photos of the mind-blowing Giggijochbahn gondola.
- La Paz’s fourth gondola opens March 6th.
- Leitner Ropeways will complete the new 8-passenger gondola in Torreón, Mexico in April.
- British Columbia approves construction of Revelstoke Adventure Park with chairlift/gondola construction planned for 2017 and 2018 adjacent to Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
- Seilbahn Blog has some awesome new photos of the first and only D-Line chairlift.
- Seven year-old falls from chair at Thunder Ridge.
- The New York Times checks in at Tamarack.
- Arapahoe Basin formally unveils Beavers/Steep Gullies trail map & expansion plan with fixed-grip quad chairlift to debut in late 2018.
- Doppelmayr to build 21,000′, $18 million gondola in Silao, Mexico.
- Sugarloaf and Doppelmayr are doing a mid-season load test of Skyline on Thursday.
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
Three months since a wildland fire ripped through Gatlinburg, Tennesee, two brand new lifts are under construction as the gateway to the Smoky Mountains rebuilds. As many suspected, the Gatlinburg Sky Lift will be replaced with a new version this spring. “We are investing in a total replacement and are excited to be in process with installation of a new scenic chairlift,” spokeswoman Julie Ard of Boyne Resorts tells the Mountain Press. The Riblet double’s haul rope and chairs have already been pulled in preparation for tower removal. The new Sky Lift will be the third version following the original Heron that operated from 1954-1991 and the Riblet that followed from 1991 until last November.
I’ve reached out to Boyne for the manufacturer of Sky Lift 3.0 and am waiting to hear back. Update 2/6/17: The new lift will be a Doppelmayr Alpen Star triple chair with custom wooden seats.
Before the fire, Boyne Resorts had planned for and received approval to build an adventure park on the site, where the company has operated continuously for more than sixty years. Zip lines, a suspension bridge, walking trails and more will eventually occupy 17.5 acres. While that expansion will take some time, the lift project is progressing quickly. “Reopening of the Gatlinburg Sky Lift is expected to be April/May 2017,” says Ard. “Just as our past guests who want to come back to Gatlinburg to continue traditions of experiencing this iconic attraction, and locals who are aware of its draw among tourists, we are eager to have this lift spinning again just as quickly as possible.”
- If anyone’s curious what the pilot who flies your lift towers does in the winter, here’s your answer.
- Austrian skier falls from lift, through car windshield.
- Anakeesta will open the world’s first fixed-grip chondola this summer.
- The Wintry Mix Podcast‘s two latest episodes are worthy listens.
- Skytrac introduces phased lift replacement program.
- Doppelmayr stops work on urban gondola in Venezuela, inks more orders from China and Bolivia.
- Vail-Stowe rumors fly. The Street says no deal, yet.
- Child falls from lift at Ski Sundown. Another drops 26 feet from the Purgatory Village Express.
- CNBC profiles North Korea’s Masikryong ski resort, which has five lifts but apparently no snowplows.
- Gondola eyed to link downtown Boulder with the University Hill neighborhood.
- Ford’s 90-second Super Bowl commercial features a (broken) Hall double.
- Group seeks investors to fund ambitious reopening and expansion of Fortress Mountain, AB with multiple detachable quads.
- Another lift to be replaced with a carpet.