Replacing a fixed-grip quad with another fixed-grip quad might not seem like much of a change, but Mt. Baker took a significant step forward this summer building an all-new Chair 7 with loads of upgrades. The only lift out of the White Salmon base area is now a Skytrac, the first for this Pacific Northwest favorite with seven fixed-grip quads.
The Riblet Chair 7 opened in 1990 to serve an eastward expansion along with Chair 8 in 1992. The last of Baker’s seven Riblets went in for the 2001-02, the second to last Riblet lift built anywhere in the world. Beginning the following year, a series of four Doppelmayr CTEC quad chairs replaced lifts 1, 3, 5 and 6. All of these lifts were powered directly with diesel engines.
As General Manager Duncan Howat outlines in the above video, the new lift has whole bunch of advantages, including:
- A large new generator provides power to the entire White Salmon base area, including Chair 7.
- The lift can move at a variable speed up to 450 fpm.
- Chairs are wider and more comfortable than the old ones with the first restraining bars at Mt. Baker.
- The system spins counterclockwise instead of clockwise for hopefully better operation during high winds.