How Many Lifts Might Alterra Buy in 2019?

At just 15 months old, Alterra Mountain Company finds itself with over 200 chairlifts, gondolas and tramways in two countries.  The 13 Alterra mountains mirror the broader ski industry with places like Deer Valley and Crystal Mountain sporting many newer lifts while the average chairlift at June Mountain is 45 years old.

On a Monday last March, the fledgling company based in Denver simultaneously unveiled its very first lift investments at Stratton, Tremblant and Winter Park along with other improvements like snowmaking at Snowshoe and a new restaurant at the base of Steamboat.  Importantly, Alterra committed to spending $555 million in total capital over five years.  That was before it bought Solitude and Crystal Mountain, which could mean even more money flowing over the next few construction seasons.  While last year’s budget only included three new lifts, could we see more in 2019?


With the September approval of major projects by the Forest Service, Steamboat is poised for a comprehensive on-mountain transformation.  Although the timing is fluid, a new Rough Rider learning center at mid-mountain will eventually be serviced by a new gondola from the village.  Here, skiers and snowboarders will be able to choose from three new carpet lifts, a new and improved Bashor lift and a second fixed-grip chair replacing the Rough Rider surface tow.


A second initiative Steamboat could undertake in 2019 is the Pioneer Ridge expansion, which includes a 7,000 foot detachable quad and a dozen new trails.  Other possible upgrades include adding chairs to Pony Express (currently at only 1,200 skiers per hour but designed for 2,400)  or new cabins for the Silver Bullet.  Wouldn’t it be cool for the new gondola and original one to have similar cabins?

The average lift at Alterra-operated Winter Park Resort is 27 years old.  Six are early model detachable quads coming up for replacement.  In the case of 32 year old Pioneer Express, an upgrade is overdue and I expect coming in 2019.  A new version could add a snowboarder friendly mid loading station above the last section of Big Valley.

Pioneer is one of only four remaining Poma detachables in North America with separate Alpha drive units.

A second project I hope to see is a second stage of the new gondola from Sunspot to Lunch Rock, truly uniting Winter Park and Mary Jane.  Sunnyside should be a high speed quad or six pack.  A high speed replacement of Challenger would be a nice upgrade at Mary Jane.  Looking Glass is tied for the oldest operating chairlift in Colorado.  After Pioneer, High Lonesome is the next Poma detachable up for replacement if we go solely by age.

The above Intrawest era master plan earmarked Gemini Express to be converted into an eight passenger gondola with a new learning center surrounding its top station.  Endeavor could go detachable as part of this project and/or Discovery made into a fixed grip quad.  Finally, a lift is envisioned to expand Vasquez Ridge Territory with four new intermediate trails. With all of these ideas on the table, I expect Winter Park to get at least one lift in 2019 and hopefully two.


Deer Valley enjoys the fourth newest lifts in the company with an incredible level of investment throughout its 37 year history.  There are only a few remaining fixed grip lifts that could go detachable.  They are Burns/Snowflake, Crown Point, Mayflower, Red Cloud, Judge and Viking.  Of these, I think Mayflower and Burns/Snowflake are most likely to change.  Then there’s the gondola question.  For years, Deer Valley has floated the idea of an enclosed lift from Park City’s historic Main Street and/or one between the Silver Lake and Snow Park Lodges.  I say build both!

Prior to its sale, Solitude planned to replace the Sunrise triple with a high speed quad next year.  I have no reason to believe that has changed as the lift is a workhorse in both summer and winter.  This project is not yet on the Forest Service project website, however.

Sunrise is eyed for replacement next year after 39 years at Solitude.

As cool as Solitude’s CTEC/VonRoll hybrid is, Eagle Express is showing its age and could probably be up-gauged anyway.  Another project the Big Cottonwood Canyon resort has talked about is moving the lower terminal of Honeycomb Return to improve skier flow.


Alterra operates more lifts at more mountains in California than anywhere else.  Many of the 26 lifts at Mammoth Mountain date back to the 1980s and five are even older.  A year and a half ago, Mammoth CEO and now head of Alterra Rusty Gregory talked about the yet-to-be-named company spending $100 million here.  The resort applied in May for permission to replace the Canyon Express with a six place lift in a modified alignment.

Pre-Alterra Mammoth master plan.

A second key future project is a replacement of the oldest detachable on the mountain, Broadway Express.  It is the only lift that ran for Mammoth’s season opener today and often spins deep into spring.  A year ago, I thought this alignment might see the first North American eight seat chairlift.  While it still could go octuple, Mammoth won’t be first.  Another near term project could be a Chair 25 high speed quad, which would probably be realigned to load near Cloud Nine Express.  Other possible moves include an Eagle Gondola going as high as the summit, a Stump Alley Express six pack upgrade, a Chair 12 detachable or Chair 14 upgrade.  I would be very surprised if Mammoth doesn’t get at least one new lift in 2019 after none in Alterra’s opening salvo.

Nearby June Mountain is at a crossroads.  The ski area closed entirely in 2012 and reopened the following year without any needed lift upgrades.  A Riblet/Lift Engineering center pole double is the only way for the public to access the ski area year round.  It really should be a high speed chairlift or gondola because of foot traffic and frequent downloading (there once was a parallel funitel).  The rest of June’s lifts are also old but probably not going anywhere.  Maybe Alterra could at least remove the grown in rust bucket known as J5.

J1 at June Mountain.

Major projects could move at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in 2019.  California Express looms and the Forest Service expects to weigh in around March.  If approved, 2019 would be a very tight timeline for what would be one of the most impactful lift projects in American history.  Leitner-Poma would build the gondola in three sections but with only two drive stations; the middle section would run off of kinetic energy from the Alpine Meadows side to reduce environmental impacts.

Alternative 4 is one of the more likely alignments for California Express, requiring a realignment of Red Dog on the Squaw side.

Alterra could fund the Hot Wheels and/or Red Dog replacement projects this summer.  New Red Dog would be a 2,400 pph six pack loading 600 feet east of the current quad.  New Hot Wheels would be a 2,400 pph detachable quad with an intermediate station.  Riders could unload at the current drive location or continue another thousand feet to a terminal on Sherwood Ridge.  A third Squaw Alpine lift previously earmarked for replacement is Granite Chief, built in 1982 and popular with expert skiers.

Looking down the Hot Wheels alignment from the future top terminal site.

A wild card is Big Bear, which hasn’t seen a new lift in 21 years.  My guess is the next new machine will be at Snow Summit, replacing either Chair 9 or some combination of 5, 6, 7 and/or 10.  The many well maintained Hall and CTEC fixed grips here could also continue on for decades more.

Pacific Northwest

Before he sold his company to Alterra this fall, Crystal Mountain owner and visionary John Kircher dreamed of building a second gondola to Campbell Basin where a 7,500 foot SLI double once ran.  He also talked about replacing Discovery and Gold Hills so that virtually the entire Crystal fleet would be new under his watch.  Crystal also had a vision to build the Kelly’s Gap Express, return lift service to Bullion Basin and construct a connector quad from parking lot B to the bottom of the gondola.

crystal 3-19-06 141
Affectionately known as “Rex,” the Rainier Express was the first detachable chairlift built in Washington.

I would love to see Crystal build a detachable beginner lift like its new sister resort in Utah did this summer.  Secondly, the 1988 Poma-built Rainier Express would be a solid location for a third six pack.  Even if capacity does not increase, heaver chairs would help on the many windy days at the summit.  I would also like to see Crystal pursue an East Peak lift again in the future.  More terrain is desperately needed in the central Cascades and there’s no better place for it than Crystal.


The new Snow Bowl Express is Stratton’s sixth detachable, bringing the average lift age to 21.5 years here.  The South American/Solstice Poma fixed grip quads or Tamarack Borvig could be upgraded to faster technology of some variety.


In West Virginia, Snowshoe saw huge growth in the 1980s and ’90s, which means a few lifts are getting up there.  A high speed quad in place of Powder Monkey or Powderidge would be logical.  Silver Creek could use a new lift, possibly a detach.


The obvious move at Tremblant is to upgrade the 1988 Soleil Express.  The Duncan Express is three years newer and could be swapped soon too.  The Edge is the last remaining fixed grip of significant length here.  Like at Tremblant and Snowshoe, Intrawest invested boatloads of cash in Blue Mountain through the 1990s and early 2000s, resulting in five detachable six place lifts.  Not bad for a hill with 700 feet of vertical!  Many older lifts at Blue were removed so the average lift age here is only 15.7 years.  The 1969 terrain park double called Badlands is really the only possible replacement project for Alterra in Ontario.  Edit: it’s already gone.

Two Alterra mountains signed with Doppelmayr last spring while the biggest contract went to Winter Park’s longtime partner, Leitner-Poma.  With its decentralized model, I expect Alterra lift purchasing decisions to continue to vary from mountain to mountain.  I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed to see Alterra choose only three lift projects last year after Vail’s announcement of seven at four resorts.  With a full year under its belt, two more mountains and hundreds of thousands of Ikon Passes sold, I think the new kid on the block will go bigger in 2019.

55 thoughts on “How Many Lifts Might Alterra Buy in 2019?

  1. mzg November 10, 2018 / 3:11 pm

    Peter, the long floated rumor at Snowshoe is replacing Ballhooter HS-4 with a HS-6. Then taking the former Ballhooter HS-4 and moving it to Powder Monkey to replace a fixed 3.

    Other long floated rumors are more terrain off Western Express, expansion at Silver Creek, New terrain to skiers right of Soaring Eagle Express, and a gondola connecting Silver Creek and the village.

    In the original Intrawest master plan, they also had planned to bring back the Hawthorne Area of the mountain. Look it up, it’s pretty cool.


  2. Michael Bayley November 10, 2018 / 3:47 pm

    Badlands double was removed from Blue Mountain in Summer of 2017. There are no more fixed grip top to bottom lifts there anymore. At one point there was plans to replace L-Hill triple with a 6 place detachable, but it was removed a number of years ago without replacement.


    • Peter Landsman November 10, 2018 / 4:16 pm

      Thanks Michael, I’ve updated the stats to reflect that removal. Blue Mountain really is a model for consolidation of redundant lifts into a smaller number of high capacity ones.


      • martin November 11, 2018 / 10:57 am

        Thank you for offering this liftblog. I’m definitely a novice in this area but very interested to learn.
        I’ve always wondered why we don’t see more lift consolidation efforts. Perhaps I’m not understanding the full logistics and capacity fluctuations on certain mountains.
        Take Winter Park. Why not increase capacity on Super Gauge Express (8c or some sort of “Super” Gondola) and eliminate Iron Horse and Pony Express? You mentioned upgauging Challenger. Couldn’t that also be eliminated then? Eliminate 3 lifts for one super capacity one.
        As I’m now in m y late forties, I do appreciate a long slow lift for nostalgia reasons but also for extended resting reasons…:). In general I do like to see fewer, more efficient lifts on the mountains. It’s better for the environment but also aesthetically speaking.


        • coloradoskier November 12, 2018 / 7:25 pm

          When Super gauge was initially put in WP tried to make Challenger a auxiliary lift- only operating on the busiest of weekends. They eventually went back to 7-day operation of the Challenger as the mountain got overwhelmingly negative feedback from the public complaining about the need to traverse from the top of Super Gauge to get to the Challenger area and a flat traverse again at the bottom to get back to super Gauge on a crowded beginner trail. In a pure efficiency point of view it does make sense to consolidate lifts, but it does not make sense for skier experience.

          Iron Horse is used as an auxiliary lift, operating Saturday and Sundays only to help reduce the demand on Super Gauge. The benefit for the IH lift is that it drops you at a highpoint that you have to take a short hike to get to from Super Gauge, but ultimately it could be considered redundant to the Super Gauge.

          I think a Gondola in place of the Super Gauge would be a bad decision as many skiers “lap” the trails off that lift. Gondolas are usually put in areas to get people on the mountain and from there skiers will fan out across to different parts of the mountain. If one were to “lap” trails off of a gondola it would be a inconvenient experience having to take your skis off every time you get to the gondola rather than sliding in and taking a seat.


    • adrian1701 November 10, 2018 / 6:49 pm

      The plan to replace L-Hill with a 6-place remained in the works until Alterra bought out Intrawest. Unsure if that’s still the plan – although the crowds during peak periods out of the central village would certainly suggest a detachable 6-place or quad is still necessary…


  3. Michael Bayley November 10, 2018 / 3:50 pm

    Were safety bars added to sunrise at Solitude? I don’t remember seeing them when I was there last winter.


    • Peter Landsman November 10, 2018 / 4:22 pm

      Looking through my photos, they appear to be a summer only thing on every other chair.


  4. Thomas Jett November 10, 2018 / 3:58 pm

    There was a presentation form Alterra a few days ago that laid out their plans for the next five years at Mammoth. In it, they alluded to the fact that they might go the way of Big Sky with their next upgrades. 16 is already planned to have a loading carpet, but it’s also possible that they’ll make it an 8-pack with bubbles and heated seats. 16 will be installed in 2019 along with upgrades to Canyon. 2020 is going to be Eagle’s turn, with work on a permanent lodge, a beginner lift, and possible the second stage of the village gondola. Down the line is the replacement of 1 with a D6C, 2 with either a D6C or D8C, and 7 and 25 with D4Cs. I wouldn’t be surprised if 2 gets relocated to 25. In addition, they’re going to build a restaurant at the top of 10. Notable absent from this are the upgrades to 12 and 14, the Eagle-to-summit gondola system, a beginner D4C at the Mill to relieve the burden on 2, and a platter from the top of 9 to the top of Dave’s Run to serve the southern ridge.


    • Peter Landsman November 11, 2018 / 8:53 am

      Sounds like the $100 million is now a $188 million 5 year plan. Awesome to read Alterra executives are talking about 8 packs, bubbles and heated seats.

      Also sounds like any June development is dependent on a new snowmaking water source and expanded bed base.


      • Thomas Jett November 11, 2018 / 9:11 am

        I know that Rusty has said that any development at June is contingent on snow making. I recall him saying something about the chance that the water table might not physically be able to accommodate their needs, which would sink any hopes of development.


    • alex November 11, 2018 / 10:46 am

      General question. If 3600 PPH is the upper limit for a D6C, what is the realistic upper limit for a D8C? As Ramcharger’s design tops out at 3600 PPH.


        • alex November 11, 2018 / 11:10 am

          Hmm…so upfront costs aside the reason a resort would but a D8C vs D6C at the same capacity is because of better wind resistance, easier to get the actual capacity out of it, and perhaps cheaper maintenance as there are less chair/grips to maintain? Is that right?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Paul Mathews February 5, 2019 / 1:36 pm

          Ischgl, Aut has an 8 pack with 4500 p/h.


        • GreatEight February 5, 2019 / 5:03 pm

          which lift at Ischgl ?


    • Doppelmayr FTW November 11, 2018 / 2:16 pm

      Was this a private presentation or a public one? is their a press release somewhere?


  5. adrian1701 November 10, 2018 / 6:55 pm

    It’s been heavily suggested over here at Tremblant that Le Soleil will be replaced with a detachable quad next summer (although a 6-place hasn’t been ruled out yet, I consider it unlikely).

    I’d be quite disappointed if Alterra doesn’t replace the Duncan Express. While not the oldest like Le Soleil, it’s one of the mountain’s workhorse lifts. It needs higher capacity, especially during peak periods. A detachable quad is no longer appropriate in that particular alignment. A bubble six-place has been the preferred option for replacement for a while, especially now with the renewed tendency for investment in bubble lifts. I hope Alterra invests in a replacement for the Duncan express, perhaps before Le Soleil.


    • Collin Parsons November 10, 2018 / 8:34 pm

      I agree that Duncan is a higher priority than Soleil. I park at the North Side Base and have to ride during the coldest part of the day and it can be quite brutal, so a bubble would be nice. I wonder if they’ll even build Canada’s first 8 there. Tremblant is Canada’s second most visited resort behind Whistler-Blackcomb, so it would make sense for them to have a very high capacity lift. With the Lowell Thomas upgrade, 6 may be sufficient.

      I hope Soleil goes to a 6 and is not replaced with another quad. Just because it can fit 6 per chair doesn’t mean the chairs have to be closely spaced. I believe the current lift has a capacity of 2100/hr, so the capacity could be upped to 2600-2800 but with a longer loading interval and the option to add more chairs if needed to increase to 3000-3600. After Stowe built another quad to replace their aging Fourrunner, it quickly became apparent that they bought the wrong lift and they needed a 6 instead. I believe that when it comes time for such a major upgrade, it pays to do it right and get the higher capacity lift when in doubt. In this day in age, new high speed quads typically replace fixed grips. Older high speed quads are typically replaced by 6 passenger chairlifts or gondolas.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Avogadro November 11, 2018 / 7:24 am

        Higher capacity on paper always costs more but doesn’t always move more people faster on the mountain


        • adrian1701 November 11, 2018 / 12:18 pm

          Oh, absolutely. I also agree that a 6-place might be better than a quad for Soleil, seeing your point. Yet, Tremblant desperately needs an increase in lift capacity – 2800 PPH for the base-to-summit lifts on either sides is completely unacceptable.

          For Canada’s second busiest resort, Tremblant needs upgrades. Here’s what I think: Télécabine Express needs to be replaced after Duncan Express. It’s only 20 years old, but its capacity of 2880 PPH leads to immense crowds (15+ minutes) during weekends and holidays. A 10 or 8 person gondola, with capacity from 3600 to 4000 PPH will serve well. It’s a workhorse lift, so a replacement like Giggijochbahn (Solden) might be necessary, even at this age. D-Line would be a nice touch, but expensive.

          TGV also needs replacement, albeit it’s of a slightly lesser priority than Duncan. A 6-place chair has been the common opinion around here – and I agree. I’d replace TGV before Le Soleil.

          Lowell Thomas should never have been replaced – at least, as Alterra’s first move at Tremblant. If they replaced Duncan with a 6 or 8-place chair (that would certainly be a marketing boost AND shift people away from the crowded south side) from the onset, they’d have simplified things a lot.


  6. reaperskier November 10, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    As someone who lives near blue mountain, I think Alterra should add high speed quads running along the lift lines of blue mountains long gone chairlifts to alleviate crowds at the six packs.

    L-Hill Express – alleviates crowds at silver bullet

    Apple Bowl Express – alleviates crowds at Century

    North Express – alleviates crowds at Weider


    • adrian1701 November 10, 2018 / 7:58 pm

      Seems like an immense investment, another 3 detachables. The only lift which really needs relief has to be Silver Bullet – which is almost persistently crowded (at least, when I’ve been). The rest are only crowded during peak periods, not exactly warranting the extra millions.


    • Michael Bayley November 10, 2018 / 8:29 pm

      I would say most of the hill is near capacity. L-Hill might help a bit as some of those runs are under utilized.

      North has future expansion outlined on the trail map with Dieppe being extended down to the bottom. Maybe another chair running from the front of TSC up Schuss could work (and eliminate the need for a skier bridge)


      • reaperskier November 11, 2018 / 10:23 am

        I like your idea for another chair running up Schuss.

        I also think that in addition to adding high speed quads following the old L-Hill lift, Apple Bowl lift, and North lift (in the new alignment that you mentioned) to supplement the six packs, alterra should also do the following:

        – Replace the Silver Bullet Express 6-pack/summer gondola (actually a cabriolet) with an enclosed 8-passenger gondola to match up with gondolas at alterras other resorts

        – A Cabriolet running from the P1 parking lot to the village (reusing the silver bullet lift).

        – Easy Rider Triple (or Quad) lift running from the bottom of the easy rider carpet to the top of the Graduate triple. This lift would follow the line of the former easy street double.

        – Happy Valley Triple (or Quad) lift running from front of the blue mountain in to the Happy Valley/Dog Sled Junction.

        – Waterfall Triple (or Quad) lift running from the top of the Voyageur lift to the top of waterfall

        I also made a map:

        Liked by 1 person

        • atc1701 February 5, 2019 / 8:32 pm

          If I recall correctly, the Silver Bullet lift, along with Blue Mountain’s other detachables, is really, really short. I think the ride is under 3 minutes, making it a very short gondola. It’d be really bothersome for the folks lapping that trail pod to remove their skis or board each time they reach the bottom. Blue Mountain doesn’t have the vertical for a gondola.

          For obvious reasons, I never agreed with the Buckaroo Gondola at Beaver Creek.


  7. Joe Blake November 10, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    I don’t believe Crystal needs a second gondola. I think that would have simply been an ego piece for JK. Replacing Chair 8 with a detach would be a solid investment, though, as would adding East Peak and Kelly’s Gap. More terrain, more storm day options, broader spread of skiers, more ways out of the base area, all good things. I think there are non-lift improvements Alterra should accomplish first, but they aren’t sexy. New employee housing options on hill, for one. Working with the Forest Service on a bit more parking and expanded snowmaking would help as well. Hopefully the approach is thoughtful and measured.

    Liked by 2 people

    • David November 13, 2018 / 12:17 pm

      Maybe it’s just me but I think the beginner side of the mountain (Chinook Express, Quicksilver, and Forest Queen) is very lackluster for a mountain of it’s size. Other than Queens and Downhill (Chapelle’s becomes icy very quickly) which are enjoyable and higher up to get better snow and lap via Forest Queen, the lower Greens are annoying to get to.

      You can’t change the terrain but at least you can improve the lift situation. Quicksilver is seemingly useless as you have to take another lift or crawl up the hill to get to it. Why not extend it all the way to the base and move the top terminal a bit so it feeds to Forest Queen?

      Obviously the East Peak and Kelly’s Gap lifts are bigger priority but those are more costly and need approval.


      • John November 13, 2018 / 2:44 pm

        The bottom of Chair 4 (Quicksilver) was always a strange placement to me. The original double wasn’t too far up the hill, but then they removed Quarterway and moved the bottom uphill. The new lift makes even less sense as it no longer goes to the top knob of the Quicksilver run (which fed into Tinkerbell and the bottom of 9) and starts up there by the top of 8. I’d put a lift in that started next to 11 and went to the original top terminal.

        At least you don’t have to ride a rope tow to get to 4 like we did when I was a kid :)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Peter Landsman November 13, 2018 / 7:42 pm

          I’m with you John. John Kircher made a ton of awesome upgrades to Crystal but new Quicksilver is a mystery to me. The master plan had it as a high speed quad unloading even higher towards Silver Basin. It would have been a great way for all the folks headed to 9 to avoid Chinook and the traverse across Skid Road. Of course Northway and Discovery were also supposed to be detachable quads. John even signed a deal for a 100 passenger aerial tram at one point before the gondola. If there was one thing consistent about Crystal it was the plan always changed!


      • D howe November 13, 2018 / 2:52 pm

        I wouldn’t call quicksilver beginner terrain. If the bottom terminal was at the base you’d have a long, flat runout if you wanted to lap quicksilver, which is a fun, fast blue run. But quicksilver just went in so it’s a moot point anyways


      • John November 13, 2018 / 3:04 pm

        That’s true. The original configuration still made more sense as the midstation (which we called Quarterway) was at the bottom of the pitch so one could lap Boondoggle, Quicksilver, and Tinkerbell. You didn’t have to return to the bottom terminal at all if you didn’t want to- in fact, there were days where we would have a rush at opening time, then nothing at all for a long while. We’d shift from loading every chair to leaving two empty and loading the third if there was a crowd, as on Ski School Saturdays.


        • Joe Blake November 13, 2018 / 9:40 pm

          I’m wondering if Bauger didn’t have some pull on the top station for new 4. He’s always been anti-fun, and the Witch’s Knoll can be sculpted so well. Putting the bullwheel right there blocks it off.


  8. Carson November 10, 2018 / 10:14 pm

    So when’s looking glass going to be replaced


    • Ryan November 10, 2018 / 11:29 pm

      Hopefully not for a long time.


  9. Ryan November 10, 2018 / 11:39 pm

    So 1966 is the oldest year operating lift in Colorado? We have Looking Glass at WP in 1966, Primo at Sunlight in 1966, (Much of Segundo at Sunlight dates back to the late 50s I believe where it was originally installed at Aspen before Sunlight got it in the early 70s) The Monarch Crest tram which was put in in 66. Then we have a few 67s or 68s still running loud and proud..


    • Jonathan November 11, 2018 / 5:36 pm

      Do you think that Winter Park could upgrade the Looking Glass to a Triple and relocate Sunnyside there? Then upgrade Sunnyside to a DC 4


      • coloradoskiier November 12, 2018 / 6:55 pm

        I have previously ridden lifts with mountain ops personnel at WP and they said the plan was to upgrade sunnyside to a DC4 and then the old sunny side was to replace arrow as it is more of a workhorse than looking glass- i.e. year round operation with summer operations. With that plan they could use the old arrow for parts to maintain Eagle Wind. But I can definitely see them moving sunnyside to replace looking glass to placate the perception of a center-pole lift with beginners as well as to reduce the maintenance of the old lift.


        • Jonathan November 13, 2018 / 11:17 am

          I think they should upgrade Arrow to a fixed quad or remove it if they replace Gemini with a 8 person.


      • axewolfe January 24, 2020 / 12:08 pm

        Jonathan you are actually correct about replace looking glass with sunnyside. Once looking glass is done sunnyside will go into its place and a legend will no longer live.


  10. alex November 11, 2018 / 10:54 am

    General question. If 3600 PPH is the upper limit for a D6C, what is the realistic upper limit for a D8C? As Ramcharger’s design tops out at 3600 PPH.


    • adrian1701 November 11, 2018 / 11:55 am

      4000 PPH is the upper limit for a D8C. Ramcharger’s upgrade to an 8-person was half a capacity-targeted upgrade, and the other half a marketing move. A max-capacity 6-place bubble chair pales in comparison to a fully-equipped 8-person chair from the future (or, Europe, as we usually call it).

      D10Gs can go to 4500, and 3S to 5000.


  11. alex November 11, 2018 / 10:54 am

    On Mammoth I am always surprised that an upgrade of Chair 23 is never in the discussion.


  12. Thomas Jett November 11, 2018 / 11:30 am

    23 is less than 3,000′ long, and is intended to serve only expert terrain. The worry is that if you make it a detachable, you’ll get a bunch of unqualified beginners and intermediates trying to ski down Cornice Bowl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aston Gee-sel November 13, 2018 / 11:32 am

      The invitation to unqualified beginner and intermediates is already there. The Gondola brings up plenty of skiers and riders that are participating beyond their ability. The type of lift is really irrelevant.

      Chair 23 is very short. It’s about a 5 minute lift ride. I also think Mammoth does not want to mess with the wind structure at the top terminal. In recent years they’ve spent a considerable amount of money on upgrades and replacements for the lift.


      • Peter Landsman November 18, 2018 / 2:18 pm

        I just read Mammoth added safety bars to 23 this summer. Yet another upgrade that suggests it’s not going anywhere.


  13. Ryan Murphy November 11, 2018 / 1:31 pm

    I’d be shocked if Squaw, Mammoth and Winter Park don’t get at least a lift each. They seem to have the most need of the Alterra mountains.

    Side note, Peter, there’s no need to upgauge Eagle. I’ve never seen a line longer than a few minutes there. The only factor should be the age of the existing lift.


    • Peter Landsman November 11, 2018 / 1:40 pm

      Being the only Ikon Pass resort in Utah with unlimited access will make it busier. Solitude might have to change its name on the weekends!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clinton Alden December 23, 2019 / 5:18 pm

        eagle never has a line even on weekends. im not sure about upgrading sunrise since its pretty unused, i would rather see a high speed quad up powderhorn


  14. Boardski November 14, 2018 / 3:01 am

    I would like to see the Sunnyside upgrade next at WP. The lift gets huge lines and stops for misloads more than it runs. A hsq would serve this pod well. It would be nice to see the current triple either relocated to replace Looking Glass or relocated to enable lapping the cirque. A triple would serve Challenger pod well but hsq would attract too many people who want all the bumps groomed. A hsq from bottom of pony express with a mid angle station at top of pony and top station at top of Iron Horse would be a nice replacement for pony and the horse.


    • axewolfe January 24, 2020 / 12:10 pm

      they would never put a lift in the cirque as it would cause too much attention and get crowded easily.


  15. Charlie November 20, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    I think that Alterra should invest in a Minnesota ski area, Welch Village is the best option because it is near the twin cities and just like Vail and Afton they could send some old lifts there


  16. Thunder_Wolfe February 5, 2019 / 10:22 pm

    I talked to Sky Foulkes the CEO of winter park and he said in the oncoming years they will expand it to lunch rock. I was thinking that if they did the olympia and high-lonesome lift would have nobody riding them and the resorts would be losing money because nobody would ride those lifts.


    • skitheeast February 14, 2019 / 12:01 am

      I think a detachable quad should be built from Mary Jane base to Sunspot alongside the Gondola extension. This would really improve flow around the resort.


  17. skitheeast December 4, 2019 / 11:27 pm

    I agree that it should become a detachable quad. It is long enough, it usually opens pretty early, and it is one of the last lifts open when the upper mountain closes due to winds.


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