News Roundup: Seven Meters

  • Val Saint-Côme, Quebec looks to build its first six place detachable lift.
  • The opening of the first lift at Skeetawk is pushed back to midwinter due to delays with SkyTrans’ other project in Illinois.
  • Maine’s Eaton Mountain will not operate this season.
  • Leitner and Kitzbühel partner to build Austria’s fastest monocable ropeway which will travel 7 m/s at a cost of $30 million.
  • Mt. St. Louis Moonstone’s new six pack will be named Josl Huter Express in memory of the mountain’s founder.
  • Aspen Highlands’ Goldenhorn surface lift is on track to be built next summer.
  • Just 75 days after the Sea to Sky Gondola haul rope was severed, a new one arrives in Squamish.
  • Another great podcast episode features the owners of Plattekill Mountain discussing competition from the State of New York, Vail’s purchase of a competitor and the decision not to join the Indy Pass.
  • The Forest Service says yes to Breckenridge’s Peak 7 Infill high speed quad project.
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9 thoughts on “News Roundup: Seven Meters

    • Donald Reif October 26, 2019 / 10:12 am

      Honestly, I thought the “alternatives suggested” by commenters were from people who didn’t understand the logistics of the Breckenridge lift system:

      “Convert the Zendo Chair into a high speed six-person chair and extend it to the base area between Peaks 7 and 8. This alternative would increase skier mobility and offer direct access to Peak 6.” Except, there’s a reason why Zendo was built as a fixed grip quad, namely, to control the inflow of guests headed to Peak 6.

      Not only that, but there’s two reasons it starts where it does: one being because the resort had to build around private property lines, and two being so that skiers coming from the Rocky Mountain SuperChair don’t have to go to Peak 7 base and use the Independence SuperChair to get across Peak 7. Plus, extending Zendo wouldn’t do anything to take people off the Independence SuperChair since the two lifts serve different purposes, as the Forest Service notes: “The approved project is based on the need to improve skier circulation between Peak 6 and Peak 8 by reducing congestion at the Independence SuperChair and on lower Monte Cristo trail, and to improve guest access to existing lift-served intermediate ski terrain on Peak 7. Extending the Zendo Chair would not address the first component of the project purpose and need to improve access to intermediate ski terrain on Peak 7.” The infill superchair will also be accessible from the Rocky Mountain SuperChair via the same Peak 6 Parkway used to reach Zendo, which is an extra bonus.

      “Convert Chair Six to a high-speed quad and extend the existing lift on Peak 7 to the summit, which would reduce congestion on the Imperial Lift and the T-Bar and would allow skiers to access the terrain with one lift instead of two.” I can certainly get behind Lift 6 getting upgraded to a high speed quad in the next few years, when it’s past its usable service life. But the one of “extend the existing lift on Peak 7 to the summit” just makes me laugh. The Independence SuperChair was built for lapping the intermediate terrain below timberline, and the above treeline parts of Peak 7 are wind-exposed, expert-only terrain. Not the ideal place to be putting a high speed six pack.

      So in about a year, if all goes through, Breck will be getting its first new high speed quad since the Imperial Express SuperChair in 2005, their first to use the LPA quad chair instead of the Omega chairs, and hopefully the same wood skin for the terminals that is used on the Kensho, Colorado and Falcon SuperChairs.

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      • Brendan October 27, 2019 / 7:59 am

        In the MDP on the USFS website Breck is already approved to turn 6 Chair into a detachable quad but on the same alignment. Would like to see the base moved down to e-chair so advanced and expert skiers can have the choice each run of which to choose!

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        • Donald Reif October 27, 2019 / 8:01 am

          There’s not really much room at the bottom of Lift E to put a detachable terminal. Not to mention that that’d put more traffic on lower Frosty’s Freeway…although I’d also see it having the advantage of taking some expert traffic away from the Peak 8 SuperConnect.

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      • RalfW October 28, 2019 / 7:46 am

        I doubt Vail Resorts would do it, but as someone who loves the Chair 6 terrain, my hope has been that they would put in a fixed grip triple. A detachable quad may help reduce lift lines more, but what makes that terrain so great is the low skier density due to lift capacity constraints.
        A detach quad will mean that the snow gets tracked out incredibly fast. I’m in no hurry to see that ‘upgrade’.
        On the other hand, this improvement for Peak Seven seems very welcome. There are days when Wirepatch is a lot of fun, but the slog down lower Monte Cristo to a crowded six-pack is kind of a drag. I guess we take the good and the (future) not-so-great and it’s all classic Vail Resorts.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Jacques Closeau October 26, 2019 / 4:08 pm

    Hard to believe that the sea to Sky will get a new haul rope before the people responsible for cutting the old one are found ? If they can’t figure out who cut the first rope how can they prevent the second rope & cabins from being destroyed ?

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    • Donald Reif October 26, 2019 / 4:29 pm

      I’m sure they’ll do something like build a storage barn where they can park the cabins overnight, provided there’s space.

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  2. Jamie B October 27, 2019 / 3:47 pm

    The new Fleckalmbahn seems really interesting, not so much because it will be 7 m/s (other such lifts already exist/being constructed elsewhere in Europe), but because it’s the first time I’ve seen a gondola cabin with full-height seat backrests and headrests (excluding special VIP cabins). A significant comfort improvement from the low backrests found on all other modern gondolas

    Such a thing costs relatively little in comparison to the overall project, I’m surprised it’s not more common

    Liked by 1 person

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