News Roundup: A Late Addition

  • Big Sky’s two new lodging access lifts are on the map, bringing The Biggest Skiing in America to 37 lifts.
  • Sasquatch Mountain Resort needs help naming its shiny new Leitner-Poma quad chair.
  • Mont St. Mathieu will expand with a 3,100 foot Doppelmayr surface lift set for commissioning in January 2020.
  • The Sea to Sky Gondola confirms 9 cabins were undamaged in the August incident and will be used to shuttle workers this winter.  With 30 new cabins on the way from Europe, the company will be able to easily take the lift to final capacity (40 cabins) in the future.
  • Crested Butte’s new trail map shows the adjusted Teocalli alignment.
  • In Bolivia, the largest gondola operation in the world reopens following a week of shutdowns due to civil unrest and the resignation of President Evo Morales.  The general manager of the gondola company also resigned.
  • Win Smith of Sugarbush chats with Vermont Public Radio about why now was the right time to sell.
  • Mt. Timothy, BC is officially back in business.
  • On December 9th, Vail Resorts will report fiscal first quarter earnings, traditionally accompanied by guidance on capital investment plans for the year.
  • Thanks to Collin Parsons for these awesome photos of the gondola construction at the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex.


16 thoughts on “News Roundup: A Late Addition

  1. Teddy's Lift World November 15, 2019 / 9:43 am

    Silly me never realized that the Lake Placid gondola was a pulse lift. I was always wondering why they would dump a ton of money into an expensive Doppelmayr detachable gondola.


    • Mark Bergman November 16, 2019 / 11:23 am

      This gondola is even more wasteful then the gondola ORDA installed at Belleayre. The ski jumps lift is a short ride mostly used by competitors who can easily handle a chairlift ride. A few visitors may ride to take the elevator to the observation deck, but even those visitors can park adjacent to the to the elevator.


      • skitheeast November 16, 2019 / 6:48 pm

        The lift needed replacement and it’s a pulse gondola, which is significantly cheaper than a normal gondola, and I think it is extremely useful here. However, given the needs at other ORDA mountains (Whiteface and Gore especially), it does make me question if they have their priorities in order.


  2. Peter D. November 15, 2019 / 10:00 am

    Are you gonna write articles about what lifts you predict Vail and Alterra to build next year like you did last year around this time?

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Mike B November 15, 2019 / 12:18 pm

    To be fair to Big Sky, while I normally look down my nose at real estate access lifts, the new Highlands lift appears no less legitimate in terms of serving ski terrain than the nearby Southern Comfort HSQ. About 1000′ vertical of consistent, beginner/low-intermediate cruising terrain Intriguingly, it closes nearly half the gap between the ski area and the town of Big Sky Wonder if it opens the door long-term to some sort of lift connection to town. Obviously not in their currently published plans, so that’s way out, if ever.


  4. powderforever45 November 15, 2019 / 6:16 pm

    How long is the new highlands lift? It appears to be longer than lone moose on the map.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Landsman November 15, 2019 / 9:38 pm

      Highlands is 3,850 feet long, slightly shorter than Lone Moose.


  5. Thomas Jett November 15, 2019 / 9:35 pm

    One thing that’s curious to me is that it seems that Big Sky has introduced tripple-blacks on their trail map.


      • Thomas Jett November 15, 2019 / 10:32 pm

        Do you think that it’s more of a marketing thing, or might we see a transition to a generally used triple-black/extreme rating?


        • Chris November 15, 2019 / 11:17 pm

          I’ve only been in Big Sky once for a few days, but those triple diamonds are the only runs that actually do require alpine expertise and some caution. So marking them special does make sense. Kind of like the “high alpine ski route” designation in Europe now that just ski route is used inflationary.


        • Jeff E November 16, 2019 / 7:43 am

          Resort skiing is all a “marketing thing” that’s why there are so many people in marketing departments making more money than people who actually make skiing happen at a resort


      • Brian November 16, 2019 / 9:28 pm

        I always like Heavenly’s access sign into the “expert” terrain.
        Heavenly Ski Resort - You Can Die


        • Joe Blake November 17, 2019 / 6:42 pm

          Even though it can be still used as marketing (Dave Amirault springs to mind easily, as he and his department are shrewd and effective), this kind of signage is markedly better than some extra lines on a trail map.


  6. Brian November 17, 2019 / 1:26 pm

    Peter in that podcast you did, around the 19min mark you were talking about maintenance costs of a detachable lifts. A 500K figure was mentioned as the cost of replacing the grips every few years on a lift back east. Is there anywhere that you know of that lists these costs item by item and their recommended replacement intervals?


    • John November 18, 2019 / 9:58 am

      Not for public use, and the costs aren’t fixed anyway. Some parts do have recommended replacement intervals, others are a case-by-case basis. All three detachable manufacturers I’ve worked with also give maximum wear criteria for certain parts as well; for example, the Poma TB-41 grip rollers start life at 150 mm in diameter and must be replaced when they get to 147 mm. On a long lift like the old American Flyer, it takes much longer to get there than on a shorty like the Excelerator.


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