- The Forest Service issues an operating permit to Mountain Capital Partners for Elk Ridge, Arizona, though reopening plans remain fluid.
- Sun Valley’s Cold Springs projects takes a major step forward with the removal of 50 year old lift towers.
- Tim Boyd, the visionary behind Peaks Resorts, earns NSAA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will evaluate changing its name.
- Arctic Valley builds a public use cabin integrated into the top terminal of Chair 2.
- Solitude becomes the latest resort to abandon summer operations to focus on winter.
- President Trump signs an executive order banning many foreign workers until 2021, including J-1 visas used by many American ski resorts.
- Despite Coronavirus, Utah resorts enjoyed their fourth best season in history.
- For sale: a classic Hall T-Bar.
- Virus-related financial impacts may delay Sunlight’s proposed East Ridge project.
- Jackson Hole takes a hit but will consider replacing Sublette and/or Thunder as early as 2021.
- A Georgia community grapples with what to do about Stone Mountain, where an aerial tramway travels over the nation’s largest Confederate monument.
- Disney Skyliner cabins are spotted back out on all three lines.
Good to hear Jackson Hole is attempting to remain on schedule in replacing lifts!
In an ideal world, I would replace Sublette with a detachable quad and use its equipment to install a Hoback lift, running from the bottom intersection of North Hoback and Union Pass up to Rendezvous and the Hoback entrance.
So you are saying something like this?
Exactly like that.
I think there is a big opportunity to reimagine that entire side of the mountain. I would consider two lifts: (a) a detachable quad (2400 PPH) running from the bottom of the Union Pass chair to the junction of the Rendezvous and Hobacks trails, and (b) a detachable six pack (3200 PPH) running from the current base of Thunder to the top of Sublette.
Combining Thunder and Sublette into a single lift is an interesting idea. The only negative I could see would be an increase in skiers having to use South Pass Traverse to head back to the base of the lift. Plus, Laramie Traverse could receive an influx of intermediate skiers heading from the top of the lift to Amphitheater and Gannett.
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Could a lift run up the cliffs above the Thunder chair, up to top of Sublette. They could be an obstacle in your plan.
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Possibly if they did something like peak at whistler.
A detachable there would be great but is there enough traffic for it? A fixed grip seems more realistic.
If Jackson were to install a hoback lift, I’d want to see a boundary expansion somewhere. The hobacks are one of the only terrain areas at this point that don’t get skied off in 3 hours after a storm ends. Taking away the powder from the hobacks leaves me with less of a reason to go to Jackson.
As for Thunder/Sublette, you don’t want to replace those both with one lift. They are two distinctly different pods and should stay separated. Replace Thunder with a HSQ and replace Sublette with a HSQ if wind allows for it.
Here would be my plan for JHMR (yellow are relevant existing lifts, light blue are replacement lifts, red are new lifts, and dark blue are new connector trails):
I already went over that I think Thunder/Sub should be upgraded, so we can skip those.
For a Hoback HSQ, if you wanted it to serve the most terrain possible, you’d start it at the bottom of the current union creek lift. This would also allow for easy access from sweetwater with a new connector trail, which would take pressure off of Bridger, Casper and Thunder.
As for boundary, the bottom half would be hoback-esque and the top would be similar to Sublette. The hoback lift would really act as a gateway to it, and this lift would definitely be the last one installed in my plan.
Who owns that land? If it’s forest service land maybe they would be able to lease it. Plus there is a backcountry area between the Hobacks and your proposed lift. Not sure how steep it is or if it has cliffs on either side but some locals might be mad about it. Plus that’s a pretty big area of land.
From the image, it appears to be primarily in Bridger-Teton National Forest with the bottom terminal on private land. The area appears to be Rock Springs Canyon, which includes a bowl at the top called Rock Springs Bowl. There is some good backcountry skiing over there, and I am not sure how big any pushback would be from that group.
The idea itself is interesting. Personally, I view Jackson Hole’s biggest lift problem to be the tram lines, so any idea to spread out skiers has my attention. For example, a Hoback lift encourages tram skiers to come to a relatively underutilized part of the mountain and not head back to the base. A Sublette or Thunder detachable upgrade does the same thing in trying to lure skiers to stay on the upper half of the mountain. If a Rock Springs lift could bring skiers away from the tram, I am onboard.
May I also ask what software you use to make those kind of maps? I am interested about it.
I just use google earth and the built in tools. You can draw lines, add pins with names, and see what the slope of a line is.
I think I would do all these and rebuild East Ridge, to ensure an alternate way to the Tram summit, in the same way that Marmot functions as an alternate means of reaching the top of the Bridger Gondola.
I have mixed feelings about East Ridge. On one hand, Rendezvous and Corbets are fairly short and are not terrain most would lap during the middle of the season. On the other hand, Thunder/Hoback/Sub HSQs might bring more traffic to it, and it could be useful for early/late season ops if they wanted to extend their season.
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Interesting note from the video that I just noticed, at 0:54 it looks like they are lifting a direct drive unit into a UNI-G drive terminal. I previously thought direct drive was only available on D Line systems.