- Soldier Mountain loses its only out of base lift for one weekend and possibly longer due to a mechanical issue.
- Grizzly at Montana Snowbowl gets rope evacuated following a power outage.
- Approaching a year without its gondola, Mont-Sainte-Anne says any new lift remains years away and the resort is not for sale.
- A unionization effort at Whistler Blackcomb suffers a setback.
- From Colorado to Ohio, Maine North Carolina and New Hampshire, skiing is booming.
- Green Mountain Valley School officially dedicates its new Leitner-Poma T-Bar.
- Most Ontario resorts are cleared to reopen.
- Searchmont won’t open this season but will complete an expansion for next winter.
- Italian ski resorts begin to reopen.
- With so many Colorado resort workers living in groups, communities consider whether to offer them vaccine priority.
- Showdown Montana passes from one generation to another.
- Yet another new haul rope arrives at the Sea to Sky Gondola.
- Tampa issues an RFP for a formal gondola study.
- A girl falls 20-25 feet from Snubber at Sugarloaf.
- Canada will invest billions per year on transit which could jump start the Burnaby Mountain 3S project.
- Steamboat announces what will replace the existing village gondola station.
- Chair 8 reopens at Dodge Ridge, one month after a crazy wind storm damaged it.
- The City of Edmonton recommends planning continues for a five station urban gondola.
- More than 50 entities formally oppose the Forest Service’s planned approval of the Snow King Mountain gondola and expansion.
- Arapahoe Basin looks to replace the Lenawee Mountain triple.
- Eaglecrest’s Ptarmigan chairlift is closed indefinitely after two chairs become caught in a tower on startup.
My guess is that Lenawee Mountain becomes a high speed quad, and the towers get reused, as the lift already has quad gauge towers and line gear.
I think they might replace it with a six pack with wider chair spacing because of wind. Also for longer load times.
I guess I can see the precedence for going with a six pack. The Kensho SuperChair is overbuilt for its location, with 3,000 pph uphill capacity, but the heavier LPA six pack chairs certainly helps with wind tolerance on the upper part of Peak 6. But at the same time, A-Basin doesn’t have anything above a quad, and a quad might be cheaper to build if they can reuse existing infrastructure.
The Steamboat Base will still be really congested. I wish there could be a second base area and there is a few spots that would be great base areas. Sadly they are on either National Forest land or Private land.
Christie III counts as a secondary base area.
Christie III is not a secondary base.
It would be nice if there was a HSQ where Christie III starts to Thunderhead base to help supplement the future Wild Blue gondola. Plus that terminal is away from the others so it would be a useful HSQ
When the plans were first revealed a couple of weeks ago to move the gondola terminal uphill, I thought it was to make way for Wild Blue to have its base terminal in the same location and thought it would be a crowded mess. However, these new plans seem to imply that Gondola Square will remain gondola-free and Wild Blue (when built) will also have its terminal on the uphill side of Burgess Creek. I actually really like this idea and think it will help with the congestion because it will expand the physical footprint of the pedestrian area. This is likely the best thing they can do at this moment without building a second base area, which would be extremely expensive with land acquisition and development costs.
Happy to see most Ontario ski resorts open once again, would’ve been a shame if they didn’t open for the rest of the year, but they finally did!
what happened to Mont-Sainte-Anne’s Gondola?
Quite the week, folks! Thanks for the great updates and information as always, Peter. I am interested in Arapahoe Basin looks to replace the Lenawee Mountain triple. With what? A HSQ? I hope they hang onto to Lenawee for future use if it is possible.. but if not, there are plenty of resorts that i am sure would like the girl. I haven’t been up to A-Basin in quite awhile so I don’t know what the lines are like for Lenawee. Can one of you chime in?
Also delighted to see that the Steamboat Lift Mechs got the Thunderhead Express back up for today. 17 out of 18 lifts are turning at Steamboat today, with the opening of Pony Express thanks to the recent snowfall. Priest Creek is available as a secondary lift as-needed but I don’t think we’ll see her turning with the limited number of people they are allowing on the mountain. But here’s to hoping. I’m always happy to see all lifts turning at a resort.
In some posts on Al’s blog years ago, he mentioned replacing Lenawee with a HSQ sometime after the new Pali lift is installed. This is a smart move. Currently, it’s an 8 minute ride time with a 1,000 ft elevation gain. Cut it down to a 4 minute ride and your gaining 250’/minute which is more in line with where lifts should be. Crowds can be rough early in the morning when people are dispersing up the mountain. I actually think the double capacity may lead to a doubling of people who want to ride the lift. I like the upper frontside, but the slow gain in vertical usually leads me to Montezuma or the Beavers. I might begin to use Lenawee more for skiing vs transport with this option. Looking forward to it – no idea when installation would be though.
Eaglecrest update and drone video of the damage:
Your item about the booming ski industry mentions Vermont, but links to an article about a ski area in NH. The state travel restrictions are much tighter in Vermont than New Hampshire. I’m curious to hear how Vermont is doing with those restrictions, especially now that the snow conditions have improved significantly since earlier in the season.
Every individual mountain is different, but Vermont skier visits are down by a large amount due to the travel restrictions. In general: casual skiers who have no attachment to any particular mountain or state are avoiding VT altogether and going elsewhere. However, those with second homes in VT are generally either quarantining, living in VT for the winter, or just breaking the rules since there really is no hard enforcement. That latter group is a decent number of people, as 25% of all residences in VT are second homes, and a larger proportion of them being in VT full-time has helped boost midweek skier visitation. However, the casual skier demographic makes up a disproportionate percentage of ancillary revenue at resorts between lessons, lodging, food, gear, etc., which is where resorts really have huge margins, and their loss has also allowed weekend/holiday visitation to drop. So, revenue and profits are generally down by a greater percentage than skier visitation, which is not good for the ski business.
However, it could always be worse. Canada and California are in worse shape.
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That chair 2 replacement at Mission Ridge has taken much longer than expected, hopefully the season pass holders have been/ will be treated fairly and compensated accordingly. Looks like it will be an interesting and unique machine.
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Regarding Lenawee, a HSS would work well there since there are many options from the top of that lift now and the detachable technology would reduce the misloads/unloads significantly.
Also because 6 pack chairs are heavier than 4 chairs so added wind resistance.
As a long time skier at the Basin, I can’t see them going the 6 pack route. They want to keep the laid back skier vibe. Replace Pali with another double instead of a quad for example. Building Quads instead of HSQ. Lenawee should’ve been a quad when it was replaced before, but then they had Norway serving the same terrain. Now Norway is gone a quad makes since. As for wind hold, I’ve never seen Lenawee closed due to wind. .
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High Speed lifts are more vulnerable to wind so that’s why we are suggesting it.
Is there any data to back that up? Anecdotally my experience says the opposite, but if a lift mechanic or operator chimes in, I’ll listen to them.
In my experience detachable lifts are more vulnerable to wind. I think it is because the fixed grip lifts grip is fixed into the cable more making it harder for them to sway where in detachable lifts it’s not as attached to the cable so therefore detachable lifts sway more in wind.
Chairs on detachable lifts are just as attached to the cable as fixed-grips. Why would they be less? Wind affects all machines the same; it really depends upon the orientation of the lift in question in relation to the wind direction. Typically upper-mountain lifts out here in CO are more affected because they’re less protected, either by trees or adjacent ridges (or both). The heavier a chair, the less it’s affected by wind. A newer fixed quad might be more stable than an older detach just because the chairs are heavier. Conversely, an old centre-pole Riblet will bounce all over the place because it only weighs around 70 pounds. The Flyer chairs weigh 1600 pounds but if the bubble is open it acts as a sail and the chair swings noticeably.
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