Another Six Pack for Snowbasin

Utah’s Snowbasin Resort has partnered with Leitner-Poma of America for its next big project, a six place chair in Middle Bowl. The lift will replace Snowbasin’s oldest fixed grip, a 1979 CTEC triple. Together with the recently-built Wildcat Express, the new six pack will offer an attractive alternate route up the mountain to the Needles Gondola. Middle Bowl Express will be the first Leitner-Poma lift for Sinclair Oil Corporation, the parent of Snowbasin and Sun Valley.

“Middle Bowl is a legendary lift that runs through the heart of Snowbasin,” said Davy Ratchford, General Manager of Snowbasin Resort. “We are committed to our guest experience and advanced lift infrastructure, so we’re thrilled to provide this upgrade to improve our guests’ access to upper mountain skiing.”

According to planning documents submitted to Weber County, the new Middle Bowl will load to the north of the current base station and terminate above Needles Lodge, allowing more room for egress. It will rise 1,190 vertical feet over 4,803 feet of slope length and 18 towers. Initial capacity is planned at 1,800 passengers per hour with 51 chairs on the line. In the future, 17 carriers could be added to reach 2,400 skiers per hour. A ride up Middle Bowl will last just 4.9 minutes compared with 9.2 minutes on the old lift at full speed.

Leitner-Poma is currently looking for employees to help build the six pack beginning in mid-July through November.


29 thoughts on “Another Six Pack for Snowbasin

  1. Donald Reif July 1, 2021 / 8:51 am

    I always suspected that they would need to change the offload area when this lift got replaced.


  2. Lily July 1, 2021 / 10:42 am

    LeItner Poma has been building a lot in Utah, at least considering it is historically CTEC/Doppelmayr territory.


    • Myles Svec July 1, 2021 / 12:26 pm

      I suspect they are offering deals to the resorts for their chairlifts. That could explain why so many are being built.


  3. Ben July 1, 2021 / 2:24 pm

    This was not announced until just now. I wonder if there was some synergy / cost savings going on with the Wasatch Peaks project which is just across Weber Canyon from Snowbasin, as that is also Leitner-Poma. Wonder how it all went down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ryan King July 1, 2021 / 3:21 pm

      That is a really good thought Ben. Seems to make sense. Crews will already be up there installing. Shipping parts etc.


  4. Ryan July 1, 2021 / 2:38 pm

    It breaks my heart that they are doing this, and also going with LP instead of Doppie. I guess Doppie couldn’t get it done for the right price in the right amount of time. What a shame. I’m not dissing LP, just nice to have some consistency and support your local state. (Doppie facility in Salt Lake, vs LP facility in Grand Junction) But I’ll get over it. It was going to happen and I am glad that my beloved Snow Basin is doing it in style. A few wimps on the SB facebook page wanting bubbles and heated seats. BAH to them. Yes it gets windy and cold on MB but WHO CARES. Skiing is not supposed to be all luxury and plush.


  5. Ryan King July 1, 2021 / 3:24 pm

    I got a Snowbasin Season pass last year. I really enjoyed having it and this seems to make sense. Allows for people to get to Strawberry without needing to go on needles. Take wildcat Express then this. or Becker then this. Also, I enjoy the runs off middle bowl. High elevation, good food up top.

    I also like following lift gossip. I’m a bit surprised they didn’t go build the lift over by strawberry first. Strawberry gets insanely crowded and closes because of wind. Thought they might build a strawberry lift that ends over on Dan’s saddle before they replaced middle bowl.


    • Ryan July 1, 2021 / 7:33 pm

      I think partly because they don’t tend to open up Strawberry until later in the season. I would imagine that the second Strawberry lift will be next. I don’t think the lines at Becker and Porky warrant those being replaced anytime soon.


    • Billuh July 1, 2021 / 10:44 pm

      You’ve never needed Needles to access Strawberry. Becker empties out above one of the better groomers at Basin.


    • Donald Reif July 3, 2021 / 5:35 am

      I think that the Strawberry detachable will come next, and that it will also go the way of a high speed six pack for wind reasons.


  6. Brian July 1, 2021 / 5:21 pm

    Excited for this new lift! Thanks Peter for the great write up and detail, and for being so on top of it! I read the tweet from Snowbasin at lunch today, and then went over to LiftBlog and you had already posted the story about it.

    As a season pass holder I often wondered what lift might be replaced next, and this one does make the most sense. I was wondering though why they are going with an initial capacity of 1800 pph? Wildcat Express is 2400 pph, and seems to me that they would get similar traffic? Maybe Middle Bowl even more? Also, will this lift look similar to the high speed six they installed at Nordic Valley last year?


    • Ryan July 1, 2021 / 7:36 pm

      Well Wildcat is a few hundred feet longer than MB, and to be honest, I think a HSQ would have served just fine, but they wanted to go big apparently.


      • Donald Reif July 2, 2021 / 12:17 pm

        It has to do with wind resistance, as six pack chairs are heavier.


  7. Carson July 1, 2021 / 9:51 pm

    Damm and another one bites the dust what a shame


  8. Joe Blake July 1, 2021 / 10:45 pm

    Does this mean 119 is going to be renamed 51 and then 68?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 199412vcummins July 3, 2021 / 1:05 pm

    Dang, I thought for sure snowbasin would be loyal to doppelmayr. Its gonna be rather interesting seeing a leitner poma chairlift at snowbasin. Im gonna miss that ravine where the chairlift would be real high up in the air. Making you hold on tight to the chair frame as there were no restraints,


    • Ryan July 4, 2021 / 4:38 pm

      First time I rode that lift when I was a kid, I was holding onto the side of the chair EXTREMELY tight.


    • Ryan July 4, 2021 / 4:41 pm

      Yeah, I feel a bit weird about there being a LP there as well, but given that LP does build great lifts that are safe and reliable, and that much if not all of the components will be coming out of the GJ factory, I’m not broken hearted about it. I just wish that an early CTEC lift could have been replaced by a company with CTEC history. It was essentially a Thiokol, but with the CTEC name. I loved this lift. I really hope I am able to score a chair. I signed up, but first dibs go to the season pass holders. Which I would be one if I still lived there.


      • Joe Blake July 4, 2021 / 10:53 pm

        Middle Bowl was one of the better lifts anywhere. Long enough but not crazy, varied terrain, usually pretty much empty, and for whatever reason scary to so many people who can’t do the math that most chairs exceed trauma MOI for falls even at only 20 feet. I dig that sorta deal.


      • 199412vcummins July 6, 2021 / 6:42 pm

        My dad has also signed up for a chair. Pretty sure my uncle has too. My uncle back in 2017 got ahold of 2 of the towers from the old wildcat triple chairlift. Rigged up 2 sections of the old haul rope from wildcat and tied them up to the 2 towers. He has 2 chairs hanging from the rope going across the 2 towers. One was from the wildcat triple and the other was from a ctec/thikol double in sun valley idaho. The contraption is cemented in in his backward.


        • Utah Powder Skier July 6, 2021 / 8:28 pm

          CTEC/Thiokol double from Sun Valley Idaho? I don’t know of any other Thiokol instalations built smaller than a triple at Sun Valley.


        • Ryan July 6, 2021 / 11:18 pm

          The only Thiokols at Sun Valley are Lookout on Baldy, (the lift to nowhere) and Elkhorn on Dollar Mountain. Both are still turning. Maybe he got one of the Littlecat Chairs? It was a Double.. or he could have gotten one of the old hall chairs from one of the lifts at Sun Valley, they look a lot like Thiokol/early CTEC.


        • 199412vcummins July 6, 2021 / 11:30 pm

          Yes thats what i recall, the chair faces uphill right hand side. So whatever lift it came from. It spun counter clockwise


        • 199412vcummins July 6, 2021 / 11:40 pm

          Could very well be the old littlecat. It still has that green paint. i don’t think my uncle ever repainted them. ccw configuration.


        • Ryan July 8, 2021 / 4:00 am

          Sadly, the green got painted over a number of years prior to the LC removal. They were painted a ghostly grey. Blah. I ended up with one of them.


        • Ryan July 8, 2021 / 4:08 am

          Maybe he got one of the old chairs from Sundown at Powder Mountain? It was a Thiokol double removed in 2014. Can’t remember if they sold the lift or scrapped it and sold the chairs?


        • Morris July 8, 2021 / 10:51 am

          If you have a picture of this contraption, I sure would like to see it!


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