News Roundup: 685 Cabins

  • New owners launch Granby Ranch Rising, a set of capital improvement initiatives.
  • Seven Springs’ new lift may be completed as soon as the end of this month.
  • Mexico City will launch the Doppelmayr-built Cablebús Line 1 on Sunday, followed by the Leitner-built Line 2 on July 24th with a system total of 13 stations, 121 towers and 685 cabins.
  • Mt. Hood Meadows proposes replacing the Mt. Hood Express with a Leitner-Poma six place in 2022 or 2023.
  • Lookout Pass begins cutting trails on Eagle Peak with installation of Sundance’s former Ray’s quad set to commence in 2022.
  • A Breckenridge developer proposes a short gondola to bring skiers from the Gold Rush parking lot to the BreckConnect Gondola.
  • Sunlight tables construction of the East Ridge expansion lift, citing “soaring costs of materials such as steel due to ongoing supply chain challenges.” The mountain says “new lift installations are happening at a premium price right now,” and will prioritize more immediate needs such as upgrades to existing lifts.
  • Speaking of premium lifts, more towers arrive for the Squaw-Alpine Base to Base Gondola.

17 thoughts on “News Roundup: 685 Cabins

  1. Jonathan July 9, 2021 / 2:08 pm

    For the Breckenridge Proposal, how many more people will be using the Breck Connect? They’re removing the North Lot, but building a new hotel there, the new South Lot Parking Garage will be completed, and then adding a garage for the Gold Rush.

    If there’s a max influx of people who will use the Breck Connect, it’s going to really suck to park in the new garage in the Gold Rush lot. Standing in line for one gondola, then having to stand in line for another one seems just awful.


    • skitheeast July 10, 2021 / 4:31 pm

      I am typically all in favor of gondola parking access at ski resorts but agree this proposal makes zero sense. Having to wait for one gondola, load, unload, wait for a second gondola, load, and unload just to get to the base is impractical. It has to be a one-seat ride, even if that ride has to slow down for mid-stations (as Breck Connect does now).

      I think they should look into the feasibility of an underground garage at the North Lot site and just build over it. The Park City base redevelopment plan is doing just that, and even though it is controversial among some locals, it really is the best win-win for developers and drivers.


      • SCSkier July 11, 2021 / 9:31 am

        The BreckConnect Gondola is also the town’s central bus station so it’s not like your only option is to take one gondola to the next. This will allow people parking at the new gold rush lot to easily disperse across what is probably the busiest road in Breckenridge.


  2. HoodRacer July 9, 2021 / 4:28 pm

    Cannot understate how badly Mt. Hood Meadows needs to replace Mt. Hood Express with a 6-pack. The lines at the current quad are just awful, and are made worse by the many mechanical issues it seems to face every season. I just worry about crowding at other lifts if it is actually replaced.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pnwrider July 11, 2021 / 1:07 pm

      North Canyon will also be hilariously overcrowded, when Mt. Hood Express gets replaced with a six pack with 50% more capacity. But I agree, as someone who grew up skiing at Mt. Hood Meadows myself, this has needed to happen for years! I guess they just needed to finish the Sahale Lodge first.

      Mt. Hood Express also probably has some serious operating hours on it, considering it is open pretty much from the beginning of the season in November to the end of the season in mid to late May.


      • HoodRacer July 11, 2021 / 9:34 pm

        Think of the hilarity of even more beginners on north canyon! Hah. I surprised to see this being considered. I spoke with someone on the maintenance team last season and they said chances of new lifts were minimal until the govy land exchange was finished. Not that I’m complaining, though…

        I know Mt. Hood Express has endured some pretty rough winters, especially with all the freezing rain over the last few years. I’m glad to see they’re proposing new towers as well, especially since the current ones were already re-used from the original Jacob’s Ladder triple. I know it’s just to handle the extra capacity but I felt like some of the longer spans/the lift’s profile contributed to a lot of swinging chairs when it stopped quickly.


        • pnwrider July 12, 2021 / 11:11 am

          Oh I agree, Mt. Hood Express could have some pretty scary bounces near the top when the lift stopped! Especially with those Falcon chairs with the small seats making part of your thigh and the rest of your legs feel like they were already hanging off the edge. It makes sense considering the profile of the towers was from a much slower and lighter fixed grip triple, versus the high speed quad with every chair fully loaded on a weekend. That new detachable six pack will definitely be a better ride, and I wonder if Blue will really see any action going forward because the new six pack will have a ridiculously high hourly capacity and not be a mechanical boon to keep running.

          I remember years ago I chatted with the vice president of Mt. Hood Meadows (I was an 8th grader at the time haha), and asked him about the old Mt. Hood Meadows master plan, particularly regarding the lift from the bottom of Elevator to the top of Cascade Express, and he said it was still a possibility. I remember he said they weren’t sure if it was worth going for a detachable chairlift or instead opting for a fixed grip lift, but it was on the agenda. I don’t think I remembered to ask him about the possibility of Daisy Express.

          What are you referring to with the govy land exchange?


        • Drew Jackson July 12, 2021 / 1:39 pm

          RE: Govy land exchange

          In summary, Mt Hood Meadows is willing to swap 600 acres of undeveloped private land it owns adjacent to Cooper Spur ski area on the north side of Mt. Hood for about 70 acres of public (USFS) land in Government Camp. The Government Camp land, although much smaller, would be adjacent to already-developed areas, making it much easier for Meadows to develop that land into lodging and/or a parking/bus/transportation hub.

          But the devil is in the details, and after working on it for nearly two decades, there are still unresolved issues & people fighting about it:


        • HoodRacer July 12, 2021 / 7:04 pm

          Adding onto my first comment and what others have said… I’m certain they’re keeping Blue because of all the freezing rain/ice the mountain gets.

          When it is too windy or the detachables can’t run because of ice on the grips, blue is often one of a few lifts running. I remember a lot of days last year when only blue, buttercup, and Daisy ran for these reasons. If they get rid of Blue, a major part of the mountain can’t be accessed when these storms roll through.

          Adding onto that… Blue is in a poor alignment as it stands now. Long lines spread out into major runs, it is a long, uphill hike away from the lodge, and the unload ramp is steep enough that most beginners can’t unload without falling. Putting a 6-pack there would be chaos, I think.


        • HoodRacer July 12, 2021 / 7:07 pm

          Last thought… I’ll be very curious to see if the Elevator express is ever built. I think it would really increase use of the terrain between Express and Shooting Star. I would imagine a detachable would be better just to avoid icing issues (like Cascade).

          I talked to someone at Meadows years ago, too, who said that building Vista took replacing Daisy off the table.


      • UberRight July 12, 2021 / 4:54 pm

        The capacity is needed. Without a Daisy Express, the Vista lines get longer, and more and more park rats use MHX to lap the parks.
        Shorter lines at MHX should relieve pressure on Shooting Star as well.

        Meadows could disperse crowds with some education and trail signage.
        How many people just lap North Canyon and Ridge Run and never know of the other options?

        North Side the wind sheltered road to Wee Bee Gee Bee is a great trail, veer left onto Middle Fork. How many people have never been there? At the Middle Fork pinch they could ask the Forest Service to allow a road cut back to lower North Canyon.
        Wee Bee Gee Bee proper needs more snow coverage at the top due to wind scour. Perhaps a snow fence, and early season grooming to push snow into that area?
        Pressure on Eric’s Corner could be relieved by grooming at the 4 corners intersection down into lower Rams Head. Or signing and cutting down the moguls on Show Off.

        South side options are Ridge Run, Chunky Swirly, and Cascade Skiway. Lesser known options are hidden 1-1/2 bowl entrance to Ridge Run, Backside Ridge, Tunnel of Love. How many people have never been on Beaver Tail?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Owen Mitchem July 12, 2021 / 5:06 pm

          Its also possible to lap 100% of Stadium’s terrain from MHX. I think this is a much needed replacement, I’m just surprised that they are choosing to replace MHX instead of Blue.


        • HoodRacer July 12, 2021 / 6:58 pm

          The less people that know about 1.5 bowl the better! Lots of good terrain at meadows that is under-utilized, but some days I don’t complain about that. This was my 16th season there and it’s crazy to me how few people venture off the main runs.


  3. Myles Svec July 9, 2021 / 5:06 pm

    Wasn’t there also a double chairlift included in the Eagle Peak expansion? What happened to that?


  4. theincsupport July 11, 2021 / 1:03 pm

    For the Mexico City gondolas, why are they choosing to do one Doppelmayr and one LP? I feel like it would make more sense to go one or the another.


    • Ryan July 11, 2021 / 7:14 pm

      trying to encourage friendly co-working together? Prices? Time tables? could be a number of reasons. I think it is AWESOME to have both Pom Pom and Doppie together.


      • Michael July 11, 2021 / 8:02 pm

        Ryan_ Please stop with the “cute” names you apply to the Lift Manufacturers. To us in the Industry it is disrespectful. Thanks. Doppelmayr, Poma, Leitner Poma, Yan, Riblet, etc.

        Liked by 2 people

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