It’s official: this winter will be the last for Pioneer Express at Winter Park, tied for oldest high speed quad in the nation. The mountain’s fourth six place chairlift will debut on Vasquez Ridge next winter, increasing capacity from 1,900 skiers per hour to 2,800. A new mid load station at the intersection of Pioneer Express Trail and Big Valley will eliminate the need for many guests to ski all the way to the bottom terminal along a flat run out. The mid-station will sit near the current tower 7 with no angle change. With the retirement of Pioneer, Coney Glade at Snowmass and Sunshine Express at Telluride will remain tied for oldest detachable quad in America at 37 years.
The Forest Service already approved Pioneer’s replacement, the seventh lift project announced by Alterra Mountain Company for next year. Others are at Mammoth Mountain, Snowshoe, Solitude and Steamboat. A manufacturer for the Winter Park project was not announced, though the mountain operates a large fleet of Leitner-Poma detachable lifts.