Aerial Tram – Snowbird, UT

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Top dock.
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Red tram at the top.
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Towers 2 and 3.
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Tower 4 and the top dock.
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Bottom terminal building.
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Tower 4 and the red tram car.
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Top terminal from below.
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Another view of the top station.
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Blue tram car and carriage.

11 thoughts on “Aerial Tram – Snowbird, UT

  1. Browns27 March 21, 2020 / 10:39 pm

    When will this beauty get replaced you think? Almost 51 years old and the main lift at the mountain, you think a gondola will replace it?

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    • Carson March 22, 2020 / 10:38 am

      No not happening any time soon I think

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    • skitheeast March 22, 2020 / 2:04 pm

      I do not believe there is a plan in place for a replacement in the near future, but there are a lot of similarities between this lift and Jackson Hole’s original tram, which was replaced 14 years ago after 41 years of service. I think the line is too windy to ever hold a gondola, so I am not sure if they would go with the more expensive tram like Jackson Hole did or the more modern 3S gondola.

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    • themav March 22, 2020 / 2:46 pm

      Snowbird still has Wilbere lift from the same year as this, and Chickadee lift is only one year newer than both. Snowbird has hinted at replacing Wilbere as a race lift in the past, but nothing is finalized. As far as the Tram is concerned, it sees fairly regular maintenance. While it could use more capacity, the Tram has become an icon of Snowbird and as such it is unlikely to get replaced.

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      • Sean March 22, 2020 / 4:39 pm

        I over heard in the tram line at the beginning of the year that next ski season will be the last season for the cabins, will be replaced with more modern ones. But that is all that will get replaced.

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    • vons3 April 4, 2020 / 2:38 pm

      Snowbird’s tram was the most modern design of its age and has been regularly updated so I doubt it will be replaced for at least another 40 years especially considering the track ropes were just replaced a few years ago.

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      • Somebody April 5, 2020 / 1:34 am

        40 years seems overly-optimistic. That would make it 90 years old when it’s removed. Maybe it’ll make it 25 more years. Wonder what they’ll do then, probably a 3s.

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        • Chris April 5, 2020 / 4:32 am

          Or with another tram? Just like Jackon did, or Innsbruck where two 78 year old trams were replaced with brand new ones in 2006, reusing the historic station buildings.

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  2. Tom White April 5, 2020 / 5:43 am

    With only two cabins, by definition, trams have very low pph capacity. Are there any stats or articles about resorts replacing trams with 3S or similar multi-cabin lifts? The one day I skied at Snowbird, I avoided the tram because of the long lines. On the other hand, I used the Cannon tram often because the lines were short.

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    • Billy B. April 5, 2020 / 12:01 pm

      The main example that comes to mind is Jackson Hole. JHMR considered a bicable gondola to replace the original Aerial Tram, which would have been a less expensive and higher capacity option. The owners made a great decision that the symbolism of a classic aerial tram was important for the resort and choose a new jigback system for the replacement. Here is an article about the Jackson Tram replacement. (https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/top_stories/resort-narrows-tram-options/article_c50eca1f-c51c-55f5-952b-104b2f1a5564.html) The article says that 20 alternatives were considered before a jigback tram was selected as the replacement.

      I would imagine the circumstances are similar at Snowbird. The Snowbird Aerial Tram is iconic and has value to the resort that cannot be easily measured. A 3S, bicable gondola, or even funitel could theoretically work at Snowbird but would take away the instantly recognizable symbol of the resort. Someone above has already mentioned that the Snowbird Tram is very well maintained with recent improvements like new track ropes and a modern Frey controls. I look forward to riding it well into the future. If the long lines of the tram are an issue, Snowbird has Peruvian as an alternative.

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      • Tom White April 6, 2020 / 7:31 am

        Thanks for your comments and linked article. I forgot that I’ve ridden the Jay tram. But when that wait gets long, I chose other lifts. While having a thrilling ride is nice, the actual skiing is far more important to me. That includes, actually skiing, not waiting in a long line. Calling a lift “iconic” is not the reason I’ll chose a resort.

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