Breckenridge, CO

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31 thoughts on “Breckenridge, CO

  1. Peter Danis December 6, 2018 / 7:52 pm

    Has a lift to the summit of peak 9 or peak 10 ever been considered?

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    • Donald M. Reif February 22, 2019 / 8:38 am

      Too much wind exposure.

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  2. Charlie January 26, 2019 / 1:46 pm

    Does Breckinridge have plans to expand farther down on peak 6?

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    • Donald Reif June 15, 2019 / 12:01 pm

      Not anytime soon, since I don’t think that lower down on Peak 6 is anything that’s within the resort’s alotted boundaries.

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  3. Donald M. Reif February 14, 2019 / 1:38 pm

    Your numbers on the chart for Quicksilver Super6 are off. It’s 17 towers and 105 chairs.

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    • Donald Reif June 15, 2019 / 12:01 pm

      Actually make that 107 chairs.

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  4. Donald M. Reif February 22, 2019 / 8:42 am

    Something to add to the notes on Lift D’s entry: part of Lift D still remains, having been repurposed for lift evacuation training, containing a few Riblet chairs and a Poma Competition chair. It’s off to your right on the Beaver Run SuperChair right after you go under the Peak 8 SuperConnect.

    On Lift B’s entry, I want to note that the vault for the lift’s top drive can still be found at the top of the Mercury SuperChair.

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  5. Donald M. Reif March 26, 2019 / 3:23 pm

    It’s in German, but here’s a video with lots of footage of Quicksilver Quad. You can even see things like how the Sundown trail wasn’t cut until the Beaver Run SuperChair was built (until 1990 there was a big gap between Columbia and American), and how the bottom terminal was in a building identical to the top terminal building. From 1:15 to 1:19, there’s even a brief glimpse of the loading area for Lift D, the Beaver Run SuperChair’s predecessor:

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  6. Donald Reif May 30, 2019 / 12:26 pm

    What’s with the “Peak 7 Infill” lift on the “2020 New Lifts” spreadsheet that’s pending Forest Service approval?

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  7. Donald Reif December 20, 2019 / 6:41 pm

    I think that Lift D was a bottom drive lift.

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  8. Donald Reif December 21, 2019 / 9:48 am

    The Independence SuperChair’s numbers need to be corrected, as the numbers listed on this chart show the lift as built in 2002, and do not reflect its extension in 2008. It was 7,149 feet prior to 2008. Now it’s 7,500 feet long. It also now has 24 towers, not 23. And six chairs were added, bringing the total of chairs from 113 to 119 chairs.

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    • Donald Reif February 16, 2020 / 10:28 pm

      1. A chairlift replacing the T-Bar would be nice, but you’d have to account for the wind exposure that the downhill line gets, plus the fact that some powder hounds might not be up for their powder stashes being tracked out quicker with a chairlift providing lapping of that terrain.

      2. You propose to replace Quicksilver and Lift A with a single gondola covering the whole distance. First off, that would be detrimental to ski school on Peak 9 by making it so that beginners have to take off their skis after every run. Also, the reason Quicksilver Super6 ends where it ends is for direct access to Ten Mile Station. It would make more sense to keep Quicksilver as it is, and upgrade Lift A to a low capacity high speed quad with 2,000 pph and no midway unload station (the low capacity being for the sake of beginners).

      3. Your proposal to upgrade Lifts 6 and E to triple chairlifts might get further than upgrading them to high speed quads. Lift E is primarily used by intermediates and experts using it and Frosty’s Freeway to transit south to Peak 9, as well as experts who lap the chutes on the North Face, so a triple chairlift would work fine there. Lift 6, well, I think the real issue anyone has with upgrading that lift is crowds and metering access to it both for those lapping it and those simply using it to get to Imperial.

      4. Upgrading Lift 5 to a high speed quad would be contingent on the lift having a midstation, possibly a half-station like Flying Mile at Tremblant has that can be bypassed in the winter, but used in summer for alpine slide access.

      I assume your “Peak 8.5 Base” would be the one that turns the junction of Lower Peerless, Crosscut and Sawmill at the bottom of Lift C into a sort of base area, right? In which case…

      5. I’m pretty sure that your proposed gondola to replace the lower part of the Snowflake lift would be obstructed by lots of real estate on Four O’Clock Road.

      6. I would be all for your fixed grip quad from the bottom of Lift C to the top of Lift 5, as that would provide a third means of access over from Peak 9 to Peak 8, while keeping Snowflake as is. However, in that case, it’s hard to imagine the fixed grip quad seeing daily usage outside of providing an alternate means of getting from Peak 9 to Peak 8 except on weekends and whenever the Peak 8 SuperConnect breaks down.

      7. It would look odd to replace Lift C with a high speed six pack, while leaving the Beaver Run SuperChair and Mercury SuperChairs (the main lifts on Peak 9) as high speed quads. A high speed quad (which is what Breck has proposed for this alignment on their master plans) ought to suffice.

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    • skitheeast February 16, 2020 / 11:29 pm

      I like the C, 5, and E upgrades, although I do believe E could go detachable. I like the general idea of your 4 O’Clock/Snowflake proposal, but the gondola would cross too many properties and it would start at the wrong location. I would route the gondola from Blue River Plaza to the top of 5 with a single angle station and eliminate the need for this to be two separate lifts. I do not think the Quicksilver gondola makes much sense, and I would instead replace Beaver Run with a two-stage gondola, with the second stage able to be used as pedestrian transportation from Beaver Run to the Village at Breck (like SkyCab at Snowmass). I like the idea of replacing 6 as well, although I am in favor of extending it down to the base of E (which I know some people do not agree with). The t-bar replacement is complicated because I agree it should go but there are wind issues so I am not sure how to do it.

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      • Donald Reif February 17, 2020 / 6:25 am

        A gondola option for the Beaver Run SuperChair wouldn’t be a good idea, as the lift is used for lapping skiers on Peak 9 just as much as the Mercury SuperChair is. And even a “two-stage” option wouldn’t work considering there’s not much room for a theoretical midstation at Beaver Run base. The lift is better off staying as a chairlift, or at most a chondola.

        E seems more suited to a fixed grip given its short ride time of five minutes. Not to mention its only lap traffic is experts on the Peak 9 chutes, and the better portion of its users are only using it to transition from Peak 8 to Peaks 9 and 10.

        A replacement for Lift 6 should retain the existing starting point, as extending it down to the bottom of E would just funnel more traffic onto the lower part of Frosty’s Freeway (not to mention the Peak 8 SuperConnect’s midstation services that terrain just fine).

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        • skitheeast February 17, 2020 / 10:32 am

          An upgraded C-Chair detachable plus Mercury would handle the majority of the people lapping 9. I do agree the Beaver Run mid-station would have to be slightly downhill on Sundown from the existing bottom terminal to be feasible. I do get the argument that E is short enough to remain a fixed-grip, but in my opinion, at a resort charging $189 for daily lift tickets (the second most expensive in the country), a lift greater than 3000 feet in length should be detachable, even if most of the people lapping it are expert skiers. Imperial is detachable and shorter than E and, excluding Snowflake, this would be the longest fixed-grip built at Breck since the 70s, so there is some precedent.

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        • Donald Reif February 17, 2020 / 11:34 am

          I think if the Beaver Run SuperChair gets upgraded in the future, it’ll probably be to a high speed six pack, or maybe a chondola if Breck wants to go all out and make Peak 9 more attractive as a gateway. A chondola would actually be more suitable so that skier traffic can use it for laps while also making the lift useful for foot traffic going to the Overlook Restaurant. Lift C would make more sense as a high speed quad, since that would mean about 8,800 pph uphill capacity between it, the Beaver Run SuperChair and the Mercury SuperChair.

          As for “a lift greater than 3000 feet in length should be detachable, even if most of the people lapping it are expert skiers”, well, that’s more true when it comes to lifts that exclusively lap intermediate and beginner trails. On lifts that primarily service expert terrain, or which people only use to transit from one point to another, like Lift E, a fixed grip is more adequate (see Plunge at Telluride as another example).

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    • BarkeeStone February 17, 2020 / 10:14 am

      I like your idea but the Horseshoe Tripe will have problems in windy conditions up the mountain. Plus I never have seen Leitner Poma with slated seats except for cushion pads. So there will not be a triple lift there unless Breckenridge will decide that Doppelmayr will replace Horseshoe T-Bar.

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      • Donald Reif February 17, 2020 / 11:37 am

        Then again, Breck’s a place for unique lifts, what with the highest lift in North America (Imperial), the only double loading chairlift in North America (Quicksilver), four lifts with turns, and five with midstations.

        Of course, let’s not forget that the Kensho SuperChair runs to a higher altitude than the T-Bar and it doesn’t have slatted seats (of course, it’s also a six pack, so it’s got heavier chairs).

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Andrew Munson March 22, 2020 / 7:06 pm

    Here’s what I think Breckenridge should do for new lifts and upgrades in the coming years sorted by priority on each peak

    Peak 10
    – No lift upgrades

    Peak 9
    – Upgrade Beaver Run to a High Speed 6-Pack with a 1100 or 1200 FPM rope speed due to the long length of the lift
    – Rework A Chair into a learning oriented low capacity High Speed Quad with the upper terminal placed on lower Briar Rose
    – Upgrade C Chair into either a Fixed Grip or Detach quad based on other Peak 9 upgrades. Both upgrades would have an added mid unload station at the lifts intersection with Lower American to allow better circulation to Mercury SuperChair and to allow beginners to avoid the Lower Sawmill Catwalk
    – Upgrade E chair into a modern fixed grip triple or quad with a further uphill top terminal
    – Create a new T-bar lift allowing hike free access to the chutes off of the back of Peak 9, this lift would run from the top of the Mercury Chair to the top of the Hike-To area in the back 9

    Peak 8
    – Upgrade 6 Chair to a low Capacity High Speed Quad to alleviate long lift lines
    – Upgrade Rips Ride into a beginner oriented fixed grip quad
    – Upgrade the 5-Chair to a High Speed Quad and retain the part time summer midstation
    – I’m not sure how, but address the ageing T-Bar with some sort of capacity upgrade

    Peak 7
    – Continue with the construction of the “Peak 7 Infill” lift
    – Create a new High Speed Quad lift that runs from near the top of the Independence SuperChair to the top of Peak 7. This lift would operate similarly to Imperial with regards to hours and wind closures and would allow people the ability to lap Whales Tale without crowding the T-Bar to get back up
    – At some point in the future Upgrade the Independence SuperChair to a High Speed 8-Pack to alleviate out of base lift lines and crowding

    Peak 6
    – No lift upgrades

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    • Donald Reif March 22, 2020 / 7:46 pm

      Just off length, Lift C would have to become a high speed Quad.

      An eight pack Independence Superchair would be unnecessary when the infill high speed quad will be siphoning a lot of its traffic away.

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      • Andrew Munson May 11, 2020 / 4:20 pm

        I see C chair becoming a high speed quad if Vail decides not to address the Beaver Run chair. For the Independence 8 pack I think the issue is that its the only base lift on peak 7. We’ll need to see the impact the peak 7 infill chairlift has on wait times at the base to see if more capacity is warranted.

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    • skitheeast May 11, 2020 / 8:32 pm

      Peak 9:
      Part of the reason Quicksilver is so busy is because it is a beginner and out of base lift. I think replacing Beaver Run with a two-stage lift, with stage one running parallel to Quicksilver until Beaver Run Resort and stage two directly replacing Beaver Run, allows for a needed capacity increase on Beaver Run and for Quicksilver to become a beginner lift, eliminating the need for an A upgrade. I am not sure whether this would be a gondola, 6 pack, or 8 pack. C should also go detachable, although probably without a mid-station due to cost. I like your E and t-bar ideas.

      Peak 8:
      I like the 6 upgrade, although I would also move the bottom terminal downhill adjacent to E to provide an easier connection between 8 and 9. I know some people have mentioned that would overcrowd Frosty’s Freeway, but I think it could handle it. I agree with everything else except for the upgraded 5 having a mid-station due to costs. However, if it were only to be used for summertime operations, it could be done similarly to Flying Mile at Mont Tremblant.

      Peaks 6, 7, and 10 all look good with what you said.

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  10. Matthew Opincar May 11, 2020 / 2:35 pm

    Why Are all Of you guys wanting them to replace all the classic lifts like have you guys even skiied here?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andrew Munson May 11, 2020 / 4:17 pm

      The main issue is capacity, old chairs such as 6 chair and 5 chair have horrible lines nearly every peak day. Waiting over 15 minutes for a lift isn’t fun and a high caliber resort such as Breck should upgrade them to make wait times more manageable. A second concern is age. 5 chair is turning 50 this year and other Breck riblets aren’t far behind. The combination of demand and age is making most of the older lifts get closer to replacement. I could see Breck keeping E chair around for longer due to the expert terrain it services and relativly short lines, but others like the 6 chair, 5 chair, and to an extent the T Bar, don’t have the capacity to keep up with the demand.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Carson May 11, 2020 / 8:08 pm

      I hope that the riblets will remain for more times to come especially c chair that is my favorite lift here

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  11. afski722 May 11, 2020 / 8:16 pm

    I feel like a lot of the comments above are more like SimCity than grounded in any sort of reality. The lift replacements cost enormous amounts of money and like we saw in 2020 that all capital expenditures were quickly curtailed in a downturn.

    The reality is that Vail Resorts has a huge backlog of projects across all of their resorts. While there is a priority for Breckenridge projects that has to fit in with the broader allocation of capital across all of their resorts.

    It remains to be seen just how brutal pass sales and destination skier visits will be down for 2020-2021 at this point.

    Replacement of many of these lifts is going to many years down the road.

    Not sure where the sentiment that all fixed grips and/or lifts need to be replaced but its not grounded in economic reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • skitheeast May 11, 2020 / 8:39 pm

      I do not think anyone on here is thinking Breck will build 5+ detachable lifts in one year and posts generally tend to lean towards idealistic thinking, but over a decade or so most of the items on posts here could easily be achieved. Yes, there is an economic crisis now, but it will not last forever. During the 2010s, right out of an economic recession, Vail built 1 gondola, 1 t-bar, 1 fixed-grip lift, and 4 detachable lifts at their flagship mountain. To think that would be possible to do at Breck, a mountain with an almost identical number of annual skier visits, is not unrealistic thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif May 11, 2020 / 9:10 pm

        For example, the infill lift on Peak 7 at this point would be a suitable lift for Breck’s 50th anniversary, particularly if it could be done in conjunction with the upgrade of one of the Riblets.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Somebody May 11, 2020 / 9:50 pm

      “I feel like a lot of the comments above are more like SimCity than grounded in any sort of reality.”

      I feel like when it comes to new lift ideas this entire site is a bit like this, but it’s more of a good thing than a bad thing. Coming up with ideas for new lifts and ski area expansions is fun and brings out creativity. Some of the expansion plans are pretty solid too. I bet that if skiing was still like the 60s and 70s when ski areas still spent most of their capital in lifts, some of these expansions would be happening.

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  12. afski722 May 12, 2020 / 3:21 pm

    I guess what I’m getting at is that Vail Resorts has a lot of priorities in the decade ahead to manage from a capex standpoint.
    Across their portfolio of resorts they have a huge amount of lifts that are approaching the age of replacement including many first-generation ~30 year old HSQs from the 1980s/early 90s and a whole lot of Riblet and Halls that are 40-50 years old. Also gondolas at their marque resorts that are approaching 30 years old as well. Not to mention aging utility, snowmaking, and on-mountain facilities that need mulit-million dollar upgrades and replacements as well.

    Its going to be a tricky balance to get to many of these things so its likely a lot of stuff is going to continue to get older and get more maintenance and upgrades than just outright replacements.

    VR is facing a lot of issues not just with this season but a depressed revenue environment next season as well.

    So, when you look at things now like upgrading lifts like A, C, E chairs that is way down on the list of priorities for VR.

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