Breckenridge, CO

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79 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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    • skitheeast December 15, 2020 / 2:04 pm

      I think it would be an excellent idea to add a couple of lifts above the current Peak 9 and Peak 10 terrain. Maybe the summit itself is a little too windy, but there are still thousands of feet of vertical below there that have great terrain above the treeline. In particular, United States Bowl on Peak 9 is a lot of fun, and the area below 4th of July Bowl on Peak 10 holds snow extremely well.

      For some reference, both Peak 9 and Peak 10 have their in-bounds peak at ~11600 feet, while their true summits are 13,195 feet and 13,696 feet, respectively, so there is a lot of room to play with.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif December 15, 2020 / 8:37 pm

        Where would you propose these hypothetical lifts to start?

        I mean, with the US Bowl, that lift would have to originate somewhere near where Lift E starts. And the above-timberline areas of Peak 10 wouldn’t exactly be reachable by a lift starting near the top of the Falcon SuperChair.

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        • afski722 December 16, 2020 / 1:20 pm

          There is no plans to extend lift service upward above treeline on Peak 9 & 10. Its possible, feasible, and in the master plan to expand additional hiking terrain beyond the current ski area boundary on Peak 9, but it would further uphill hiking access from the current road/catwalk above the top of Mercury / Chair E.

          This isn’t likely to happen in the near future as it is now, ski patrol already has enough terrain to perform avalanche control inbounds. The current hike-to-terrain on 9 is highly underutilized, in part do to the long-runout rock and stump filled bobsled run down through the Windows drainage.

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        • Donald Reif December 16, 2020 / 7:20 pm

          That too. There’s at least 1,000-ish acres that ski patrol has to do mitigation work on just from Peaks 6 through 8.

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        • afski722 December 16, 2020 / 7:55 pm

          Yep. Everything on the upper mountain lifts and hike access on 6-7-8 has control work.
          Plus the hiking terrain in the Windows & Twin Chutes on Peak 9, and a few pitches on northside of 9 near E-Chair occasionally need control work
          And a few pitches in the double black terrain on south side Peak 10 too – Mustang / Dark Rider.

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        • Myles Svec January 20, 2021 / 10:56 am

          Here is my design for a Hypothetical new lift

          It would be a HSQ going from the top of Briar Rose to a point on the Peak 10 road.

          Lift E would be upgraded to a HSQ also.

          Purple lines would be new trails.

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        • Donald Reif January 20, 2021 / 1:30 pm

          Your hypothetical lift would need to start a bit lower down so as to be reachable from the Beaver Run SuperChair.

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        • Myles Svec January 20, 2021 / 2:33 pm

          I would say either at the top of C chair or in between mercury and beaver run where bonanza crosses the road there

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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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    • Donald Reif December 16, 2020 / 7:21 pm

      Actually, I would say not ever, seeing where they chose to start the Kensho SuperChair.

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      • afski722 December 16, 2020 / 8:19 pm

        No. Most of the terrain below the current Peak 6 terrain is outside of the ski area’s special use permit (SUP) area with the Forest Service and/or private land. Also much of it gets pretty flat, and/or would require snowmaking to consistently be able to open before January in most years.

        There is a portion of Peak 5 that is within the current SUP that could be opened-up for lift access but that has not ever been seriously looked at or included in any consideration in a master plan. That would require another 2 lifts; one to serve a terrain pod and another for egress back out to Peak 6. The terrain over there is actually a bit steeper than current Peak 6. This is probably 10-20 years out before they even consider further expansion northward.

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        • Donald Reif December 16, 2020 / 9:48 pm

          I think as things stand, it’s more likely the next decade for Breck will be spent on improving circulation on the areas they already have developed. As in, upgrade lifts that are slammed on peak days (which was the case with the Colorado SuperChair) or have reached the end of their service life (which was the case with the Falcon SuperChair, since I don’t think any of the master plans had it being replaced).

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    • afski722 December 17, 2020 / 7:41 am

      Yep…its more on improving circulation and getting better skier dispersion onto underutilized terrain. In-Fill Peak 7 lift accomplishes that.
      Eventual replacements of C-Chair will take pressure off of Beaver Run, and to a lesser extent E-Chair. 5-Chair off of Colorado. A-Chair replacement/realignment will help the ski school out big-time and take pressure off of Quicksilver.
      The reality is that Breckenridge’s improvements over the next decade are really going to target the biggest demographic of skiers on the mountains that primarily beginners & low-intermediates. The advanced / experts are pretty well cover.

      The Bergman Bowl expansion over at Keystone also may help indirectly trying to divert some skier from Breck to Keystone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif December 17, 2020 / 9:02 am

        Lifts 5, A and C are definitely the three Riblets I’d prioritize getting replaced. 5 and C go the way of high speed quads. A’s one where I think I’d scale back from the master plans and have it be a fixed grip quad starting where lift A currently begins, but running up Eldorado to just above the Quicksilver Quad’s former offload area.

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      • Donald Reif December 20, 2020 / 11:33 am

        And If any of the existing detachables is to get an upgrade, I could see one happening to the Beaver Run SuperChair within the next decade, with it likely going the way of becoming a six pack. Of course, I think it would probably be more prestigious if it had a gimmick, so if I were in charge of things, I’d make it a bubble chondola with 3600 pph capacity.

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      • Donald Reif February 9, 2021 / 10:25 am

        The least Breck could do at this point would be to give all of the existing high speed quads, plus Quicksilver and the Independence SuperChair, wood skins similar to those Crested Butte has on their high speed quads, to match the three LPA high speed six packs.

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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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        • Donald Reif November 10, 2020 / 9:15 am

          I think the infill chairlift will solve the problem of congestion at the Independence SuperChair. The Independence SuperChair has to deal with this congestion because it’s not only carrying skier traffic lapping Peak 7, but you also have to use it to get anywhere else on the mountain when you’re returning from the Kensho SuperChair. The role of the infill lift will be to create a means of bypassing Peak 7 base when transiting south, since you can already do that going north thanks to the Peak 6 Parkway being built to create a direct link from the Rocky Mountain SuperChair to the Zendo Chair. Of course, the infill lift will also have the extra benefit of being able to siphon some of the lap traffic from the Independence SuperChair. Looking at the map, you’ll also be able to use it for laps on Monte Cristo, Angel’s Rest and Lincoln Meadows. So the two lifts will have different functions: the Independence SuperChair for those coming out of Peak 7 base area or lapping all of the trails on Peak 7, while the infill lift is for lapping the northern three trails and also for Peak 6 traffic to bypass Peak 7 base on their way back to Peak 8. In effect, an arrangement similar to the Peak 9 high speed quads, where the Beaver Run SuperChair is for getting out of the Peak 9 base area and services most of the upper Peak 9 terrain but for a couple runs you can only reach from the Mercury SuperChair, but once you’re on the hill, you use the Mercury SuperChair for lapping this terrain.

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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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      • skitheeast November 26, 2020 / 9:35 pm

        Emerald SuperChair: Basically already happening with the Peak 7 infill lift.

        Horseshoe Lift: I know there are wind issues here, so I am not sure if your proposal (or any other) would work. However, ideally, I would run a detachable from the current bottom terminal up to the top of Imperial, giving Peak 8 one lift on each face.

        Aces SuperChair/Rip Ride Upgrade/Trygrve’s Platter: I think upgrading 5 to a detachable would be enough (maybe 6-pack with wide spacing for easier loading). Rip’s Ride can then remain as a backup. I have never used Trygrve’s and have no idea how much it is even used.

        Backside 8 SuperChair: I like it, although I would possibly move the top terminal a little higher on the mountain to reduce the traverse over to Too Much, Solitude, etc.

        Lift A Replacement: I do agree A should be realigned when upgraded, but I would rather see it go from the bottom of Falcon to the top of Mercury to create a “Peak 9 infill lift” that also makes getting from 10 to the rest of the mountain a lot easier.

        Peak 9 Platter: I like the idea of going higher on Peak 9, but perhaps a chairlift and not a platter could better promote the large amount of terrain available.

        North Peak 9 SuperChair & Backside of 10 Chair & Peak 6.5 SuperChair: I like them

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      • Donald Reif December 8, 2020 / 3:15 pm

        Alternatively, and probably more realistic, although still unlikely beyond the Peak 7 infill lift:

        https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/1/edit?mid=1_hyWfKs8EWwucruh-iJn_FgzW6fcSZO9&usp=sharing

        Upgrade Lift 5 to high speed quad with a midway unload turn station at the Alpine Slide

        Upgrade Lift 7 to a fixed grip quad. I think fixed grip quads are great for learning areas, especially for ski school groups.

        Upgrade Lift C to a high speed quad. For a moment, I thought about extending it to run all the way up to end next to Lift E, but reconsidered when I realized that the upper part above the Overlook would be highly susceptible to wind exposure.

        Remove Lift A,and replace it with a fixed grip quad starting from about the same location as the current Lift A, but running up Eldorado to the top of the old Quicksilver Quad. This shorter alignment would make it mean something more than a “lift to nowhere” as Lift A is. I would also have it run daily because in addition to being useful for ski school, it would also be useful for skier traffic coming from the trails north of Sundown headed to Ten Mile Station, as they could use this to get to Ten Mile Station instead of go up the Mercury SuperChair and come travel Briar Rose or Upper Lehman.

        In other words, the only Riblet lifts left would be Lifts 6 and E, 6 because being a double chairlift nicely regulates access to Imperial above it, and E because it’s a rather short ride at 5 minutes, and the only people using it more than once are those who are lapping the chutes.

        And lastly, install a low-capacity high speed quad running from the bottom of Cimarron to the top of Peak 10, so skiers on the Peak 10 double blacks don’t need to take a long cat track back to the Falcon SuperChair.

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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

      • Donald Reif November 10, 2020 / 9:04 am

        Lift E definitely has another decade of life left in it before it’ll be due for an upgrade, given its short ride time and the fact that I bet there isn’t much lap traffic on it. Most of its traffic is people using it as the fastest way to get to Peaks 9 and 10. Lift C probably won’t be going anywhere soon since it’s only really used as a backup for the Beaver Run SuperChair. Lifts 5 and 6 could certainly use the upgrades. I’m thinking now that ideally, Lift 5 becomes a fixed grip quad and Lift 6 becomes a triple chairlift.

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    • 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 2 people

    • 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 2 people

      • 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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  13. Jonathan November 30, 2020 / 7:53 pm

    I have a feeling Vail will build a few more lifts than they already have planned. Right now Vail’s price per share is pretty close to what it was in August 2018, their all time high; same with their gross profit. Right now, it seems like Vail has recovered from the shutdown, and the busy summer really helped them, as well as the boost in season pass sales. I think this will be a pretty busy winter as many people are wanting to travel, but can’t get out of the country. I am hoping Vail will add at least one of these new lifts to their projects for this summer:

    1) 5 Chair Replacement at Breckenridge (Chair 5 is on year 50!).
    2) Bergman Bowl Express at Keystone.
    3) Game Creek Replacement at Vail.
    4) Mt. Sunapee Express Replacement.

    Any other new lift they might add? If there is another lockdown, will they even build lifts this summer?

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    • Donald Reif November 30, 2020 / 9:09 pm

      5 going detachable would allow for a turn station at the Alpine Slide unload point.

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    • skitheeast November 30, 2020 / 9:27 pm

      Do keep in mind that the stock price is not an accurate reflection of Vail’s current financial position. If they are able to keep their resorts open for the entire season, I would hope they are able to build all of the lifts they planned for last year. As for adding one of your ideas to the list, I would rank their likelihoods 2, 3, 4, 1. Perhaps this winter will really highlight which of their resorts have demand well beyond capacity with the reservation system and days selling out, leading to an increased investment at less traditional resorts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Myles Svec December 8, 2020 / 8:15 pm

        I could see resorts with expansions next year such as Steamboat that are growing really fast do more in their expansions than planned if this year goes well enough. I could see with the pioneer expansion with the pioneer HSQ being added at the same time as the terrain now. The HSQ is already approved so it is viable.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Ben December 18, 2020 / 12:54 pm

    In between towers 10 and 12 of Beaver Run Superchair, If you look to the right, there is two towers of an old Riblet. There was only two towers, nothing else. And two fixed grip chairs on the line. But here is the craziest part, there was also a Poma LPA detach chair on the line! The rope seemed like it was anchored into the ground so it had tension. Anyone know why this is still up? What chairlift did this used to be? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donald Reif December 18, 2020 / 1:40 pm

      That is a remnant of Lift D, the Riblet double that the Beaver Run SuperChair replaced in 1990. Under Peak 9’s original lift system, it only ran up to about where the EpicMix course on Sundown is. Now it’s used by ski patrol for lift evac training.

      (As you can see from the map, there’s no Lift B anymore either, because that lift was replaced by the Mercury SuperChair in 1997.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ben December 18, 2020 / 9:17 pm

        Thanks for the clarification. The lift evac training makes a lot of sense. Thank you!

        Like

  15. Donald Reif January 22, 2021 / 11:27 pm

    Just off-topic. But for those wondering what Peaks 7 and 8 looked like before the ski runs were cut.

    Like

  16. Donald Reif January 28, 2021 / 8:42 am

    Missing from the spreadsheet: the Mercury SuperChair isn’t the first lift to use that name. That was the original name for the Beaver Run SuperChair for its first three seasons of operation, when Breck realized that it made more sense to name the lift for its starting location.

    But since the original name was just as appropriate given Breckenridge’s history as a mining town (mercury amalgamation was used by miners to recover minute pieces of gold mixed in soil and sediments), they decided to reuse it for the high speed quad built in 1997 to supplement the quad that used to have that name.

    Like

  17. Donald Reif July 14, 2021 / 1:05 pm

    So is Freedom going to be clockwise or counterclockwise? The pictures of construction so far make me think it’s going to be clockwise…

    …yet some of the master plans make it seem like the lift is going to be counterclockwise.

    Like

    • Thomas Jett July 14, 2021 / 10:06 pm

      What master plans are you referencing, by the way?

      Like

  18. jpass022 July 14, 2021 / 3:30 pm

    How about repitching Sawmill to allow easier and more efficient crossover from Peak 8 to Peak 9? Same as Vail did the the Skyline Trail at Heavenly when they took over operations. Would be the cheapest high impact modification for skiers that could be done in a short time…

    Like

  19. afski722 July 15, 2021 / 8:15 pm

    Regrading lower Sawmill is not really feasible. Its just flat in there, abutting private property and wetlands below the ski area. The easier thing to do is they really should just run C Chair during the week. Right now it only really runs on weekends and holidays.
    Eventually C Chair will probably become HSQ in the next decade which will improve skier circulation and utilization of somewhat under utilized terrain.

    Like

    • skitheeast July 15, 2021 / 11:33 pm

      Upgrading C to a detachable, and then proceeding to run it daily, would do Breck wonders. For starters, it would give non-advanced skiers a way to get from Peak 8 to Peak 9 without needing to take Lower Sawmill, which, as you mentioned, is pretty flat. Plus, it would bring more skiers over to Peerless and Gold King from the more popular trails under Beaver Run and Mercury, alleviating lines at those lifts. Honestly, I think this would be very similar to the ongoing Freedom SuperChair project, as that allows skiers coming from Peak 6 to bypass Independence and better utilizes the northern part of Peak 7. If it is successful in spreading out crowds, perhaps detachable C is the next project Breck does to replicate the results.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif October 5, 2021 / 1:55 pm

        They’ll be upgrading Lift 7 to a high speed quad next year, and that might put some more traffic on Lift C given that you can reach it from Lift 7 via Crosscut.

        So the earliest they could upgrade Lift C would be 2023.

        Like

        • afski722 October 5, 2021 / 9:11 pm

          Lift 7 upgrade seems to be more about providing a better lift for beginners and childrens ski school on Peak 8.
          A quad is easier to load and get multiple kids per chair with and instructor or adult on the chair versus a double.
          Also doesn’t whip around the bullwheel as fast.

          But yes, takes some Peak 8 -> 9 pressure off of Chair 5 & Colorado, at least in theory.

          Like

    • James July 16, 2021 / 9:59 pm

      I found a copy of the master plan online, and regrading sawmill is part of the master plan.

      Like

  20. Donald Reif October 5, 2021 / 1:57 pm

    The most interesting thing about the Freedom SuperChair is that at least until the Lift 7 replacement high speed quad is built next year, it will mark the first time since 2014 that Breck has had a high speed quad that doesn’t use Omega chairs (as that was when the Beaver Run SuperChair’s Competition chairs were replaced).

    Like

  21. Donald Reif October 11, 2021 / 5:35 pm

    Now we know the Freedom SuperChair has 20 towers, and given its length of about 5,700-5,800 feet, I’m guessing it’s going to have somewhere around 115 chairs.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FBc7SPwUcAA9lAg?format=jpg&name=4096×4096

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FBc7UZaUYAI2P3S?format=jpg&name=4096×4096

    Like

  22. Myles Svec October 29, 2021 / 7:34 pm

    Would this work? It would have to pass over some of the machinery Breck has though. It would also be 4,774 ft long HSQ with an 1,800 pph capacity

    Like

    • Donald Reif October 30, 2021 / 10:33 am

      It certainly wouldn’t be cutting through any property lines and miss that storage area by a wide margin.

      Part of me thinks, though, that if you’re upgrading Snowflake, you might as well realign the upper part to end in a different location. As it were, Snowflake’s kind of a “lift to nowhere”. The lower station’s primary function is as real estate access, while the midstation probably gets more use given that it provides an alternate route to Peak 8 if the Peak 8 SuperConnect breaks down. Once you’re off the lift, the only places you can go are taking Twister down to Peak 8 base, or following the lift line to Crosscut to go to Lift C or Beaver Run base area (if you want to head to Peaks 9 and 10).

      My alternate Snowflake lift would run to either where Sawmill splits off from Four O’Clock…

      …or up to the top of Lift 5, allowing for access to the Peak 8 SuperConnect’s midstation via Sawmill, or access to the Colorado and Rocky Mountain SuperChairs without having to navigate around the loading area for Lift 5.

      Like

    • skitheeast October 30, 2021 / 1:35 pm

      I would just have any Snowflake replacement end adjacent to Chair 5 instead of Rip’s Ride to allow beginners to go to Peak 9 in addition to Peak 8.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif October 30, 2021 / 3:38 pm

        Crosscut’s not too long a blue and I think most beginners can manage it. But I can see your point that it would be more practical to run a ‘Snowflake SuperChair’ all the way up to where Lift 5 offloads.

        The terrain does look more suitable for an unload location, although I imagine that such a lift would have to have 90 degree unloading and some regrading to allow this traffic to merge onto Four O’Clock safely, given this is where it would be ending:

        Like

  23. Donald Reif November 11, 2021 / 8:39 am

    Honestly, at this point, the only improvements I would do to the mountain are:

    * Upgrade and extend Snowflake up to the top of Lift 5

    * Upgrade Lifts C and E to HSQs

    * A few small infill trails on north Peak 9

    Like

  24. Donald Reif November 23, 2021 / 7:35 pm

    Missing data on the spreadsheet: the Freedom SuperChair has 20 towers and 119 chairs.

    Like

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