Skyway – Bretton Woods, NH

The skyway became the first eight passenger gondola in New Hampshire in 2019.
Long Uni-G drive station.
Towers 1 and 2.
There is outdoor parking for all 36 carriers.
Tower 3 and the parking area.
T5.
View down at tower 3.
Not far from the bottom station, the lift crosses over the older Bethlehem Express.
A very tall tower after the crossover.
Cabins above Bethlehem.
Tower 10.
Lift line about half way up.
Upper part of the line.
View down at tower 12.
This lift is designed to operate as fast as 1,200 feet per minute.
Near the summit.
The only combination assemblies on the lift.
View down at T14.
Return terminal on the summit.
A new lodge was built just after the new lift.
Unloading area at the return station.
Side view of the top station.
Big breakover towers.
T16 and 17 from below.
A cabin near the summit.
View down with Mt. Washington in the background.
Omega IV cabins with the famous cog railway in the background.
The top of tower 10.
View up at tower 11.
The high speed quad below the gondola.
A very tall tower.
T7 below the crossing.
Cabin 30.
Cabins climb out of the bottom terminal steeply to allow for ski under clearance.
The parking rails.
Wide view of the lower station.
Uni-G station.
Loading and maze areas.
Lift overview.
Most of the lift line seen from the base area.
Crossing the Bethlehem Express.
Cabins over the forest.
Towers 14-17 and the summit lodge.

18 thoughts on “Skyway – Bretton Woods, NH

  1. skitheeast October 20, 2019 / 6:15 pm

    Is there a reason they did not make the gondola end at the Mt. Rosebrook summit? It would make it easier to get to Mt. Stickney and there are a couple nice diamonds from the summit.

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    • Random skier October 20, 2019 / 9:01 pm

      There wasn’t that much of a need to go all of the way.

      https://www.brettonwoods.com/winter_sports/~/media/07F51839A7FC449A9838D1FA2C4818C3.ashx

      As you can see on this map, the gondola top has an access trail you can take to get to 2 miles home and to the Mt. Stickney area. as well, most of those black diamonds off the summit can be skied from the top of this trail, though the top 1/5th of these trails do require you to take the rose brook summit chair to have access to, which is fine since it’s a very quick ride to the top.

      My main concern with this lift is capacity. Since you can access almost the entire mountain from this lift, there will be LONG lines, so i feel the people at Bretton woods are making a mistake by making this lift with sightseers in mind, clearly there is so much more use for this lift, especially after crystal mountain is bumping capacity on their summit gondola to 800, while lower end high speed quads have more than twice that capacity at 1800 on lifts like imperial at Breck.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Collin Parsons October 20, 2019 / 9:43 pm

        This lift’s capacity is upgradeable to 2600, so if they start having long wait times they’ll just add more cabins. Personally, I’m surprised they didn’t just remove the Fabyan’s Triple and get higher initial capacity on this lift. It’s kind of crazy having 3 lifts so close to each other. They didn’t run Fabyan’s on weekdays before and won’t be doing it now for sure. I also expect them to stop running either Bethlehem or Zephyr on uncrowded days as they will be redundant with the gondola.

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        • Donald Reif October 21, 2019 / 8:52 am

          Bethlehem is the older of those two so would be the lift I’d reduce operating hours on.

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        • Random Skier October 21, 2019 / 12:36 pm

          Though before Bethlehem was originally the workhorse lift here before the gondola, i can see why they might only use it as a backup to the gondola from now on. I don’t see them not running zephyr since it’s a pretty long ski back to the Gondola/Bethlehem, so i think that their 1980’s Dopplemayr HSQ is an old lift in need of replacement, so we might see another HSQ take it’s place, as building a six pack would both be unnecessary due to the added gondola capacity and the fact that such a lift would likely be too wide to fit though the gondola crossover. Or, they might do what sugar bowl in Cali did and remove the older lift next to the newer and better one everyone else uses. Still, uphill capacity of these 2 lifts would total to about 3900 this season, which is great for keeping lines short.

          I kinda wanna check out this resort and ski it, it seems fun especially with the historical Mt. Washington Hotel and all. It also has a good assortment of not too extreme terrain and a lot of glades which is great for an advanced intermediate skier like me.

          Good to see Omni resorts, the operator of bretton woods, is doing a good job and paying attention to this place, I’m curious about what they might do to the homestead ski area in virginia, another mountain they also operate.

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  2. Donald Reif October 20, 2019 / 6:22 pm

    I have to say that four-section towers are quite rare, like the one for tower 5. And those breakovers really dwarf the Fabyan’s return station.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BeyondtheLodge December 2, 2019 / 7:42 pm

    Hopefully, they run this lift at a decent speed unlike their other detachables…

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  4. Ski Bum January 9, 2020 / 1:52 pm

    The new gondola is SLOW!!!! Plus there’s the hassle of removing your skis, trudging through the lift line with skis in hand, and finding a spot at the top to put your skis on again. Many people avoid gondolas when other options are available. Unfortunately BW is not running all the other lifts on weekdays. And when the Bethlehem Express is not running and the gondola must be used, all that traffic and ski-off that happened at the start of mid-Swoop from skiers beginning runs from the BE chair is not transferred to the much narrower path from the Gondola to upper-Swoop.

    When Zephyr is not running skiers are again forced to take the gondola to the top, severely limiting the number of runs you can get in. I would much prefer the gondola to be the lift remained closed except when BW is handling high volume.

    Liked by 1 person

    • simplepugs May 9, 2020 / 1:29 pm

      Not to mention the ski baskets, they couldn’t just make the ski slots all able to fit a pair of twin tips

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  5. Benjamin Edwards January 29, 2020 / 7:05 pm

    Going in February, very excited! I’ve only ridden the Mansfield Gondola and the Over Easy Gondola at Stowe, VT.

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  6. Robert Sanders March 25, 2020 / 4:41 pm

    Bretton Woods did not need this gondola, I think they are using it as a marketing thing and trying to get weddings to their new top lodge. I have heard this lift is slow and long, long lines. I like BW but did not get there this season. Enjoy skiing there but certainly not my favorite in the MWV. Prefer Attitash, Cranmore and Wildcat. This gondola seems like a mistake to me, they need more cabins on it, wish it went all the way to the top of Rosebrook. They should’ve removed Fabyan’s with the gondola ending right above it.

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    • Collin Parsons March 25, 2020 / 6:06 pm

      It’s supposed to be able to go 1200 fpm. Why don’t they run it fast especially if there are long lines?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Somebody March 25, 2020 / 8:33 pm

      I’ve never skied BW but on paper this place looks so small. Why is there so many redundant lifts? IMO it would’ve made the most sense to make the gondola a 6/8 chondola and remove Bethlehem and Fayban. Zephyr services the entirety of Bethlehem’s terrain, and Fabyan never looked to be important in the first place.

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      • Robert Sanders March 25, 2020 / 8:50 pm

        They have variety, but I would say it is NH’s flattest mountain. I feel it is super overrated too. Cranmore’s snowmaking and grooming is light years ahead of BW’s. So many trails are right next to each other that they all feel the same. Fabyan’s never runs anymore. Ive skiied BW at least 12 times over the years and have only ridden Fabyan’s 3 times.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Teddy's Lift World March 26, 2020 / 3:03 pm

          I agree. I skied there last March and wasn’t impressed. If you’re an intermediate/beginner skier and you want to get into skiing the woods, they have some good glades, but nothing else really. There’s barely any challenging terrain and all the lifts run quite slow meaning that you spend more time on the lifts than you might want to.

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      • Meir K. March 26, 2020 / 11:57 am

        I have also never been to BW, but it said that they’re a relatively crowded mountain… which is probably why there’s a lot of coverage overlap with lifts.

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  7. Carleton Gebhardt March 26, 2020 / 12:04 pm

    I believe it was designed for 60+ cabins, but they only put 36 on the line. I think they are definitely thinking of this as more of a summer lift for events at the new lodge. Maybe the reduced number of cabins was a money saving thing, and they will add more over time?

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  8. Flat Spot April 27, 2020 / 8:19 am

    Wow what a great set of comments!! Well informed too!! Look at all of the experts ?! 60+ cabins ?! no way. A privately held ski area has to move in phases, give them a little credit for starting with the high dollar install and working backwards!! If the goal is more cash flow to finance further streamlining of the winter ops… Well, That sure makes sense to me ?! There is also a massive learning curve to adding a Gondola to the operation. How about a little shout out to the Lift Mechanics there working on 5 detaches with a small crew and still anchoring all of lift ops.. PS I’d bet the reliability of the 1989 Bethlehem Express against any of the other lifts in all of NH. That lift alone has had a good $500,000 worth of upgrades in the last 10 years and is currently receiving a brand new brake and tension system.

    Liked by 1 person

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