Colorado SuperChair – Breckenridge, CO

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Leitner-Poma LPA drive station.
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Return station at the base of Peak 8.
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View up the line from the base.
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Loading area and maintenance rail
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Combo assemblies on tower 10.
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Arriving up top.
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Drive station overview. The old high speed quad had a vault drive here.
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Wood terminal underskin.
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Towers near the summit.
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Bottom station overview.
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Looking down the lower lift line.
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Leitner chairs.
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Tower 4.
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11 thoughts on “Colorado SuperChair – Breckenridge, CO

  1. Donald M. Reif March 18, 2019 / 3:51 pm

    This lift was built at a time when Vail Resorts really was into carpets for six packs (though they’ve recently decided carpets aren’t worth the hassle and don’t use them on newer lifts, hence why the Falcon SuperChair doesn’t have a carpet).

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    • Collin Parsons April 25, 2019 / 8:08 pm

      They also gave up on 3600/hr 6 packs, instead keeping capacity at only 3000. Since they won’t go to an 8 pack for 3600, everyone is stuck with longer wait times. Montezuma and Northwoods replaced 2800/hr high speed quads, so the capacity only increased negligibly.

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      • With the Falcon SuperChair, it made sense to stick to 3,000 pph since that’s an experts only lift, and really, the main reason that it was even installed was because the quad was really old. Same for the Kensho SuperChair, given its alpine bowl location.

        That said, when it comes to 3,000 vs 3,600 pph, I’d say that on six packs, the slightly larger spaces of 3,000 pph are a bit more adequate when it comes to the amount of time riders have to get to the loading area.

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        • Collin Parsons April 25, 2019 / 9:29 pm

          I agree Falcon didn’t need 3600. However, the original Montezuma and Northwoods lifts always had long wait times, and the capacity only increased by 200/hr. Not exactly a game changer. At 3000/hr, chairs load every 7.2 seconds, and at 3600 they load every 6 seconds.

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      • themav April 25, 2019 / 10:27 pm

        To say that Vail is making people get “stuck with longer wait times”, is not totally true. Vail has built plenty of >3000 PPH 6-packs, where the capacity is justified. Emerald Express at W-B, King Con at PCMR just to name a couple. Blackcomb Gondola moves a staggering 4000 PPH (I realize it’s not a 6 pack). Vail is not a stranger to high capacity lifts. Donald has mentioned some good reasons why a few of the recently built ones were 3000 PPH.

        I feel like Vail (or any resort operator for that matter) could build a “Ramcharger 8” like lift, and still have long waits and crowds on the busy days of the season. I also feel that in many cases lift capacity already exceeds trail capacity, so dumping more skiers at the top of a ridge may not be the best solution to the problem. Ski area management is very complex, and Vail is as good as anyone at it.

        This wasn’t supposed to be “praise Vail”, just offering my thoughts on the matter. The best way to avoid crowds is to learn the mountain, and know where (and just as importantly, what time of day) the bottlenecks are. I also avoid weekends and holidays, but that’s not an option for everyone.
        As a side note, the worst lift line(s) I’ve waited in my entire lift was this season at Snowbird on an 18-inch powder day. The line was literally headed up the mountain!

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        • Donald Reif #SaveDaredevil (@DonaldMReif) April 25, 2019 / 11:15 pm

          In the cases of the Montezuma Express and Northwoods Express lifts, those are six packs that are dumping skier traffic into funnel points (the Summit House on Dercum Mountain, and Patrol Headquarters respectively; I would say the biggest complaint I have about Keystone is that the off-Dercum Mountain pods have too many bottleneck points, especially Mozart).

          The Colorado SuperChair doesn’t fall into that category since the Vista Haus isn’t exactly a bottleneck point (one can find ways around it if one knows the mountain good enough).

          That’s definitely true that there’s only so much extra lift capacity that can be added before it’ll be necessary to make trail expansions to even out the crowds. The Peak 6 expansion in 2013 definitely helped spread people out further.

          ” I also feel that in many cases lift capacity already exceeds trail capacity, so dumping more skiers at the top of a ridge may not be the best solution to the problem. ” Which has been my argument against making any sort of upgrade to the Rocky Mountain SuperChair because of the steep hill you must go down when you leave the unload area (that hill gets crusty very quickly).

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        • Collin Parsons April 26, 2019 / 9:15 am

          I don’t think any western mountain has problems with skier density. Stratton’s lifts can deposit up to 11,200 people at the summit per hour. Note that this number is actually lower since their lifts do not run at full speed. Yes it’s dense on the summit, but once you get down the first 100-200 vertical, things spread out a lot.

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        • themav April 26, 2019 / 3:54 pm

          Collin, I took a look at Stratton’s trail map, and it appears to fan out nicely. When I think of skier density, I think more about what’s enjoyable for me to ski, rather than the skiers/acre target the resort has. When moguls are starting to form by mid-day on the groomers, the powder has gotten packed down into cement within hours of opening, having to change directions of your turn because someone ‘appeared’ out of nowhere are signs that there’s too much traffic on a trail. I experienced some “too many people here” days in LCC/BCC this year (no surprise there; powder days galore), to the point that people were parking a mile or so down the canyon road and hiking up to the resort base areas. The lift lines snaked up the mountain, the groomers were littered with people, and even though it was a powder day, it was all packed down by noon. Still, even then you can find untouched lines, and excellent skiing, but the crowds definitely make it far less enjoyable, even if the mountain is technically below capacity. YMMV

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        • skitheeast April 28, 2019 / 12:54 pm

          Stratton is an excellent example of a mountain that chooses to sacrifice trail density for lift wait times. This is very noticeable on a few trails, mostly Janeway Junction and Black Bear.

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  2. Collin Parsons May 5, 2019 / 12:35 pm

    I think this is the only non-bubble LPA with an internal tension carriage.

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