Elk Camp – Snowmass, CO

Tower 2.
Poma Competition terminal.
View up the lift line.
Return station at Elk Camp.
Riding up.
View back down the line.
Arriving up top with quite the view.
Unloading ramp and drive terminal.
The breakover.
Drive terminal underskin.
Down line view.
Upper lift line.
Lower lift line.
View up at tower 5.

12 thoughts on “Elk Camp – Snowmass, CO

    • Eric G December 28, 2020 / 9:57 am

      Elk Camp was originally built with 95 carriers and had an uphill capacity of 1,600. About 10-12 years ago they increased the number of carriers to 120 and the uphill capacity was increased to 1,800.

      They rarely run this lift at 1,000 fpm and instead, routinely run it at 900 fpm. When it originally opened it would regularly run at 1,100 fpm.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif December 28, 2020 / 3:06 pm

        A lift of Elk Camp’s length should be run at close to 1,000 fpm if possible. But I’m guessing the 900 fpm speed is about saving money.


        • Eric G December 28, 2020 / 10:31 pm

          If I were the Snowmass mountain manager the lifts would run at full speed. Unfortunately, I’m not. Most of the detachable lifts at Snowmass are routinely operated at 850 to 950 fpm. It drives me crazy! On busy days they’ll up the speed to 1,000 fpm on Alpine Springs, High Alpine, and Elk Camp. From my pesky questioning I’ve concluded that Snowmass gives drive operators some latitude as to how fast they operate the lift with guidance from lift maintenance and of course, weather conditions.

          It’s been explained that Snowmass management believes that by slowing the line speed they reduce the number of stops and slowdowns. I don’t entirely agree. From my viewpoint when you give people more time to load, they’re not as attentive, pay less attention, and thus it results in more loading problems.

          What blows my mind is that most of the detachable lifts at Snowmass already have a longer interval between chairs – Sam’s Knob (routinely operates at 850 fpm!), Sheer Bliss, Big Burn, High Alpine, Elk Camp, and Two Creeks (only 850-900 fpm) – so why do you need to give people even more time?

          Overall, I don’t understand SkiCo since they don’t slow the detachable lifts down at their other mountains. Highlands operates Exhibition, Cloud Nine, and Loge Peak at 1,000 to 1,100 fpm. Buttermilk also operates their lifts at full speed. Same with Aspen Mountain.


        • pbropetech December 29, 2020 / 12:00 pm

          Eric- I’ve personally seen dropping line speeds have a positive effect. We routinely run the American Flyer at 900- 925 fpm on Saturdays with crowds, and the lift does stop less. Overall the lift ride takes less time at that speed than if we were to run it at full (1000 FPM) with stops every so many chairs.


        • Eric G December 29, 2020 / 2:18 pm

          Pbropetch- on a six-pack with a 6.75-second loading interval, like American Flyer, I can understand where you may experience less slows and stops. What I’d like to understand is the root of the problem. Is it the speed at which the chairs move through the station or the amount of time between them?

          When you slow American Flyer to 900 fpm you increase the interval 3/4 a second to 7.5 seconds. Many of the detachable lifts at Snowmass already have an interval longer than 7.5 seconds when operating at full speed.


        • Collin Parsons December 29, 2020 / 4:38 pm

          Maintenance might simply not want to run the lifts fast and put more wear and tear on them. Stratton’s still relatively new Snow Bowl Express regularly runs its top speed (1000 fpm) with a tight 6 second interval. They have 3 CTEC 6 packs which have longer intervals at their top speeds (1050-1100), yet they never reach them and always run slower than Snow Bowl. I’m not sure if they give their operators any say in what speed to run at. At Whiteface, management does not know or care about speed, so the lifties will set the speed as slow or as fast as they feel like.


        • pbropetech November 5, 2021 / 9:15 am

          Collin/Donald- as a longtime mechanic I don’t see any cost savings from running the lift slower. They’re engineered to run full speed- parts, components, structures, all of that- so running them slower isn’t going to help with anything that way. I could see a small lengthening in the life of a sheave liner, maybe- but when I compare what my coworker changes on E-lift (1100 FPM) to what I would change on the Flyer (900-1000, same sheaves) and adjust his totals for the fact the his lift is one-third the length of mine, we changed the same percentage.


        • Chris November 6, 2021 / 3:37 am

          A lot of the detachable here in Austria run as slow as 3.5 m/s (about 690 fpm) in the low season. The prime reason seems to be to save on the electrical bill. The same lifts tends to run at their design speed when it is crowded, which usually works out fine with the loading conveyors helping with the skier placement.


        • AO March 24, 2022 / 11:08 am

          It’s about fewer stops, not cost savings


        • AO March 24, 2022 / 11:09 am

          And not all stops are due to mis-loads


  1. leander January 3, 2023 / 11:58 am

    this lift has 120 chairs


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