Gondola – Stratton, VT

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Covered cabin parking at the base terminal.
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Departure side at the base.
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Leaving the drive station.
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View up the line.
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Upper lift line.
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Lower line.
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Top terminal building.
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Poma towers and a new Sigma Diamond cabin.
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Top return station.
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Another look at the lift line.
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Bottom station with vault drive below.
Lower section of the line seen from American Express.
Tower 3 and new Sigma Diamond 8 cabins.
Depression towers 1 and 2.
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4 thoughts on “Gondola – Stratton, VT

  1. somebody... January 27, 2019 / 3:17 pm

    Wonder what the future holds in store for this lift. The upper half seems poorly designed, as the lift outclimbs the trees at points, which seems fine on days with no wind, but even average east coast winds shut this lift down. On top of that, this lift turned 30 years old last year, and the original equipment likely will cause issues in the coming years. A small capacity bump would also probably shorten lines dramatically on crowded days.

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    • skitheeast January 30, 2019 / 6:07 pm

      They basically replaced everything (rope, cabins, motor, etc.) in 2014 similarly to what Steamboat seems to be going to do this summer, so it should be fine to run for the next 25+ years without an issue. The one thing they did not change was the towers themselves, which does cause issues with them being above the trees and causing frequent wind delays. Although the new cabins are slightly more wind resistant, the towers need to be lowered (if clearance allows it) to really make a big change.

      The capacity listed here may also be off because it may be with the old cabins and I think it might have slightly increased with the new cabins.

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      • somebody January 30, 2019 / 7:36 pm

        I think I heard they actually had to have the lift re-evaluated, and the state decided to lower the wind speed the lift was allowed to run in. These wind delays existed a lot less before 2014. It has came to a point where the gondola is on wind delay more than half the time it supposed to be running. Never remember this happening 10 years ago.

        Believe it or not, the new cabins actually hold less people than the old ones. The old cabins were regulated for 12, and typically filled with 9 or 10 on peak days. The new cabins very rarely see 9, and are pretty much never loaded with 10.

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      • Collin Parsons January 30, 2019 / 8:04 pm

        The old cabins were originally standing only. When they put in the mini seats it reduced the number of people that could fit in them. The new cabins are rated for 10 with 8 sitting and 2 standing, but I’ve never been in one with more than 8.

        I’m not sure what the state has to do with the wind the lift can operate in. There’s no set number. It depends on how the cabins are swinging and whether they have enough clearance on the line.

        This lift, like URSA is rarely run at full speed. I think on this lift it’s more wind related than anything as they completely rebuilt the drive during the upgrade. Fastest I’ve ridden it is at 925 feet per minute but it’s usually much slower.

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