Green Mountain Express – Sugarbush, VT

This long high speed quad serves the lower part of Mt. Ellen at Sugarbush.
View up the lift line.
Towers 1 and 2.
Bottom return terminal.
Poma Omega model station.
Lower terminal.
View down the line.
Depression tower next to the North Ridge and Slide Brook Express lower stations.
View down from the Glen House.
Drive station and last tower.
Poma Omega double stack terminal.
The top terminal seen from North Ridge.
Unloading area and maintenance rail.
Side view of the drive.

20 thoughts on “Green Mountain Express – Sugarbush, VT

  1. Northeast Chairlifts November 20, 2017 / 3:33 pm

    Very fast, maybe around 1200 fpm


    • Collin November 20, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      Certified for 1100. Find the ride time and divide the length by it to find out for sure.


      • Max Hart November 20, 2017 / 5:39 pm

        Using Northeast Chairlift’s video to find the ride time (~6.6 min or 6:36 including one routine reduction in speed), with LiftBlog’s listed length of 6243 feet, I calculated that the lift was averaging only 945.9 feet per minute during this video.
        HOWEVER… Using LiftBlog’s ride time of 5.7 minutes, I calculated the rope speed to be about 1095 feet per minute.

        In NorthEast Chairlift’s video, the lift may have been running slower due to terrain limitations at the time or because most mountains don’t run their detachable lifts flat out all the time. As Peter said last year, “…the vast majority of detachable lifts built these days have the standard design speed of 1,000 fpm (5.08 m/s) and operate even slower much of the time. In my experience, many ski areas run so-called high speed lifts at 800 or 900 feet a minute on all but the busiest of days. As users on Alpinforum note, ski resort operators care more about reducing stops, wear and tear than shaving thirty seconds off a ride time that the average guest won’t even notice.”



      • Northeast Chairlifts November 20, 2017 / 6:19 pm

        Ride time is about 8:15. I recorded it on my channel. I’ll look at it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Teddy's Lift World November 27, 2019 / 1:56 pm

    Excluding the Doppelmayr fixed grip quads, this lift and Heaven’s Gate are in the best condition of all the lifts at Sugarbush. Hopefully Alterra has higher standards for lift maintenance than Sugarbush has right now. Some of the lifts are in pretty bad condition.


  3. Dexter December 21, 2019 / 5:01 pm

    Is this a diesel powered lift? I road it for the first time today. Very noisy and smelly engine at the top.


    • Teddy's Lift World December 21, 2019 / 6:41 pm

      It is not usually running on diesel, but it could very well be operating on diesel. Even with that though, it was still running at a decent speed. It always runs very fast, for Sugarbush standards at least. Hopefully, they’ll fix the issue soon.


    • Sean Smith February 5, 2020 / 9:59 am

      The lift was struck by lightning over the summer and thus has been operating in diesel since opening day for 2019-2020


      • Teddy's Lift World February 5, 2020 / 10:07 am

        Yes. Up until recently, it ran daily, but they have begun to run Inverness and North Ridge instead Monday-Wednesday. It has been running near 1,000 ft/min on diesel. I believe it has two backups, but I don’t know if they are using both. Here is a video of it running on diesel:

        It sounds very cool, especially around the 1:07 mark. Too bad the lift is top driven. They have to transport diesel fuel up there on a cat which certainly can’t be easy.


        • Tijsen February 5, 2020 / 1:27 pm

          All they need to do is take it down at end of day with cargo cat (same cat that delivers food to the restaurant on mountain and take garbage) and refill it, and bring it back up.


        • Tijsen February 5, 2020 / 1:28 pm

          Meaning the diesel tank


        • Michael February 5, 2020 / 2:33 pm

          TIJSEN- This lift has a 700-800 HP diesel engine that consumes 30-40 gallons per hour so it will use about 300 gallons of fuel per day. The “day tanks” for these lifts are permanently mounted in the motor room- not something you ‘take down at the end of the day”. You need a mobile fuel tank mounted in the ‘cargo cat’ and then the fuel has to be transferred to the tank in the motor room…not a simple process.
          Hope this helps.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Donald Reif February 5, 2020 / 3:45 pm

          It is a process that is probably more doable on fixed grip lifts, hence why you see some instances of fixed grips that run full-time on diesel in remote areas where running electric utilities is not doable (like Alpine T-Bar and Cliff at Big White).


  4. Donald Reif February 5, 2020 / 2:16 pm


  5. Harry March 6, 2023 / 9:04 pm

    Why was the previous hsq removed after only 5 years?


    • ShangRei Garrett March 6, 2023 / 9:24 pm

      From what I can gather from old maps and the dates on the database, there were 7 gap years in which there was a Doppelmayr fixed quad on the alignment, in the years between the old hsq’s relocation and the current one’s construction. Very puzzling move indeed, of which I have no idea why.


    • xlr8r March 7, 2023 / 5:26 am

      Les Otten moved the old Green Mountain Express to become the current North Ridge Express when Slidebrook Express was built. The thinking being that North Ridge served more lap-able terrain, and that people coming over to Sugarbush North on Slidebrook could directly board another HSQ. Green Mountain Quad “The Slug” was built to get people from lodge to Slidebrook Express and North Ridge Express, and subsequently the lower mountain became a expanded beginner area. The problem with all of these changes though was that it now took 3 lifts to get from the base to summit at Sugarbush North. Les probably thought most people skiing Sugarbush North would be coming over on Slidebrook, and therefore not need to ski the lower mountain and use the base lodge much if at all. When ASC sold Sugarbush, the first thing the new owners did was rebuild the Green Mountain Express. The Green Mountain Quad was sold to Jay Peak and now lives on as the Metro Quad.


      • Teddy's Lift World March 7, 2023 / 9:37 am

        I actually agree a lot with Otten’s move on this part. Everyone is quick to point out how it meant that it took 3 lifts to access the summit, but there’s zero point in going to the summit unless one wants to ski Upper FIS or to see the view on a sunny day. Most skiing should (and generally is) done off of North Ridge. The bigger issue was that the mountain was intended for a lift where the former Mountain Double / OG GMX was. The trail map made it evident that there used to be a lift there, and the empty plateau at the former top of GMX from 95-02 was awkward.


        • wayneme March 7, 2023 / 10:29 am

          I thought it made sense as well (and agree that the Summit Quad isn’t really worth skiing off of). I haven’t hit Sugarbush in years but I always felt the trail layout on Mt Ellen is generally odd and there’s no easy way to fix it without breaking something else.

          The previous owners’ master plan included a new trail pod lookers’ left of GMX, off of that ridge into the valley of Lower FIS, with a new lift’s upper terminal also at Glen House. Maybe that would have made GMX feel like less of a waste. At least now, riding it out of base at the start of the day gets you a nice “half run” to warm up before the usual lappable terrain.

          Sort of reminds me of Killington Peak with the K-1 gondola as the access lift that gets you up and over the long, boring runout at the bottom, with the primary lappable terrain being Canyon or either Ridge lift. But even K-1 at least gets you access to the expert glades (and the rest of the resort, obviously).


        • xlr8r March 19, 2023 / 7:11 pm

          It made no sense financially in addition to layout wise. The cost difference between dong what Otten did, relocate 1 HSQ and build 1 new FGQ had to be nearly the same as just building 1 new HSQ to replace the North Ridge Double. If he was adamant on North Ridge being a HSQ he should have just built a new HSQ there in the first place and left GMX as is, I doubt it would have cost much more, and he would’ve had 2 HSQs on Ellen instead of 1.

          The way things are laid out now with both GMX and NRX as detachable quads is perfect. They overlap on the terrain served so if one breaks down, (which happens a lot) the other can pick up the slack. In fact Ellen as a whole is laid out about perfectly if you include Inverness and Summit as all four chairs function as redundancies for each other.


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