Grizzly Express Gondola – Lake Louise, AB

This gondola came used from Squaw Valley. Both stations were inside buildings at Squaw so Lake Louise custom fabricated terminal skins to match their Leitner detachables.
Bottom terminal with maintenance rail.
Bottom terminal at the ski area base.
Top terminal with vault drive from below.
Unloading platform on the roof of the vault drive building.
Breakover towers just before the summit.
View down the line.
Lower section of the line.
Another view of the base.
The below-treeline portion of the line.
View up this very long gondola.
View up the line from the base area.
Top terminal under cover.
Breakover towers.
View down from near the summit.
Middle part of the lift line.
Lift line.
View toward the namesake Lake Louise.
A support tower.
View up the line.
Lower lift line.
Lift overview.

14 thoughts on “Grizzly Express Gondola – Lake Louise, AB

  1. Collin January 19, 2018 / 4:59 pm

    It looks like the towers are Leitner rather than the original Poma ones from Squaw Valley. Why would they have not reused them? Line gear appears to still be Poma.


    • adrian1701 May 19, 2018 / 8:17 pm

      These seem to be the original Poma towers, with a modified tower head to match the other Leitner detachables on the mountain. If such a great effort was made to match the Leitner terminals, why not the towers too?


    • pbropetech February 15, 2022 / 12:15 pm

      These are Poma towers consistent with the late 80s/early 90s designs. It appears that they had permanent lifting hooks welded on the ends of the original gantry frames- when we wanted to lift the rope on those kind of towers we had an insert we’d slide into the box tube to attach our rigging to. Modifying the towers in this fashion means one less thing to bring with you (or forget) while doing tower service. It’s probably coincidental that the modifications match the Leitners- they may have copied them because it was an easy model to use.


  2. Cameron Halmrast August 11, 2018 / 5:01 pm

    Every lift profile is different and when towers can be reused, they are. Otherwise, new towers need to be fabricated. In addition, some of the old towers may have been Yan/LE due to the POMA gondola replacing a two year old installation at Squaw.


    • Collin September 10, 2018 / 10:03 pm

      Poma definitely reused the Yan towers at Squaw Valley. Poma towers were always bolted onto the footings, so there would’ve been no reason to cut it off like that when they could’ve just unbolted it. In that case, the Yan towers would’ve been scrapped, and new towers used at Lake Louise which are pre-merger Leitner.

      I also wonder if it still has the original chain driven contours from Squaw, or if they were replaced with tires when the lift was reinstalled.


      • John November 8, 2018 / 7:18 pm

        Not necessarily. All Pomas at Copper through 1989 had embedded towers because the install crew was more familiar with Yans. It’s possible that happened at Squaw.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Donald Reif December 26, 2019 / 1:50 pm

    Honestly, the lifting frames that were installed with the relocation to Lake Louise don’t look all that different from the lifting frame design Leitner-Poma has used on their chairlifts and gondolas since 2012. They look like high speed six pack lifting frames but without the extra cross bracing:


  4. ski man June 12, 2022 / 1:47 pm

    In the summer this lift is a Chondola


    • skier72 June 12, 2022 / 6:09 pm

      No Glacier runs as a Chondola with cabins borrowed from this lift.


      • Dennis August 8, 2022 / 3:01 pm

        Somewhat confusing… it seems like they rename Glacier to Grizzly during the summer?


        • Morris August 9, 2022 / 9:02 pm

          What an unusual mode of operation, with the cabins/chairs completely coming to a stop and the bell announcing when it’s going to start moving again. Never seen that before.


        • Ben Eminger August 10, 2022 / 11:04 am

          Big Mountain Express at Whitefish operates the same way in the summer time minus the bells signaling when the chairs/cabins will start moving again.


      • julestheshiba March 14, 2023 / 8:07 pm

        how do they even swap the grips, or can they just fit the cabins and hanagar arms onto the letiner grips?


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