Heavenly, CA/NV

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91 thoughts on “Heavenly, CA/NV

  1. Duncan September 14, 2018 / 11:33 am

    Wait, they’re replacing galaxy? Why was it replaced, also is this why it was closed?


    • Cooper September 14, 2018 / 3:16 pm

      I heard that the lift is unpopular and climate change. They are adding snowmaking along with it too.


    • Thomas Jett September 14, 2018 / 7:47 pm

      It was down due to wear and tear, and it just made more sense to replace it with an up-to-date Doppelmayr than to repair it.


  2. Carson January 24, 2019 / 10:32 pm

    So in skilifts.org you see the yan tram is it still around it was called the ridge gondola


    • Teddy's Lift World January 25, 2019 / 5:09 am

      It got replaced by a funicular. I can imagine that that old Yan tram was very cool, but also really hard to maintain (find parts for).


  3. Carson January 25, 2019 / 8:42 pm

    Oh that sucks it was a itresting lift is there any photos of the top terminal?


  4. skitheeast July 29, 2019 / 9:55 pm

    Sky really needs a backup lift because it’s the only way to get back to Nevada and the Gondola from California. When it goes down, a lot of people are stranded. A lift from the bottom of Sky/Canyon to the top of Dipper would be fantastic. But then again, Heavenly has only received one new lift in the past twelve years and it is a long triple that is useless as an intermediate lift not being a detachable quad.


    • Donald Reif January 19, 2020 / 4:53 pm

      Ridge used to be Sky’s backup lift, but it was for the pod itself and didn’t have access to the Nevada access trail.

      Your idea is practical, a high speed quad from bottom of Sky and Canyon to the top of Dipper. Or maybe have it end at the scenic lookout at the top of Pinnacles.


  5. skiz January 27, 2020 / 10:20 am

    I also think sky should be remade into a 6 maybe bubble with lower towers and wieghted seats for wind. move the old sky to one of these alignments?


    • skitheeast January 27, 2020 / 11:09 am

      1 would only make sense as the second stage of a gondola that replaced the Tram (which is pretty old) for stage one. 2 does not make sense, as the lift could not really be properly lapped and is not well suited to be an out-of-base lift like the aforementioned two-stage gondola with 1. 3 is similar to two, but it is different in that it can be lapped with a single trail, so slightly better but, again, not ideal. 4 is a better idea because it can get people out of the California side and back to both the top of the Gondola and both Nevada bases (unlike 3), so it could be a backup for Sky. 5 is a step back in the wrong direction as it cannot be lapped similarly to 2 and it would be too much of a pain for skiers heading back to Nevada/the Gondola. 6 could work in a similar way as 1, as the second stage of a two-stage gondola, but that line looks like it may be more exposed than 1. 7/8 are super long gondolas that would be similar to the existing Gondola and while they would be super convenient, they would only really be needed is a proper base village was developed at California.

      TL;DR: 1 could be the second stage of a gondola from California Lodge, 2/3/5 do not make sense, 4 could make sense, 6 is a worse version of 1, and 7/8 are not needed.

      I would like to clarify that lifts starting at the base of Powderbowl heading up to Nevada can technically be lapped, but not in reality because Maggie’s is an extremely flat trail and would be required as part of any run.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Skiz January 27, 2020 / 4:45 pm

      I think 3 could work as it would mainly be a shuttle lift bi directional for no catwalk people. Maybe do the sky 6 replacement and then move old sky to 3?


      • skitheeast May 18, 2020 / 10:03 pm

        I think 3 is just too limited. I’ll run through the three possible skier scenarios: A) a skier transiting towards Nevada, B) transiting towards California, and C) lapping the lift.

        A) The skier is okay if the gondola is their final destination, but must take at least one more lift to go anywhere else.
        B) The skier is okay if the Sky Deck is their final destination, but they could have easily skied California trail in that case. For anywhere else, they now must catwalk down to Patsys/Grove to go back to Cali base or take a lift up to ski around the catwalk.
        C) California trail, which is rather uninteresting to lap, is the only lap-able trail.

        A lift needs to solve one of those scenarios, and 3 solves none.


    • Donald Reif January 27, 2020 / 6:59 pm

      Option 4 is the only one of those that would work.


      • RT February 2, 2021 / 11:30 am

        Yet option 3 is the only one that has ever been seriously considered, not saying it’s right, just a historical fact.


  6. Somebody February 26, 2020 / 7:14 pm

    If they aren’t willing to invest in a chairlift to fix the wind issues on sky, perhaps they should install a surface lift. This one would be ~2500′ long with ~900′ of vertical drop and would cross no existing trails afaik. You’d be able to use it to get from the bottom of sky to the top of the gondola.


    • Donald Reif February 26, 2020 / 8:06 pm

      I think most people would avoid it in favor of waiting for Sky to get off wind hold. For the same reasons I stopped going up Breck’s T-Bar after the Kensho SuperChair was built.


    • skitheeast February 26, 2020 / 9:22 pm

      I agree with @Donald Reif. It would not be used by most skiers unless because chairlifts, even fixed grips, are much more liked than surface lifts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif February 26, 2020 / 11:15 pm

        It’s for that reason that surface lifts are more suitable for beginner learning zones, or for advanced experts-only areas (Alpine T-Bar at Big White comes to mind, or the Horseshoe Bowl T-Bar).


      • Somebody January 10, 2022 / 9:50 pm

        The purpose of the lift would mostly be so that people can return to their cars in NV/at the gondola base without having to ski down and take a shuttle if:

        – Sky goes on wind hold and isn’t reopening

        – Sky has an insane lift line

        – Sky breaks

        Intermediates generally don’t like T-bars and don’t want to ride them, but if it’s the best option available, it could save a lot of people a lot of inconvenience to just ride a 5 minute T-bar.

        Granted the utility of this lift is a bit questionable, common logic would dictate that they should just have Sky as the only option. But with examples like Kimberley from time to time, having redundancy isn’t a terrible idea.


    • RT February 1, 2021 / 3:37 pm

      A proposed fixed grip chair line exists from the base of Sky to the top of the gondola, a sight line was cut and it was surveyed in the late 90’s. The issue is that the addition of this (primarily transport) lift wouldn’t increase revenue in any significant way so it can’t be justified. I would support it as it eliminates Sky as the linch pin holding the two sides together but what do I know?


      • nvskier February 1, 2021 / 6:41 pm

        It looks like the line that was cut is basically option 3 from the graphic above. I would imagine they didn’t go through with it for the reasons mentioned in skitheeast’s comment.


  7. Greg April 16, 2020 / 5:10 pm

    Vail has really been neglecting Heavenly in terms of lift installations. Having skied Heavenly for years, here’s some of the things Vail really should do.

    – Replace Dipper with a 6 pack. Dipper is one of the few spots on the mountain with lappable intermediate terrain, and combined with the fact that it is one of the ways to get to the California side makes it really crowded most days.
    – Replace North Bowl with a HSQ, possibly relocated from Dipper (They are roughly of the same length.), and realign it so it starts on the other side of Boulder’s top terminal (that way it won’t have to immediately cross over Nevada Trail, there might not be enough clearance in the old location).
    – Replace Sky with a HS6. This one is a no-brainer because its the only way to get to Nevada from California, and it has lots of trails off of it too.
    – Replace Galaxy with the old Sky HSQ, and adding new towers due to the length.
    – Replace Comet with a New HSQ, possibly reusing the towers and chairs of the old one, with new terminals and grips being added.
    – Replace Mott Canyon with a new fixed-grip Quad, and realigning it to end at the top of Dipper. (Possibly using old Comet’s chairs/towers maybe?)
    – Split the existing Galaxy triple and split it in 2: use the terminals and most of the towers to build a much-needed lift from the Sky Deck to the top of the Gondola.
    – Use the rest of the chairs/towers form Galaxy (+some additional towers) to upgrade Boulder, with New terminals (and maybe a loading carpet to increase speed.). This is instead of an HSQ with a midstation to replace both boulder and Northbowl.
    – Maybe use the the Mott Canyon double to replace World Cup?

    These are just some of my ideas, we’ll see further on what Vail will actually do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PowderDayz April 16, 2020 / 5:33 pm

      Replacing Galaxy with a triple was the worst idea ever. It has a 15 minute ride time!


      • Greg April 16, 2020 / 6:49 pm

        Agreed. I am really surprised they couldn’t move a HSQ from either Dipper or SKY, because both of them are over capacity and could use a replacement.

        Liked by 1 person

    • skitheeast April 17, 2020 / 8:25 am

      I like most of those ideas and would personally only make a few changes. Upgrading Comet makes sense, but as a 2800 pph HSQ, it should become a lower capacity HSS (~3000 ph) even while Dipper gets a larger capacity bump. I would also have the Sky Deck-Gondola chairlift end instead at the top of Tamarack or Dipper to allow for better Nevada access. Also, if Boulder and North Bowl are being replaced, I would make Boulder a detachable quad ending higher up the mountain to provide access to Stagecoach. This would maintain a two-lift connection from Boulder Lodge to East Peak Lodge and free up North Bowl to have its top terminal moved to the top of Bohemian Grove, creating a nice advanced pod below Olympic.

      I know they are not long enough to necessarily need a detachable, but Patsy’s and Grove should also really be replaced by a detachable six-pack. Their key location on the mountain coupled with the fact that this is a Vail resort commanding a premium ticket price should mean an upgrade is in order. Plus, it would enhance the small beginner area over there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Greg April 17, 2020 / 10:35 am

        Those seem like a good idea, but if the Sky Deck-Gondola lift is realigned to the top of Tamarack, wouldn’t it travel on a pretty exposed path? Sky is often closed due to wind, so having another lift be installed just to be plagued by the same problem seems kind of pointless. Besides, From the base of the Gondola there is 2 ways to get to Nevada already (Riding Tamarack or Big Easy).


        • skitheeast April 17, 2020 / 1:58 pm

          I am not a meteorologist, but I do not think the different alignment would have too big of an impact. From riding the lift on windy days, Sky’s problem seems to be correlated with its location along the ridge southwest adjacent to Monument Peak. This would not be a problem for either proposed liftline.


      • nvskier January 31, 2021 / 8:26 pm

        Moving a potential Boulder HSQ all the way up to access Stagecoach would defeat Boulder’s purpose as a beginner chair. Although simply upgrading it in it’s current alignment to a HSQ would greatly improve the appeal of that base. It’s typically the least popular base just because it takes forever to access the mountain riding 2 eternally slow fixed grips. Its pretty common for people to park there and take a bus over to Stagecoach because even that doesn’t take as long as riding Boulder and North Bowl.

        As for North Bowl, it’s current alignment is probably the best position because you can access pretty much every chair on the Nevada side from the top. Whereas moving it to the top of Bohemian Grove would likely eliminate the ability to access Comet and Dipper without riding another chair. The master plan called for a HSQ in it’s current alignment but was held up by environmental concerns about endangered trees that would need to be cut down to accommodate a wider quad chair. And while a high speed triple would be interesting, it likely wouldn’t have enough capacity considering it would serve as a primary access lift. Lapping the North Bowl zone would also become far more popular if it had a faster chair as the current 10+ minute lift ride deters most people.


        • skitheeast January 31, 2021 / 8:46 pm

          Does Boulder really need to be a beginner chair when Big Easy, Patsy’s, and First Ride are all great beginner chairs elsewhere on the mountain in arguably more convenient locations? The carpet can stay for first-timers, but I really do not believe changing the alignment so the top terminal will be at the top of Stagecoach Return will make the lift too inaccessible for lower-level skiers, as it would not even be 1000 feet higher up the mountain.

          Allowing Stagecoach to be the second lift up for Boulder Lodge skiers is what would enable North Bowl to be realigned and focus on having a better pod instead of distributing skiers across Nevada.


        • nvskier February 1, 2021 / 2:58 pm

          It wouldn’t make sense to park at Boulder and then need to ski over to Stagecoach just to get up the mountain. Why not park at Stagecoach then? Boulder is arguably the most convenient as it has the easiest parking situation and you can just walk right up to the chair without needing to ride another lift to access it (i.e. Patsy’s and Big Easy). And if there’s a carpet, where would a first timer go from there to progress? If there was no lappable Boulder chair, they would need to go to another part of the mountain since Stagecoach Return and all other runs down north bowl are far too steep for someone coming from a carpet. Realigning North Bowl to make it slightly easier to access the same terrain it already accesses while removing the ability to access other parts of the mountain wouldn’t make sense. The only real advantage to an alignment to the top of Bohemian Grove would be better wind protection.


        • skitheeast February 1, 2021 / 4:08 pm

          It is already more convenient to park at Stagecoach, as Boulder is the least convenient place to park of all the bases. The reason to park there stems from the fact that the lot is typically the least crowded. Nothing will change that unless Boulder gets a long detachable lift or gondola up to Stagecoach’s top terminal, which is unlikely. Plus, Boulder is the least convenient beginner spot already, as the ski school locations are at the top of the gondola, California Lodge, and Heavenly Village. Moving Boulder’s top terminal up to the top of Stagecoach Return would allow it to retain all of its existing lappable terrain, and the new 1000 feet of Nevada Trail that would be required to lap the lift is generously called intermediate level. I seriously do not think people would have trouble with the lift.


        • nvskier February 1, 2021 / 6:11 pm

          I’m realizing I mistook Stagecoach Return for the lower part of Olympic Downhill which is why I figured that would be too steep and too far up the mountain. I think I would be in favor of moving Boulder’s upper terminal to Stagecoach Return since there is still a mellow cat track back to the main Boulder run. Although a HSQ in that alignment would likely only make sense if there were a North Bowl HSQ to access the rest of the mountain as well, since Stagecoach would likely become overwhelmed if it were the only way up from there. As far as alignment for North Bowl, I still think if they’re going to build a whole new lift they might as well put the top terminal high enough to retain access to Pepi’s. Above Bohemian Grove could work but it would need to extend about halfway up the Olympic lift line to keep that connection. That would still keep it near it’s current length and cut the ride time for both lifts from over 18 minutes currently to something around 9 minutes total which would make parking at Boulder much more convenient.


        • RT February 2, 2021 / 11:23 am

          Did you guys miss the 2007 “Save North Bowl Trees” environmental campaign?

          Vail planned to build a 7200 ft long lift from the base of North Bowl to the top of Olympic Chair. Replacing No. Bowl and Olympic, and cutting straight through Bohemian Grove trees (aka North Bowl Trees), it would have dodged wind prone areas and balanced skier traffic across the resort.

          It was a done deal, they even ordered the lift from Doppelmayr, that’s when the protests began. The whole thing just blew up, “Save North Bowl Trees”, “Get Kinky”, Comstock era old growth trees etc, the outrage at TRPA public hearings and associated negative publicity was too much BS for Vail and they threw in the towel, rejecting expensive proposals for an angle station at the base of present day Olympic and proceeded to upgrade Olympic chair only.

          Barring the inescapable need for the Galaxy upgrade why do think there has bee no improvements to Heavenly’s lift infrastructure in 13 years, hmmmm?

          You can dream all you want but from what I hear, there are no immediate plans to upgrade, let alone change anything on the lower Nevada side.


        • nvskier February 2, 2021 / 1:38 pm

          I do recall that campaign and mentioned it in a previous comment but didn’t know exact details of it. When I worked in lift ops at Heavenly, I was told the trees in question were along the current lift line and prevented them from widening it to a HSQ in it’s current alignment. In that case, what is stopping them from upgrading the current chair where it is? Obviously Vail won’t spend the money to do it now but was that still the case 14 years ago when they were planning a new lift anyways? Surely there is an alignment that would minimize tree cutting. And yes, clearly this is all speculation and I don’t have any expectation of Vail spending a single cent on Heavenly’s lift infrastructure anytime soon. Starting to wonder why they even bothered with Galaxy since it has only run a couple days this season anyways.


        • RT September 25, 2021 / 6:50 pm

          This week, the first glimmer of hope. Vail announces intent to upgrade Boulder/North Bowl lifts.


        • dstew September 30, 2021 / 11:38 am

          Given the announcement that Comstock at Northstar will be upgraded from a HSQ a 6pack, I wonder if Vail’s plan is to move the old Comstock HSQ to North Bowl. Comstock is just slightly longer so that part would check out. Anyone know anything about this?

          @rt: I didn’t see anything regarding upgrading the Boulder lift. (Just that the “combined ride time” for those two lifts will be reduced by 40% with the upgrade, which I think would be achieved simply by making North Bowl high speed). Are you aware of something else suggesting an upgrade for Boulder as well?


        • skitheeast September 30, 2021 / 1:01 pm

          I could see some parts being reused from Comstock, such as tower heads and chairs like Red Buffalo. However, I am fairly confident it will at least be mostly new given the age and hours of Comstock.


        • RT October 17, 2021 / 2:56 pm

          @DStew, yes, how silly of me to assume that! I can’t even imagine them not addressing both lifts. If the Boulder Riblet triple remains unchanged, upgrading North Bowl only would do little to alleviate the overcrowding at Stagecoach base.

          IMHO I still think they need to to integrate North Bowl into Olympic lift with an angle station, that’s big bucks and a complete restart on the approval process so highly unlikely.

          What is most likely is the replacement of North Bowl on its current (exposed) alignment and lots of wind hold days to come!


    • Alex Lee January 30, 2021 / 6:41 pm


      – Replace Dipper with a 6 pack. If six pack, this should use the Doppelmayr UNI-L Spacejet terminal like Tamarack Express six or Summit Six Express(Alpine). This should use footrests, bubbles, and seat heating. and of course, under the hood upgrades like Doppelmayr Direct Drive.

      – Replace North Bowl with a HSQ, possibly relocated from Dipper. Use Doppelmayr UNI original with Exposed Bullwheels at both terminals. Chairs to use seat heating, bubble and footrests. Rest is under the hood.

      – Replace Sky with a HS6. Also Doppelmayr with UNIL Spacejet Terminals with chairs integrated with seat heating, footrests, and bubbles.
      – Replace Galaxy with the old Sky HSQ. This one should use Doppelmayr Original UNI with exposed bullwheels at both terminals. Chairs feature heated seats, bubble, and footrests.

      – Replace Comet with a New HSQ. High speed quad will be high speed quad. I can say though to have the chairs feature seat heating, bubbles and footrests. Maybe some under the hood upgrades like Doppelmayr Direct Drive.

      – Replace Mott Canyon with a new fixed-grip Quad, and realigning it to end at the top of Dipper. (Possibly using old Comet’s chairs/towers maybe?)
      – Split the existing Galaxy triple and split it in 2: use the terminals and most of the towers to build a much-needed lift from the Sky Deck to the top of the Gondola.
      Those two points are fine.

      – Use the rest of the chairs/towers form Galaxy (+some additional towers) to upgrade Boulder, with New terminals (and maybe a loading carpet to increase speed.). This is instead of an HSQ with a midstation to replace both boulder and Northbowl.
      – Maybe use the the Mott Canyon double to replace World Cup?

      Also, Gunbarrel and Stagecoach can become a bubble 8, with Doppelmayr using the large UNI-L spacejet terminals, i fancy those terminals. Those can have bubbles, individual footrests, and seat heating. Since both of these chairlifts are kickstarters for both sides of resort.


      That last part would be important.

      and here are my ideas.


      • Myles Svec January 30, 2021 / 6:49 pm

        If I were to replace Gunbarrel and Stagecoach with a HS8 I would get a whole new lift.


      • Myles Svec January 30, 2021 / 7:05 pm

        Before I say anything about your proposed ideas they would have to be up to date terminals.

        1. I like your idea with Dipper Express but totally brand new lift with the bubbles and heated seats if possible.

        2. I like your idea with a relocated Dipper for replacing North Bowl as North Bowl is over 5000 feet long.

        3. Sky being replaced with a 6 would be a great idea with a totally brand new lift but no bubbles because of wind.

        4. Galaxy should have been replaced with a HSQ from the start and I could see Sky being moved there.

        5. Comet needs a new lift because of its age with same capacity.

        6. I think that alignment would be too long for Mott other than that upgrading to FGQ and keeping in original alignment would be good.

        7. That sounds like a good idea for a lift in that alignment but make it a HSQ because that would be a heavily used lift.

        8. Upgrading Boulder would be a good idea.

        9. The last would probably only need a HSQ or a HSS other than that it needs to be brand new.

        10. Solar sounds good but that may be decently expensive.


      • Utah Powder Skier January 30, 2021 / 7:07 pm

        Bubble 8s with heated seats are very unlikely to happen. There has only one that has been installed in the US and that was at Big Sky. Personally, I think bubble 8s are overrated. Six packs can achieve the similar capacity of an 8 and even if you can get an 8 to 4000 pph, it would create massive trail crowding. Also, it wouldn’t make sense for a resort to go out of their way to get 1990s Spacejet technology when there’s Uni-G, Uni-G Vision, and D-line.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Donald Reif January 30, 2021 / 11:21 pm

          I think it’s more likely Beaver Creek goes with a bubble 6 for Strawberry Park than any of Alex’s ideas.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Utah Powder Skier January 30, 2021 / 7:24 pm

        Think about it, this mountain, who cut corners on Galaxy building 8 packs with heated seats seems a little unlikely. Also, replacing Comet, a 2800 pph detachable quad with a bubble detachable quad, seems odd. Yes, they may add comfort, but they don’t have the same capacity as other quads. They just don’t make 2800 pph detachable quads anymore. If Vail was going to do an 8 pack anywhere, it would probably be Silverlode at Park City. Keep in mind, Vail doesn’t like bubble chairs.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Myles Svec January 30, 2021 / 7:41 pm

          The only reason they are doing bubbles at Okemo is because the predecessor lift was a bubble lift and bubbles are a main reason of marketing there.


        • Alex Lee January 30, 2021 / 7:41 pm

          They can still do a Spacejet style terminal with D-Line, incorporating the technology of D-Line like Direct Drive. I like the Spacejet style design like Summit Six Express. IMHO the UNI-G terminals(including Vision) look way too similar to the most modern Leitner Poma high speed terminals in design. The Spacejet terminal design which was used for the original UNI helps it be distinguished IMHO. IMHO i dont think its impossible for Doppelmayr to build a spacejet style terminal using D-line equipment and technology.

          Silverlode and that being an 8 pack sure, by Doppelmayr D-Line, in which they could design a spacejet style large terminal(like UNI-L of Summit Six Express at Alpine), and incorporate the D-line technology and equipment to their disposal.


        • Utah Powder Skier February 24, 2021 / 4:24 pm

          Alex, the Spacejet and the D-line are for two different grip models. The only major component the two have in common is that they’re both tire driven detachable terminals. Other than that, they’re completely different. It would be a lot of work to make a D-line grip work in a smaller terminal structure. Though the Spacejet may look cool, it must be hard to see in such a cramped terminal space. The D-line looks like it has more than enough room for a mechanic to get up into one. Considering that there is only one lift in North America that uses D-line grips and terminals makes me think no major company other than Boyne is a hurry to go D-line.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Kirk April 16, 2020 / 9:04 pm

    Vail probably would not have replaced Galaxy at all if they could have got a way with it.


    • RT February 1, 2021 / 3:22 pm

      Unfortunately that comment is more accurate than many of you may realize!


      • Greg K February 13, 2021 / 1:07 am

        Did they really seriously consider closing down the area that much?


  9. skitheeast May 18, 2020 / 10:25 pm

    Heavenly’s 2007 master plan, the latest one I can find, approved them to conduct the following lift replacements:
    -Tram with a detachable quad
    -Patsy’s/Grove with a detachable quad and beginner surface lift
    -Sky with a detachable six-pack
    -Fixed-grip quad from the gondola to the top of Olympic
    -First Ride with a fixed-grip quad
    -Pioneer (existing surface lift) with a fixed-grip quad
    -Boulder with a detachable quad
    -North Bowl with a detachable quad
    -Olympic with a detachable quad
    -Galaxy with a detachable quad
    -Wells Fargo with a detachable quad
    -Mott Canyon with a fixed-grip quad

    In the 13 years since, Heavenly stuck to that plan by replacing Olympic with a detachable quad and replacing Galaxy with a fixed-grip triple…

    Also, there were about 4 other beginner surface lifts approved, but I have no idea if they were installed.


    • Somebody May 18, 2020 / 11:11 pm

      I’m surprised they already have a plan for replacing the tram. That lift has at least 20 years (probably 30) left before it has to go.


      • alexmlee1994 January 31, 2021 / 1:24 am

        IMHO, If they have the plan to replace that tram, I’d like to see either a bubble 8, or a HYBRIDIZED 8/12, or 8-12 passenger gondola HYBRIDIZED with a bubble 8(heated seats, footrests), using Doppelmayr D-Line, but use the modern design of the Spacejet style terminal. IMHO the spacejet terminal which was used in the 90s gives it more a modern, space-age look..of course to reimagine it, integrate solar panels into the roof, use D-line equipment and technology, and transparent solar panels for its windows, that way it can rely on solar power when the sun is out and not solely on electricity. In fact i think at least all detachable lifts should use solar power like that. IMHO

        IMHO i think if Doppelmayr rebuilds the Spacejet style terminal for the D-Line series, it would make it stand out way better than the Leitner Poma terminals..IMHO the UNI-G(including Vision) terminals look too similar to the current and modern day Leitner/Poma detachable terminals.


        • Donald Reif February 24, 2021 / 5:01 pm

          None of that’s gonna happen. No one’s hurting for an eight pack other than Boyne.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Utah Powder Skier February 24, 2021 / 5:15 pm

          Is there even such thing as a combo Uni Spacejet lift with bubbles, heated seats and gondola cabins? We all know that Vail won’t be the first to try anything like that.


        • Myles Svec February 24, 2021 / 6:41 pm

          Why go for an old terminal design when the new ones look a lot better in my opinion. Also only Boyne will do 8 packs.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Greg May 27, 2020 / 5:32 pm

      To be fair, Big Easy kind of fits the role of FGQ from Gondola to Olympic. It can be used to access the Nevada side when Tamarack is on wind hold.


    • Mike B May 28, 2020 / 11:47 am

      Pretty sure that’s the latest one that exists. Most/all subsequent documentation in the public domain has been more about environmental compliance than master planning. I had forgotten about the plan for the FGQ from the gondola to Olympic. That’s a great add.

      The one other missing piece which I don’t understand them not including is a lift from near the base of Sky up to the summit of Big Dipper. That would eliminate the need to traverse over on Skyline, which is sub-optimal for any number of reasons, and would generally transform interconnectivity b/w the CA and NV sides.

      Liked by 1 person

      • RT February 1, 2021 / 3:27 pm

        “Eliminating traverses” has never been a priority at Heavenly, why start now?

        Liked by 1 person

  10. stmeyer2015 July 8, 2020 / 11:52 am

    If Vail were to replace Sky Express with a detachable 6-pack, they should send the old machinery down the Road to Kirkwood to replace Sunrise (Chair 4). Then use the equipment from Sunrise to build a Fixed Grip Quad from the base of Sky Express to the top of the Gondola or Tamarack Express. I’m not sure what the cost of transportation/modification is versus buying a new lift, but this would result in 2 upgraded lifts + a new lift.


    • Kirk July 8, 2020 / 12:09 pm

      Don’t think Vail has any plans for spending any money on lifts at Heavenly or Kirkwood, other than maintenance.


      • Thomas Jett July 8, 2020 / 2:19 pm

        I get Kirkwood, but Heavenly is probably the fourth or fifth biggest resort in CA, after Mammoth, Big Bear, and maybe Squaw and Northstar. Why aren’t they willing to spend more money?


        • Kirk July 8, 2020 / 8:55 pm

          Don’t think they would increase revenue or skies visits one bit with new lifts at Kirkwood, Heavenly or Northstar. The lift severed terrain, kinda is what it’s is.
          I am sure new lift money will be spent elsewhere and not in California. Even the summer operation at Heavenly is pretty much built out.


      • alexmlee1994 January 31, 2021 / 1:18 am

        IMHO they should spend more money to upgrade some of the fixed grip lifts to detachable depending on the travel distance of lift accordingly. And along with the detachable, they should top the roofs with Solar panels so that the detachable lifts can run using solar power when the sun is out, and not always relying purely on electricity, and/or hybridize both sources of energy.


        • Utah Powder Skier January 31, 2021 / 6:13 pm

          I do like the idea of solar for redundancy reasons, but I’m not seeing why a Spacejet terminal is needed for that. Spacejet terminals have been discontinued 20 years ago in favor of the Uni-G, and now the D-line is about ready to start phasing out Uni-G terminals. Also, the majority of Spacejet terminals are smaller than a Uni-G and I would think a Uni-G would be better for solar. I’m not an expert on solar though.

          Liked by 2 people

        • alexmlee1994 January 31, 2021 / 11:24 pm

          The D line can still be used with the design of that discontinued spacejet terminal. Maybe a more updated spacejet style terminal..I love the design don’t get me wrong. IMHO that spacejet design would make Doppelmayr and its D Line stand out. The UNIG and latest IMO look way too similar to the modern detachable terminals of Leitner Poma. Wind Power and Solar could work when the sun is out assuming the lift operatives can clear the snow off the panels before startup.


        • skitheeast January 31, 2021 / 7:28 pm

          I am all for using renewable energy, but solar panels on top of detachable lifts have been shown to often no be cost-effective. This is because snow and ice often cover the terminals for extended periods of time in the winter, rendering the panels useless. On the other hand, wind power has shown a lot of promise in powering ski lifts.

          Liked by 3 people

  11. Mountaineer February 12, 2021 / 10:36 am

    The Heron 25 passenger tram is missing in the list. It was built in 1962 and opened on 12/27/62. It cost $350,000. Depending on the source, a different capacity is specified (350 or 425 pph).


  12. Utah Powder Skier March 11, 2021 / 9:10 am

    Why was Wells Fargo removed after only 3 years of service? I understand that it was at a low elevation, but they had just barely got the lift. I also don’t understand why Wells Fargo wasn’t relocated to somewhere else on the mountain. A lift on that alignment now could have solved the problem with Galaxy with a cheaper and shorter fixed grip lift years ago. Yes, it would need snowmaking, but it would be a cheaper solution to get not only Galaxy’s terrain lift served, but some other terrain that was abandoned in 1977 lift served.


  13. RT March 14, 2021 / 12:19 am

    Wells Fargo existed for longer than 3 years, it remained in place until 82/83 (ish) it WAS then relocated and renamed as Galaxy. If you are reading the removal date of 1977 on ski maps.org, that is not correct. Perhaps ’77 was the last year it operated? At 4000’+ line length, I wouldn’t consider it short.

    The old Wells Fargo lift line is now occupied by a power line terminating at a substation above the Ridge Tahoe resort. In the winter the line can be seen very clearly from areas in the Carson Valley.

    I have seen master plans from the 90’s that show Wells Fargo being reinstated from it’s original base but taking a different alignment with a top station in the vicinity of where Nevada trail meets Stagecoach run. From what I’ve heard, there isn’t much enthusiasm for building this lift.

    Galaxy serves terrain that is popular with low intermediate skiers but below Galaxy base down to Wells Fargo base it became more challenging.


    • Thomas Jett March 14, 2021 / 1:28 am

      Do you have a source on that master plan?


      • RT March 14, 2021 / 5:44 pm

        I was an employee at the time and had easy access to their (constantly changing) master plan.


  14. humoresque811 August 31, 2021 / 8:53 pm

    My Upgrade Plan for Heavenly! Two versions and upgrades are in no particular order:


    1. Replace Boulder with a new HSQ, new alignment (see map below). This would allow access to Stagecoach, so no need to upgrade North Bowl, which is often on wind hold anyways. This would also allow the big boulder parking lot to be used by intermediate and advanced skiers who do not want to ride 2 slow lifts to get up the mountain.

    2. Upgrade Stagecoach to HSS???

    3. Upgrade Dipper to an HSS. (kinda obvious)

    4. New Triple from East Peak Lodge to the top of North Bowl (see exact alignment on map). This would avoid the flat crossover run!

    5. New HSS, 2 stages, from the bottom of Powderbowl to the bottom of Sky to the top of Tamarack. (See Map) This would take a lot of pressure off Sky and Skyline Trail.

    6. Replace Pasty and Grove with a HSQ, maybe a beginner carpet?

    7. Replace Tram with a HSQ

    A. New bridge/skier routing system at the top of North Bowl (See the second map)

    B. New trail from the top of Mott to Mott canyon entrance



    1. Replace Boulder with a new HSQ, new alignment (see map below). This would allow access to Stagecoach, so no need to upgrade North Bowl, which is often on wind hold anyways. This would also allow the big boulder parking lot to be used by intermediate and advanced skiers who do not want to ride 2 slow lifts to get up the mountain.

    2. Upgrade Dipper to an HSS. (kinda obvious)

    3. New Triple from East Peak Lodge to the top of North Bowl (see exact alignment on map). This would avoid the flat crossover run!

    4. New HSS, 1 stage, from the bottom of Sky to the top of Tamarack. (See Map) This would take a lot of pressure off Sky and Skyline Trail.

    5. Replace Tram with a HSQ

    Refer to me as Humoresque, and if you have comments then say which version, and which number you are commenting on!


    • Mike B September 1, 2021 / 10:48 am

      Only one map linked, and that one isn’t set to Share, so…. we’ll have to imagine it for the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Truckee Local September 1, 2021 / 5:33 pm

      Even your “less ambitious” plan seems much more ambitious than Vail is. As many others have noted, Vail seems to have no appetite for doing much of anything with its California resorts. I’d settle for some way to get from California to Nevada other than Skyline, although Dipper could certainly use more capacity. The tram is a tough one, because it only seems to have a line in the morning, because anyone lapping the front face can take Gunbarrel.


    • skitheeast September 2, 2021 / 5:44 pm

      For starters, I think even your less ambitious plan would be quite ambitious for Vail Resorts at Heavenly given their lack of investment in new lift infrastructure over two decades of ownership.

      1) I think your Boulder, Dipper, and Patsy/Grove upgrades make perfect sense. The Stagecoach upgrade also makes sense alongside the Boulder plan.

      2) I like the idea of a third lift out of East Peak Lodge to avoid Crossover, but I would instead have it end at the top of Olympic to make it equally as easy to access that relatively underutilized part of the mountain. I also believe a second way out of California is needed to alleviate Sky, but I would keep it simple with a single-stage (like you do in your less ambitious plan) and end it at the top of Dipper to allow skiers to better disperse into Nevada.

      3) In all honesty, I have no idea how to replace the tram but do believe a second high-speed quad is not the answer. This is because anyone who wants to take a high-speed quad up or down this exact terrain already has this option, and if there are going to be two parallel lifts of similar lengths they should at least be of differing varieties.

      It is a bit unclear how your skier bridge would work at the top of North Bowl, so that is hard to comment on. Additionally, I am unsure if the topography allows for your proposed trail at the top of Mott.


    • RT October 17, 2021 / 3:47 pm

      Humoresque, as someone who worked on the hill for a very long time..if I may comment.

      1. I see the advantage to putting the top of Boulder at Stagecoach return but you just can’t send all those beginners down that narrow cat track to the top of Boulder bowl. They have to either remove or replace North Bowl, it has reached the end of its life.
      They had the ultimate solution with one massive lift, straight lined from the base of No. Bowl to the top Olympic but was shot down by the greenies.

      2. There is barely enough room at the top of Stagecoach to handle existing capacity as it is. Unfortunately increasing unload area here would involve cutting into the hillside even further, making it steeper and avalanche control is already a challenge.

      3. Dipper HSS, yes, inevitable.

      4. East Peak chair once carried skiers from East Peak Lodge to the top of what is now Olympic Chair. I agree, Crossover sucks!

      5. Do you want to be the guy who routinely de-ices the chair from base of Sky to top of Tamarack? Ha- ha!
      Fixed grip transport chair form base of Sky to the top of Gondola has been in the master plan for decades but there is no will to build it.

      6. Patsys/GrOOve integration into HSQ has always been planned but never been a priority. Loading carpet for beginners would be good. Still way too challenging from top of lift down to beginner run.

      7. The tram is essential for events at the lodge and for supplying the mountain for food and beverage needs, access to the upper shop etc. The tram won’t be removed.

      Anyway, my 2 cents.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Enumclaw kid January 21, 2022 / 5:07 pm

        Here’s my vision as someone who has always preferred Kirkwood precisely for the reasons that my idea would solve: South Lake Tahoe is choked with traffic, car dependent, and sprawling; and Heavenly’s California side is cursed with odd topography, lift bottlenecks, and long catwalks. Also, SLT recently banned most short-term rentals.

        So, Vail should build a village on the entire California Lodge parking lot, with underground day and overnight parking and hundreds of new rooms walking distance to the hill, like Vail itself, or Whistler or Northstar. This would pay for a nice wind-resistant 3S to replace the current tram from the new village to the Sky Deck (or the top of the current gondola), getting skiers on and off the hill and making the whole Maggie’s run / Groove / Patsy’s shuffle obsolete.


    • humoresque811 March 22, 2022 / 4:56 pm

      Based on feedback and more thought I made another plan:
      I’m assuming North Bowl is HSQ btw, as it will be. Also, look at the map at the same time as reading this, as a give little specific descriptions.

      1.1 Change Boulder to a new alignment to the Nevada Trail. Add a mid-station where it intersects the boulder bowl. This allows beginners to unload lap Boulder, while still allowing other skiers to go farther. This would be a fixed-grip triple/Quad. I don’t know if a carpet would be a good idea.

      1.2 Add new Satline lift from near bottom of Stagecoach to about the same place as top of Boulder (assuming change above made). Add a beginner trail under/around it. The gradient there is not really steep. Also, this allows people to use this lift+North Bowl (HSQ) instead of Stagecoach. This would be a fixed-grip triple/Quad. I don’t know if a carpet would be a good idea.

      2.1 East Peak Lift from East Peak Lodge to top of Olympic. This would be a fixed-grip triple/Quad. I think a carpet would be a good idea!

      2.2 Dipper HSS (obvious)

      2.3 Fixed grip quad from the bottom of sky to the top of the gondola.

      (2.4 Maybe replace Groove/Pasty’s with HSQ. I would put it on Pasty’s alignment.)

      2.5 Leave or upgrade aerial tram. One of these options:
      a. Leave Tram
      b Upgrade/Rebuild it
      c Replace with a gondola.

      2.6 add traverse from the top of Mott to the ridge between Mott and Killebrew

      Map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=137repP753XAqTu-XXmi6oP1eohNScjPy&usp=sharing


  15. ski man January 26, 2022 / 5:04 pm

    Guys Crazy Thing!!
    There is a private Yan gondola 8 person tram here here are some pictures and the status

    Lift Stats:
    Manufacturer: Lift Engineering
    Type: Tram (10 person)
    Installed: 1985
    Drive: At top station
    Tensioning: At top station
    Motor: N/A HP
    Motor rating, continuous: N/A kW
    Motor rating, starting: N/A kW
    Haul rope diameter: N/A mm
    Rope guage: N/A m
    Vertical rise: 172 ft / 52.4 m
    Inclined length: 560 ft / 170.6 m
    Speed on line:

    800 fpm / 4.06 m/s
    Speed in station: N/A fpm / N/A m/s
    Number of towers: N/A
    Number of carriers: N/A pcs.
    Capacity: 550 P/h
    Ride time: 1 minutes
    Chair parking:

    Other notes:

    This lift is not owned or operated by Heavenly Ski Resort, but Ridge Tahoe.


  16. Montana Powder Skier August 9, 2022 / 4:56 pm

    It would be pretty cool to see Heavenly make a backside expansion. There should be a long high speed quad that goes to the top of monument peak ( it would be pretty steep). It would open up a ton of new terrain and give lift access to Milky Way bowl.


    • Myles Svec August 9, 2022 / 5:48 pm

      That is all south facing terrain so it wouldn’t have good snow retention plus I think Heavenly would have to get a SUP boundary extension to do that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Utah Powder Skier August 9, 2022 / 6:52 pm

      Along with the more pressing matters of the Tram, Sky, and possibly Dipper and Comet, I can’t see more expansions happening at Heavenly anytime soon. As Myles pointed out, south facing terrain is very unideal for terrain expansions.


  17. NV Lifts November 30, 2022 / 2:22 pm

    Does anyone have old pictures of the East Peak Lift from the 80’s? I haven’t seen much documentation of it other than an old trail map. Seems odd they would remove that in favor of Comet which forces people to now have to use crossover, which nobody likes.


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