Heavenly, CA/NV

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32 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.


  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).


  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.


  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.


  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.


    • 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

  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.


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