Lenawee Mountain – Arapahoe Basin, CO

Poma Alpha drive terminal at the base.
Bottom terminal.
Loading area.
Riding up the line.
Middle part of the lift line.
Upper lift line.
Arriving at the top.
Fixed bullwheel up top.
Breakover towers.
View down from the summit.
Upper part of the line.
Tower 6 with combo assemblies.
Another view of the drive.
Lift line overview.

52 thoughts on “Lenawee Mountain – Arapahoe Basin, CO

  1. Phoenix February 15, 2020 / 9:36 pm

    IMO this should have gone detachable. This is the only lift you can access from the top of Black Mountain Expense which creates a big bottleneck as people come from the detachable quad to a fixed triple.


    • lucas May 1, 2020 / 11:58 am

      yes, it can be busy. they should move this lift to Pallavicini and put a detachable in the place of Lenawee, especially as the terrain is so good at Lenawee.


      • Snow Boys May 1, 2020 / 5:43 pm

        Pallavicini is already getting a double chair replacement this summer so that would not happen. I could see a basin potentially upgrading lenawee to a low capacity detachable in the future.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kaden K May 27, 2020 / 6:09 pm

    Upgrade Lenawee to a detach pls it’s so slow and long but has such good terrain off it.


  3. New England Chairlifts & Skiing May 28, 2020 / 11:00 am

    A Basin blew a nice opportunity to make this lift a detachable, and this would’ve been a perfect Pali replacement. I’ve never skied here, but i can imagine it gets long lines.


    • skitheeast May 28, 2020 / 11:47 am

      I also think that this lift should be detachable, but I am not sure if A-Basin was ready for a detachable lift when this was installed in 2001. A swap with Pali would have been nice. I guess we will have to wait ten years or so when a replacement can be justified.


      • powderforever45 May 28, 2020 / 2:30 pm

        They could of just moved this lift to beavers when it was being built. Is it a quad because or marketing or capacity issues or length? This lift imo needs a detachable replacement.


  4. afski722 May 28, 2020 / 3:46 pm

    In 2001 when it was replaced, A-Basin (and Colorado skiing in general) was a far less busy experience.
    The pass wars hadn’t begun, the Front-Range crowd was a fraction of the size it was, and A-Basin was a lot sleepier than was.
    It really wasn’t until Colorado’s population exploded in the mid/late 2000s combined with the Epic Pass that A-Basin got busy.
    Even then, the busy was still primarily peak winter Saturdays and peak spring skiing periods in April and early-May.

    I am okay with it staying fixed-grip if it keeps the crowds down and lets the powder on the West Wall and lower East Wall last longer.

    Probably eventually will go HSQ, but they aren’t in a hurry to do so and I’m just fine with that.

    You want HSQ, go to Breck, Keystone, WP, or Copper.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Uranus April 14, 2021 / 1:40 pm

      Fast forward to 2021, and you’re 100% wrong.


      • pbropetech April 14, 2021 / 2:03 pm

        About what?


  5. lucas August 26, 2020 / 5:14 pm

    I think they should have made pali higher capacity to deal with larger frontside crowds, hopefully reducing lines on lenawee and black mountain


  6. Collin Parsons November 17, 2020 / 8:09 pm

    I noticed that this lift has quad gauge towers and detachable grade line gear, so it could probably be converted to a high speed quad easily.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan November 18, 2020 / 10:36 am

      I have heard rumor that when they replace it, they will swap it out with a 6 chair with a very similar capacity. It is pretty windy at the top, so that is their justification. Also I have heard the 6 chair would have larger chair spacing on the line, which could help reduce the amount mis loads. On some Saturdays, it can take 20+ minutes to get to the top of the lift due to all the stops. The lift might have quad gauge towers due to the amount of wind on the upper part of the lift.


      • Donald Reif December 23, 2020 / 11:06 pm

        Winter Park built Sunnyside as a six pack instead of a quad for this very reason.


    • pbropetech April 14, 2021 / 1:51 pm

      Poma does not make a distinction between fixed-grip and detachable line gear, except to bump the sheaves to a wider liner for the bigger ropes on sixpacks and gondolas. Otherwise all of their assemblies are the same design.


  7. V12Tommy February 12, 2021 / 1:17 pm

    I don’t get why so many comments are complaining it isn’t detachable. When this was built in 2001, and for 9 more years, A-Basin had no detachable lifts. It was fed by another triple chair. I think it is great, and keeps all the gapers on the lower half of the mountain. If someone wants a bunch of detachables, try Keystone right next door. Plenty of people enjoy the long ride up to the east wall. It’s part of the character of the basin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donald Reif February 12, 2021 / 2:20 pm

      Except, moving people around efficiently is more important than protecting powder junkies’ stashes. Lenawee is the main route to the top of the lift-serviced area from the base (as the other route is Pallavicini to Beavers, which takes longer and is a bit more indirect).

      “If someone wants a bunch of detachables, try Keystone right next door. Plenty of people enjoy the long ride up to the east wall. ” You don’t speak for everyone who goes to A-Basin. Not to mention, it wouldn’t eliminate the hike for most people. In fact, this sort of project would be ideal for A-Basin to compete with Keystone once Keystone builds their high speed quad in Bergman Bowl. (https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=59357).


      • Utah Powder Skier February 12, 2021 / 2:24 pm

        If capacity is needed, but A Basin wants it to stay fixed grip, there’s always fixed grip six packs. Apparently they’re capable of 3600 pph.


        • Donald Reif February 12, 2021 / 4:51 pm

          There aren’t any of those in America. Above a certain capacity, it makes logical sense to just go detachable.


        • Myles Svec February 12, 2021 / 5:13 pm

          The only one I know of is in Canada


        • Andy February 12, 2021 / 5:43 pm

          Donald R.’s comment is incorrect. The Wideload, a Leitner six seat fixed grip at Snow Valley in Barrie Ontario is the only fixed grip, six seater in North America.


        • Donald Reif February 12, 2021 / 6:53 pm

          There are no fixed grip 6s in the United States. And I’m guessing it’s because the market for them is quite a niche.


        • Phoenix October 2, 2021 / 10:30 am

          I imagine a fixed grip 6 would be really hard work for the lifties who have to bump the chairs too.


  8. afski722 February 12, 2021 / 7:32 pm

    I disagree with some of the comments as that if you follow a lot of the comments out of Al (COO) and the atmosphere and culture they have attempted to maintain at A-Basin that they aren’t all about just having maximum lift capacity / skiers on the mountain.
    Hence why Pali was replaced with a FGD at the same capacity. Hence part of the reason they broke away from Vail Resorts.

    A-Basin’s capacity limitation is actually more or less driven by parking capacity, not so much lift capacity.
    Lenawee will probably get a HSQ by the end of the decade, but I highly doubt they would go all the way to a HSS.

    I personally wish they had kept and/or replaced Norway, but I get why they were ready to replace an aging Yan lift that was only used on peak weekends.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Myles Svec February 12, 2021 / 8:58 pm

      The only reason why we are stating a HSS is because of wind issues. 6 pack chairs tend to have heavier chairs and give longer loading times. Also this 6 pack we are hypothesizing would be built with the same capacity as a HSQ. I agree with you on Lenawee will likely go HSQ.


    • Utah Powder Skier February 12, 2021 / 9:08 pm

      Six packs are capable of 2000 pph, only 200 pph higher than the current lift. 200 pph isn’t enough to cause run crowding.


    • pbropetech April 14, 2021 / 1:57 pm

      Agreed, AFSKI. Y’all can comment and speculate on capacity and efficiency all you want, but the Basin wants to retain their somewhat old-school image and culture. They don’t need to compete with Keystone as their relative markets only overlap to a certain degree. If anything, we’re more competition than Keystone in the local market as we continue to expand our high alpine terrain- except that, again, we’re not exactly gunning for the same market. I think the Basin will do just fine without adding another detachable.


      • Donald Reif April 14, 2021 / 5:26 pm

        Until Keystone brings lift service to Bergman Bowl, that is.


        • pbropetech April 15, 2021 / 8:45 am

          They still don’t compete for the same people. Those who want to strictly ski gnarly terrain or enjoy a more laid-back vibe will still primarily ski the Basin. Bergman becoming lift-served will be a nice addition for folks who were already going to ski Keystone. I don’t see Bergman being enough to convince dedicated A-Basin skiers to switch.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Ryan Murphy May 25, 2021 / 1:38 am

          Donald, there is little any other mountain can do to get A-Basin skiers to switch. It’s one of the premier expert mountains, and nearly all of those mountains maintain a devoted following, with plenty of skier visits. We certainly are not the majority of skier dollars, hence why Vail, Breck, Keystone etc. draw large crowds and get bigger investments, but the die hards will keep a place running. You can’t change the terrain at a ski area, and the last expansion that took a mountain into the cult status was Deep Temerity in 2005. Bergman is not Temerity.

          Liked by 3 people

  9. Domenic H Policaro May 25, 2021 / 12:49 am

    Yeah no a couple blue groomers arn’t going to attract people, Keystone is my least favorite place to ski in the front range why would I ski there when I can ski East Wall, Zuma Bowl, Steep Gullies, and Pali. I’ll save Keystone for a day with my girlfriend, or my mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Luke August 24, 2021 / 9:31 pm

    I spoke to a manager at A-Basin today, and he said they’re planning on replacing this with a 6-pack rather than a quad. He didn’t say anything about capacity though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donald Reif August 26, 2021 / 6:48 am

      That makes it sound like ‘they want the heavier chairs for wind resistance’.


  11. Donald Reif October 2, 2021 / 11:27 am

    I wonder where the triple will go once the six pack is installed. I think it could find a home at another mountain.


    • axewolfe17 October 5, 2021 / 8:12 am

      Maybe if Winter Park were to buy it, it could replace Looking Glass.


    • Axewolfe17 March 16, 2022 / 8:23 pm

      I was talking to a Lift Maintenance Supervisor, and he said that 8 resorts offered to buy, it but Sunlight ended up getting it. Even then, I wonder what lift it will replace at Sunlight.


      • Utah Lost Ski Area Project March 16, 2022 / 8:45 pm

        It’s probably for Sunlight’s East Ridge expansion. They said that the cost of buying a new fixed grip was too high so it makes sense that they’re going used for East Ridge.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ben March 17, 2022 / 11:47 am

          The Lenawee Triple would be great for the East Ridge expansion. The last update I saw from Sunlight was that the expansion was on pause because of costs a new lift so this could move up the timeline. I am also curious if Sunlight is still considering a high-speed quad to replace Primo as they posted about that as well, it is a really long lift for a fixed grip and can’t be accessed from the base currently…


        • Donald Reif March 17, 2022 / 1:41 pm

          I could see Primo probably being less than a few years away from replacement.


        • fbceric April 12, 2022 / 12:51 am

          Sunlight already stated the east ridge is on indefinite hold and they (thankfully) came to the realization that everyone else already knew…. Segundo and primo desperately need to be replaced before they spend millions on an east wall lift.


      • RFVDevil April 11, 2022 / 7:27 am

        It’s going to replace Segundo per the local paper in Glenwood. Primo will be next up and East Ridge is on indefinite hold until the other lifts are replaced.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Axewolfe17 April 11, 2022 / 12:04 pm

          After Segundo gets replaced, would that make Looking Glass at Winter Park the longest operating lift in Colorado?


        • Utah Lost Ski Area Project April 11, 2022 / 12:58 pm

          What about the Estes Park Tramway from the 1950s?

          Liked by 1 person

        • V12Tommy April 11, 2022 / 1:10 pm

          Either Looking Glass or Primo. Both were installed in 1966. Last I had heard, Winter Park had kept the old Sunnyside lift when it was replaced, with plans to replace Looking Glass, but that was a few years ago, and the replacement hasn’t happened yet.


  12. Utah Lost Ski Area Project October 5, 2021 / 1:23 pm

    Doesn’t Winter Park still have the old Sunnyside triple? I thought the original plan was to replace Looking Glass with the old Sunnyside rather than buying a used lift. Even if they wanted a newer lift, they could get Hot Wheels from Alpine Meadows. It’s three years older than this lift and the only cost would be moving it to Winter Park.

    I’m sure A-basin could find a use for this lift themselves. Possibly a lift serving the terrain below Beavers in the Gullies?


    • Donald Reif October 5, 2021 / 1:44 pm

      That might be more practical. It’s not like LPA designs have changed much in 20 years. Hell, the terminal design on fixed grips hasn’t changed since the 1980s.


    • Myles Svec October 5, 2021 / 2:02 pm

      Would a relocated Lenawee with a liftline from the bottom of Steep Gully 1 to the top of one of the blacks skiers left of Loafer be practical. I don’t think you can really run a lift straight up the steep gullies.


    • axewolfe17 October 6, 2021 / 6:53 am

      The only parts remaining from sunnyside at the resort is a drive building that has been stripped of all its part including motors in the Kendrick storage lot.


  13. afski722 October 5, 2021 / 8:45 pm

    A-Basin isn’t putting a lift in the Steep Gullies area for a variety of reasons.
    The terrain is low-density, low traffic, quasi-out of bounds terrain. It can’t handle the skier pressure of lift serviced terrain.
    Also putting a lift in there probably causes more skiers to venture in there that are beyond their ability.

    Putting a lift up toward Loafer / Beavers areas is pointless, as the main access points are actually off of the Pali terrain.
    You would still have to then ride up the Beavers lift to get back to the Steep Gullies area.
    Other than the Bald Spot area, its better accessed from Pali lift.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Joey January 30, 2023 / 10:41 am

    As of summer 2022, Lenawee Express construction began as LPOA built a new high-speed six. It opened mid-December, setting the ride time to about 3 min, 40 secs.


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