Liberator Express – Mission Ridge, WA

Mission Ridge needed a detachable lift to replace Chair 2, a 6,500′ Riblet. To save money, the mountain opted to buy the Summit Express from Winter Park rather than a new lift.
Portal tower 1.
Parking rail with work carrier.
Interestingly, this is the oldest detachable chairlift in Washington but wasn’t the first.
The lift line seen from the lower station.
Return terminal overview.
View up the lift line.
Lower section of the line.
Poma towers.
Upper section of the line.
Another view near the summit.
Side view of the top drive terminal.
View down near the top.
Portal tower #25.
Another look at T25.
The two part top terminal.
Lifts like this used Alpha drive terminals with a separate detach/attach building.
Side view of the drive station.
Unloading area and top operator house.
A side view of the top station.
Lift line overview.

29 thoughts on “Liberator Express – Mission Ridge, WA

  1. Paul Manafort September 10, 2018 / 11:36 pm

    Why the portal tower at the end?


    • Collin September 11, 2018 / 6:51 am

      Poma often had portal towers for breakover and depression towers on their earlier detachables. Siberia at Squaw Valley (which has since been removed and scrapped) is another example.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bennett Dugas November 14, 2018 / 3:13 pm

        Odd, I watched a video and this lift has 3 other depression towers that are normal.


        • Donald M. Reif February 21, 2019 / 11:26 pm

          In its original Winter Park location, it only had one mid-line hold-down tower, at about tower 3 or 4 (around where tower 3 on the current Super Gauge Express is located).


        • Donald Reif September 2, 2019 / 11:31 am

          Portal towers were situated at the bottom or top of lifts. This can be seen with the High Lonesome Express, and it was also the case on the defunct Falcon SuperChair.


    • Travis September 12, 2018 / 4:34 pm

      It appears to be a POMA Alpha series fixed that was turned into a detatch. Similar to Peak 10 Falcon lift at Breckenridge, prior to the replacement last year.


    • Collin September 13, 2018 / 2:02 pm

      I don’t believe this lift was ever a fixed grip. It was originally installed at Winter Park in 1985, and then moved here in 2005 when Winter Park replaced it with a 6 pack. Falcon at Breckenridge was definitely converted from a fixed grip. The only other Poma detachable I know of that was originally built as a fixed grip was High Lonesome at Winter Park, but that was done by replacing the Alpha drive and whatever return it had with 1st-gen Challenger detachable terminals as it happened in 1991. Poma installed these Alpha-Falcons as their regular detachable terminal design in 1985, 1986, and 1987. Customers could also opt for a vault drive instead of the separate Alpha drive, as was done with the Colorado Superchair at Breckenridge and the American Flyer at Copper. Both lifts are no longer in service. Back then they didn’t know how to build an overhead drive for detachable lifts, so those were the options.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Max Hart February 21, 2019 / 4:30 pm

        The original Ajax Express at Aspen Mtn. was also a true Alpha-Evolution system.


        • powderforever21 September 2, 2019 / 9:06 am

          Also include Zephyr Express at Hunter


        • Collin Parsons September 2, 2019 / 10:14 am

          Hunter’s Zephyr Express was originally on the front side of the mountain and called the Snowlite Express. It was installed new as a high speed quad in 1987. It was never converted.


  2. Donald Reif February 21, 2019 / 12:15 am

    The lifting frames on the towers on this lift are an interesting hodgepodge.


    • Donald Reif September 2, 2019 / 11:30 am

      As in, some of them are the mid-1980s style, some are more late 80s/early 90s, and a few are clearly from 2005.


  3. Teddy's Lift World November 16, 2019 / 11:57 am

    Wasn’t this planned to be replaced this year with a used Doppelmayr bubble chair?


    • Somebody November 16, 2019 / 12:51 pm

      It got delayed and instead is planned to happen this summer.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Raj Thorp January 27, 2020 / 9:05 pm

    The line speed is 984 fpm. I don’t know how many chairs or towers but I do know the speed


  5. Joe May 22, 2020 / 9:53 am

    On the Mission Ridge webcam, you can see they’re taking the haul rope down this morning. Will be pretty neat to watch construction of the new lift over the next few months.


  6. wolf March 3, 2021 / 5:47 pm

    Where did the new chair come from?


  7. Donald Reif March 31, 2021 / 12:12 pm

    The drive is still up there at the top, with Wenatchee’s unload area right below it. I wonder what will become of it. Seeing it reused for a fixed grip quad seems like it would be the most practical choice, given the Alpha terminal design hasn’t changed at all in 36 years.


    • julestheshiba March 31, 2021 / 12:22 pm

      they should have kept the chairs and towers to re-use on a FGQ elsewhere.


      • Utah Powder Skier March 31, 2021 / 12:30 pm

        I think they already have a fixed grip quad from Stevens Pass. I wonder if they sold a few chairs if they were going to build a shorter lift with the parts from Liberator. Considering how long it took for them to build a detachable, I would think they’re waiting a year before they build another lift.


        • Myles Svec March 31, 2021 / 1:35 pm

          Is it the Jupiter Quad? Some guy keeps saying it’s scrapped but I don’t think that is true.


        • Utah Powder Skier March 31, 2021 / 5:22 pm

          I think he was trying to chat troll. The reasons that he listed didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Kevin January 3, 2023 / 10:59 am

    The top terminal remains today!


  9. Andrew K March 17, 2023 / 5:35 pm

    I was up at Mission earlier today and talked to a guy who apparently knew the owner. Supposedly this lifts top terminal was off by a whole 6 feet from the bottom terminal. I can imagine that contributed to this lift’s generally difficult nature.


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