Mt. Snow, VT

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30 thoughts on “Mt. Snow, VT

  1. Northeast Chairlifts December 20, 2017 / 4:24 pm

    The lift that replaced Ski Baba is a magic carpet called “Grommet”.

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  2. Ski Lift Dude January 1, 2018 / 8:23 pm

    Grand Summit Express received a LPA roof over the bottom flat roofed YAN return and new LPA quad chairs in 2011 when LPA built the Bluebird Express.

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  3. Andrew January 20, 2018 / 5:43 pm

    Who manufactured the weird conveyor belt chairlifts they used to have here? Pretty sure the last one got removed in 1997.

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    • AllertorSiren05 February 5, 2018 / 5:30 pm

      They were home built by mount snow’s longtime owner Walt S.

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  4. milanyvr October 21, 2019 / 9:41 pm

    Any information about the “Aircar” Tram?

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      • Utah Powder November 30, 2019 / 12:22 pm

        Did Carlevaro-Savio make any other trams other than the Aircar?

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        • Tom White November 30, 2019 / 3:40 pm

          They also made the Wildcat gondi (2 seater) 1957-97; the Sugarbush gondi (3 seater) 1958-84 and the original Killington gondi 1968-94. That lift nearly bankrupted C-S. I knew about the gondolas. When I checked Liftblog’s data, I discovered C-S built Sugarbush’s Castlerock 1959-2001 and Gate House 1963-95. Both were double chairs. Of course, there may be others.

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        • Max Hart November 30, 2019 / 6:36 pm

          C&S also built a few doubles at Pico, and they also built a few lifts in partnership with Poma (Hunter’s original double chairlift and the original Killington Chairlift), among others in New England: https://www.newenglandskihistory.com/lifts/brandcarlevarosavio.php I think the only two C&S chairlifts still operating (that haven’t been heavily modified) are Bonanza and Outpost at Pico.

          C&S went bankrupt while building Killy’s original gondola, and Killy was very close to going bankrupt as well.

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      • Teddy's Lift World December 1, 2019 / 7:22 pm

        C&S also built the Valley House Double at Sugarbush in 1960. An interesting fact is that the Sugarbush gondi had 2 passenger cabins until a 1973 fire when the lift was rebuilt with 3 passenger cabins.

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        • Tom White December 2, 2019 / 6:08 am

          Interesting, I never that about the Sugarbush gondi.

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  5. Tom White October 22, 2019 / 5:47 am

    I saw the car(s) while skiing in 1974. I think there were just two, with fitted grips. Judging from the last photo on chairlift.org (http://www.chairlift.org/pics/mtsnow/ms78.jpg) the grips couldn’t go through the terminals. So they reversed directions for each trip across the lake. I was on a New England ski trip with fellow students from Penn State. I believe the outdoor pool and indoor skating rink were operating. Yes, and those chain chairlifts were running. There was a bubble chair lift in addition to the two “gondolas”. You pulled the bubble down from above.

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    • Sam Altavilla October 22, 2019 / 3:47 pm

      If I am correct, the restaurant inside the Snow Lake Lodge is the former bottom terminal.

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    • Mason Schade October 16, 2020 / 1:08 pm

      But as listed in New England Ski History, G-1 went 3/4 of the way up while G-2 went from somewhere around mid to the top, G-2 also had some towers added by PHB according to Chairlift.org

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      • BB17 March 23, 2021 / 4:07 pm

        G1 (built in 1964) went from base to summit along the alignment of the Grand Summit Express. Some PHB towers were added to it to keep it out of the wind near the summit. According to http://www.chairlift.org/mtsnow.html it had an accident in 1986 that led to it being replaced. I’m pretty sure the top terminal building was relocated and is now the former mountain ops building (which burned down in June 2019) and the bottom terminal was also relocated and is now the lifts/rescue building.

        G2 (built in 1969, converted into a triple in 1985) followed the alignment of the Ego Alley lift, and some of its sheaves and towers as well as the top terminal building are still used on that lift. The bottom terminal building of G2 was moved and is now the Clocktower building in the base area. G2 is another example of a detachable that was replaced/converted into a fixed grip.

        I consider both G1 and G2 to be gondolas, but I acknowledge that they are kind of in a gray area between a chairlift and gondola. Maybe labelling them as “Skis-On Gondola” on the spreadsheet would more accurately represent what these lifts really were.

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  6. Tom White November 30, 2019 / 3:45 pm

    Oh, of course Carlevaro-Savio built the two Mt. Snow gondolas. They also built 3 double chairs there: Beaver, Snowdance and Sundance.

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  7. Mason Schade December 24, 2019 / 8:22 am

    G2 was the second gondola correct? I’ve seen pictures of two C-S Gondi’s here.

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  8. Utah Powder February 10, 2020 / 3:38 pm

    The Sundance double chair had bubble added at sometime in the mid 60’s

    Here’s a picture of it:

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  9. skitheeast February 6, 2021 / 7:59 pm

    Some figures to add to the spreadsheet: Beaver double was installed in 1960 and had a verticle rise of 400 ft. Little Beaver was installed in 1954. Mixing Bowl was installed in 1956. Sap Bucket was installed in 1957. South Bowl was installed as a double in 1958 and converted into a T-Bar sometime in the 1960s before being removed in 1971. Summit (the Ramsey double) installed in 1955 and ran until 1978, when it was replaced by Summit Local. Sundance (the C&S double) was installed in 1960.

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  10. skitheeast March 23, 2021 / 7:43 am

    Mount Snow needs to invest in its lift infrastructure. Sunbrook and Challenger really should both be detachable at this point. I was always surprised they did not move and reuse Grand Summit when Bluebird installed and instead kept it as a secondary lift, as it would really be much better utilized in either area. Beyond those two necessary additions, it would also be nice to see Sundance replaced in a slightly different alignment so the mountain can have a true upper mountain pod.

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    • BB17 March 23, 2021 / 10:04 am

      I agree that Mount Snow does need certain lift upgrades. Here’s what I’d do:

      Sunbrook: Replace with high-speed quad (new or relocated), 2,800 pph capacity (although 2,400 pph would probably do fine), bubbles would be nice but not strictly necessary.

      Sundance: Replace with high-speed quad, 2,400 pph capacity, starting at Sundance base area (Tumbleweed lift would have to be moved, more on that later). The lift would run to the current triple’s bottom station where there would be a slight turn with canted sheaves. Above the turn, the lift would follow the current liftline to the top of the Shootout trail, possibly reusing the existing tower tubes.

      Tumbleweed: Remove to make room for new Sundance Express, then reinstall along Seasons’ alignment but ending higher up, near the current Tumbleweed’s top station so that the same terrain can be accessed.

      Challenger: Replace with high speed quad (new or relocated), 2,000 pph capacity with clockwise rotation and 90-degree unloading. The old lift could be reinstalled (possibly with replacement sheaves) to service an expansion area.

      Carinthia: To increase out-of-base capacity at Carinthia, I’d either a) replace Nitro Express with a high-speed six-pack, 2,400 pph capacity, bubbles would be nice but not strictly necessary, or b) replace Heavy Metal with a fixed-grip quad, possibly the old Sunbrook quad.

      Grand Summit Express: I agree with Mount Snow’s decision to keep it where it is and refurbish it instead of relocating it. If it was relocated, the backup lift to Bluebird would have been the Summit Local Triple (Bluebird would have been installed on GSX’s alignment) which was much slower and low-capacity than GSX is. That said, GSX is getting old and will need replacement at some point. A 3,000 pph high-speed six-pack with bubbles and a loading carpet would be an ideal replacement, and the new lift could be called “Yankee Clipper Express”, becoming the new flagship lift with Bluebird as a reliable backup.

      Lastly, I would modify some of Mount Snow’s older fixed-grip lifts (Beartrap, Ego Alley, Outpost, etc.) with new electronics and/or lifting frames from Skytrac to ensure that they remain operational for decades to come.

      I realize most of these upgrades will probably never happen for various reasons, but it’s fun to speculate.

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      • skitheeast March 23, 2021 / 10:52 am

        Sunbrook: I agree, although I would go without the bubbles here just because it is nice in the sun.

        Sundance: I do not think it needs to go all the way down to the base. I would rather see it be extended to the summit and its bottom terminal moved to the intersection of Somerset Road and Ridge and become detachable. This would really encourage people to stay up the hill on the trails between Uncles and Lodge and not return to the crowded base area.

        Tumbleweed: Perhaps make it a detachable lift to make it easier for beginners like they have done at Park City, Sierra-at-Tahoe, etc. Moving the base over to Seasons is a good idea though.

        Carinthia: I agree.

        Challenger: I mostly agree, but I would also up the capacity and maybe make it a six-pack. As the only true advanced area on the mountain, it can get crowded.

        Grand Summit: I disagree here. Bluebird will not need a replacement for another 20+ years, and I would rather see skiers better dispersed than have two parallel base-to-summit detachables keeping all of the skiers in the same place. Detachables at Sunbrook & Challenger would help accomplish this, and a Sundance upper-mountain detachable would as well.

        Some of the older lifts could probably be removed without replacement. Ego Alley is not needed as long as Grand Summit and Bluebird Express exist, and Seasons would be removed as a part of the aforementioned Tumbleweed relocation. Outpost and Bear Trap could remain as emergency backups, as skiers would be trapped in those respective areas if their respective primary lifts went down.

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        • BB17 March 23, 2021 / 1:59 pm

          I see where you’re coming from about creating an upper mountain pod with Sundance, but keep in mind that the Sundance base area could really use a lift that ends higher up than Tumbleweed. If Seasons is removed, Tumbleweed would be the only lift out of that base area and would get very busy from all the novices that would normally be on Seasons. Making Tumbleweed a detachable wouldn’t fully eliminate this problem as it would likely have to run below its design speed to give novices more time to load, thus negating any additional capacity. However, as you said the beginner experience would be improved.

          Also, if Seasons is removed and Sundance is realigned, then if Tumbleweed were to break down there would be no way out of the Sundance base area other than traversing to the Main Base Area. In other words, I believe there must be two lifts out of the Sundance base area to allow for a contingency in case one breaks down. There should be one lift for novices and another for more experienced skiers who want to reach the mid/upper mountain.

          I’m sorry if it was unclear, but I was trying to say that Grand Summit is the one that should be replaced, not Bluebird. Despite its last retrofit in 2011, it’s still showing its age like all the other Yan-Poma detachables (no longer capable of design line speed, frequent breakdowns, etc.). On the rare occasion that Bluebird is closed for mechanical reasons, it would help to have a reliable parallel lift.

          While distributing skiers among different lifts around the mountain makes sense, most of them will rely on Bluebird and Grand Summit to get them to these lifts, therefore it is sensible for both of them to be reliable, high-capacity detachables.

          Ego Alley may seem unnecessary, but on days when the detachables are closed due to weather/de-icing (this usually occurs at least once or twice every season), it is the only option out of the Main Base Area and in my opinion it would make sense to keep it as a backup. It also helps distribute the crowds on weekends.

          Beartrap is more than an “emergency backup” as the Beartrap and Bear Paw trails cannot be accessed from any other lift without a short hike. I agree that it should remain where it is.

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        • skitheeast March 24, 2021 / 11:50 am

          Sundance is not the main base area though. Some people use it at the start of the day if they park there or after lunch at the lodge, but it is primarily just used by beginners who are above the magic carpet but below easy blues. Tumbleweed Express would allow those skiers going elsewhere to go to another base, while it could be lapped by novice skiers. Yes, it would be nice to have a redundant lift for breakdowns. However, as you mentioned, skiers could just pole over to the main base, which would be an inconvenience but worth the millions saved on a new lift.

          The Grand Summit clarification makes sense. But still, I stand by them both not being needed as expensive detachable lifts. Only one of them is needed on most days, so it would be $7-$10 million for a secondary lift. Even in a world with unlimited capital, would that make sense? It would be better to invest elsewhere, whether it be Sunbrook, North Face, or an expansion, and push skiers to go there.

          Ego Alley can stay if it costs the mountain close to nothing to maintain. However, as you mentioned, it is really only needed 1-2x per year when icing is a major issue. However, Mount Snow can usually get at least something up and running by midday and just have a delayed opening like other mountains do. On weekends and holidays, it is completely underutilized just because skiers prefer to wait much longer in lines for a shorter ride time.

          IIRC, Bear Trap could be reached via the old Long John trail before it was rerouted over Deer Run (which created Bear Paw as a separate trail), so they could bring it back and eliminate the Bear Trap lift. However, I do agree that a second lift should exist out of Sunbrook because skiers are completely trapped with nowhere to go if Sunbrook goes down.

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        • BB17 March 24, 2021 / 1:38 pm

          As you mentioned, the Sundance base area is underutilized compared to the Main Base Area. Installing an out-of-base detachable servicing mid/upper mountain terrain would draw more people away from the Main Base Area, shortening lines at Bluebird and Grand Summit. Sundance will never be as popular as the Main Base Area but installing a detachable lift that services more difficult terrain would not only distribute skiers among different lifts, but also among different base areas. Your point about the high cost of this lift is still valid, however, and Mount Snow has a few more pressing lift issues than Sundance/Tumbleweed.

          While I agree that a Grand Summit replacement is definitely not as urgent as a Sunbrook or Challenger upgrade, I would like to see its replacement have a capacity of 3,000 pph (any less would cause long lift lines, and any more would cause overcrowding on trails). This is the same as Grand Summit’s design capacity, although it can’t achieve this capacity because it can’t run at 1,000 fpm anymore.

          Having a combined base-to-summit capacity of 5,400 pph (Bluebird and the Grand Summit replacement combined) would minimize lines in the Main Base Area. This would also help skiers spread out to other parts of the mountain, and of course allow for redundancy. The reason skiers tend to stay on the Main Face is not due to it having high-speed lifts as much as it is due to Sunbrook and the North Face lacking detachables. If Grand Summit is removed without replacement, then Bluebird and, to an extent, Canyon Express will both become bottlenecks as skiers attempt to reach the detachable replacement lifts on Sunbrook and the North Face. Having attractive options outside the base area will not work out unless out-of-base capacity is sufficient to bring skiers there.

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