Orient Express #21 – Vail, CO

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Breakover towers 27 and 28.
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Top drive station with maintenance rail.
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Side view of the summit.
Side view of the return terminal.
Monster station.
Upper part of the line.
Drive bullwheel.
Top terminal overview.
Underside of the drive station.
View from the top.
Upper part of the line seen from below.
Middle lift line.
The first few towers.
Looking back down the line near the summit.

12 thoughts on “Orient Express #21 – Vail, CO

  1. Donald M. Reif February 22, 2019 / 9:21 am

    There’s an interesting comment to make about how of the high speed quads off the Front Side, this is the only one that isn’t a Poma or Leitner-Poma.

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  2. Donald Reif August 30, 2019 / 9:32 am

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  3. powderforever45 December 10, 2019 / 2:58 pm

    Will this be the next 80s high speed quad to be replaced after game creek?

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    • Somebody December 10, 2019 / 4:19 pm

      This will almost certainly be the next after Game Creek. I don’t remember much from the last time I went to vail (I was 4 years old), but one of the few things I do remember is this chair having a 15 minute lift line. That was 11 years ago now, so I’d imagine it’s probably gotten worse. This chair could use a 3,000 pph six pack. Besides this chair and Game Creek, the only one left will be born free, which is mostly backup to eagle bahn so it isn’t a top priority for them to replace it.

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  4. jcpierce05 February 13, 2020 / 1:20 pm

    If they were to replace this lift, what would they replace it with? This lift doesn’t seem to have long lines often, so a 6 chair wouldn’t be needed. I would like to see bubbles added to this lift, although I doubt that will happen. I think Teacup Lift relieves traffic off of this lift so the lines arent as bad as they were in the past. Maybe they could do something like a Shedhorn upgrade on this lift with new terminals, hangars and grips. Thoughts?

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    • Donald Reif February 13, 2020 / 2:03 pm

      It would probably be cost-saving to just do what Mt. Bachelor did with Pine Marten in 2006, where they simply replaced the terminals and grips, but retained the towers and chairs. The lift would probably only have to lose about ten chairs or so in the conversion. But that would be made up for with a shorter ride time, balancing out any lost capacity.

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  5. Skristiansen February 13, 2020 / 1:43 pm

    The way that vail does things, I imagine they will build a high speed quad here along with a second in Mongolia. With two new higher capacity quads, the lines should be relieved.

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    • Donald Reif February 13, 2020 / 2:09 pm

      The master plan calls for a Mongolia Express lift to eventually be built servicing the Siberia and Mongolia Bowls.

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  6. Donald Reif December 27, 2020 / 6:44 am

    I think this can count as one of those detachables that, when initially built, were only accessible via fixed grip lifts, even though you could travel from Patrol Headquarters via Sleepytime. I say this since Two Elk Lodge is the primary entry point into the China Bowl and until 2007, that was only accessible from a triple chairlift prior to 2007. That status changed with the Blue Sky Basin expansion and the four Poma high speed quads that were built for it.

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  7. Skristiansen March 20, 2021 / 5:47 am

    Yeah. These days I think the fastest way to China bowl is to get to phq and ski the slot to chair 9 and drop in at jade glade or another trail on that teacup cornice.

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    • Donald Reif March 20, 2021 / 4:25 pm

      Taking the Sourdough Express and entering from Two Elk Lodge is the more direct and intermediate route. Going via the Sun Up Express is for experts as that route involves black runs.

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      • Skristiansen March 21, 2021 / 5:53 am

        I believe the slot is now groomed and labeled on the map as a blue. But fair point, the timberline catwalk is less difficult. It is also worth factoring in that 14 often has more lines than 9.

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