Quicksilver Super6 – Breckenridge, CO

Top station unload zone.
View down the very flat lift line.
Looking up the line.
Lower half of the line.
Tower 2.
Bottom station overview.
Side view of the return.
This is the only lift in North America with double loading. Every other chair goes to one of two load platforms.
As a result, the chairs are always changing order.
Loading area one.
There are two separate mazes that never merge.
Drive station.
The entire line.
Top station from below.
Another view down line.

17 thoughts on “Quicksilver Super6 – Breckenridge, CO

  1. Matt Z. April 26, 2018 / 3:56 pm

    What is the advantage of double loading? Isn’t the uphill capacity still the same?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thomas Jett April 26, 2018 / 9:18 pm

      It improves efficiency. Typically speaking, the more complicated the carrier, the more time you need to fill it. Typical doubles, tripples, and quads run 6s dispatch intervals, meaning that you have 6s to go from the line, to the loading board, and sit down. If a resort is really trying to squeze everything out of a workhorse detachable quad, they’ll put more chairs on the line, and run a 5.15s interval. This seems to be the physical limit for a detachable quad.
      Now let’s look at an 8 seat gondola. Now, you typically need to combine unpredictable groups to form 8, put everyone’s skis on the rack, and then have them climb in one at a time. As a result these gondolas typically run 12 second dispatches. The key fact is that if you try to load people faster than the optimal dispatch interval for a carrier configuration, then you don’t have time to seat everyone, so you end up sending empty seats. At this point, you might as well have just payed less for a lower capacity that would be fully efficient.
      This same logic applies to six-packs. Because the carriers are so wide, it takes more time for people to organize themselves, so that they can actually fill the carrier. As such, the absolute minimum dispatch interval for a six pack is 6s, which yields 3,600 pp*h^-1. However, this typically comes with reduced efficiency, to the point where at most 80% of this capacity is actually utilized. By using a double station, suddenly each line has 12s between carriers. Thus even though the theoretical capacity remains the same (3,600 pp*h^-1), the real capacity increases due to increased efficiency.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Calmeyer April 26, 2018 / 10:42 pm

        That’s some really interesting data about loading times and lift efficiency, thanks for sharing, up until now I assumed this was a little bit of a gimmick feature.


      • Donald Reif October 1, 2019 / 9:15 am

        There are still misloads, moreso at the first load area where you have only six seconds to get from the gate to the load area because the gates are opened as they are passed by chairs going to the second load area, same as they would on the other six packs. Those loading at the second load area get twelve seconds to move from the gates to the load line.


        • Collin Parsons October 1, 2019 / 9:59 am

          They should put up signs directing less experienced skiers to the outside loading area.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Donald Reif October 1, 2019 / 11:27 am

          Wouldn’t that be nice. Of course, loading area 1 is where you’ll end up when you’re coming in from Beaver Run and points uphill, while loading area 2 is primarily those coming back from lunch at the Maggie or starting in the Village lot.

          Alternately, Quicksilver does seem like a lift where, if an extension of the top terminal were made, it could be converted into a chondola, with loading area 1 being for all the chairs, and loading area 2 being for gondola cabins. Although I doubt Breck would ever go for that, it is something that isn’t entirely impossible given several European chondolas are configured that way:

          (Of course, the examples above are also set up like the Disney Skyliner, in that the double loading is at both ends, with chairs unloading and having their own turnaround contour separate from the one used for gondola cabins)


  2. GreatEight January 16, 2019 / 11:48 am

    Why is this the only lift with double loading if it improves efficiency?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael January 16, 2019 / 4:55 pm

      It improves efficiency but at a huge cost. And at that cost it has to have special needs. The location of this lift is at “The Maggie” area in Breckenridge. On any given weekend 10,000 people of ALL levels will show up here between 8:30 and 9:30 trying to get up the mountain.To accommodate the various abilities of the guests they needed high capacity and also the longer load intervals provided by this dual loading principle. It also has a huge footprint as you can see- not something everyone can fit in their base area.
      I believe there are only 2 or 3 of these in the world.
      Hope this helps.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald M. Reif April 5, 2019 / 11:32 am

        Even then, Quicksilver is still a lift that stops and slows a lot. Like, if you’re above a beginner level, you only use it to get on the mountain in the morning. After that, you only ever go to the Beaver Run SuperChair and Mercury SuperChair and stick to the upper trails.


  3. Donald Reif #SaveDaredevil (@DonaldMReif) April 23, 2019 / 12:00 pm

    The resort can’t really decide which name it wants to use for this lift. The trail maps and the red lift signs all use the Quicksilver SuperChair name, while the loading instruction signs on the overhangs at both loading areas brand the lift as Quicksilver Super6, and the lift was signed as Quicksilver Super6 on trail maps up through 2013.


  4. Donald Reif September 13, 2019 / 9:54 am

    Video from loading area 1:

    Video from loading area 2:


  5. Donald Reif December 18, 2019 / 3:14 pm

    There’s a part of me that feels like Quicksilver Super6 could’ve built on the original quad alignment instead of this alignment. Mainly for the fact that the quad’s alignment serviced more terrain than the current lift. From the top of the Quicksilver Quad, you were deposited on the C Transfer, providing access to Lift C as well as the Snowflake lift’s midway load (not to mention that the old quad’s ending location partially explains why Cashier, Bonanza, Columbia and Sundown become green runs after they cross Lower American), and one accessed the Mercury SuperChair by simply skiing down the lift line on Eldorado.

    Alternatively, Quicksilver could’ve been built with the current top terminal as a midway unload and turn station, with the lift then continuing to the top of Lift A for the same effect.

    At the same time, Quicksilver was built to service Ten Mile Station, and is used to shuttle employees up to it, which wouldn’t be practical if the lift ended at the old quad’s location.


  6. Donald Reif January 14, 2021 / 1:01 pm

    They’ve taken the gates off the second loading area since these pictures were taken. Now only the first loading area has gates (and for good reason, since they keep people from moving in front of a chair that’s passing through to the second loading area). Meaning the only lifts on the mountain still with loading gates are Quicksilver loading area 1, the Peak 8 SuperConnect (because of the midstation), and the Colorado SuperChair (because of the carpet).

    (At this time ten years ago, all of Breck’s superchairs had loading gates. They took the gates off the Falcon SuperChair, Mercury SuperChair, Beaver Run SuperChair, Imperial Express SuperChair, Colorado SuperChair, and Rocky Mountain SuperChair in 2012. The Independence SuperChair lost its loading gates the following year. The Colorado SuperChair got its gates back when it became a high speed six pack. The Kensho SuperChair and the current Falcon SuperChair have never had gates.)


    • Utah Powder Skier January 14, 2021 / 1:59 pm

      Why were the loading gates removed? If anything, they help alleviate misloads. Did they get bent like the one’s on Wildcat at Snowbasin?


      • Donald Reif January 14, 2021 / 4:26 pm

        My guess is that Breck thought the opposite.


  7. Utah Powder Skier July 26, 2022 / 12:57 pm

    I believe it was the first automatically driven detachable in the world.


    • pbropetech November 25, 2022 / 2:05 pm

      I’ll bite. What’s an ‘automatically driven detachable’?


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