Ramshead Express – Killington, VT

One of many Poma high-speed quads at Killington of various vintages, Ramshead is about 1,000 feet shorter than the lift it replaced, which continued to the summit.
The top station.
Terminal underskin.
View down the lift line.
Middle section of the line.
View up from near the base.
Tower 1 and the drive station.
Lift overview.

14 thoughts on “Ramshead Express – Killington, VT

  1. Ski Okemo March 16, 2019 / 3:12 pm

    why’d they shorten it?


    • Ryan Murphy March 16, 2019 / 3:16 pm

      It’s always wind when a lift is shortened.


      • Collin Parsons March 16, 2019 / 4:16 pm

        No it’s a lot more complicated than that. Les Otten wanted Ramshead to be a family/novice area. The lower trails generally followed the fall line and were easy to widen. The upper trails were all rated green or blue (except the lift line) yet he claimed he had to shorten it because the trails were too hard to ski and for wind. I think what he did was a farce and is a great example of the ASC “easy way”. There was no reason they couldn’t have been widened and graded to be like the trails served by the current lift. If wind was an issue then they could’ve just closed the lift line trail at the very top and made the towers super low to the ground.

        In closing the top of Ramshead, Otten took a step back in his plan to connect Killington and Pico. With a lift to the top of Ramshead, just one extra lift would need to be built to make the connection. It would be on the Pico side while the trail he cut from Pico to the access road could’ve been routed into the bottom of Ramshead. Now to make the connection this lift either has to be replaced with one that extends back to the top, or a separate lift needs to be built to the top in addition to a lift on the Pico side.


        • reaperskier March 16, 2019 / 4:56 pm

          I’m wondering if killington will install a non bubbled six (or eight) to replace the ramshead and have the new lift end at the true summit of ramshead mountain?


        • Collin Parsons March 16, 2019 / 5:14 pm

          I’m not really sure what their plans are, but the right thing to do for long term planning is a lift that extends back to the true summit. That would allow for a connection to Pico building only one additional lift. If they went with a bubble for Snowdon, I think they also would for Ramshead. They will also want an enclosed lift out of their new village development which will happen soon. The RFID gate structure appears to have two extra attachment points but it could just be to allow for wider gates during bike season. I hope they at least consider an 8. With the village and Pico connection funneling into here, they will need a lot of capacity.

          Liked by 1 person

        • skitheeast March 16, 2019 / 5:16 pm

          I imagine it will be a few years before this lift is replaced. Although it is quite popular and should become a 6 or 8 seat detachable, it isn’t old enough to be retired. Perhaps they move it elsewhere on the mountain or sell it. I think replacing Superstar with a 6 or 8 detachable, replacing both Snowshed lifts with a 6 or 8 detachable, and replacing Bear with either a 4 or 6 detachable are higher priorities after replacing North Ridge this summer.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Collin Parsons March 17, 2019 / 6:38 am

          I think Superstar is the next priority after North Ridge. Ramshead will need to wait until village and interconnect plans are finalized as those are both factors for the terminal locations. I think they will replace the lodge as part of the village plans and then the terminal could be moved downhill to make it easier to go between Ramshead and Snowshed. The Snowdon upgrade has reduced traffic on Ramshead quite a bit, but it can still have a significant line on weekends, but I don’t think it’s as urgent of an upgrade until the things mentioned above are coming. Also this is one of their most reliable lifts, so they wouldn’t want to replace it and likely sell it unless the additional capacity is really needed.


        • maxreznik February 10, 2020 / 6:11 pm

          i dont think that bear mountain is much of a priority, or it should be. most people who park at bear take skye peak quad. only people who like double black will want to take the bear quad.


        • sullivanq March 6, 2020 / 8:57 pm

          You can get from the summit of pico to killington. The trail is open for most of the season


  2. Collin Parsons April 5, 2021 / 3:29 pm

    This lift’s color has been changed to yellow to match the Woodward brand. You can see the new sign here in my video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-B6tASh4Q0

    I predict that when this lift is replaced, the new one will be called Woodward Express and have gold bubbles.


    • skitheeast April 5, 2021 / 6:15 pm

      I doubt they will change the name. The area is pretty well known as Ramshead and who knows how long Killington will keep Woodward here. Even this year, where they were supposed to have practically the entire peak devoted to parks, many trails were left void of features because beginners and low-intermediates still like to ski here. My two cents is that Killington would be better off throwing a bunch of parks over by South Ridge, as park skiers tend to not mind slow lifts as much.


      • Collin Parsons April 5, 2021 / 6:26 pm

        The way it’s been for like the past decade is that the lower level parks have been at Ramshead and the upper level parks have been at Bear. It works pretty well because the users of the lower level parks tend to be with families, who like to ski this part of the mountain. Meanwhile, those who use the upper level parks are more likely to be 20 somethings, and prefer the more festive atmosphere at Bear. The halfpipe is also over there, but they haven’t built it in a while. It was always used for the Dew Tour back in the day. I don’t know why every Ramshead trail is listed as a park when that’s not the case. I think they should be more clear that they will set up progression parks on some of the trails, but not cover the full width. Ramshead was never intended to become a Carinthia style, all park mountain. The Snowdon redesign pulled some intermediate skiers away from Ramshead, but the fact is that Snowdon is steeper, so lower level skiers as well as the ski school still use Ramshead. The issue with using South Ridge is that Pipe Dream is the only trail with snowmaking and the chair doesn’t run midweek.


  3. carletongebhardt April 14, 2022 / 1:52 pm

    On a Killington Download podcast a month or so ago, Mike Solimano hinted that a six pack was in the future for Ramhead. When they put in the RFID gates, they put in a wide enough frame to accommodate six gates. No word on whether it may go all the way to the top though….


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