Red Buffalo Express – Beaver Creek, CO

This high-speed quad replaced Beaver Creek’s last remaining original lift in 2017.
The drive is at the top station.
The lift tops out next to Cinch Express.
The tower heads and chairs on this lift came from Keystone’s original Montezuma Express.
View down the line in Red Buffalo Park.
Tower 2.
Looking up from the base.
The tension-return terminal.
A support tower and chairs.
Maintenance rail at the bottom station.
View down at tower 7.
Riding up the lift.
Arriving at the summit.
Unloading ramp and operator house.
Tower 15.
Another view of the lift line.
Side view of the bottom terminal.
Maze and loading area.

13 thoughts on “Red Buffalo Express – Beaver Creek, CO

  1. Jonathan January 18, 2018 / 9:12 am

    The chairs, Crossarms, and sheave assemblies came form Keystone’s Montezuma Lift. It got new chair pads, new stations and it looks like new tower tubes as well. I think they kept the Operator House from the old Drink Of Water Lift.


  2. Collin January 18, 2018 / 9:17 am

    The original towers from Montezuma probably stayed where they were to be used on the new 6.


    • John January 18, 2018 / 2:20 pm

      No, the new Montezuma 6 is a Poma and did not reuse anything from the original Doppelmayr. The towers on this lift are entirely from ‘zuma.


    • Collin January 18, 2018 / 3:28 pm

      Looking at the pictures of the old Montezuma, the entire towers were reused. Not just the tower heads. The connections between the tubes and crossarms looks exactly like on Montezuma and not like the current tower tube design. They may have been galvanized before being reinstalled.


      • Phoenix February 28, 2021 / 4:46 pm

        It looks to me like both Montezuma and this lift got new tower tubes. Dopplemayr likely custom made the tops of the new tubes to fit the old tower heads off Montezuma.


  3. Henry T February 5, 2021 / 9:10 pm

    Does this lift end in a different location than the old drink of water?


    • Donald Reif October 29, 2021 / 9:24 am

      Ends in the same location.


  4. s April 7, 2022 / 5:47 pm

    the tower 13 pic is actually a picture of tower 15


  5. Bob August 22, 2022 / 7:11 pm

    I both love and hate this lift.

    First of all, its a detachable replacing a fixed grip, which can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view, but one thing’s for sure – this is a pretty lift.

    However, having a detachable comes with drawbacks. There is always a line on this lift now, when there almost never was one on Drink of Water. Therefore, even though the actual lift runs faster, it actually takes the sane amount of time from getting in line to unloading at the top ad the old lift. There are also lots more beginners both riding this lift and on this part of the mountain. Often, when beginners would lap this terrain, they would be scared of drink of water and just end up using Cinch for lapping instead. That caused lots less people on this part of the mountain. Now, they use this lift for lapping instead, causing all those runs to be so much busier. Case in point- Jack Rabbit Alley used to be this fun, twisting run through the trees, but after this lift went in, they widened it. Now, its not nearly as fun, because it doesn’t feel like a sneaky back way and instead more like “Jack Rabbit Boulevard.”

    In addition, the name. I understand why they decided to call it Red Buffalo Express, ad it provides easy lapping of Red Buffalo, possibly one of the greatest greens to ever exist. I think Drink of Water is a more fitting name, though, as this lift is a perfect length for a Drink of Water. I remember lapping the old lift as a kid, and it was practically tradition to have a drink when riding this lift. Plus, calling it Drink of Water encourages people to drink water, therefore staying hydrated.

    However, credit given where credit is due. KUDOS to Vail and BC for having all detachable lifts for lappable terrain. However, I believe this was a net loss replacing the old lift, but maybe I’m just a grumpy guy complaining about all the newbies taking up all the good snow.


    • Resolve.Action.Love 🌻 (@Snowman55403) December 17, 2022 / 5:18 pm

      The old lift took so long that my foot would fall asleep dangling my snowboard — no footrest for what was realistically an 11 minute ride (sometimes 12). And as you describe skier behavior, they’re making a better choice now. Funneling a lot of beginner traffic onto the lower Cinch run, and adding skiers to that lift line when that lift should be for the western runs of the upper pod makes less sense to me. Perhaps BC widened Jack Rabbit because of the new lift, but thats speculation, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif December 18, 2022 / 6:23 am

        Plus, those beginners also have the option to do runs in McCoy Park.


    • V12Tommy April 10, 2023 / 3:35 pm

      I think the negative you mentioned is actually a positive. I’m about as big of a VR critic as you can get, but getting more people to use this lift, and the terrain it serves, is actually a positive. It reduces the line at Cinch, for those people wanting to lap that terrain. I love the feel of a long slow ride up an old double lift, and sometimes it feels like Fail Resorts upgrades things simply for the sake of upgrading, but in this case it seems like a wise investment. If they doubled capacity and there is now a line, that means more people are utilizing it, therefore it is money well spent.

      Liked by 1 person

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