Shooting Star Express – Stratton, VT

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Garaventa CTEC Stealth III top drive station.
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Departure side at the summit.
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Work chair and upper lift line.
The bottom terminal with loading gates.
Loading area.
Parking rails.
Towers 1 and 2.
Stealth III station.
Top terminal porch.
View down at tower 9.
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3 thoughts on “Shooting Star Express – Stratton, VT

  1. skitheeast May 3, 2019 / 2:41 pm

    This is probably the most controversial lift at Stratton as it indirectly replaced the Kidderbrook Quad. Intrawest wanted to provide one seamless ride from the base of Sun Bowl to the top of the mountain, so they placed Shooting Star here instead of in the old Kidderbrook alignment. When Kidderbrook was inevitably removed a few years later, a number of the mountain’s best trails were left with either a long runoff to the base or a flat cutoff that shortened the run.

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    • Collin Parsons May 3, 2019 / 3:11 pm

      The Bear Down and Upper Middlebrook trails always had a significant runout to get to any lift. You always had the option of cutting over where the Shooter trail is to get onto Supertrail or Lower Downeaster instead. Kidderbrook Quad was in my opinion (having never ridden it) a useless out of the way lift that took 15 minutes to ride and only really served 2 trails once Shooting Star was built. After Tamarack is replaced and if they were to add a couple trails to skier’s right of Upper Kidderbrook, I could see a lower capacity high speed quad being installed there.

      They built Shooting Star where it is rather than on Kidderbrook because they wanted it to be a quick transfer between the lower and upper lifts. They wanted to prevent people from going to URSA where they have always had long wait times due to how many lifts feed traffic into it. If the upper Sun Bowl lift was on the Kidderbrook route, it would result in higher traffic on Churchill Downs which is pretty narrow, and more people would have ended up on URSA because it would be faster to go there than Kidderbrook. Since this lift is easiest to get to if you took the Sunrise Express, everyone who is continuing to the summit uses it.

      This lift is also very overbuilt for the location and there are two reasons for this. One is they wanted parts commonality with the Sunrise Express, and two they wanted to match the capacity so that there would be little to no wait for this lift. It functions essentially as a continuation of the Sunrise Express, rather than a standalone. When I ski Stratton, I use this lift quite often for top to bottom Sun Bowl laps, or even to just take Upper Black Bear or Upper Middlebrook. It’s also an easy way to get to the summit while bypassing the atrocious lines that form at URSA and to even worse extent the gondola.

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    • Somebody May 3, 2019 / 9:06 pm

      I agree, it’s unfortunate there isn’t a straightforward solution to this, because the sunbowl link to the summit is important, but Kidderbrook (and the undevelopec forest to the skiers right) is the best terrain on the entire mountain, and lapping it is just miserable, especially when sunrise has a long line or shooting star is closed.

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