Silver Queen Express – Crested Butte, CO

The Silver Queen was the first detachable quad at Crested Butte when it debuted.
The bottom station has tensioning but not the drive.
View up the lift line from T3.
This is really the flagship of the mountain, travelling nearly top to bottom.
Riding up the line.
View down at T8.
The Queen is almost 8,000 feet long.
View back at T17.
Looking up at tower 18.
View back down the impressive lift line.
Looking up at the lift from Westwall’s top station.
Drive station.
Lift overview.
Arriving at the summit.
Top station overview.

15 thoughts on “Silver Queen Express – Crested Butte, CO

  1. Donald M. Reif February 21, 2019 / 10:37 am

    I always have considered this to be one of the most impressive profiles of any lift I’ve ridden. I feel like the lift can be divided into three parts: a lower part which travels through the aspen trees as you cross the beginner and intermediate trails of the lower mountain. Then in the middle part, you enter rockier terrain where the aspens give way to evergreens and pines. Then you hit the steep upper segment, which feels so different from the lower part.

    Here’s a good video that I made of the lift seven years ago:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley April 20, 2021 / 8:02 am

      Can you ride the Silver Queen in late Sept?


  2. Collin Parsons February 21, 2019 / 3:06 pm

    Does this lift ever operate at 1100 feet per minute in normal operation?


    • I don’t think it gets close, but it certainly operates at around the 1,000-1,050 fpm range during regular operations (unlike Red Lady, which runs slower due to being a beginner’s lift).


    • Justin February 17, 2021 / 12:17 am

      That’s probably the fastest high-speed quad I’ve ridden. It’s a fast one. 1100 fpm.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif February 17, 2021 / 6:02 am

        Normally it runs around 950 to 1000 fpm.


  3. skitheeast March 11, 2019 / 12:27 pm

    With this lift’s issues this season, I would have to imagine Vail will replace it within the next season or two because it is 27 years old and probably not worth the cost of potential repairs. Avanti was replaced at Vail when it was 26. I could see them putting a six pack here when replaced, as that is what Vail tends to do when replacing a detachable quad.


    • Donald M. Reif March 11, 2019 / 6:17 pm

      I do feel the need to mention the whole unloading area doesn’t seem practical to run a six pack up to. I mean, almost all traffic gets funneled into the Windy Gap trail and adding more capacity risks problems. Rebuilding as a quad with new terminals and new LPA grips would be more practical.


      • skitheeast March 12, 2019 / 9:34 am

        Building a six pack instead of a quad does not have to be for current demand but for future projections. With the mountain being Epic, the number of skiers should increase. They can install a six with a capacity of 2400 (like a quad) and install additional chair if needed over the life of the lift. If they are very concerned with trail space, the lift can end about 500 feet down and 100 feet over closer to the top of Upper International, which still allows High Lift access.


        • Donald M. Reif March 21, 2019 / 1:48 pm

          I see it more likely that more chairs are added to the Paradise Express and Red Lady Express before Silver Queen is touched. (It sounds like the problem was with a comm line, which could happen on any lift)

          Moving the unload area down to “500 feet down and 100 feet over closer to the top of Upper International” would probably also be detested by some expert skiers who’d be losing one-seat access to some of the chutes accessible from the ridge trail.


  4. Donald Reif November 15, 2019 / 8:54 am

    The lift terminals before 2004:


  5. Donald Reif December 21, 2019 / 9:28 am

    To think that this is the only high speed quad in Colorado still operating with Competition chairs, as the others that were built with Competition chairs have either had their chairs replaced (Beaver Run SuperChair) or have been completely replaced (American Eagle and Zephyr Express).

    *Pioneer Express at Winter Park doesn’t count since although it has two Competition chairs on the line, its chairs are mainly made of Arceaux carriers.


  6. Donald Reif January 9, 2022 / 9:13 am

    I think under Vail Resorts, they’ve actually sped the lift up a bit and it tends to run at around 1,050 fpm.

    It also likes they’ve readjusted the chair spacing a bit, although the chair count is still the same.


  7. Mark Voegeli May 11, 2022 / 3:18 pm

    Built back in nineteen two! Time to replace it with a 6 person bubble or a chondola


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