Slide Brook Express – Sugarbush, VT

Slide Brook is the longest chairlift in the world at just over 11,000 feet. It connects two mountains and has a net vertical rise of less than 400′.
Loading area on the Lincoln end.
Tension station at Mt. Lincoln.
This is approximately towers 30-40.
Another view of the Mt. Lincoln section.
The drive station at Mt. Ellen.
Depression towers 1 and 2.
Mt. Ellen station.
View towards Lincoln Peak at tower 8.
T4.
Drive station seen from above.
Worldbook
Doppelmayr Worldbook entry.
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31 thoughts on “Slide Brook Express – Sugarbush, VT

  1. Northeast Chairlifts November 20, 2017 / 3:34 pm

    This was closed the day we went here so we had to take a shuttle.

    Like

    • Max Hart November 20, 2017 / 5:42 pm

      The biggest problem with this lift is that there needs to be sufficient snow underneath it so that ski patrol can evacuate it should anything go wrong.

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      • Northeast Chairlifts November 20, 2017 / 6:21 pm

        Yeah. The only easy thing to do is use a passenger snowcat.

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      • Collin November 20, 2017 / 6:42 pm

        I wonder how any mountain runs lifts in the summer then if they have to have snow under it to evac. Couldn’t they use atv’s to get around if there wasn’t snow? Whiteface runs their gondola all summer and the line is really steep and hard to get to. IMO you can’t advertise it as one ski area if you have to take a bus between the sections.

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        • Teddy Hubbell December 28, 2018 / 6:12 pm

          They don’t run it in the summer. Only Super Bravo.

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      • Collin November 20, 2017 / 6:50 pm

        In my opinion saying they need snow under the lift to do an evac is an excuse for not running it to save money. Would’ve edited this into my previous comment but there’s no way to edit or delete comments.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Teddy December 20, 2018 / 6:21 am

          It is only because of evacuation not money. Sugarbush would be in big trouble if they couldn’t evacuate the lift. Vermont law says so.

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      • Max Hart November 20, 2017 / 6:51 pm

        The problem with Slide Brook is that it spends 11000 feet in no-mand’s land. If there was developed terrain that is easily accessible via snowcat or ATV, then the “must have sufficient snow below the lift line for evacuations” rule probably doesn’t apply. I have never ridden White Face’s Gondola, but do you know if it has some kind of special evacuation system? Red Pine at Park City has Poma’s Poma-Bus evacuation system for this purpose (to my understanding). I’m not sure if the “must have sufficient snow below the lift line for evacuations” applies to Whiteface’s Gondola, or if it is just a rule unique to Sugarbush and the Slide Brook Express due to its remoteness.

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      • Collin November 20, 2017 / 7:08 pm

        Look up the lift on New England Ski History and you’ll see multiple pics dated 2004 showing the lift open with zero snow underneath on the south facing sections of the line. Clearly wasn’t an issue then, so unless some regulation changed, the reason they are telling you it doesn’t open and the actual reason it doesn’t open are different.

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      • Max Hart March 19, 2018 / 4:38 pm

        From Remontees-Mecaniques: “The Slide Brook Express is theoretically open seven days a week. However, it is the most often closed ski area device as there are many opening restrictions due to the length of the facility and the constraints to it. vertical evacuation. Thus, the device is not open in case of bad weather, or in case of too windy day and also too cold, or in case of low snow because the evacuation is provided only with snowy ground. Note that regardless of whether or not the connection is operational, shuttles connect both sides of the ski area.”

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      • Collin March 19, 2018 / 7:29 pm

        They’re just regurgitating what marketing/PR tells people. The whole snow requirement might be a more recent thing as there are multiple pictures on the internet of that lift running without snow underneath it. Even if all that stuff is true with the weather related restrictions, it doesn’t change the fact that Sugarbush is too cheap to run their own shuttle between the base areas and instead just refers you to the local public bus that only runs once every hour and makes dozens of stops between the base areas and takes well over half an hour to complete the trip. If you drive yourself over you’d lose your parking spot which could be a big deal if you got there early on a busy day. They just don’t think they need to run it or provide a good alternative because many people just ski one side or the other on a given day and don’t go between. I really want to get to Sugarbush, but I don’t plan on doing that unless this lift is open and connecting the two mountains.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Teddy's Lift World January 15, 2019 / 9:34 am

    There is a long list of requirements needed to be met in order for Sugarbush to run this lift. #1. There has to be 1′ 1/2 of snow both underneath the lift and on the access road to the bottom of Slide Brook Basin. #2. The temperature must be above 5 degrees throughout the whole entire day. #3. There can´t be high winds. #4. The access road to the bottom of Slide Brook Basin must be groomed. Sugarbush has to want to run it also.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Somebody February 11, 2019 / 8:08 pm

      So pretty much, this lift never runs, but in marketing, they can pretend it does. Great.

      Like

  3. cfglick April 13, 2019 / 11:18 am

    They could make it a chondola and when the requirements don’t allow the lift to run, they could only load the gondolas. That way you could still ride the chair if you want to and the conditions allow it.

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    • Somebody April 15, 2019 / 10:17 am

      Honestly, they should just make it a full gondola. I’ve never ridden slide brook myself, but I’ve ridden Chair 10 at Telluride (300 feet shorter), and it’s really not fun. As a lift people would ride at most twice a day, I don’t see the problem making it a full gondola, because if it was a chondola, unless it was 50 degrees out, the chairs would go completely empty.

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      • Mike B April 15, 2019 / 10:32 am

        Great idea. Dump a bunch of money into a lift with questionable utility, challenged economics and limited operability already.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Teddy's Lift World April 15, 2019 / 12:43 pm

        The whole reason it is a chair is to make it effortless to traverse between the mountains. It is a nice ride that is rather pleasant that actually isn’t too long. Sunshine might be different in that way. Slide Brook (when it actually runs) is amazing. I ski at Sugarbush very often and it is always a treat when it is running. Too bad it doesn’t run more often.

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        • Donald Reif May 28, 2019 / 5:33 pm

          Sunshine at Telluride has a bunch of long double greens and blues that can be lapped from it, and real estate that can be skied in/out of, and being an alternate route to Prospect Bowl and Gold Hill (when combined with Ute Park), has much more necessity.

          Like

  4. conradmward April 15, 2019 / 8:04 am

    If you come in March you’ll find that it runs most days thanks to more favorable weather and snow conditions. And a decent amount of people use it (at least on weekends) so the ski area certainly likes to run it if they can.

    Like

  5. skitheeast April 15, 2019 / 12:35 pm

    I think the best solution for Slide Brook is to simply expand into Slide Brook Basin. Two lifts, one to the top of Mt. Ellen and one to the top of North Lynx, would be all that is required to allow for a skiable connection. There are also some well pitched slopes in the area that would allow Sugarbush to offer a mixture of more mellow intermediates and challenging diamonds.

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    • Teddy's Lift World April 15, 2019 / 12:40 pm

      When Les Otten decided to build a lift here in 1995 he signed an agreement that Sugarbush can’t expand into the Slide Brook basin. Wildlife is also another concern. This simply won’t happen!

      Like

  6. Maxwell May 16, 2019 / 4:46 pm

    Is this the only Doppelmayr high-speed quad that can run at 1100 fpm?

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    • Somebody May 16, 2019 / 7:21 pm

      Definitely not, the only one that comes to mind is Timberline at Copper, but there’s definitely a few more that can.

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      • Peter Landsman May 16, 2019 / 7:25 pm

        Gem Lake Express at Big White, Summit Express at Keystone, Wildcat Express at Wildcat and Lodge at YC.

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  7. snowbasinlocal12894 May 27, 2019 / 12:23 pm

    Were having the same problem with operating john paul in the summer. JP has a very long and steep lift line and you cant really evacuate the lift in the summer because everyone is on foot. Not on skis or a snowboard. Slide brook is a mellow lift though. Cant they just rope you off and the patrol men take off your skis/board before you hit the ground? The big problem is getting everyone out after they get roped off. I imagine it would be a muddy mess trying to get out of there during bad snow years. If it were to happen on a bad snow year. Snowbasin gets plenty of snow so no problem in the winter.

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    • snowbasinlocal12894 May 27, 2019 / 8:36 pm

      The only solution I can think of for slide brook is a paved road so evacuation doesnt turn into a muddy mess. Would be very expensive though.

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      • Teddy's Lift World May 28, 2019 / 9:56 am

        Sugarbush is different than many other large mountains. They would never pave a road due to wildlife concerns and for the fact that the Slide Brook basin is supposed to be an untouched backcountry ski area. I ski at Sugarbush almost every weekend during the winter and I know for a fact that they would never spend that much money on a road for a lift that is clearly not a top priority for Sugarbush. Slide Brook is an extremely useful lift (when it runs), although Sugarbush treats Mt. Ellen as a secondary mountain that doesn’t need to be connected with Lincoln Peak. In my opinion, both mountains should be connected at all time as “Sugarbush”, not Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen as two separate areas, although this can’t happen due to the ridiculous operational constraints on Slide Brook.

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    • noah May 28, 2019 / 2:00 pm

      Good point, I can’t imagine having to get everyone out with a mountains small fleet of utv’s in a timely manner

      Liked by 1 person

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