South Ridge Express – Sunday River, ME

Bottom terminal at South Ridge.
Bottom terminal in summer.
Side view of the base.
Poma mid-90s top terminal.
View down the line.

12 thoughts on “South Ridge Express – Sunday River, ME

  1. Tucker Stanton March 29, 2019 / 7:52 am

    This lift needs to go, along with it’s twin sister on barker. South Ridge in particular runs at a painfully slow pace, making it as fast as the new spruce peak triple installed last year. I know that the Jerries at the base of the lift need it to run slow so loading is easier; but if that’s the case Boyne should just put a loading carpet in. When SR gets a dump of snow, the Chondola is the first to close, making the lift lines at the quad almost 45 minutes long (Believe me, I’ve had to endure that a couple times this year). If I had the ability, I would 1: Demolish the lift, 2: Build a Doppelmayr fixed grip quad with a loading carpet and 3: make a mid-station over the Sundance trail for everyone wanting to ski into the “Beginner” area, in similar fashion to how the “South Ridge Double” operated.


    • Collin Parsons March 29, 2019 / 8:17 am

      Barker has to go, no question about that. It’s unacceptable to have your main lift that serves the largest amount of terrain on the mountain limited to only 700 feet per minute. The best option for that would a bubble-6, likely D-Line, with a capacity of 3000 p/h which is what the quad was capable of when it first opened.

      As for South Ridge, if you think the detachable goes slow, your fixed grip idea would be even worse. I believe this lift runs at about 550 feet per minute now, which while ridiculously slow for a detachable is better than a fixed grip that wouldn’t likely get above 350 and stop a lot more. To fix the speed, Leitner-Poma should overhaul this lift like they did to NorthStar at Okemo (now at Sunapee) and TGV at Tremblant. This lift has the full length terminal that allow 1000 feet per minute or more, though the design speed is only 800 feet per minute with a capacity of 2750 p/h. The terminals should be modified as necessary to allow a capacity of 2800 p/h at 1000 feet per minute. Chairs would need to be removed though capacity would be about the same. On normal days, run the lift at 800 feet per minute since it’s being used primarily by beginners. If the Chondola is down, run it at 1000 feet per minute to get the full capacity and bring in extra staff to assist with loading and unloading.


    • Max Hart March 29, 2019 / 8:25 am

      You have a few things mixed up here. Barker has to go without question, and Barker is in no way a SRX twin. Barker is a 1987 Yan (and always has been a terrible lift), South Ridge is a Poma. South Ridge is also incredibly reliable; the last real problem that lift had was when they couldn’t get the back-up diesel to start one morning and had make sure it could run before opening the lift. That was five years ago.

      Also the old South Ridge Double (the 1981 Hall) ran exactly the alignment of the present day South Ridge Express. There were never any mid-stations on South Ridge. The South Ridge Triple (former lift 7) started where the Chondi starts now, and ran up Lower Lazy River and ended above both the SRX and the bottom of the Spruce Triple. The Fall Line Double (former Lift 5) started at the bottom of the zip-line and ran up to the top of the Northway trail (that lift was removed because it never ran during its last few years and the bottom terminal placement made it so that one would have to walk up to the bottom terminal from the South Ridge Lodge).

      What South Ridge needs to be retuned by L-P so that it can run its design speed while still maintaining chair spacing necessary for beginners. Design rope speed is 800 fpm (it’s not a long lift and it was built for capacity, so the 800 fpm rope speed isn’t a real problem by itself). The problem is that the spacing at its design speed of 800 fpm is ~5.26 seconds, which is too short for beginners or anyone else to get to the load line. As a result, they have to slower the lift to increase the spacing in terms of time. What they should do is tune the terminal so that chairs are moving at 20% rope speed instead of the 29.5% of rope speed that it is tuned to now, that way it can run full speed without being too fast in the terminal. Some chairs would need to be removed to accomplish that. While they’re at it they should tune the tensioning system so that the bottom terminal houses the passive tensioning (I’m not sure if that terminal is active or passive now, but the active tensioning should be at the top). Active tensioning at the bottom means they need to move the load line farther forward, resulting in more mis-loads.

      All it needs is a Flat Top Flyer style rebuild.


      • Tucker Stanton March 29, 2019 / 6:23 pm

        +Collin Parsons When I meant “Similar Fasion” I meant in similar ways to how the south ridge double used to run. I know that it never had a mid-station, (I’ve ridden it before), I meant that you could make a lift that would be similar to it. I’m just saying it could work out if there was a mid-station there. But you are right. Slow detachables are better than fast fixed grip quads. I was just thinking of the possibilities they could solve on windy days when everything is shut down and at a standstill at the south ridge quad.


  2. skier72 October 21, 2019 / 2:04 pm

    What’s that old Borvig terminal doing in this picture? What lift did it belong to?


  3. Matthew D February 19, 2020 / 5:21 pm

    Chondola was down due to wind today, and this lift was the only way out of the base. The too-close chair spacing really showed, as they clearly sped it up to deal with the extra traffic which caused a large amount of misloads, so the line got really long. Perhaps removing a few chairs would help the spacing, and help loading?


  4. Raj Thorp February 27, 2020 / 8:03 am

    This lift is SLOW. Do you guys know if the lift was designed for 1000fpm when it was built, because I find it hard to believe that Poma made a standard line speed of 800


    • Donald Reif February 27, 2020 / 9:30 am

      In theory, it could run 1,000 fpm, but that would require removing a lot of chairs.


    • Max Hart February 27, 2020 / 9:31 am

      It was designed for 800fpm. That’s why they can fit 92 chairs on a 3000 foot lift. Capacity was also pretty high for a detachable quad at 2750 riders/hr, resulting in a short load interval. I think I explained that in one of the comments above.


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