Spruce Peak – Sunday River, ME

This Doppelmayr Tristar triple chair replaced a Borvig triple that suffered a catastrophic structural failure in the summer of 2016.
Like the previous lift, it features a Chairkit loading carpet.
View up the first section of the lift line.
The middle part of the line is steepest.
Tower 8.
View back down the lift line.
There’s a view.
Tower 15 and the top terminal.
Fixed return bullwheel.
The top lift shack is thoughtfully designed for lift operators’ viewing angles.
Unloading ramp. This is where the old top station let loose of the bedrock it was anchored to.
Another view of the lower terminal.
Loading area and motor room.
Lift overview.
Lift alignment seen from the South Ridge Lodge.

15 thoughts on “Spruce Peak – Sunday River, ME

  1. Max Hart November 22, 2017 / 5:20 am

    Do you know why the motor room is so small? It’s only 4 windows long, while all of the other Tri-Stars that I have seen (except Meadows at Stowe) have 8 windows.


  2. Will Partridge December 3, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    Yeah, I noticed that too. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it’s only a triple with a short lift line, therefore needing less power, and less room for a motor?


  3. Max Hart December 3, 2017 / 4:18 pm

    I wouldn’t call this a short triple at ~4400 feet long and 1211 vertical feet. It really isn’t that much smaller in terms of dimensions (4380ft x1640ft) than Big Sky’s Challenger triple, installed last year, which has the larger motor room. I don’t know what Spruce has for power, but I know Challenger has 377 horsepower, and another Tri-Star, from 2013 (Crow’s Peak Triple – Sugar Bowl, CA) is 2911ft x 906ft and has 236 horsepower, with the large motor room. I would think that Spruce would be somewhere in between, so power / motor size doesn’t convincingly explain the difference in motor room size.


  4. Tucker S. February 28, 2018 / 12:12 pm

    As a local at Sunday River who has ridden this lift more than once in a day, the lift is extremely safer, faster, and comfortable than it’s Borvig predecessor. It’s also worth noting that the lift lines go much quicker as compared to 2015 mainly because of the loading conveyor at the base. I highly recommend this lift to anyone skiing at Sunday River that wants to escape the crowds from either barker or south ridge.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. New England Chairlifts & Skiing September 14, 2019 / 5:27 am

    This lift was controversial by many Sunday River locals and enthusiasts, as they were hoping they would replace it with a HSQ or something with greater capacity/speed than a triple. There aren’t many trails off it tho, so a HSQ would probably overload everything. Also, it’s already faster than a normal fixed grip with the loading carpet.


    • Collin Parsons September 14, 2019 / 1:29 pm

      I don’t think this lift needed to be more than a triple. There aren’t many trails off it and they are all intermediate/advanced. Fixed quads are also slower than triples. If any lift needs to go from fixed to detachable it’s one of the White Cap lifts since that base has no detachable lift at all. However, their next lift should be a replacement of Barker.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Donald Reif January 2, 2020 / 11:51 am

      Aurora could use a high speed quad more than Spruce Peak.

      Liked by 2 people

      • xlr8r March 23, 2021 / 6:18 pm

        I would keep Aurora as is, it is a deceivingly short lift. It also has a poor trail layout with most people crossing through it, instead of skiing down it. A detachable would just make the intersection worse. Spruce is a longer lift and is a better laid out pod.


    • Bruce March 23, 2021 / 3:18 pm

      This lift should have been a detachable, replacing this lift with a fixed grip was purely for cost savings by Boyne. Just groom Downdraft all the time (like Les Otten/ASC used to) and you have plenty of downhill capacity. This decision does not bode well for the long term prospects of Boyne owned resorts when you cheap out on a lift at one of your more profitable properties. If Sunday River was owned by Vail, Alterra or Powdr this would have been a detachable.


      • Max Hart March 23, 2021 / 5:56 pm

        To be fair Boyne didn’t buy the lift. At the time when this lift was built, Boyne was running Sunday River via an operating lease, thus the lift replacement was up to the owner, CNL Lifestyle Properties. CNL ordered the new lift, but Och-Ziff Capital Management’s Ski Resort Holdings bought Sunday River and CNL’s other mountains the spring when construction on the new Spruce chair began. Boyne bought out it’s mountains in 2018.


        • xlr8r March 23, 2021 / 6:21 pm

          Spruce is fine as a triple, but it would have been nice if it was rebuilt as a detachable. I think Spruce and Tempest are really the only 2 fixed grips at Sunday River that should be detachables. Did insurance play a roll in it being rebuilt as a triple?


  6. Thomas R White March 24, 2021 / 9:12 am

    I think ease of permitting was an issue as well. Simply replace with the same, even though it has a loading carpet.


  7. Big mountain April 10, 2021 / 12:30 pm

    Is this the same style CLF-3 that Merril Hill is getting?


    • Butterside April 10, 2021 / 12:44 pm

      I am guessing Merrill Hill will end up with an Alpen Star drive. It seems like Doppelmayr has phased out the Tri Star in favor of the Alpen Star within the last few years.


      • Big Mountain April 10, 2021 / 5:34 pm

        Does any one know the planned start day of construction. It seems like Boyne and Sunday river have tried to keep the construction and even announcement of the lift on the dl.


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