Stratton, VT

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44 thoughts on “Stratton, VT

  1. Collin March 13, 2018 / 7:07 pm

    URSA, Shooting Star, and Villager are top drive lifts. The rest are bottom drive.

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  2. smacpats April 4, 2018 / 6:29 pm

    North american was taken out when they put in ursa in 1999, because they no longer needed it (would’ve possibly been too much uphill capacity, and flooded the slopes in the middle of the mountain). Here’s the 1999-2000 trail map- https://skimap.org/data/213/260/1283542263.jpg

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  3. somebody January 4, 2019 / 9:03 am

    Kidderbrook was a top alpha drive. At the bottom of kidderbrook the single pole for the alpha return still stands, and at the top the two concrete supports for the drive have been built over by a wooden deck that is used in the summer.

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    • Ryan Jacobsen March 13, 2019 / 12:00 pm

      What was the reason for the removal of Kinderbrook? I remember it being very windy and cold at the top

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      • Teddy's Lift World March 13, 2019 / 1:03 pm

        It was very underutilized in its later years after Shooting Star was installed. It was a very long ride that was useless with Shooting Star right next to it. It only ran on certain weekends and holidays. Intrawest made the smart decision to sell it and make some money off of it that could be used for future investments. Shooting Star almost never has a line. Just imagine what it was like before 2006. Nobody rode Kidderbrook. There was no legitimate reason to ride it except to lap Kidderbrook or to avoid non-existent lines at Shooting Star. Hope that helps.

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        • Collin Parsons March 13, 2019 / 1:14 pm

          Shooting Star was never intended to replace Kidderbrook. It was built to act like a two stage lift with the Sunrise Express below it. With detachable access out of the Sun Bowl they did not want to put even more people on URSA, so they added Shooting Star to allow anyone on the Sunrise Express to continue to the summit without waiting in line. Having that direct access to the summit via the two high speed 6 packs resulted in the Kidderbrook Quad becoming very underutilized. It rarely ran, so Intrawest decided to remove and sell it and it’s now somewhere in Quebec.

          I don’t see it as a high priority to replace because it’s pretty quick to just take the two detachables to the top as it is. Then again I’ve never been to Stratton on a powder day when the runout would be totally awful. If they added some more trails out there, then maybe it would make more sense to replace it.

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      • skitheeast March 13, 2019 / 2:46 pm

        When Shooting Star was constructed, Intrawest was cheap and bought a shorter lift instead of having to remove Kidderbrook and install a longer lift. In their defense, they were spending a lot of money at Stratton that year. With Shooting Star in place, Kidderbrook was only used on weekends and holidays (like South American/Solstice are today). In 2005, Intrawest was in bad financial shape and sold part of the lift to Jay Peak to use for their existing quads and sold the rest to Mont Saint-Sauveur in Quebec.

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  4. Tijsen January 5, 2019 / 6:33 pm

    Snowbowl Express has 98 chairs, URSA has 86, Amex has 65,

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    • Tijsen January 8, 2019 / 5:23 pm

      Also both solstice and South American have an uphill capacity of 2400. Amex has 13 towers, Sunrise has 15, Ursa has 14, Shooting Star has 12, Gondola has 27.

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  5. Skiz November 24, 2019 / 12:13 pm

    Skiing there today, looks like snow bowl is getting a indoor area around their grip bay, and URSA was or is on breakdown.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam Altavilla November 24, 2019 / 3:49 pm

      I noticed Ursa was shutdown for a noticeable amount of the weekend as well. I hope it’s not another major mechanical problem.

      Liked by 1 person

      • skitheeast November 24, 2019 / 11:22 pm

        They will not run the lift tomorrow, likely due to mechanical issues. Hopefully, they fix everything now so it works the rest of the season.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tijsen November 26, 2019 / 1:15 pm

          They were doing a lot of work on it over the summer. Don’t think at this rate URSAs going to last much longer

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  6. Somebody December 14, 2019 / 8:39 pm

    I did a lot of digging in the internet archive and found this page from 2001 with some really cool information. There’s also some (very low quality) pictures of the installation of sunrise and even a video (although the video did end up being a letdown with not much action, but still cool regardless)- https://web.archive.org/web/20010813191034/http://www.stratton.com/resort_guide.cfm?get=3&subpage=260

    I also found this picture of the old sunbowl quad during removal from a completely different source altogether. Shockingly, despite the fact that it was June, some of the snow from the halfpipe still had yet to melt-

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    • Collin Parsons December 16, 2019 / 2:01 pm

      Wow that’s the only photo I know that exists of the lift in it’s original location. I think relocating it to build Solstice made no sense. It’s too long and the Sunrise Express has more than enough capacity to handle all the traffic on it’s own.

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      • Somebody December 16, 2019 / 5:04 pm

        Solstice only exists for the very rare occurrences when Sunrise breaks down. Outside of that and the two holiday weekends, that chair pretty much never runs. I guess they figure that having the quad there is less of a hassle than the logistical problem they’d have otherwise. It’s quite a shame though, it still has quite a bit of life in it and would be a nice expansion lift to the lookers left of Kidderbrook.

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      • skitheeast December 16, 2019 / 9:00 pm

        Solstice only exists where it does because Stratton needs a backup lift for Sunrise Express should it ever be down (they do not want to shut down the entire Sun Bowl). Back when Big Ben Park existed, I used to use this lift for park laps as the entire run from top to bottom on the lift was a terrain park. With them bringing Big Ben Park back this year, I am curious to see if it goes back to that status as a terrain park lift.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Collin Parsons December 16, 2019 / 9:15 pm

        I just think that where Solstice ends makes no sense. It’s just as long as the Sunrise Express yet serves less terrain and runs at less than half the speed. I think it would’ve been better if they just left it where it was and built the Sunrise Express parallel or moved it to the Main Line route so it would be shorter.

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  7. Sam Altavilla December 31, 2019 / 9:18 am

    I am amazed about how much Stratton seems to care about their lifts this year. On Sunday night, every single chair was parked on each detachable lift in order to prevent ice building up on the line. I have also noticed some of the controls on the older lifts (Solstice, South American, Tamarack) have been refurbished. Another thing to add is the increased lift speed on a majority of the detachables: Sunrise, SBX and Shooting Star were easily running 1000 this weekend, Ursa and Amex at about 950, and the gondola at around 990. Pretty damn impressive.

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    • Tijsen January 6, 2020 / 12:13 pm

      I think Stratton was one of the only mountains to get any detachable running 2 days after the ice storm.

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    • Collin Parsons January 6, 2020 / 6:08 pm

      Last Friday they ran URSA at 925 fpm. My experience is admittedly limited, but I’ve never seen that on a weekday before.

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      • Sam Altavilla January 7, 2020 / 6:26 am

        I have worked a few days up there during the week and have to say they’ve been good running it north of 900, or at least when i’ve ridden it.

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        • Tijsen January 21, 2020 / 1:56 pm

          Yes, Ursa now typically runs around 900-950 on a Friday, but usually still runs at a slower 800-900 on mon-thurs.

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    • skitheeast February 24, 2020 / 8:58 am

      Stratton also seems to be running their “backup” lifts more often this year. South American and Solstice used to only run during the 10 peak days every season or when their respective primary lifts went down, but I have seen them operating on many weekend days.

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  8. Scott March 25, 2020 / 7:44 pm

    Would be great if Shooting Star started at the bottom of Free Fall instead of its current location.

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    • skitheeast March 26, 2020 / 9:57 am

      The lift Shooting Star effectively replaced, Kidderbrook, started at the base of Upper Kidderbrook and ended at the summit.

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      • Scott March 26, 2020 / 10:37 am

        Agree. Just saying it would be a much better alignment if they put the bottom terminal at Free Fall. You could then ski the Kidderbrook area without having to go to the bottom. Could even cut a small trail from lower Upper Kidderbrook to the base of Free Fall.

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  9. Sam Altavilla August 13, 2020 / 2:13 pm

    According to Green Mountain Control Systems on Facebook, Tamarack is in the process of getting a new 150 HP AC motor and a new variable frequency drive from ABB. That’s on top of a new drive control cabinet. Makes me wonder if this is to up the chances of resale if/when a replacement occurs, or just to keep the lift running solid for the next few years.

    And if they were to sell it, where would it end up? I can’t picture any resorts nearby that would want it, but I could be wrong.

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    • skitheeast August 13, 2020 / 6:35 pm

      The usual suspect (Magic) does not seem to need a new lift within the next few years, but I am sure a smaller regional player in the Northeast could use a new lift for a low cost.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Somebody August 13, 2020 / 8:20 pm

      A few places that might want it:

      – Bromley (to replace Plaza or East Meadow)

      – Smuggs (expansion to Upper Morse Mountain)

      – Pico (replace outpost or perhaps something to do with interconnect)

      – Tenney (summit lift)

      – Black Mountain NH (replace summit double)

      – Loon (replace east basin)

      – Saddleback (supplement Rangeley, or expansion)

      – Sugarloaf (replace Bateau)

      These are the best candidates, but none of these seem all that likely. Tamarack is a 43 year old Borvig. The fact that they are doing anything to it tells me that it’s going to stay around at stratton for a few more years (or maybe will end up at another Alterra resort. maybe replace j1 at june mtn?)

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    • Sam Altavilla August 14, 2020 / 7:21 am

      It appears that the lift is also getting new partek triple chairs.

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    • reaperskier August 14, 2020 / 7:46 am

      I think Whaleback could get it to replace their summit double.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Somebody August 23, 2020 / 9:38 pm

      Just why?

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      • Sam Altavilla August 23, 2020 / 9:41 pm

        You know, I actually dont mind the change, the old safety bars sucked anyway.

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        • Somebody August 23, 2020 / 10:44 pm

          I just don’t see why they did it. As I said in a previous comment in this thread, it’s a 43 year old borvig that no resorts really want and it is due for replacement. IMO it would’ve made more sense for Alterra to put new chairs on a lift that’s going to stick around for a while longer.

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        • Sam Altavilla August 24, 2020 / 11:04 am

          I agree with your point, but we have no idea whether they did this for looks, or they did this for some other reason, such as chairs/grips failing NDT. I know that it wouldn’t make sense to put new chairs on a 43-year-old lift, but they might not have had a choice.

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  10. Michael August 24, 2020 / 7:50 am

    SOMBODY- maybe Stratton has shown you with their upgrades that your supposition of eminent replacement is premature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam Altavilla August 24, 2020 / 11:13 am

      Good point. My little theory is that Stratton won’t do the Tamarack upgrade until Ursa is upgraded in some form. Because Ursa is already a workhorse for upper mountain access, putting more traffic onto it with a high-speed quad will just make it worse. The liftlines get pretty long even with just Amex feeding into it, and when Shooting Star goes down, forget about it. Besides Ursa was built in ’99 making it 21 years old, and in my opinion, it appears that it only has a few seasons left granted they don’t make any major upgrades. The upgrades/changes to Tamarack make me think that Stratton is going to let it live a while longer until they find a solid solution.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Somebody August 24, 2020 / 1:53 pm

        The problem with giving more capacity to Ursa is that it overcrowds the trails. Skier density is already dangerously high on trails like black bear. IMO it would make more sense to add an expansion lift than to upgrade Ursa.

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    • Somebody August 24, 2020 / 1:12 pm

      Stratton ski patrol all but confirmed the upgrade would happen in the next couple years in conjunction with a new hotel replacing liftline lodge. My guess now is that COVID may have delayed their plans a few years.

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      • skitheeast August 24, 2020 / 3:56 pm

        I will confirm this, as I have heard this from Alterra/Stratton people who do not work at ski patrol as well. COVID has delayed most Alterra large capital projects by at least one year.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sam Altavilla August 24, 2020 / 7:08 pm

          I am a volunteer at the mountain and the last that I heard, they were supposed to do the mid-mountain upgrade/expansion first, but obviously everything was delayed. Still though, I don’t think it was slated until the summer of 2021 anyway because the mountain biking was prioritized.

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