Barker Mountain Express – Sunday River, ME

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Lift Engineering bottom terminal with Poma modifications.
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The lift crosses over Sunday River’s snowmaking reservoir.
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Riding up.
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Yan “Y” tower number 11.
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Top terminal arrival side.
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Unload ramp.
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Bottom terminal and lift line.
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Top station with Poma mods.

82 thoughts on “Barker Mountain Express – Sunday River, ME

  1. Peter Danis August 13, 2018 / 5:54 pm

    Any chance Sunday River would ever upgrade this to a high speed six?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Collin August 13, 2018 / 6:49 pm

      They definitely need to. This lift is frequently closed for unscheduled maintenance and can only go 700 feet per minute to reduce wear and tear. However, Boyne has proven they have no intention of investing in any resort other than Big Sky while using money from their New England resorts to help pay for it.

      This year they “upgraded” Loon’s 4 person gondola with new cabins, but it will still only have a capacity around 800/hr and won’t be able to run in hardly any wind. Meanwhile Big Sky got a new 8 person lift with bubbles, heated seats, and just about any other feature you can imagine and then relocated the high speed quad to replace a double chair that never had a line at all.

      Back in 2016 when the top of Spruce Peak collapsed in summer 2016 they forced Sunday River to do without any lift there for a whole season while they replaced Big Sky’s Challenger which also needed an unscheduled replacement that same year and also built a 6 pack bubble that’s only 2700 feet long.

      If that’s not enough, then consider that the only complete lift built at Sugarloaf since 1997 was to replace one that had a high profile accident. Since then they replaced a drive terminal on King Pine (after another high profile accident) and removed Bucksaw without replacement.

      With this history of cutting corners and cheaping out at the New England resorts while spending like a drunken sailor at Big Sky, I wouldn’t get my hopes up about any lifts at Loon, Sunday River, or Sugarloaf.

      Like

      • Thomas Jett August 13, 2018 / 9:24 pm

        According to Peter, the upgrades at Big Sky aren’t pulling money from any of Boyne’s other properties. Additionally, they just recently bought all the New England resorts that they operate in May, so you should expect to see some new investment soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Collin August 14, 2018 / 6:45 am

        Of course they’re pulling money from the other resorts. Do you see any other ski areas that get only 500k visits spending that much? The two other ski areas with similarly large projects do close to or over 1 million visits.

        Like

      • Thomas Jett August 14, 2018 / 6:31 pm

        No other resort in North America with Big Sky’s numbers is building that much, I’ll grant you that. However, North American areas tend to spend much less of their revenue on lifts than comparable European areas. If Big Sky 2025 were being carried out in Austria, it wouldn’t be that significant of a plan. What’s probably happening is that Boyne is pumping a massive amount of Big Sky’s profits into the 2025 plan, with the goal of reaching 1,000,000 ski visits once everything’s built.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Collin August 14, 2018 / 7:31 pm

        What happens if Big Sky doesn’t get the skier visits they planned on after spending hundreds of millions of dollars on improvements? Likely Boyne will be done spending for a while and while Big Sky got 10 or more new lifts everyone else got squat and now has to wait even longer before getting much needed improvements. Or they could’ve done the important upgrades across all the resorts and then worry about making Big Sky into the high end European style resort they want after everyone else is up to speed. The last time any ski company spent ALL their money on one resort was Les Otten/ASC at The Canyons and that was a disaster for all the other resorts he owned at the time.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Doppelmayr FTW November 12, 2018 / 3:20 pm

          I’ve said this many times, but Boyne DID NOT OWN Sunday river in 2016 it was owned by CNL lifestyle properties who would not let them replace the lift. Big Sky is 100% self funding its projects. Other resorts don’t spend this much because most american operators do not seed the value in having high end lifts while in Europe it is seen as extremely important. Boyne is one of the oldest still operating ski operator in North America they know what they are doing. People were saying the exact same thing when Boyne Mountain got the first six pack and the First quad and the first triple and look at the ski industry now.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Max Hart November 12, 2018 / 6:42 pm

        You’re forgetting something very important here: SR, Loon, and Loaf were all being LEASED BACK FROM CNL BY BOYNE. SR and Loon are profitable mountains (Loaf not so much), but Boyne has had to contribute significant portions of revenue back to the operating leases. Boyne has not had the checkbook in terms of lift investment until now.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Collin Parsons November 12, 2018 / 9:26 pm

          Selling off in the first place (for all the operators who did not just Boyne) was a short sighted quick cash grab that f***ed them over in the end. Everyone who bought back their leases paid several times more than they sold for after handing over their profits to CNL for many years. Unfortunately this is an all too common theme in the ski industry.

          Like

        • tjskiloaf17 April 20, 2019 / 6:06 am

          lol, what? Sugarloaf is one of the most profitable Boyne mountains. Watch any of the older annual meetings

          Like

        • tjskiloaf17 April 20, 2019 / 6:07 am

          *older meaning pre boyne buyback. 2016 has numbers I believe

          Like

      • Mainely Skiing May 9, 2021 / 10:22 am

        That’s why I’m very happy to see that Saddleback is still a “privately owned” corporation. If they bought Saddleback they definitely wouldn’t have done half of the things the mountain did last summer and will continue into this summer. Anyway, that’s my two cents about it.

        Like

    • noahberg April 21, 2021 / 6:13 am

      yes they are, they said it in their 10 year plan

      Like

  2. John November 12, 2018 / 2:21 pm

    There are other considerations for replacing a lift besides whether or not it gets crowded. Many of the old lifts at Big Sky are Herons, and they are almost impossible to find parts for (trust me, I deal with that every summer).

    Liked by 6 people

    • Max Hart November 12, 2018 / 6:35 pm

      The big thing with Barker is reliability. It’s the No. 2 lift at SR, it’s always going to have a line; you can only up the capacity so much until snow quality and on-mountain skier congestion become a concern. The terrain can handle the full capacity of a detachable quad (that being a 30 year old detachable quad @ 3000 riders/hour). A detachable six would work very well here, and frankly I can see it happening sooner rather than later.

      In the last few years Barker has broken down on almost a weekly basis. It hasn’t had any major issues since its retrofit in 1996; however all of the smaller components that experience wear and tear are starting to fail (after all this lift has a very long season, usually from mid-November to May 1). Those smaller issues are significant enough to take down the lift for several days mainly because spare parts often need to be custom fabricated because this is a former Yan detachable. It’s not like they can call up Doppelmayr or LP and get some obscure part that they would probably stock. That’s what causes the lift to go down for days. On top of that, when it is running, it usually isn’t running faster than 700 fpm (it’s still moving ~2100 rider per hour at that speed). It all boils down to trying to keep Barker running most of the time rather than running it full speed sometimes and being broken down more often.

      As much as I would like to see it be replaced, I don’t think it will happen until one of three (or all) scenarios play out:
      1. season passholders get pissed about the lift and pass sales take a hit
      OR
      2. the lift is “totaled” from a mechanical failure / the lift becomes to expensive to maintain
      OR
      3. Boyne decides that they want to take a not-so-subtle jab at Powdr (Killington) and Vail (Okemo, Sunapee, and Stowe).

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Max Hart November 12, 2018 / 7:25 pm

    Here’s how I see this playing out:

    Loon’s a pain in the neck in terms of lift upgrades because the current infrastructure already super-saturates trails with skiers. They need more terrain to justify greater uphill capacity. The problem with that is that they’re on Nat. Forest land so if they so much as apply to expand some group of eco-maniacs comes along and challenges it. That’s what made an expansion (South Peak) roughly the size of Jordan Bowl at SR take 10 years to open (SR did it in 3 months on private land).

    The Loaf needs more skier visits to justify increasing capacity. There’s never any lines there (except maybe at the SuperQuad but there are ways around that). The best way to increase skier visits to to take some not-so-subtle jabs at some other [Vermont] ski areas by either going nuts with snowmaking or installing a staple lift (Gondola or bubble chair, something that they can use as a marketing tool). The Loaf is so far away from anything that they need to create a reason (other than being the largest ski area in the east) for people to drive through the extra state (or two) to get there. I like to think of the Loaf as the Jackson Hole of the East (Cannon is also a contender for that title); It’s in the middle of nowhere and has a reputation for being a hard mountain; perhaps they could take a Jackson Hole style approach and invest in their intermediate and beginner terrain (which likely means replacing DRE/W, bringing a lift back to Bucksaw and cutting some more intermediate trails in that area).

    SR is a little bit different in that it is an East Coast giant with a reputation for snow (and only snow), and it gets 500,000+ skier visits per year. Overall they have a pretty good lift system (Barker has to go but that’s beside the point). The key is that they need to spread skiers out. Nobody ever skis Whitecap or Aurora; both peaks have a reputation for slow lifts (3 Yan quads on WC and 1 Yan Quad at Aurora) and mediocre snow (in comparison to Jordan, Barker, Locke, and Spruce) mainly because they don’t make as much there. I think that Barker should go HS6, but then they would have to find a way to spread skiers out to underutilized areas. They have to make Aurora a bit more user friendly (i.e. faster lift) and make more snow on Aurora. Aurora is tough because if they end up in a freeze-thaw cycle, Aurora tends to get really cold during the “freeze” part of the cycle, turning the peak into a rink. Only way to fix that is to groom it well and make more snow. Aurora doesn’t get much mid-season snowmaking; I think it needs more, particularly right before Feb. vacation. If they can get more people to ski Aurora, upgrade the lift to HSQ. If not, leave it as is (it’s reliable now; if they chose to remove that lift I think it would find a good home somewhere else). White Cap is a little more complex because it is divided into three pods. The upper section (often referred to as the White Heat area because of its lift and namesake trail) is perfect; no need to change anything about that. It has good expert terrain and a reliable lift; the only thing it could use more of is mid-season snowmaking / resurfacing. Lower White Cap on the other hand is home to the incredibly underutilized White Cap lodge, which is underutilized because the only lift out of there (the White Cap Quad) is very slow. If the White Cap Quad was upgraded to a HSQ, more people would use that lodge (taking some stress off of South Ridge).There’s more unused terrain around that lift; I say cut new trails and glades and see what happens. Little White Cap is also a problem; there are a few nice trails in that area that always have good snow, but the lift is a snail. Nobody skis that area because of the slow ride. LWCQ has components from the Barker double, a 1972 Pullman-Berry, and was a frankenlift from the beginning. If that ride was faster (perhaps FG Triple @ 480-500 fpm, possibly with a carpet), that area would have plenty of capacity and see more use. All of that would be good for White Cap, but what that area really needs is for the partying to be brought back to the White Cap Lodge. It sounds ridiculous, but in the Les Otten days that lodge was the place to be because of the partying (e.g. Bust’n’Burn, Parrothead, and all of the other shenanigans they used to do there that have since been moved to South Ridge). It may be worth noting the MASR (Maine Adaptive Sports & Rec or whatever it’s called now) moved to White Cap this year. Faster lifts, plus the return of the old White Cap ways would revitalize that area.

    Like

    • Collin Parsons November 12, 2018 / 9:45 pm

      Loon really needs a new gondola as their main lift has to have a greater capacity than a double chair. If they are so dead set on not replacing it, then Kancamagus needs to be upgraded to a 6 and relocated to replace 7 Brothers so at least the high capacity out of the Octagon Base is a detachable. Plenty of trail acreage in both areas. The South Peak beginner area is also approved and should be finished ASAP to allow Loon to address their parking limitations.

      You make a very good point about Sugarloaf. The problem is that any upgrade would be done to make it profitable, not because it is profitable. Killington invested 25 million in capital improvements this year because they are the most visited resort in the East and have the money to pay for it in hopes of increasing visits even more. The best thing that Sugarloaf could get is a new base to summit gondola (hopefully D-Line 10 person). They have the trail acreage to support a very high capacity and it would allow one to access any terrain with just one lift. Yes there’s wind at the top, but there are many gondolas in the west and in Europe that are in much more exposed locations. The Double Runner lifts also should be replaced and a surface lift added to Brackett Basin.

      Sunday River’s 2nd most important lift (Barker) is an embarrassment in terms of speed and reliability when it should be a flagship lift. A bubble 6 similar to Powder Seeker would be great and maybe they could even buy the one from The Hermitage Club to save money. For White Cap, I think a high speed quad from the base to the top of White Heat would bring a lot more people to the area. That would allow for 1600 vertical skiing off of one lift. The White Cap Quad would only need to run on weekends and Little White Cap could be sped up with a loading carpet. The snowmaking upgrade should help get more snow made on White Cap and Aurora. It looks like a very similar plan to Mount Snow’s West Lake which has already driven significantly increased.

      Like

  4. Max Hart November 16, 2018 / 10:38 am

    Well BMX just broke down after about 10 hours of operating this year. That didn’t take very long.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter November 17, 2018 / 9:02 am

    Surprise Surprise. One day and this lift is already down for mechanical issues

    Like

    • Peter Landsman November 18, 2018 / 6:38 pm

      And the chorus grows louder on social media…

      “This is embarrassing and completely pathetic. That lift has run for what two days now? It’d be one thing if this was rare, but it’s been consistently happening for a number of years now.”

      “Sounds like Baker needs a major overhaul. The last 3 years have been brutal. Should have replaced it rather than install Chunder.”

      “Because Barker lift is a piece of crap that needs to be replaced. Its pathetic it breaks down constantly and almost every powder day without fail last year it was down.”

      “Hope Boyne is listening. The Ramcharger 8 going in at Big Sky is about the same length and Vert as Barker. Just saying…”

      “Barker has been in need for a replacement for a long time. And obviously, Jordan is simply cursed. Lol”

      “That lift is a joke, same shit every year, if any lift needs replacing it’s that one.”

      “They just posted on FB that they plan to run it next week! <– their exclamation point like that is some great accomplishment. Wheee! Pathetic. I expect it to be a shit show up here tomorrow if they don't get spruce running. Very disappointing, and it's not like they couldn't see this coming…."

      "Time for a 6-pack at Barker…someone needs to cough up the $$."

      "Last day of the season that thing needs to be blown up, knocked over . Go fund me for bail money…HA"

      "Totally agree on the six pack…look at all the $$$ goin into Big Sky…."

      Liked by 7 people

      • reaperskier November 19, 2018 / 8:12 am

        I see that everyone wants barker replaced. If i could replace it, i would replace it with an 6-pack bubble chair with red bubbles to match sunday rivers color scheme (is that even possible). If not, it should have grey bubbles. However…

        I also see this as an opportunity for boyne to install the first 8-passenger chairlift in new england.

        Like

      • Collin Parsons November 19, 2018 / 9:01 am

        The only colors Doppelmayr offers are clear (grey), blue, orange, and gold. Same with Leitner-Poma.

        This lift pretty much has to be replaced after this year. If these are the complaints from it being down an early season weekend in November, imagine what happens if it goes down on a holiday weekend.

        After this year, they can no longer blame CNL anymore for not replacing it.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. tjskiloaf17 November 20, 2018 / 9:47 am

    There is no way Sunday River gets a d line 8 pack. Stop dreaming. They’re lucky if they get a 6. Sugarloaf needs upgrades too!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Peter Danis November 29, 2018 / 4:29 pm

    Any chance that Boyne would buy the Hermitage’s Six Pack and replace Barker with it?

    Like

    • Collin Parsons November 29, 2018 / 5:18 pm

      I have mentioned this before. The length and vertical matches up pretty well. I’m not sure if that lift will actually be sold as the club is upside down on it by a factor of like 4. A bubble 6 would make sense for a replacement, and Max Hart made a D-Line version in the Doppelmayr Ropeway Configurator.

      Like

  8. LiftElec November 30, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Killington’s Superstar (about the same generation as Barker, originally and with the Poma retrofit) just ran 24 hours straight for 6 days for the World Cup races. Just like it did for the last 2 years. And it has been running for longer winter seasons than any other detachable in the East pretty much since it was new.

    Killington’s other Yoma detach, Snowshed 3, runs a long winter season as well and now runs for summer mountain biking.

    What’s different?

    Like

    • Collin Parsons November 30, 2018 / 6:52 pm

      The difference is those lifts don’t constantly experience multi-day closures for unscheduled maintenance. Not sure why Barker is so much worse but it is. Superstar is up for replacement as it has crazy high hours and I think that will be done sooner rather than later. Snowshed will probably stick around longer. Grand Summit at Mount Snow and the Yoma detachables at Pico aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

      Like

  9. Owen Mayo March 11, 2019 / 8:12 pm

    I think the gondola at loon is long overdue for a replacement. They still have the towers from the original gondola. Instead of replacing the cabins like they did they should have just upgraded to at least a 6 or 8 person gondola. If not, the kancamagus quad should be moved over to seven brothers and be replaced with a high speed 6 that goes all the way up to tote road.

    Barker should be replaced at sunday river for sure. One other idea would be putting a high speed 6 from the base if whitecap to the summit with a midstation on little whitecap allowing them to get rid of those old yan quads. That plan is unrealistic but its not a bad idea.

    Sugarloaf is not a busy mountain so I can’t see any new lifts going in there. Maybe they could upgrade super quad to a 6 person and put the quad over by king pine but I really don’t see that happing.

    Like

    • Peter Danis March 11, 2019 / 8:59 pm

      Barker should definitely be replaced but I don’t think the lift setup on white cap should be changed at all. Little white cap is generally for beginners and is never busy so that lift should stay. The white cap quad (also called Tempest quad) serves more intermediate terrain but acts more as a connector lift than anything. The white heat quad serve sonly expert terrain. By combing any two of these into one would not make sense as it would put beginners on expert trails and also when you’re lapping the white heat quad, it is illogical to have to take the long run out to the base of white cap just to get back up. The Tempest lift or the white heat lift could be upgraded to high speed lifts just for faster lift times but capacity wise they don’t need it.

      Sunday river should upgrade Barker to a high speed six with bubbles and upgrade Aurora to a high speed quad (with either a new lift or the old barker lift if it’s still usable). Jordan could use a capacity upgrade (bubbles would be nice for this lift) but I don’t ever see that happening in the near future. Locke, Tempest, and white heat lifts don’t need capacity upgrades but an increased speed would be nice however these are probably low priority.

      It’d also be interesting to see if they could expand anywhere considering Sunday River owns a massive plot of land and only uses 2,000 acres of it.

      Like

  10. Owen Mayo March 12, 2019 / 2:16 pm

    Does anybody now anything about loon expanding? I heard rumors about new trails over by south peak and maybe a gondola near the new hotel.

    Like

    • Max Hart March 12, 2019 / 3:56 pm

      That’s been on the table for years. It would be a mostly beginner complex starting that the bottom of the Escape Route trail and ending near its starting point. It would likely be serviced by two chairlifts. A pulse gondola was planned to connect the South Peak Beginner Area (and base area) with the River Walk Resort Hotel in Lincoln.

      Like

  11. Donald Reif January 2, 2020 / 11:37 am

    625 fpm isn’t all that much faster than most fixed grips:

    Like

    • Donald Reif January 8, 2020 / 10:43 am

      Actually, that’s about the speed that Mad River Glen’s Single runs at.

      Liked by 4 people

  12. Max Hart January 8, 2020 / 9:32 am

    Broken down with people stranded on the lift for 30+ minutes 4 times in the last 5 days. Not good.

    Like

    • Donald Reif January 8, 2020 / 10:46 am

      If surveyors have scouted the line at least twice in the last few months, Boyne ought to make an announcement about Barker getting a six pack replacement soon, no later than April.

      Like

      • Max Hart January 8, 2020 / 3:04 pm

        Really they should do it right before season passes for next year go on sale, but maybe that makes too much sense for Boyne.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Donald Reif January 8, 2020 / 9:48 pm

          March would be an ideal date to make an announcement.

          Like

    • Max Hart January 9, 2020 / 11:51 am

      Make that 5 times in 6 days.

      Liked by 2 people

      • powderforever45 January 9, 2020 / 2:58 pm

        At this point, they really need a replacement and once that happens scrap this lift.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brian February 6, 2020 / 11:34 am

        Hey Max, perhaps you should carry your own rope when riding this lift so you can self evacuate?

        Liked by 5 people

        • Max Hart February 6, 2020 / 3:35 pm

          “self evacuate” – thanks for the quick laugh.

          On a more serious note I actually don’t go to Sunday River without climbing skins just in case this lift goes down or the entire mountain goes on wind hold (which is more common than you would think).

          Like

    • Skier February 7, 2020 / 4:25 pm

      So what’s actually breaking on this lift?

      Like

      • Donald Reif February 7, 2020 / 4:51 pm

        I think the motor is old and tired, and probably a lot of other Yan components.

        Like

        • pbropetech December 10, 2020 / 11:51 am

          Pure speculation.

          Like

        • Teddy's Lift World February 14, 2021 / 2:17 pm

          I’d speculate that it’s due to the spacing system and general electronics. Its age and the deferred maintenance that this lift has experienced certainly haven’t helped with its reliability.

          Like

  13. Matthew D February 19, 2020 / 5:16 pm

    Was on this lift a few times today… agonizingly slow. I forgot to time it, but it seemed like it was going around 650-700FPM, based on later calculations. It’s hard to think that they have to run it that slow even on president’s week.

    Like

  14. Donald Reif December 7, 2020 / 2:25 pm

    To think, this lift would probably not be such a mechanical nightmare if Poma had completely replaced the terminals instead of convert the Yan terminals to accommodate Poma grips. In other words, be like the Emerald Express and Big Red Express at Whistler, and Carpenter Express at Deer Valley.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Luke Nelson December 9, 2020 / 6:12 pm

    Any word if they will announce something soon… I dont understand why they plan to put in Merrill hill lift before.

    Like

    • skitheeast December 9, 2020 / 7:27 pm

      Merrill Hill is a real estate lift, so it will make them a lot of money. Hence, it will be built first. Based on their rough timeline, Barker should be upgraded to either a six or eight-pack by 2023.

      Like

      • Luke Nelson December 9, 2020 / 8:19 pm

        I hope so I would be so happy if they did. Do you know when they are going to announce it?

        Like

        • skitheeast December 9, 2020 / 8:40 pm

          It will likely be announced in the winter before construction.

          Like

        • Myles Svec December 10, 2020 / 7:55 am

          I’m guessing Barker will be announced after the lift building coming up in the summer. My guess would be 2022 or 2023 when it would be built.

          Like

  16. Luke Nelson December 9, 2020 / 6:13 pm

    I hope they replace it with a 6 bubble chair.. I have a season pass here!

    Like

  17. Porter December 9, 2020 / 6:13 pm

    They said that they are replacing it in there 10 year plan it just needs to happen like yesterday this lift is a mess like it needs some pills or something lol

    Like

  18. julestheshiba December 29, 2020 / 9:28 pm

    What is the deal with this yan/poma, I assumed that all yan converts were relatively unreliable, but I have not heard of nearly this many issues from lifts at places like june, pico, or sun valley. Maybe mammoth since they are replacing them. Also am I wrong but aren’t these lifts basically just pomas or dopplemayer express lifts built around a yan frame?

    Like

    • ne_skier December 30, 2020 / 9:06 am

      In Yan retrofits, the grips were replaced along with a lot of terminal equipment that only worked with the #7 type grips. The terminals are somewhat a mix of old and new parts.

      Like

      • Utah Powder Skier December 30, 2020 / 10:34 am

        Why did most of the ski resorts with Yan detachables keep the Yan terminal structure instead of replacing the terminal with a brand new terminal? I understand why Sun Valley did the retrofit, but did the areas with one or two Yan detachables should have be able to afford a new terminal for lift reliability reasons. I’m sure Sunday River has paid a lot of money maintenance of Barker and would have been doing better if they had replaced the terminals instead of the retrofit.

        Like

        • Donald Reif December 30, 2020 / 11:34 am

          For what it’s worth, only three of the Yan HSQs got full terminal replacements: Big Red, Emerald 4, and Carpenter.

          Like

    • Max Hart December 30, 2020 / 4:09 pm

      Barker was among the last Yan detachables to receive retrofits. In 1998, Poma replaced the grips, line gear, tower 2, tower 3 (formerly a half tower), and added towers 7A (the depression tower at the bottom of Southpaw) and 19. Poma also replaced *most* of the detachable equipment. The power take-off system is still Yan, while the deccel/contour/accel system is Poma. Poma also replaced the grip opening/closing rail and running rails inside the terminal, but they retained the inclines in the deccel/accel zones, which are the most common causes of downtime. The electric motor, planetary gearbox, electronics, tensioning system, tension carriages (yes, Yan pioneered modular terminals), spacing unit, and major structural components are Yan.

      So no, it isn’t just a Poma built on a Yan frame. It’s actually a mechanical nightmare.

      Liked by 2 people

      • pbropetech December 31, 2020 / 11:21 am

        What causes the downtime in the inclined zones?

        Like

        • Max Hart January 3, 2021 / 9:33 am

          If there is any sort of precipitation (snow, sleet, rain, or freezing rain) or snowmaking going on near this lift, there will be very reduced traction or no traction at all between the deccel system and the grip. This will result in chairs stopping as they travel up the incline in the deccel zone. Then when a chair stops, it screws up the entire lift. This can (and has) happened in both terminals. It’s probably why BMX is closed right now.

          Like

        • pbropetech January 4, 2021 / 8:40 am

          That happens on lifts without accel/decel inclines too. Our Excelerator lift ices up occasionally, since the top is over 12,000′ and in a super exposed location. Sounds like there are other issues in play.

          Like

  19. Tom White January 3, 2021 / 5:48 am

    From SR’s site:
    SUNDAY, JANUARY 3

    7:35AM Update: Due to a mechanical issue, the Barker Mountain Express may have a delayed opening this morning.

    Hopefully, replacing this lift with recurring issues is a priority.

    Like

  20. skitheeast February 14, 2021 / 11:41 pm

    Heard recently from a friend at Boyne:

    They are still deciding on a 6 or 8 for Barker’s replacement. 8 seems to have the larger backing because Boyne likes the newest/shiniest tech and it would match Big Sky/Loon. The 6 group seems to be concerned about the loading efficiency and potential crowding for an 8, but they could likely just put fewer chairs on an 8 to address these issues.

    Like

    • Somebody February 15, 2021 / 12:43 am

      I don’t get why Boyne is so obsessed with 8 packs. From a practical side of things they really are just 6 packs. I imagine they have to be getting a good deal from dopp (not much more $ for HS8 than HSS), because I don’t think the marketing potential is worth millions here. I could be wrong though.

      Like

      • Utah Powder Skier February 15, 2021 / 10:07 am

        8 packs are capable of 4500 pph, which is a higher capacity than most monocable gondolas. 6 packs max out at 3600 pph, which makes 8 packs a huge increase in capacity. They also get a lot of publicity. That would be my guess as to why Boyne likes 8 packs so much.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Somebody July 28, 2021 / 11:45 am

          realistically, most 8packs run the 3200-4000 pph range since loading 8 people at nearly-quad intervals is very challenging. I doubt most boyne mountains could ever pull 4500 pph off, and even if they did, it’s not like these lifts are being installed in spots with the downhill capacity for it.

          Like

      • Lucas G July 28, 2021 / 8:48 am

        the ability to expand the capacity of an 8 pack is important

        Like

    • skibumbarnes February 15, 2021 / 5:36 am

      I could really see that going either way, as they generally get similar PPH. However, I think a lot of the times loading efficiency should be the #1 priority, especially with the long lift lines at Sunday River we can sometimes see. They could also very likely replace it with an 8 due to Boyne’s push on HS8’s in the past few years. Will be interesting to see what they will decide.

      Like

    • Max Hart February 15, 2021 / 8:33 am

      The real problem with an 8-pack on Barker’s alignment is that they would have to widen Agony for its entire length, which, if you ski SR regularly, is a big no-no. A 6-pack would require no widening of Agony at all for most if not all of its length.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nate Jaffe February 15, 2021 / 9:02 am

      Brian Heon on the storm skiing podcast made it sound like it will most likely be a 6 pack. As mush as I would like to see an 8 pack it would probably be overkill and just lead to longer lines at barker.

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Tom White February 15, 2021 / 5:38 am

    Storm King Podcast #37: Sunday River General Manager Brian Heon:
    Around the 45min. mark Stuart Winchester begins lift, trails and snowmaking discussion with Brian Heon.
    Merrill Hill is this summer’s priority. Barker is certainly a short-term priority in SR’s 2030 plan.
    A six pack seems most likely.
    Brian Heon spoke of loading conveyors an alternative to replacing fixed grips with detatchables. I think he said, these prevent 60% of stops due to misloads. Rope speed can also be increased.
    In discussing Jordan’s replacement, anti-sway technology was mentioned. Some manufacturers are experimenting with glycol (anti-freeze). There were no details, but my guess is, it’s using the principle that liquid finds the low spot to provide a balancing effect. Perhaps it is placed in the lower tubular frame.

    Like

    • Mike Hunt February 15, 2021 / 7:32 am

      Will miss the good ole barker pow day breakdowns. Love getting fresh afternoon lines after a short Jungle hike! Maybe we will get an early season total barker fail and have several dumps worth hiking! The missing Spruce season was great for all day freshies off aurora. A six pack barker replacement is the best way to push traffic to loaf.

      Like

  22. Big Mountain April 1, 2021 / 6:20 pm

    The new GM of Sunday River called this piece of junk a wonderful machine. This lift is always having some mechanical error. Not to mention the speed of it. On a good day it runs at 750 fpm. Boyne should have done this before Kank 8. Looks like we all know who the Jem of the north east is.

    Like

  23. Matthew Smith May 24, 2021 / 3:09 pm

    I wonder if Sunday River will instead of an 8 pack get a 6 pack on this lift. Maybe they would even get a deal with Doppelmayr that lets them get Barker and Jordan 6 packs at the same time for cheaper.

    Like

    • Big Mountain May 31, 2021 / 11:04 am

      This lift could definitely handle 3600 an hour which can be achieved with a 6 pack, but that would be a maxed out lift line with as many chairs on the line and always running at max speed (1200 or 1000 pph). An 8 pack can have up to 4000 pph so there would be less miss loads because the chairs would be more spaced out. Sunday river wants a 6 pack and Boyne wants an 8. If they went with an 8 pack then they would have to widen agony cutting into Hollywood. The 8 pack has better marketing potential where as the 6 pack probably makes more sense. Jordans a completely different deal. They’re using anti sway technology which cost a decent bit more so no matter what there probably wouldn’t be a better deal if they bought a 6 pack. If anything they probably get 8 packs from Doppelmayr with a decent discount. Thats why they keep being built.

      Like

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