Super Bravo Express – Sugarbush, VT

Bottom terminal at Lincoln Peak.
View up the line.
Looking down the line.
Top terminal from below.
Return terminal turnaround.
Breakover towers.
Riding down.
View back up the line.
Arriving at the base.
Drive terminal and lift line.
View down the lift line in winter.
Middle section of the lift line.
Bottom drive station at the Village.
For the 2022-23 season most chairs received wind resistant slatted backrests.
Doppelmayr Worldbook entry.

24 thoughts on “Super Bravo Express – Sugarbush, VT

  1. Teddy's Lift World February 9, 2019 / 3:05 pm

    This lift has very high hours for its age and has recently been suffering from mechanical issues. It is the workhorse of the mountain. It makes me question if Sugarbush will replace Super Bravo and if so what they would replace it with. I know that they wouldn’t replace it with a six pack as they don’t want to overcrowd the trails.


    • Collin Parsons February 9, 2019 / 3:44 pm

      Chair size and loading interval are the two factors that affect lift capacity. Super Bravo has a capacity of 2800/hr, achieved by loading 4 people every 5.14 seconds. I consider that the maximum that can be achieved with a quad. Sure there were some designed for 3000 but that means a 4.8 second interval which isn’t practical in most applications. Most lifts designed for it have had chairs removed, the speed turned down, or both. A majority of 6 packs are designed for 3000/hr and have a more comfortable 7.2 second loading interval.

      If Win Smith did not want to increase capacity, then the most likely replacement would be a 6 pack with a capacity of 2800/hr which would load every 7.71 seconds. It’s very rare to see quads built with a capacity over 2400 these days. There’s no reason to with 6 packs readily available that are more efficient at higher capacities.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Teddy's Lift World February 9, 2019 / 4:39 pm

        Another interesting factor that goes into play is that Sugarbush only runs it at 800 fpm or slower. It used to run much faster but it has been slowed down a lot this year. I don’t have a recording of it going full speed but I have ridden it when it was going full speed.


      • Collin Parsons February 9, 2019 / 6:48 pm

        This lift actually is about 20 chairs short of it’s design capacity. It can carry about 138 chairs and only has 119, so the capacity is closer to 2400. I would still expect a replacement to be about 2800.

        Liked by 1 person

    • matthewd6731 December 10, 2019 / 7:31 pm

      Now that Alterra owns Sugarbush, I have a feeling that this lift is going to be the first replaced. A lower capacity 6 pack is my best guess, probably Doppelmayr. Could be replaced with a quad of a bit less capacity, moving at 1000FPM instead of 800-900 as is common now.


      • Teddy's Lift World December 10, 2019 / 7:39 pm

        Alterra has made it clear that they’re not interested in investing in lifts for Sugarbush. Other than the operational issues with Slide Brook and they’re awful lift maintenance, their lift system is fine. Capacity is hardly ever an issue with Super Bravo. The only reason I could see it replaced is as a result of the poor maintenance efforts made by lift operations over the years.


        • matthewd6731 December 10, 2019 / 8:13 pm

          I’ve gotten stuck on GateHouse and Bravo within the past year, and was forced out of line for slide brook after the lifty came running out of the shack saying there were “major mechanical issues”, and that we should “seriously, take the bus”…. I’m really hoping that Alterra at least puts some investment into the Sugarbush lift system, but then again I understand why they wouldn’t.


        • pbropetech April 20, 2022 / 9:21 pm

          To Matthew D- couple years late with the reply, but I wouldn’t take the liftie’s comment at face value. Not trying to slag on that department but they often misinterpret what they hear from us. Also, Teddy, what makes you say that there’s ‘awful’ lift maintenance? That’s a pretty bold statement. Vermont has the same sort of standards we do here in CO and I highly doubt the state would grant licences to ski areas who didn’t maintain their lifts properly.


      • Cameron Halmrast December 10, 2019 / 7:39 pm

        A lower capacity high speed six pack would equate to the same capacity as the existing lift. Some high speed six packs have a capacity of 1,800 pph.


        • matthewd6731 December 10, 2019 / 8:15 pm

          Right, just higher spacing making for an easier load process.


      • skitheeast December 10, 2019 / 9:08 pm

        Is there a reason Slide Brook has never been developed for skiing? It would make the most sense to connect the areas with two lifts, one from the top of Mount Ellen into the base of Slide Brook and the other from the base of Slide Brook up to around North Lynx’s top terminal. This would allow two new pods and Sugarbush to seem like one resort compared to the current feeling of two, although it could be an expensive project.


        • Tommy Boy December 10, 2019 / 9:47 pm

          When Les Otten received permits to build the Slide Brook lift in the mid 1990s he permanently gave up rights to ski expansion within the Slide Brook basin as part of the development agreement.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Teddy's Lift World December 11, 2019 / 4:06 am

          Yes, Tommy, you are correct about that. The other reason that hasn’t happened is none of the ownerships have had enough capital to invest in something like that. Otten already made the largest investments in Sugarbush’s history, so he wasn’t going to develop it for a massive cost. These days with Alterra, it would probably never happen. I do wonder if Alterra will express interest in Slide Brook (the lift) though. Like the other lifts at Sugarbush, it’s not in the best condition and there is a footing that is severely dislodged. I imagine that they will make efforts to improve evacuation access so it can run more. This could also include upgrades that Win never did such as investing in a fleet of ATVs. Honestly, the lift used to run without these regulations, and they are Sugarbush’s own, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they retrained the lift operations team for evacuation and disregarded most of the snow rule. Any lift can go on wind hold, so that can’t just be disregarded. I also think it isn’t smart to have a lift that long (not necessarily in ride time though) to run in sub-5 degree weather.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Skiing is cool March 13, 2023 / 4:29 am

      Yes, I was there when there was maintenance issues, they delayed super bravo by 1 hour, 45 minutes, and the reason why was maintenance, and it wasn’t nice. Super bravo gives you access to the whole mountain, and without it you have to take valley house and then hike up the traverse to get to the top of super bravo. I was there when castle rock was open. But I didn’t go on valley house, I just waited for super bravo to open, that being said I agree with you that they could make it a 6 chair and maybe re do the whole engine of it. It is one of my favorite chairs in the mountain, saying that sugarbush has no 6 packs I think it would be a great idea to make it a six pack.


      • boston02108 March 16, 2023 / 5:28 am

        Former Sugarbush owner Win Smith recently posted on the AlpineZone forum that the next three lifts slated for replacement under his watch were (in no particular order) Heaven’s Gate, North Ridge, and Super Bravo. While maybe too much to ask, I’d hope that Bravo is replaced in the next few years with a six pack with bubbles given the winds that plague this lift and make for an uncomfortable ride out of Sugarbush’s flagship base area — something like the LPOA American Flyer at Copper or the recently announced Doppelmayr replacement for Barker at Sunday River.


        • Teddy's Lift World March 16, 2023 / 6:32 am

          I really don’t think there’s any chance they would do a bubble lift. A regular 6 pack would be better. Either way, from what I’ve been told, this will not be happening for awhile.


      • Snipefarmer March 30, 2023 / 6:30 pm

        This summer (’23) Sugarbush is reconfiguring “Reverse Traverse” from the top of Valley House back to Murphy’s Glade. It will be wider than the old trail, all downhill, and have snowmaking. This will allow easy, reliable access from the top of Valley House to the bottom of Heaven’s Gate and Castlerock – so these lifts will be accessable even when Super Bravo is broken down!


  2. Donald Reif December 14, 2019 / 10:15 am

    The one thing Sugarbush could do with both Super Bravo and Gate House would be to replace the bars on their chairs with new ones that have footrests. To me, it’s a little weird that the two high speed quads that are the workhorses of Mount Lincoln don’t have footrests, whereas all the fixed grip lifts do.


    • Teddy's Lift World December 14, 2019 / 3:55 pm

      Slide Brook has them, but these two don’t. Most skiers (including me) would agree that these are nice bars. They’re very easy to lower and raise. The issue is that a child could easily slide under these bars as they weigh only about 10 pounds. I don’t think they’ll be replaced as it isn’t really necessary. I do hope that some seat cushions can be installed though instead of the crappy hard foam pads they have now.


  3. Tijsen January 29, 2020 / 7:46 am

    Whats up with Sugarbush and their awful terminal paint jobs? Many lifts are showing a ton of blue paint from multiple years ago and the ones that haven’t been repainted into the green yet are pretty rusted.


  4. Willis March 12, 2022 / 4:03 pm

    Heard Alterra is going to replace Super Bravo’s chairs with newer ones. Maybe a new motor as well?


  5. Daniel April 20, 2022 / 7:31 pm

    I know it would have cost more, but wouldn’t it have made sense to have made the Slide Brook a gondola instead?

    Could have made for a killer summer scenic lift – though I’m not exactly sure the best way of getting people to it and probably cost infeasible.

    Given the issues with windhold and guest discomfort/injury/potentially dying of exposure in an emergency, wouldn’t it have been a no brainer to have made it a gondola which would have been able to run in more different adverse conditions?


  6. William February 20, 2023 / 8:13 pm

    When Les Otten decided to put in Slide Brook he promised to never expand on that land again. Now, maybe Alterra could negotiate something different but it’s probably not the top of the list.


  7. Grant April 23, 2023 / 9:32 am

    Half of the chairs have the new back rests super nice the one that didint get new ones fell like they are falling apart


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