Super Bravo Express – Sugarbush, VT

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Bottom terminal at Lincoln Peak.
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View up the line.
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Looking down the line.
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Top terminal from below.
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Return terminal turnaround.
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Breakover towers.
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Riding down.
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View back up the line.
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Arriving at the base.
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Drive terminal and lift line.
View down the lift line in winter.
Middle section of the lift line.
Bottom drive station at the Village.
Worldbook
Doppelmayr Worldbook entry.

14 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.

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    • 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.

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      • 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.

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      • 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.

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        • 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.

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      • 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.

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        • matthewd6731 December 10, 2019 / 8:15 pm

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

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      • 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.

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        • 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

  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.

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    • 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.

      Like

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