- Here’s the latest on construction of the first MND/Bartholet detachable in the USA.
- A wide-ranging interview with the Director of MND Ropeways reveals the strength of the North American market, the war in Ukraine’s affect on European steel prices and the latest on the MND/Bartholet partnership. If the alliance winds down post-2023, MND would build detachable lifts in house.
- Despite efforts to save it, the Tulsa State Fair announces removal of its VonRoll skyride, citing maintenance and safety concerns.
- The Austrian gondola known as “Old Lady” will be shipped to Alaska at the end of June for installation at Eaglecrest.
- Loveland offers season passholders a chance to own retired Lift 6 chairs.
- Jared Smith will be the next CEO of Alterra Mountain Company as Rusty Gregory steps away from day-to-day management duties.
- Vail Resorts posts Epic Lift Upgrade updates from Attitash, Boston Mills and Mount Snow.
- Stowe’s Epic Lift Upgrade project is finally approved and construction is underway.
- A legal battle continues over whether Christchurch Adventure Park was negligent spreading a wildfire by running a chairlift with plastic seats during a 2017 blaze.
- A Swiss ski resort plans to build one of the world’s steepest tramways with a maximum inclination of 159.4%.
- 49 Degrees North says so long to Bonanza.
- Schweitzer plans to build at least one new lift from its master plan in 2023.
- A report finds corrosion, wear and inadequately monitored twisting led to the failure of a socket on an Italian tram last year and 14 deaths.
- Israel’s supreme court green lights construction of an urban gondola in Jerusalem.
- A 2030 Vancouver Olympics may see Whistler and Sun Peaks as venues.
- The Forest Service needs more time before deciding on Lutsen Mountains’ proposed expansion.
- Fire reaches within a half mile of Sipapu but officials express confidence that containment will hold.
- Mt. Rose’s Lakeview triple heads to Dodge Ridge.
- Maine’s Hermon Mountain hits the market.
- Cockaigne will open next year despite being for sale.
- An Alberta T-Bar will be used to transport alpine coaster vehicles and riders.
- Lenawee Express is the name for A Basin’s first six pack.
- Happy re-opening day to Big Snow American Dream!
49 Degrees North
News Roundup: Wish List
- The largest gondola network in the world looks to add four more lines.
- Aspen Mountain is likely to gain approval for Pandora’s next month with lift installation targeted for 2023.
- The Burnaby Mountain Gondola remains a top funding priority in the Vancouver region.
- 49 Degrees North names its new detachable quad Northern Spirit.
- Opposition emerges to the Lutsen Mountains expansion proposal.
- Kelly Canyon flies towers for its new Skytrac.
- Ground is broken for a seven station urban gondola system in Santiago, Chile.
- Beaver Creek releases its new map with McCoy Park. Okemo’s new lifts hit the trail map. Saddleback too.
- A proposed wildlife park with gondola ride receives a $400,000 grant from the State of North Dakota.
- Maine’s Mt. Abram reactivates its long disused Mini T-Bar.
- A documentary about Canada’s largest lost ski area will debut at the Banff Film Festival.
- MND Ropeways commences construction on its first North American detachable at Waterville Valley.
- 462 ski areas operated last season in the United States, 8 fewer than 2019/20.
- Purgatory’s Ice Creek expansion and triple chair are approved, subject to a 45 day objection period.
- Ski Cooper’s wish list includes a frontside detachable quad and lifts on Chicago Ridge.
- Alberta’s Hidden Valley may not open this season.
- Nitehawk takes delivery of Lake Louise’s former Summit Platter for immediate installation and conversion to a T-Bar.
- A Snow King gondola update.
- Fire-damaged Big Snow American Dream will remain closed into 2022.
- As some suggest a gondola, Denver International Airport seeks proposals for a non-rail link between its three concourses.
High Speed Quad Coming to 49 Degrees North
The largest ski resort in the United States without a detachable lift is taking the plunge. 49 Degrees North today announced Doppelmayr will build a base to summit high speed quad chair this summer replacing the Bonanza #1 double. This transformative project will bring Washington’s second largest ski area into the 21st century. “An undertaking of this magnitude has been years in the making and we are excited to finally be able to share this news,” said Rick Brown, Director of Skier and Rider Services. “We want to thank our guests for their continued support and enthusiasm throughout the years and look forward to continuing to provide truly memorable mountain experiences for all.”
The detachable quad will span 6,644 feet, making it the longest chairlift in Washington State. It will rise approximately 1,850 vertical feet to Chewelah Peak with a ride time of just six and a half minutes. The yet-to-be-named lift will be installed with 900 horsepower, making it one of the largest projects in the country this year.
49 North’s new lift is expected to be completed in advance of the 2021/22 season, at which time Montana’s Discovery will become the largest US ski area without a high speed lift.
News Roundup: Reports
- Now open: Nordic Valley’s flagship six pack, dubbed the Nordic Express.
- The Yellowstone Club trail map is updated to show two new additions for a total of 23 lifts.
- Still without access to the summit, Mission Ridge provides expanded updates on the Wenatchee Express project including another video.
- Grand Targhee modifies its proposed expansion, pushing potential approval out to March 2022.
- A local newspaper obtains inspection reports from 49 Degrees North showing no red flags prior to last month’s accident.
- Doppelmayr showcases AURO, an autonomous lift which can be run by one person in a ropeway operations center.
- A storm packing 150 mph winds shutters Dodge Ridge for eight days. Eight towers de-roped on Chair 8 with 1,000 feet of comm line needing to be replaced.
- A child is seriously injured in a fall from the lone chairlift at Blue Hills, Massachusetts. The ski area said no mechanical issues caused or contributed to the unfortunate event.
- Three days later, the very same lift strands riders for hours.
- Gearing up for a busy summer, Skytrac is hiring lift construction project managers.
- ORDA will spend $2.2 million for electrical upgrades to Whiteface’s Cloudsplitter Gondola and Face Lift.
- Two more resorts are set to join the Indy Pass on February 2nd.
- Re: Indianhead, an incident report notes the chair hit a halo on tower 4, causing its clip to be ejected from the haul rope. A follow up inspection found no mechanical or structural deficiencies with the lift.
- Steamboat plans to move the bottom terminal of the new Steamboat Gondola outdoors and 300 feet east this summer to make room for the future Wild Blue Gondola.
News Roundup: Hello 2021
- Telluride renames the Coonskin double Lift 7.
- Welch Village partners with Superior Tramway to install improved quad chairs on two lifts.
- For sale: Snow King’s Summit double.
- Doppelmayr Canada is looking for an Electrical Service Technician based out of Kelowna, BC.
- Cockaigne, New York finally reopens after nine years idle.
- A new summit lift may be not quite finished but Mission Ridge sure has done a great job posting construction updates.
- Citing health concerns and limited resources, Tenney Mountain suspends operations for the 2020-21 season.
- South Korea closes all its ski resorts temporarily.
- 49 Degrees North loses another lift to technical problems, this time Chair 5.
News Roundup: Next Up
- Robert Redford sells Sundance Resort to two private equity firms.
- 49 Degrees North completes the same retrofit as Chair 1 received on Chair 4, which will reopen today.
- Kamiscotia, Ontario rebrands as Mt. Jamieson.
- Kennywood Park removes rides to cut costs including its 1996 CTEC quad (sister park Lake Compounce did the same three years ago.)
- Saddleback is open! The trail map shows replacement Cupsuptic and Sandy lifts coming soon.
- A Utah entrepreneur wants to bring back a tram to Bridal Veil Falls.
- Vail Resorts looks to raise another $500 million from investors.
- Kelly Canyon seeks to replace Stony Mountain and Summit with one triple or quad.
- Sun Valley’s old Dollar double hits the market.
- Ditto for Ragged Mountain’s former Speak Mountain triple.
- Local officials approve Utah Olympic Park’s West Peak expansion and a 17 tower double or triple.
- Magic Mountain expects to have the Black Line Quad operational by MLK weekend.
- Leitner-Poma of America is hiring a Field Service Technician.
- The Burlington Free Press begins a three part series on the Jay Peak fraud case.
- Still no gondola as Mont-Sainte-Anne reopens.
- Two injured guests are airlifted following a chairlift fall at Park City.
- A formal feasibility study is the next step toward a gondola in Long Beach.
- Fatzer ships a new rope to the Sea to Sky Gondola.
Occupied Chair Falls from 49 Degrees North Lift
A chair carrying two guests up 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort detached this morning, causing minor injuries. The incident happened around 11:00 am on Bonanza #1, a 1972 SLI double with Riblet insert clips. “Both guests were thankfully okay with only minor injuries,” the Northeast Washington ski resort said in a statement. “The lift was stopped for about twenty minutes to assess the situation, the chair then ran and the rest of the guests were safely unloaded.”
49 Degrees North opened for the season one week ago on November 28th. Bonanza, also known as Chair 1, spans more than 6,600 feet and has been the subject of replacement speculation in recent years due to its length and age. 49 North is the largest ski area in the United States without a high speed lift. The mountain sold to an affiliate of Idaho’s Silver Mountain Resort in April 2019.
“We are investigating this mechanical issue and Chair 1 will be closed until further notice,” said the resort. “We will be working with industry experts and regulatory agencies to identify and rectify the issue.”
News Roundup: 3S
- An affiliate of Silver Mountain buys 49 Degrees North.
- A citizen group wants the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board to regulate lift operations more broadly than the current mechanical focus.
- Bogus Basin will auction a bunch of Riblet triple chairs beginning Sunday.
- The Disney Skyliner is not a normal gondola and will be evacuated as such in an emergency.
- Steamboat already has a gondola construction update.
- So does Bretton Woods.
- A guy accused of ducking ropes around a chairlift terminal at Killington is charged with disorderly conduct.
- Whistler Blackcomb will open some of the same lifts for both skiers and mountain bikers for the first time this spring.
- The Forest Service gives its blessing to the Eldora Jolly Jug expansion and high speed lift.
- Doppelmayr USA is on Facebook.
- Vail Resorts reports a fantastic season with skier visits, lift ticket revenue, retail, ski school and dining all up between 6.2 and 9.3 percent through April 21st.
- The Los Angeles Dodger Stadium 3S is headed to environmental review.
- Poma’s 3S project in China is going to have an insane 5,775 people per hour capacity.
- CWA teases its soon-to-debut 3S cabin.
News Roundup: Heating Up
- The Pandora’s high speed quad is a go for next summer on Aspen Mountain.
- Construction of a T-Bar on Golden Peak should begin even sooner at Vail.
- Prying doors open and jumping out of a gondola at Steamboat is not a good idea.
- Nor is bailing from a chairlift at Crested Butte.
- The owner of closed Timberline Resort writes an op-ed about the situation.
- Remember the avalanche that took out a six pack tower in New Zealand last winter? The lift is back together again.
- One of the last remaining Yan detachable lifts, out of service for much of this season, will be torn down this summer.
- Vail CEO Rob Katz says his company will continue to invest in infrastructure such as lifts and steer customers towards season pass products.
- The names for Schweitzer’s upcoming new lifts are Cedar Park Express and Colburn.
- Deer Valley-turned-Alterra executive Bob Wheaton discusses the benefits of being part of a conglomerate.
- Winter Park’s C.A. Lane explains Alterra’s capital allocation is based on resort wish lists.
- Hogadon considers putting $250,000 toward the purchase of a quad chairlift.
- Fernie announces the Timber Bowl Express will close this summer for a bunch of upgrades.
- Sugarloaf uses the backup to the backup on a busy Saturday at Skyline.
- The Austrian resort whose 1980s bubble detachable is apparently destined for Mission Ridge is building two D-Line Omega V 10/bubble 8 combination lifts worth $35 million.
- The first D-Line half station is coming to Sölden.
- There could be another gondola in Banff.
- The BreckConnect won’t spin for much of Breckenridge’s extended winter season out of concern for wildlife.
- A full complement of cabins is spotted on a second Disney Skyliner line.
- The owner of 49 Degrees North says he plans to build a detachable summit lift within three years.
- A Balsams update.
- Mountain Capital Partners will modify the Nordic Valley expansion proposal to address Forest Service concerns.
News Roundup: More Epic
- Arapahoe Basin ends its Epic Pass partnership with Vail Resorts due to concerns about parking and crowding.
- A year into Ikon, Alterra Chief Marketing Officer Erik Forsell talks about the new season pass landscape.
- Vail takes stock at Crested Butte and may or may not build the Teo II lifts proposed by Triple Peaks.
- As rumored, Vail is acquiring Falls Creek and Mt. Hotham in Australia for $124 million.
- The Spanish ski resort that closed when a chair fell from its Yan detachable quad reopens with uploading via snowcat.
- The San Diego Fire Department performs a successful over water night evacuation of the Bayside Skyride at SeaWorld San Diego.
- Timberline Four Seasons Resort, which has struggled with lift breakdowns and other issues of late, is closed this weekend and could be placed in receivership.
- Snow Valley missed all of President’s weekend will remain closed indefinitely due to road damage. Mountain High is kindly honoring their season passes during the shutdown.
- In France, a six year old is seriously injured after her head gets stuck between a chair armrest and safety bar.
- As a new lawsuit against The Hermitage Club alleges fraud, club founder Jim Barnes tells members a revised reorganization plan is coming soon.
- The New York Times visits the new Taos and its four new lifts.
- Not everyone is happy about changes at Powder Mountain.
- LST Ropeways is still working to repair the company’s first detachable chairlift, which missed its entire first winter, some of last winter and all of this one thus far.
- 49 Degrees North had a challenging weekend with one lift rope evacuated/down for the season and another losing a chair with people on it.