- Sun Peaks’ seventh quad chair is complete.
- Lake Louise previews Canada’s only expansion for 2020.
- Camelback announces the new Sunbowl Quad will extend higher than the lifts it replaces.
- Mission Ridge forges its own path erecting a used high speed quad in house with local contractors.
- Alterra’s Rusty Gregory talks about winter demand.
- Cannon Mountain’s tramway will likely start the season on indefinite hold due to public health concerns.
- Australian regulators conclude hand carrying bikes on chairlifts is not safe.
- After six months closed, the Palm Springs Tramway reopens at less than 25 percent capacity.
- Soldier Mountain reveals comm lines, chairs and haul ropes were all damaged in this summer’s fire.
- Another new resort will join the Indy Pass, to be announced Monday.
Seventy percent of the 1,277 T-Bars, J-Bars and platter (sometimes called Poma) lifts built in North America to date are no longer in service. That would suggest the traditional surface lift is a dying breed in the age of beginner-friendly carpets, which go in by the dozen every year of late. But over the last two seasons, a bit of a renaissance has emerged, with more mountain resorts adding brand new T-Bars and platters. Four T-Bars being completed right now represent the highest number in North America since 1987. Even more resorts are considering building these classic surface lifts, although the reasons why have little to do with learning to ski.
Yesterday I visited both Burke Mountain, Vermont and Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire, where local ski clubs recently partnered to build dedicated surface lifts on terrain used for racing. In some cases, these types of lifts are open to the public but other times not. New T-Bars are relatively cheap with costs typically covered by donors and/or program fees. Another reason for this application is speed; every T-Bar built since 2011 can move at least 550 feet per minute, significantly faster than most fixed-grip chairlifts. The Franconia Notch Ski Club’s new T was built by LST Ropeways and goes up to 690 fpm; Burke Mountain Academy’s nearly-finished one is a Leitner, shown below.
Every Tuesday, I feature my favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.
- Rope evac goes smoothly at Rabbit Hill, Alberta.
- Bridger Bowl’s new Virginia City lift sounds like a go for 2017.
- Leitner’s newest urban gondola system makes the New York Times.
- Sundance Ski Patrol rescues a second child in as many weeks dangling from Ray’s lift, which has four unload ramps.
- The CPTSB is still investigating at Granby Ranch and Quickdraw remains closed.
- Bruno’s lift at Timberline had a rough day today.
- Eaton Mountain won’t open for skiing this winter, but the dream still lives.
- The brand new LST Valar T-Bar at Cannon Mountain also remains closed, apparently due to multiple problems.
- Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley are doing their best to weather Winter Storm Helena.
- Across the board, North America had a hugely successful holiday week.
- And yet another crazy dangler story from Colorado.
- Suicide Six debuts new Leitner-Poma quad chair, Red River opens its new Doppelmayr quad.
- Sundance employees rush a ladder to a chair, climb up and pull a hanging child back up in just minutes. A man at Seven Springs fares worse.
- Two of Canada’s richest families still plan to build $3.5 billion ski resort near Squamish.
- Telluride Mountain Village Gondola turns 20.
- Jay Peak’s tram is back in action.
- The AP runs a story on future urban gondolas in the United States.
- Cannon Mountain’s new LST T-Bar goes down ahead of dedication.
- If you enjoy this blog, Ski Inc. is a must read.
- The first D-Line chairlift will open at Hochfügen, Austria with Doppelmayr’s new, wider six-passenger chairs for 2016-17.
- Four lifts from the defunct Talisman Mountain Resort in Ontario are up for sale on Resort Boneyard: A 1968 Hall double, 1987 Frankenlift quad, 1987 Poma triple and 1991 BM Lifts quad. A fifth chairlift is noticeably absent.
- Leitner and Aguido complete the world’s longest conveyor ropeway stretching 4.3 miles in Brazil.
- Doppelmayr flies the guide rope for the newest gondola in La Paz with a drone (video here.)
- Progress report and photos from the two new lift projects at Big Sky.
- Cannon Mountain’s board discusses moving the Brookside triple to The Banshees area.
- The new six-pack at Le Relais looks sharp in gray.
- Sigma’s new gondola cabin is reportedly called the Symphony 10.
- The entire 2016 Jägerndorfer Collection model ski lift line is now available in the States.
- Group proposes Sea to Sky-style gondola attraction in Nelson, BC.
- Cloudchaser construction begins July 1 at Mt. Bachelor.
- La Paz’s gondola network sets a new daily ridership record – 180,000 passengers on three lines last Monday.
- Poma signs three year partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to promote environmentally-friendly urban cable transport.
- Doppelmayr sponsors exhibition at the Vienna Technical Museum showcasing ropeways in cities.
- Vista Ridge lost a carpet lift and might have to do some extra NDT but came away from the Fort McMurray wildfire relatively unscathed.
- It’s still not entirely clear when Vermont’s only aerial tram will reopen.
- The first LST lift in North America is under construction at Cannon Mountain.
- Local paper gives a progress report on Wilmot Mountain’s Vail makeover.
- Powdr announces Woodward Park City with lift-served downhill mountain biking and terrain parks to be built on 126 acres at Gorgoza Park.
- Powdr also commits to building a new lift at Eldora next summer, most likely the Cannonball six-pack.
- Laurel Mountain hosts a tower flying party.
- The President of Simon Fraser University puts the Burnaby Mountain Gondola back on the table in hopes of replacing 25,000 daily bus trips between campus and Vancouver’s SkyTrain Millenium Line with a 3S.
- Timberline, WV re-opens the Thunderstruck triple today after getting tower 12’s crossarm back on and reinforcing the lift’s 16 other towers. Meanwhile, the lawyers are circling.
- We might not see many lifts built in the Northeastern U.S. this summer with continued dismal weather hurting business. With plentiful snow across the west, keep track of new lifts to be built this summer here.
- Privately-funded urban gondola proposed for the Don Valley in Toronto by Bullwheel International Cable Car Corp., whose CEO is a man you may recognize from the Gondola Project.
- Cannon Mountain’s Aerial Tramway also re-opens today after being down two weeks following its Valentine’s Day evacuation. The tram’s 500 HP electric motor was shipped to Maine for repair and returned to Cannon on Wednesday for installation and testing.
- Curbed looks into why no one seems to want to buy 14 ski resorts operated by industry titans like Boyne, Vail and Triple Peaks.
The Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway was evacuated on Sunday for the first time in its history. The tram’s two cars stopped around 1:50 pm, only about 75 feet out of the stations due to
a yet-to-be-specified mechanical problem a bearing issue with the electric motor. After an hour and half, tram operators began lowering passengers by rope with the temperature hovering around zero. It took another hour and a half for all 48-passengers to make it safely off the red and yellow tram cars. Great work by the two operators who performed under pressure with minimal outside help.
Each tram cabin normally carries up to 70 passengers just over a mile between stations. Aguido (now merged with Leitner) built the Cannon Mountain Tramway back in 1979, replacing one built in 1938. The State of New Hampshire owns and operates Cannon Mountain as part of Franconia Notch State Park. Mountain management hopes to have the tram back open tomorrow morning. These things always seem to happen on a holiday weekend! (not far away at Sunday River the workhorse Chondola has also been down all weekend.)
Update 2/15: The tram will remain closed at least through the first part of this week.
- Apparently Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire will get the first LST Ropeways lift in North America. Manufactured in Germany, it will be a T-Bar for the Mittersill racing area which has an existing Doppelmayr CTEC double chair. SkyTrac will be doing the installation. LST Ropeways is owned by the MND Group which also owns Gazex (avalanche release systems) and Sufag (snowmaking systems) with a North American facility in Eagle, CO.
- Leitner-Poma will re-engineer and modify towers on the Grey Mountain lift at Red Mountain, BC this fall. The quad chair was built in 1992 at Alyeska and moved to Red in 2013. The re-installation was done by Summit Lift Co. of Fernie, BC and the lift has 18 towers in its current configuration. No word on the exact reason for the re-design.
- The Camelot chair at Boyne Highlands is losing its vault drive terminal that is literally part of the ski area’s base lodge. In its place will be a used CTEC drive terminal. Does anyone know where it came from?
- The Aspen Daily News reports on the all new High Alpine detachable quad at Snowmass.
- Snow King debuted Doppelmayr’s new ‘Alpinstar’ terminal this summer and now Caberfae Peaks, MI will debut the ‘Ministar’ in 2016. The new triple chair will replace the Clubhouse double which is a 1967 Hall.
- Developers are still trying to figure out how to get a new Lift 1A back into downtown Aspen like the original single chair.