In a decision the Durango Herald calls a “bombshell,” the Forest Service proposes granting road access to the controversial Village at Wolf Creek, which would include two new lifts near Wolf Creek Ski Area’s new Meadow quad.
A live streaming webcam shows New Hampshire’s largest and fastest gondola going in at Bretton Woods. Some tidbits on the lift from the New Hampshire Tramway Board: line speed will be 6 m/s with 36 cabins and a design capacity of 2,600 using 62 cabins. SkyTrans is taking the retired B double and the gondola’s load test is slated for December 20th.
As it works to finalize its lease of Mt. Sunapee, Vail Resorts assures New Hampshire residents the company is in for the long haul and doesn’t plan any real estate development at the state-owned mountain.
A stack up of at least nine cabins on the White urban gondola line in La Paz last Monday is deemed the result of human error. No passengers were on the lift at the time.
The widow of Loveland mechanic Adam Lee, who died underneath a carpet lift last winter, goes on CBS This Morning to talk about his workers compensation claim being reduced due to a positive marijuana test.
The supremely-talented James Niehues is painting an all-new map of Copper Mountain to debut next winter along with two new lifts.
This month’s Poma Link spotlights good stuff from Europe…a new brand platform, details on Diamond Evo cabins and new sheave liners coming in 2019.
The Leitner Ropeways 2017 annual report is packed full of photographs and drawings for 32 new lifts the company completed last year.
The world’s tallest tubular lift tower goes up in La Paz at 194 feet!
A man who said he was stuck on a Gore Mountain chairlift the night of April Fool’s Day is charged with making false statements.
Two hackers say they were able to access the Doppelmayr Connect control system for an Austrian gondola in March, raising cyber security concerns. Doppelmayr says the issue has been fixed and no riders were ever at risk.
Just four days after its bombshell announcement of $16 million worth of new lifts for Killington, Powdr Co. today unveiled an even bigger project planned for Copper Mountain in 2018. The American Eagle high-speed quad will be replaced with a combination lift featuring six passenger chairs and eight passenger gondola cabins while the American Flyer is going to become a six-place bubble chair. The two Poma detachables being replaced were built in 1989 and 1986, respectively, and out-of-Village capacity will increase by 35 percent.
“Replacing our most popular mountain-access lifts will significantly improve how our guests experience some of the best skiing and riding on Copper Mountain,” said Gary Rodgers, president and general manager of Copper Mountain Resort in a press release. “More guests will be able to get up the mountain quicker to enjoy a variety of easy, intermediate and advanced terrain.” The Denver Post reports the new lifts will cost a staggering $20 million.
Copper Mountain operates a mixed fleet of Doppelmayr and Poma lifts and no manufacturer was identified. Most recently, Doppelmayr built the Kokomo Express, two surface lifts in 2013 and the Union Creek Express in 2011. Pending Forest Service approval, the two monster new additions will open in time for the 2018-19 season.
Update: According to V3 in the comments, these lifts could be built by Leitner-Poma with the first DirectDrives in the United States. This would be great news if true amid a flurry of gearbox-related problems in North American ski country recently.
With over 100 detachable chairlifts, 22 gondolas and some 150 fixed-grip lifts, the Colorado lift fleet represents a total investment somewhere in the neighborhood of $700 million. The Centennial State has more ski lifts than any other state or province and on each visit I’m amazed by the caliber of ski infrastructure here. More than half of Colorado’s lifts are detachable models, a feat which no other North American region comes close to achieving. This winter, six more high-speed chairlifts came on scene, and while none open up new terrain, each one serves an important purpose. I was lucky enough to ride the new machines at Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Copper, Eldora, Keystone and Vail over three days this week, testament to the remarkable amount of skiing available within a few hours’ drive here. This year’s class includes two Doppelmayr high-speed quads, a Doppelmayr six-pack and three Leitner-Poma six-place chairs representing half of all new detachable chairlifts built in North America for 2017-18.
Red Buffalo Express – Beaver Creek Mountain
The last lift from Beaver Creek’s 1980 inaugural season, Drink of Water, was replaced with a new lift with a new name over the summer. The quad’s namesake, Red Buffalo Park, is now a dedicated learning zone with awe-inspring views of the Gore Range from 11,400 feet. While lift 5’s terminals, hangers, grips and operator houses are new, most of the tower components and chairs are from the former Montezuma lift at Keystone. Like its sister Vail, Beaver Creek now has just one fixed-grip lift of appreciable length remaining alongside an amazing 14 detachable chairlifts and gondolas.
Falcon SuperChair – Breckenridge
Breckenridge debuted its third next-gen Leitner-Poma LPA six-pack on December 28th. The new Falcon SuperChair replaces a Poma high-speed quad that opened along with Peak 10 itself in 1985. The new ride lifts capacity by 25 percent to 3,000 guests per hour in this popular advanced-intermediate pod. The Falcon has the same sweet plush chairs as the new Colorado and Kensho SuperChairs.
Copper Mountain is moving forward with plans for lift service on Tucker Mountain, the 12,337 foot peak that forms the backside of Copper Bowl. A Tucker lift was first approved in 2006 under Intrawest ownership but free cat skiing is as close as it got to being implemented. Eight years into new management, Powdr Co. has proposed a new alignment that begins at the current Blackjack return terminal and ascends 1,150′ to the Tucker summit. The fixed-grip triple chair would be only around 3,000 feet long and move up to 1,200 skiers per hour. Blackjack’s return terminal would be moved slightly uphill to make room for the new machine.
The project would improve access to underutilized advanced terrain within Copper’s existing permit area and is undergoing expedited review as a result of the previous approval. The White River National Forest opened public comment yesterday (running through February 9th) and a decision is expected in March. According the the forest’s schedule of proposed actions, construction could begin as early as this June with an opening next winter.