- A bill introduced in Congress would allow National Forests to use some of the fees collected from ski resorts to be used to expedite permitting for improvement projects.
- Poma will break ground on its first urban 3S in July.
- Lookout Pass intends to buy a second Skytrac quad for the Eagle Peak Expansion and relocate Chair 1.
- In addition to its Lake replacement project, Owl’s Head decides to also remove the Panorama double without a direct replacement.
- Breckenridge proposes building an infill chairlift on Peak 7 to improve skier circulation.
- Local electeds vote in support of an urban gondola to Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby Mountain campus.
- Retired Riblet double chairs bring in $146,000 for nonprofit organizations surrounding Schweitzer Mountain Resort.
- Towers supporting the world’s first eight passenger monocable gondola are history.
- This video shows how the Disney Skyliner’s innovative loading works. Every 9th gondola goes to a second turnaround, stopping about 50 seconds for unloading and another 1:10 for loading before rejoining the moving line. Pretty slick!
- The Hermitage Club files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, listing more than 200 creditors. A company called Restructured Opportunity Investors could lend the club up to $1.75 million for restructuring if approved by a bankruptcy court.
- Berkshire Bank wants the Hermitage receiver to stay on the job while a different bankruptcy court considers whether to initiate a Chapter 7 liquidation, which at least 187 club members now support.
- At Smugglers’ Notch, hundreds of trout take a spin up Sterling to their new home in Vermont’s highest pond.
- A Dutch-American joint venture proposes building an indoor snow park on a Northern Virginia landfill serviced by a two stage gondola.
- It sure looks like the Skyline Express is moving as part of the Brooks/Daisy replacement project at Stevens Pass.
- The haul rope is up on the Bretton Woods Skyway.
- Construction is well underway on Jackson Hole’s 10th chairlift.
Before building lifts on Eagle Peak, growing Inland Northwest ski area Lookout Pass will replace core out-of-base Chair 1 with a Skytrac quad, its first brand new lift in 37 years. The fixed-grip quad will double uphill capacity on the Interstate 90 side of the mountain and better position Lookout for planned future expansion. The ski area, which sits at 5,600 feet along the Idaho-Montana border, added three Riblet chairlifts in the early 2000s but all came used via other mountains.
The new Chair 1 will follow the existing alignment and utilize some of the current Riblet towers with a slope length of approximately 2,900 feet and vertical rise surpassing 800 feet. Lookout’s project is the fourth announced new lift for the State of Idaho in 2019 following commitments by Tamarack Resort and Schweitzer. Sun Valley recently pushed back its Cold Springs quad project to 2020.
- Group eyes gondolas for Miami.
- Alaska’s upcoming new ski resort gets a name: Skeetawk.
- Doppelmayr joins Facebook.
- Italian snowmaking powerhouse Technoalpin enters the ski lift fray with a T-Bar in Turkey.
- Lookout Pass says 14 new runs will be cut this summer but new lifts will wait until 2019.
- Durango, Colorado advances plan to replace rope tows on Chapman Hill with a carpet and triple chair.
- Two of Hunter Mountain’s three summit lifts are down for the third day in a row.
- This week’s rope evacuation stories come from Blue Mountain (2000 Poma six-pack) and Giants Ridge (2017 Skytrac quad.)
Lookout Pass is the only ski resort in America spanning two states, two National Forests and two time zones. While markedly low-key, this local favorite on the Idaho-Montana border has grown rapidly from one lift to four since 2002. A Record of Decision published today by the Idaho Panhandle and Lolo National Forests gives Lookout approval to build two new lifts on Eagle Peak, upgrade Chair 1 and add 15 new trails spanning 654 acres. Vertical rise will increase more than 40 percent to 1,650′ as the lift-served summit moves from Runt Mountain to Eagle Peak. Taken alone, the expansion will be larger than all but four ski areas in the Eastern United States. When combined with current terrain, once little Lookout will provide more than 1,000 acres of terrain for a growing number of skiers in the Inland Northwest.
Lift 1, a 1982 Riblet double, will be upgraded to a fixed- or detachable-grip quad in the existing alignment. A new fixed-grip double, triple or quad chair on Eagle Peak dubbed Lift 5 will be 5,200′ long by 1,300′ vertical with around 24 towers. A smaller 2,800 x 800′ Lift 6 was approved as a double chair ending on the same summit. A 12,000′ power line will need to be trenched to both relatively remote new bottom drive terminals. “The new lifts will incorporate components recycled from the Lift 1 upgrade as well as used components purchased from other ski areas to promote resource conservation and to reduce costs,” the ROD notes. Lookout Pass already operates four Riblet fixed-grips, three of which were relocated from other resorts. Fittingly, one of the new lifts will be located in Idaho and Pacific Time, the other in Montana on Mountain Time.
Not wasting a moment, Lookout Pass said in a statement, “Phase One projects will be initiated starting this summer. Specific projects are subject to logging bids and contracts plus additional ski lift and building plan review. We will announce the proposed projects timeline as soon as possible.” You can learn more and follow the progress here.
- It’s never good when a ski resort sends out a press release assuring guests it will open next season. Q Burke Mountain Resort, with five lifts including two Leitner-Poma high speed quads, is laying off all but 20 of its employees and “looking carefully at cost-cutting and cost-containment measures.”
- Lookout Pass moves toward 91 acres of new terrain, two more fixed-grip lifts and a high-speed-quad replacement for its oldest lift.
- The father of 9-year old who fell from a chair after seven minutes of dangling sues Liberty Mountain Resort claiming inadequate staffing.
- The man who pushed another man off an Aspen Highlands chairlift in January will plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
- Mont Bellevue in Quebec will build a $1.5 million Doppelmayr quad chair this summer.
- Construction season is here and Caberfae Peaks already has its first delivery.
- Props to Alyeska lift maintenance for getting the Glacier Bowl Express back in action after last week’s fire.