News Roundup: Fighting

  • The first of many Omega 10 passenger gondola cabins is spotted at Walt Disney World.
  • Saddleback Mountain Foundation plans to make a second offer for Maine’s third largest ski area, which has been closed for nearly three years.
  • Santiago, Chile awards the contract for an $80 million, four station urban gondola to Doppelmayr.
  • The first indoor ski area in the Western Hemisphere plans to open March 1, 2019 with a Doppelmayr CTEC quad chair and platter that were installed back in 2008.
  • A gondola is one option being considered to improve mobility in Little Cottonwood Canyon, home to Alta, Snowbird and lots of traffic.
  • A Basin’s Al Henceroth updates us on Norway’s removal and hints more lift changes may be in store for Lenawee Mountain.
  • Members of Congress from four states pen a letter to the Forest Service asking for Arizona Snowbowl to be reopened or further explanation given as to why its extended closure is necessary.
  • Doppelmayr scores another project in Canada – a $1.8 million fixed-grip quad with loading carpet at Sugarloaf, New Brunswick.
  • Rope evacuating 20-25 mountain bikers turns into a four hour affair at Marquette Mountain.
  • Ikon Pass destination number 27 is Thredbo, Australia.
  • Jumbo Glacier Resort is fighting to reinstate its construction permit.
  • A spokesman for the new owners of Maple Valley, Vermont says reopening for skiing is a long term goal that could take many years to accomplish.
  • Loveland seeks a good name for the new Lift 1.
  • Loon Mountain is buying brand new CWA Omega cabins for its gondola this fall.
  • Tremblant says goodbye to the Lowell Thomas triple, making way for a detachable quad.
  • The first Hermitage Club property auction yields a $1.2 million winning bid. “There will be more of these coming up,” says the Windham County Sheriff.
  • A breakdown at the Jasper SkyTram leads to an 18 hour helicopter evacuation of 160 guests.
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News Roundup: Out of Commission

  • Leitner-Poma, Georgetown University, ZGF Architects host urban gondola forum with speakers from the Portland Aerial Tram and Medellín Metrocable, among others.
  • With one of three chairlifts out of commission, Big Tupper, NY is unlikely to open this winter.
  • 14-year old boy falls from the Emerald Express at Whistler.
  • Costa Rican officials and Doppelmayr Mexico sign letter of intent to build Central America’s first urban gondola.
  • $15 million Arthurs Seat Eagle debuts in Australia.
  • Brest Cable Car (shown above) shuts down after only two weeks of operation.
  • Nakiska’s sole summit access lift has been down since November 27th.
  • The latest D-Line chairlift installation Waidhofen is reportedly also the first in the world supplied with Doppelmayr Direct Drive (DDD.)
  • Loon Mountain restores a 1966 Hall Skycruiser gondola with help from Lutsen.
  • The Boston Globe Magazine explains how a non-skier in Fort Lauderdale came to run two of Vermont’s major ski resorts.
  • Grand Canyon Escalade legislation heads to the second of four Navajo Nation committees on Tuesday.
  • Granite Peak releases more details about its proposed lift and trail expansion.

Lift Profile: Tote Road Quad at Loon Mountain

Looking back towards Loon Mountain on the Tote Road Quad that connects to South Peak.
Looking back towards Loon Mountain on the Tote Road Quad that connects to South Peak.
When Loon Mountain in New Hampshire’s White Mountains designed their South Peak expansion a decade ago, they needed a way to move skiers between Loon Peak and South Peak over terrain too flat to ski.  Doppelmayr CTEC engineered the Tote Road quad, a two-way chairlift to transport skiers between the mountains.  This was a cheaper solution than building heavily-graded ski trails or a detachable gondola.

Doppelmayr CTEC Uni-Star drive terminal and loading area.
Doppelmayr CTEC Uni-Star drive terminal and loading area.
The drive terminal was sited along the Upper Bear Claw trail near the summit of Loon.  After loading here, the lift rises sharply to allow skiers coming from the other direction to cross underneath.  Tote Road descends modestly before climbing to the summit of South Peak.  The return terminal is located adjacent to the top of the Lincoln Express which also opened for the 2007-2008 season.  On the return trip from South Peak, skiers unload at a ramp well before the drive terminal but still close enough for the loading and unloading ramps to share one set of controls and a single lift shack.  To my knowledge, each end of Tote Road is always staffed by two operators even though Loon could theoretically get away with just one.

Tote Road has loading and unloading at each end.
Tote Road has loading and unloading at each end and three split towers.
Tote Road has 11 towers; the first three are split towers with different heights on each side. Its 89 chairs move 2,400 skiers per hour in each direction at 450 feet a minute.  Because the lift goes down before it goes up, the vertical distance between terminals is only 95 feet.  Slope length is just under 2,000 feet with a ride time of 4.3 minutes each way.  By these numbers, Tote Rode is a small lift but it is a very important link at one of the most visited resorts in the East.

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