Instagram Tuesday: Vivid

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Mt. Bachelor Releases Stunning Cloudchaser Short Film

A new lift changes a mountain.  In this story, the mountain is a volcano and the actors are Mt. Bachelor, Doppelmayr, Highlander Lift Services & Construction, Timberline Helicopters and the Forest Service. Cloudchaser: The Story Behind Building a New Lift is one of the best videos you’ll see in awhile.

Congratulations to the team on a job well done.  Thanks to their efforts, Mt. Bachelor is now the sixth largest ski resort in the United States!

“We don’t fly the helicopter and we don’t tie the knot.” – Paul Johnston, Highlander Ski Lift Services & Construction.

Instagram Tuesday: Heights

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News Roundup: Oregon

Instagram Tuesday: Global

Every Tuesday, we pick our favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

Good morning partner! ūüĆ•ūüĆ•ūüĆ•#wynnpalace #southdragon #doppelmayr #skycab #morning #cloudy

A post shared by Ellie Bhandari (@elliebhandari) on

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News Roundup: Ski Train

News Roundup: Big Week

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Garaventa recently fabricated new hangers for the Grouse Mountain Red Skyride cabins so riders can stand on the roof for an extra charge. Photo credit: Max U.

Mt. Bachelor Announces Expansion and Cloudchaser Detachable Quad

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Mt. Bachelor will open the long-awaited east side expansion served by a new high speed quad called Cloudchaser in time for Christmas.  Powdr Corp. has signed a nearly $6 million contract with Doppelmayr to install the lift this summer.  The project will add 635 acres of skiable terrain to Mt. Bachelor, making it the 5th largest ski area in the United States.  This will be the first new terrain serviced by a new lift since the Northwest Express was added in 1996.  With the addition of Cloudchaser, Mt. Bachelor will have eight detachable quad chairs serving more than 4,300 acres.  The new lift will rise 1,448 vertical feet with a slope length of 6,576 feet and 21 towers.

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Cloudchaser lift line seen this week. ¬†It’s hard to believe a lift will be operating here in six months.

Mt. Bachelor will host a Cloudchaser launch party on May 7th with free skiing and entertainment. ¬†“This is an exciting milestone for the entire team here at Mt. Bachelor and for you, our loyal pass holders,” interim General Manager John McCleod wrote in an email ¬†to season pass holders. ¬†“Powdr’s investment in this lift underscores a commitment to Mt. Bachelor and provides us a new way to enjoy our favorite mountain.”

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Top Ten Lifts with the Most Chairs

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The average detachable chairlift has 108 carriers while the average fixed grip lift has 103. ¬†Most people would assume¬†the longest lifts have the most carriers but that’s usually not the case. ¬†One of the reasons is longer spacing¬†on detachable chairlifts and gondolas. ¬†Also many long fixed-grip lifts get designed with lower hourly capacities and bigger spacing to save money. ¬†In fact, only one of the top ten lifts with the most chairs is also among the ten longest. Each of the lifts below has more than 200 chairs and, not surprisingly, all but two are fixed-grips.

  1. Cyclone – Sunrise Park Resort, AZ – 352 Yan triple chairs
  2. West Mountain – Sugarloaf, ME – 280 Borvig double chairs
  3. edited to add later: Town – Park City, UT – 264 CTEC triple chairs
  4. Alpine – Copper Mountain, CA – 218 Yan double chairs
  5. Porcupine – Snowbasin, UT – 212 Stadeli triple chairs
  6. Summit – Attitash, NH – 207 CTEC triple chairs
  7. C-Chair – Breckenridge, CO – 206 Riblet triple chairs
  8. A-Chair – Breckenridge, CO – 206 Riblet triple chairs
  9. Snowflake – Breckenridge, CO – 205 Poma double chairs
  10. Northwest Express – Mt. Bachelor, OR – 204 Doppelmayr quad chairs
  11. American Flyer – Copper Mountain, CO – 203 Poma quad chairs

What about gondolas?  There are a bunch of them that stretch two-plus miles.  Even so, no gondolas come close to making this list.  The Sunshine Village Gondola has the most cabins in North America with approximately 175 CWA Omegas and the Whistler Village Gondola comes in at number two with 160 Sigma Diamond cabins.  The average North American gondola has just 74 cabins.

Now, who can guess which lift has the most towers?

Top Ten Biggest Lifts in North America by VTFH

Vertical transport feet per hour (VTFH) is the best way to measure how lifts move people up mountains.  VTFH combines hourly capacity and vertical rise into one number, usually measured in millions.  Ski Area Management uses this metric each fall when they look at how good of a year it was for the lift-building business.

The second stage of Revelstoke's Revelation Gondola has a VTFH of over 8 million, the highest in North America.
The second stage of Revelstoke’s Revelation Gondola has a VTFH of over 8 million, the highest in North America.

For a lift to score big¬†it has to have a high hourly capacity (think lots of carriers, high speed) and large vertical rise (think big slope length¬†with many¬†towers.) ¬†The¬†Jackson Hole tram has a huge vertical (over 4,000′) but very low capacity so its VTFH is only 2,654,600 – not even in the top 400. ¬†The Peak 2 Peak Gondola has a huge capacity but only rises 119 feet for a dismal VTFH of 243,950. ¬†There are 49¬†lifts in the US and Canada that move enough people high enough to achieve a VTFH over five million. ¬†Below¬†are the top ten.

1. Revelation Gondola Stage II, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, British Columbia

2007 Leitner-Poma 8-passenger gondola

2,952′ vertical x 2,800 passengers¬†per hour = 8,265,600 VTFH

2. Gold Coast Funitel, Squaw Valley, California

1998 Garaventa CTEC 28-passenger funitel

2,000′ vertical x 4,032 passengers per hour = 8,064,000 VTFH

3. Heavenly Gondola, Heavenly Mountain Resort, California

2000 Doppelmayr 8-passenger gondola

2,874′ vertical x 2,800 passengers per hour = 8,047,200 VTFH

4. Gondola One, Vail Mountain, Colorado

2012 Leitner-Poma 10-passenger gondola

1,996′ vertical x 3,600 passengers per hour = 7,185,600 VTFH

5. Centennial Express, Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado

2014 Doppelmayr 6/10 chondola combination lift

2,102′ vertical x 3,400 passengers per hour = 7,146,800 VTFH

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