News Roundup: Middle of Winter

News Roundup: Panoramabahn

  • I passed a Doppelmayr drive terminal on I-80 last week.  Now I know where it was going: Sugarloaf.
  • More pictures from Lutsen Mountains of their new gondola.  The old Hall Skycruiser is still standing parallel to her replacement.
  • Haul rope and commline go up at Okemo.
  • North Korea’s Masik Pass ski resort looks to have gotten a base-to-summit gondola this summer based on recent satellite imagery.  Perhaps another counterfeit Doppelmayr?

Creeping on North Korea’s ski lift construction in Google Earth yields a new building at the summit of Masik Pass.  It looks to house a detachable lift terminal with a lift line stretching all the way to the base area with towers and gondola cabins also visible.   The existing summit double is on the lower right.

  • In British Columbia, first Crystal Mountain and now Mt. Baldy will not open this season. Baldy has a T-Bar, Mueller double, and 2007 Leitner-Poma quad that last operated in 2013.
  • SkyTrac load tests at Pomerelle.  One more to go at Arizona Snowbowl.

Pomerelle Mountain Gets a SkyTrac

The beginnings of the bottom drive terminal for Pomerelle's new triple chair.
The beginnings of the bottom drive terminal for Pomerelle’s new triple chair.

SkyTrac, the new American lift builder based in Salt Lake City, is building two complete lifts this summer including one at Pomerelle Mountain near Burley, Idaho.  SkyTrac seems to be gaining a following with smaller, independent resorts that need new lifts but are price-sensitive.  By the end of this summer SkyTrac will have built 19 complete lifts in 12 states.  Only two of those were purchased by companies that own multiple resorts (Boyne went with SkyTrac for the latest lifts at The Summit at Snoqualmie and Crystal Mountain.)

Looking up at newly erected towers.  Eight of ten are already up.
Looking up at newly erected towers. Eight of ten are already up.

Pomerelle originally had Stearns-Roger and SLI double chairs, built in 1964 and 1975, respectively.  The longer of the two was replaced by a CTEC triple in 1988 and now a SkyTrac triple will replace the shorter double chair.  Work didn’t begin until late July but the SkyTrac crew has already installed most of the lift.  Because of the mellow terrain, towers are being set without a helicopter and only numbers 7 and 10 are left to go up.  The top terminal is finished and the bottom station just needs a motor room.  I didn’t see a haul rope or chairs yet.  The lift also apparently still needs a name!

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News Roundup: SkyTrac Gets a Lift

Twin lifts at Solitude, Utah earlier this week.
Twin lifts at Solitude, Utah earlier this week.

  • Pomerelle Mountain near Twin Falls, Idaho announced they will replace their 39-year old SLI double chair with a new SkyTrac triple.  This is SkyTrac’s only publicly announced project for this summer.  Apparently they have another contract for a lift in Arizona.  Leave a comment if you know where.
  • Saddleback, Maine has listed their Rangeley lift for sale for $350,000.  They had previously listed just the drive terminal for $200k.
  • Steamboat’s new master plan including two new six packs approved by Routt County.
  • State of Pennsylvania opens bidding for a new quad chairlift at the troubled Laurel Mountain State Park.
  • Jackson Hole’s new Sweetwater 8-passenger gondola approved by the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
  • Sugarloaf removes the damaged drive terminal for the King Pine lift which rolled back in March to make way for a new Doppelmayr terminal.
  • Group wants to reopen Mt. Ascutney in Vermont.  It’s tough to run a ski resort with no lifts, however.  The mountain’s high speed quad was sold to Crotched Mountain and other lifts went to Pat’s Peak.
  • The Pope rides one of Bolivia’s new Doppelmayr urban gondolas.  The entire line had to be closed until he finished his ride.