News Roundup: 685 Cabins

  • New owners launch Granby Ranch Rising, a set of capital improvement initiatives.
  • Seven Springs’ new lift may be completed as soon as the end of this month.
  • Mexico City will launch the Doppelmayr-built Cablebús Line 1 on Sunday, followed by the Leitner-built Line 2 on July 24th with a system total of 13 stations, 121 towers and 685 cabins.
  • Mt. Hood Meadows proposes replacing the Mt. Hood Express with a Leitner-Poma six place in 2022 or 2023.
  • Lookout Pass begins cutting trails on Eagle Peak with installation of Sundance’s former Ray’s quad set to commence in 2022.
  • A Breckenridge developer proposes a short gondola to bring skiers from the Gold Rush parking lot to the BreckConnect Gondola.
  • Sunlight tables construction of the East Ridge expansion lift, citing “soaring costs of materials such as steel due to ongoing supply chain challenges.” The mountain says “new lift installations are happening at a premium price right now,” and will prioritize more immediate needs such as upgrades to existing lifts.
  • Speaking of premium lifts, more towers arrive for the Squaw-Alpine Base to Base Gondola.

Seven Springs Announces New Avalanche Quad

One of the very first CTEC lifts built way back in 1979 is being retired from Seven Springs Mountain Resort. Doppelmayr will construct a new Alpen Star quad in its place on the Avalanche slope this summer. The new lift will transport 2,400 skiers per hour with a ride time of just 4.3 minutes. “Our new Doppelmayr chairlift will greatly improve our guest experience on the front face of the mountain allowing for many more runs each day,” said Joel Rerko, Seven Springs Director of Mountain Operations. “We continue to be committed to our season passholders, homeowners and growing the sport as a whole. After coming off an incredible winter, we cannot wait to unveil it this coming ski season.”

The Avalanche quad will follow a new alignment ending closer to the top of Tyrol. It will feature 7 towers, 88 chairs and a 200 horsepower electric motor. The lift will be 1,956 feet in length and will cover 492 vertical feet. Construction is already underway and scheduled to be completed by November.

News Roundup: Mother Nature

  • Lawsuit filed by man who fell from Seven Springs chairlift in 2015 thrown out.
  • CWA joins Instagram and look at how many gondola cabins are waiting to leave the factory this fall!
  • Snowbasin now has live streaming webcams at both six-pack terminal construction sites.
  • “Time is of the essence,” Snow King GM says seeking approval for Summit Gondola and ski expansion.
  • I hit four awesome retro T-Baronly ski areas in Idaho last weekend.
  • Red Bull turns Swedish tramway into a rope swing.
  • Two Skytrac quad chairs reaching the highest point on the Dutch side of St. Maarten faced a huge test Tuesday, taking a direct hit from a Category 5 hurricane just ten days before their scheduled grand opening.  Skytrac says the lifts were designed to withstand 200 mph winds.
  • This was the view from the gondola Monday night as wildfire threatened Crystal Mountain.  The fire has already burned much of East Peak, inside the permitted ski area where Crystal sought approval to build a new lift in 2004.090420172030_l

News Roundup: Flying Volkswagens

  • Gunther Jochl, the Austrian-born owner of Sugar Mountain, got the CEOs of both Doppelmayr and CWA to come christen his new six-pack Saturday along with the governor of North Carolina.  Apparently the lift may get gondola cabins in the future.
  • A lawsuit from a homeowner could force the closure of Pennsylvania’s second largest ski resort. Seven Springs Mountain Resort operates two six-packs and eight fixed-grip lifts on 300 acres.  Unfortunately, four of those lifts and 75 percent of the mountain’s ski runs cross a public road that the homeowner wants opened in winter.  There are plenty of other ski resorts that have major highways passing through that close seasonally, including Deer Valley, Bridger Bowl and Mt. Baker.
  • Cherry Peak, the new ski area in Utah, won’t be able to complete their Summit lift in time for this season.  When I was there a few months ago, towers were laying on the ground along the line which will either have to be set or moved elsewhere.  Two other triple chairs and a carpet are set to go.
  • Arizona Snowbowl’s first new lift in 30 years is almost finished.
  • An 8.5 mile gondola system coming to Missouri’s Las Vegas?
  • Bartholet’s aerial tramway across the city of Puebla in Mexico will be finished December 15th, about a year behind schedule.  Speaking of BMF, they have a new website.
  • The Balsams clears some more hurdles but has still yet to break ground.
  • Staying on the mega-resort topic, Hemlock Resort near Chilliwack, BC receives approval to spend $1.5 billion on 23 new lifts and 20,000 lodging beds among other improvements over the next 60 years.  Hemlock currently has a 1977-vintage Doppelmayr triple and two even older Mueller doubles.  Buried in the linked article is the fact that the ski area never opened last year due to lack of snow.

    Hemlock Master Plan rendering from Brent Harley & Associates.
    Hemlock Master Plan rendering from Brent Harley & Associates.