News Roundup: Storied

  • The Eglise expansion at the Yellowstone Club looks like something straight out of Europe!  Thanks Everett K. for the photos.
  • The Alameda County Fair will debut a Skytrac skyride next year, the fourth such lift in California.
  • Disney teases more Skyliner renderings and the first tower footings going in the ground are massive.
  • Gearbox problem turns into a rope evac at Windham Mountain.
  • Power surge blamed for a three hour evacuation at Sasquatch Mountain.
  • Belleayre’s gondola proves itself from day one in subzero temperatures.
  • If it can raise enough money, Frost Fire, North Dakota plans to build a Skytrac fixed-grip chairlift next summer to replace two broken lifts.
  • A clearance issue needs to be resolved before Bear Valley can launch the Mokelumne Express.
  • A mechanic dies while working on a carpet lift at Loveland and a GoFundMe page has been set up to support his widow and three children.
  • With a “full pipeline,” Skytrac is hiring for construction positions.
  • North Korea’s second ski resort reportedly includes lifts manufactured locally, a result of UN sanctions prohibiting the import of luxury goods.
  • Silver Mountain celebrates a storied 50 years with a look back to construction of the world’s longest gondola, uniquely funded by federal, state and local governments along with VonRoll Tramways.
  • As we enter prime time for lift construction announcements, keep track of the 2018 roster here.

New Roundup: French


News Roundup: Transactions


News Roundup: Vacation

Hello readers- for the next two weeks I am floating the Grand Canyon without access to the internet.  I’ve scheduled a few posts for my absence, otherwise lift blogging will resume Nov. 5th     –Peter from Flagstaff, Arizona.


The Ten Longest Lift Rides in North America

The average lift ride in the United States and Canada takes just under five minutes.  In fact, only about four percent of lifts (fewer than a hundred) take more than ten minutes to ride. You wouldn’t know it hearing the average skier complaining about long and slow lifts at just about any ski area.  Below are the ten longest lifts by actual ride time at design speed.  Of course lifts do not always run at their design speed but this gives a pretty good idea of the longest rides.  Two of the top ten are detachable lifts that are so long that they take more than 15 minutes.

Silver Mountain's Gondola is one of only three lifts on the continent that takes more than 15 minutes to ride at design speed.
Silver Mountain’s Gondola is one of only four lifts on the continent that takes more than 15 minutes to ride at design speed.

1. Burfield Quad – Sun Peaks Resort, BC – 1997 Doppelmayr Fixed-grip quad

9,510 feet at 453 fpm = 21 minutes

2. Cyclone – Sunrise Park Resort, AZ – 1983 Yan Fixed-grip triple

7,982 feet at 450 fpm = 17.7 minutes

3. Gondola – Silver Mountain, ID – 1990 VonRoll 8-passenger gondola

16,350 feet at 1,000 fpm = 16.4 minutes

4. Castlerock – Sugarbush Resort, VT – 2001 Poma fixed-grip double

4,707 feet at 300 fpm = 15.7 minutes

5. Wallowa Lake Tramway, OR – 1968 Hall 4-passenger gondola

9.650 feet at 650 fpm = 14.9 minutes

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North America’s Top Ten Longest Lifts

North America’s top ten longest lifts are all gondolas or aerial tramways and only half of them are directly used for skiing.  Silver Mountain’s Gondola is number one although it is no longer the world’s longest.  Since 2014, that title has belonged to the Bursa Uludag Gondola in Turkey which is a ridiculous 28,871 feet.  This list does not include systems which have multiple haul ropes, such as Blackcomb’s Excalibur, which I consider to be two separate gondolas.

Silver Mountain's VonRoll gondola was the world's longest when it opened in 1990.
Silver Mountain’s VonRoll gondola was the world’s longest when it opened in 1990.

1. Silver Mountain Gondola, Silver Mountain, Idaho – 1990 VonRoll 8-passenger gondola

16,350′ ride time 16.4 minutes

2. Sunshine Village Gondola, Sunshine Village, Alberta – 2001 Poma 8-passenger gondola

14,894′ ride time 12.4 minutes

3. Peak 2 Peak Gondola, Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia – 2008 Doppelmayr 3S tri-cable gondola

14,497′ ride time 9.8 minutes

4. Sandia Peak Tramway, Albuquerque, New Mexico – 1965 Bell 50-passenger tramway


5. Silver Queen Gondola, Aspen Mountain, Colorado – 1986 Poma 6-passenger gondola

13,216′ ride time 13.2 minutes

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