- Cape Smokey in Nova Scotia plans to build a gondola beginning this spring to replace a disused quad.
- Here’s the latest from Saddleback.
- Australian bushfires destroy a ski resort which vows to rebuild.
- The Town of Jackson approves Snow King’s updated master plan, leaving just the Forest Service left to weigh in.
- Silver Mountain reopens three days after a fatal inbounds avalanche.
- More than 2,000 visitors a day are skiing and snowboarding Big Snow and Alterra is watching the experiment closely.
- An employee who lost his arm in a conveyor lift receives a $10 million settlement.
- Eleven years in, the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram gets a new haul rope.
- Sunridge completes a successful rope evacuation of the Parkview Quad on a cold night.
- Lizards prevent construction of an announced chairlift project in New Zealand.
- Berkshire East and Catamount owner Jon Schaefer finds success staying away from detachable lifts and acquiring used lifts from across the country.
- Ikon Pass sales rose 60 percent over last year.
- Cockaigne, NY will reopen in January after many seasons closed.
- Frost Fire, ND reopens after a missed season.
- A 3S gondola to Snowbird and Alta would cost more than $300 million to build and $12 million a year to operate.
- Vail Resorts looks to build it first D-Line chairlift, not in Colorado or California but at Perisher.
- The Forest Service green lights construction of a new Big Burn lift at Snowmass.
- A new version of Eagle’s Rest comes Jackson Hole.
- A downed tree causes extended stops at Silver Mountain.
- The one year old Blackcomb Gondola went down Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.
- Disney Skyliner guests can now call a dedicated phone line for information when gondolas stop for longer than usual.
- Lift service returns to Tamarack’s Wildwood zone tomorrow.
- Copper’s Tucker Mountain becomes lift served for the first time today.
- Regardless of whether Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows build an interconnect gondola, a private ski area may open nearby.
- 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.
- First LST Ropeways detachable set to finally open in March.
- Silver Mountain’s new owner hints at future new lifts.
- Steamboat paper does a two part story on lift and gondola evacuations.
- Pandora’s lift still in the cards for Aspen Mountain but 1A might come first.
- In France, Poma finalizes contracts to build $121 million urban 3S gondola in Toulouse, $15.6 million jigback in Orléans.
- Arlington says no to Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola.
- Innsbruck to build $12.7 million D-Line gondola.
- Saddleback effort moves forward, but lifts will not spin this season.
- Al Henceroth of A-Basin explains why he chose a fixed-grip quad for The Beavers.
- Town of Gatlinburg to review Boyne’s design for new Sky Lift tomorrow.
- Leitner-Poma presents gondola technology as a potential solution to downtown traffic in Breckenridge.
- Wildfire tears through $24 million Christchurch Adventure Park in New Zealand, where a Doppelmayr high speed quad opened less than two months ago.
- The Skytrac blog has a cool post about the newest Rainforest Adventures park in St. Maarten and its two hurricane-proof fixed-grip quads.
- South Korea prepares for a Doppelmayr Olympics, Poma signs new contract for a 2022 venue in China.
- Whitewater’s Summit double goes up for sale.
- Poma begins hanging 160 Diamond cabins on Santo Domingo’s two new urban gondolas.
- Skytrac begins construction on two new quad chairs at a new Rainforest Adventures park in St. Maarten.
- The old Casper triple from Jackson Hole won’t debut at Magic Mountain in time for this winter.
- New York hedge fund buys 13 ski resorts from CNL Lifestyle Properties, Enterainment Properties Trust takes Northstar.
- Saddleback Mountain Foundation agrees to purchase Saddleback for $6 million if it can raise enough money.
- Seattle real estate developer buys Silver Mountain.
- Steamboat’s local paper previews the Elkhead Express.
- First cabins fly on the Dominican Republic’s new urban gondola system.
- Doppelmayr’s latest Wir magazine is available.
- Some splice advice from Mountain Wire Rope Services.
- The Black Hawk finds new civilian life with Timberline Helicopters building lifts.
- Powder Mountain makes new lifts official, will become largest ski resort in the United States.
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.
- Ski season launches tomorrow at A-Basin. COO Al Henceroth is also looking for one of the resort’s original single chairs.
- Silver Mountain reportedly sells for a fire-sale price of $5 million. The resort’s gondola, formerly the world’s longest, cost $8 million in 1990.
- Doppelmayr goes to Moscow, Poma goes to Barcelona and Orlando.
- Wire Austin gets a website.
- Take a ride on the newly-named Hexago six-pack at Le Relais.
- In case you missed it, Gregg Blanchard of SlopeFillers fame interviewed me about Lift Blog.
- Woman sues Aspen Skiing Company over loading incident at the Snowmass Village Express.
- Vail Resorts to debut $100 million in capital improvements for 2016-17 including four new lifts. With Whistler-Blackcomb now Epic, the company will likely invest even more in 2017.
- 9News profiles the CPTSB.
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.
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
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.
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