News Roundup: Tower Time

Sugarloaf's oldest lift towers come down. Photo credit: Sugarloaf Mountain Resort
Sugarloaf’s oldest lift towers come down. Photo credit: Sugarloaf Mountain Resort
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News Roundup: Modifications

  • Apparently Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire will get the first LST Ropeways lift in North America.  Manufactured in Germany, it will be a T-Bar for the Mittersill racing area which has an existing Doppelmayr CTEC double chair.  SkyTrac will be doing the installation.  LST Ropeways is owned by the MND Group which also owns Gazex (avalanche release systems) and Sufag (snowmaking systems) with a North American facility in Eagle, CO.
  • Leitner-Poma will re-engineer and modify towers on the Grey Mountain lift at Red Mountain, BC this fall.  The quad chair was built in 1992 at Alyeska and moved to Red in 2013.  The re-installation was done by Summit Lift Co. of Fernie, BC and the lift has 18 towers in its current configuration.  No word on the exact reason for the re-design.
  • The Camelot chair at Boyne Highlands is losing its vault drive terminal that is literally part of the ski area’s base lodge.  In its place will be a used CTEC drive terminal.  Does anyone know where it came from?
  • The Aspen Daily News reports on the all new High Alpine detachable quad at Snowmass.
  • Snow King debuted Doppelmayr’s new ‘Alpinstar’ terminal this summer and now Caberfae Peaks, MI will debut the ‘Ministar’ in 2016.  The new triple chair will replace the Clubhouse double which is a 1967 Hall.
  •  Developers are still trying to figure out how to get a new Lift 1A back into downtown Aspen like the original single chair.

Instagram Tuesday: Bubbles

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News Roundup: Hilltrac Funicular

Hilltrac funicular in The Colony at Park City Mountain Resort.
A Hilltrac funicular railway in The Colony at Park City Mountain Resort.
  • When I was hiking around Park City last week I discovered a large new funicular railway in The Colony development near the new gondola.  It was built by Hilltrac, sister company to lift-maker SkyTrac.  The funicular serves an entire neighborhood unlike others at Deer Valley that serve only one house.  One section is completed with the possibility to add another section later.
  • The City Council of Casper, Wyoming, which owns of Hogadon Ski Area, declares one of two Riblet doubles there as surplus property to be sold.  Apparently it has not spun in years and parts were cannibalized last season to keep the other lift running.
  • Chris Farmer, Saddleback’s Marketing Director says on Facebook that there is no news to announce re: new lift or closure.  In case you don’t have Facebook, here is the statement: “Saddleback friends: I know that everyone is eagerly awaiting an announcement on our situation and recognize we are beyond the initial deadline. We remain heads down on finding a solution. As soon as we have news we will announce it. Until then, our full attention is on solving the issue. You are all important and I recognize you all want answers. I fully expect decisions will be made some time this week. Thank you for your consideration and continued support. Please do not be offended by my inability to respond to each of you individually. I hope you understand.”
  • Aspen Skiing Company remains committed to building the new Burnt Mountain lift at Snowmass but still has no timeline for it.
  • Protesting lifties shut down Chile’s Cerro Catedral, demanding a 30% wage increase.  Meanwhile, most of Argentina and Chile’s ski resorts have been getting tons of snow.
  • Echo Mountain, the closest ski area to Denver, will reopen to the public  this season after failing to make it as a racer-only training mountain.  The area formerly known as Squaw Pass has just one lift currently, a Yan triple chair.
  • South America solidifies itself as the worldwide leader in urban ropeways with the capital of Peru getting not one but two gondolas by 2017.  There are already a dozen gondolas operating in Bolivian, Venezuelan, Colombian and Brazilian cities.
  • Vermont lift construction update, thanks to
  • Doppelmayr wins a $21 million contract to build two ropeways in Georgia (the country, not the state, although there is a large Doppelmayr tram in the State of Georgia too.)
  • The Teton quad at Jackson Hole is on schedule to be load tested by mid-October.  All the large components for the top terminal were installed earlier today by crane.

Instagram Tuesday: Heavy Lifting

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Helicopter flight over Avanti Express. #gopro

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Top Ten Longest Chairlifts in North America

Lodge lift at The Yellowstone Club is among the world's longest chairlifts.
The Lodge lift at The Yellowstone Club is the 6th longest chairlift in North America at 9,847 feet.

There are 63 chairlifts in the US and Canada that stretch longer than 7,000 feet but only four over 10,000′.  Six of the top ten are in the State of Colorado and all but two are detachable quads.  Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops, BC claims the title of the longest fixed-grip chairlift in the world and the only non-detachable among North America’s hundred longest lifts.  A ride on the Burfield Quad takes a painful 21 minutes to go 9,510 feet (and that’s at full speed.)  Below are the top ten longest chairlifts in the US and Canada.

1. Slide Brook Express, Sugarbush, Vermont – 11,012 feet

1995 Doppelmayr Detachable Quad

2. Chile Express, Angel Fire Resort, New Mexico – 10,992 feet

1996 Poma Detachable Quad

3. Sunshine Express, Telluride, Colorado – 10,732 feet

1986 Doppelmayr Detachable Quad

4. Village Express, Snowmass, Colorado – 10,074 feet

2005 Leitner-Poma Detachable Six

5. American Flyer, Copper Mountain, Colorado – 9,907 feet

1986 Poma Detachable Quad

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