- More new trail maps are out with new lifts on them: Brian Head, Jackson Hole, Montana Snowbowl, Schweitzer, Revelstoke and Windham.
- Sea to Sky Gondola turns its parking lot into a drive in theater while rebuild of the lift continues.
- “Boyne is looking at replacing a lot of lifts throughout the whole company and we’re on that list,” says Karl Strand of Sugarloaf in an annual fall update. His wish list includes replacing Timberline, Double Runner, Sawduster and West Mountain.
- Mike Solimano at Killington also has a lift replacement wish list for Powdr.
- Arapahoe Basin plans to replace both Pallavicini and Molly Hogan next summer.
- Sunrise Park says a replacement for the decommissioned Cyclone lift would cost more than $10 million but is a long term goal.
- Hunter will convert its D triple to a double with Partek chairs.
- The Forest Service tentatively approves Arizona Snowbowl’s proposed Agassiz Telemix project.
- An Orlando TV station plays some 911 calls from the night the Disney Skyliner broke down two weeks ago.
- Seven months after an announced sale of Granby Ranch, the ski area still hasn’t changed hands.
- Montana Snowbowl’s long-awaited expansion lift on TV Mountain will be called Snow Park and open in December.
- Sugar Mountain puts the finishing touches on its first high speed quad.
- Sunrise Park Resort will develop a master plan to address infrastructure challenges and might build a chondola.
- Leitner submits the lowest bid for Mexico City’s upcoming Cablebus gondola system.
- Three months since it was rope evacuated, SeaWorld San Diego’s Bayside Skyride remains closed.
- The Indy Pass is up to 24 resorts.
- Leitner supplied 43 ropeway systems last year, 77 percent of which were detachable and 80 percent of which carry more than four passengers per carrier.
- Doppelmayr has a new WIR issue and the 2019 yearbook is out.
- Timberline’s bankruptcy filing will prevent a scheduled receivership hearing from taking place.
- The new Oakland A’s ballpark, which includes a gondola component, receives one key approval.
- Poma’s 2018 Reference Book is also out along with a new Pomalink highlighting Copper’s new combination lift.
- The largest Hermitage Club creditor is seeking an August auction.
- One of the biggest lost ski areas in Colorado, Cuchara, is now publicly owned with a master plan for two new chairlifts.
- Omega V may not yet be in the United States but miniature versions are already available.
- Ski resort employees are among the most likely to be injured on the job in the United States, behind only nursing home workers and motor home manufacturing employees.
- Cascade Mountain’s North Wall lift is for sale.
- White Pass’ old platter is still up for grabs.
- The Forest Service releases its environmental assessment of Whitefish Mountain Resort’s Hellroaring Basin project.
- The first lift-served bike park in Texas opens January 18th with a fixed-grip quad called the Texas Eagle.
- What was once the longest triple chair on the continent is officially off the Sunrise Park trail map.
- Pajarito does a rope evac of the Aspen lift on opening day.
- Simultaneously, Whitefish evacuates East Rim, which goes over quite the cliff.
- Breckenridge brings out the ropes for the Quicksilver Super6 the same day.
- Yet another lift is rope evacuated at Loch Lomond, Ontario.
- 39 lawsuits have been filed against The Hermitage Club and its founder to date.
- Attitash provides daily updates on Summit, which has been down a bunch lately.
- Hickory, NY won’t reopen this winter.
- Killington still plans to open the new South Ridge quad sometime this winter.
- Map master James Niehues gives up on retirement and is painting a new trail map for Mt. Bachelor.
- The planned race training T-Bar at Sunday River is a go for this summer.
- A teenager dies from a chairlift fall at Blue Mountain, PA.
- A lucky nine year old keeps on skiing after falling 40 feet from Solitude’s Moonbeam Express.
- A teen girl dies after jumping from a quad chair in Quebec.
- Greater Vancouver’s transit agency still wants to build a gondola up Burnaby Mountain but needs funding for it.
- A live streaming webcam shows New Hampshire’s largest and fastest gondola going in at Bretton Woods. Some tidbits on the lift from the New Hampshire Tramway Board: line speed will be 6 m/s with 36 cabins and a design capacity of 2,600 using 62 cabins. SkyTrans is taking the retired B double and the gondola’s load test is slated for December 20th.
- Sunrise Park Resort abruptly ends all summer operations.
- In Europe, some pulse gondolas are on the way out.
- As it works to finalize its lease of Mt. Sunapee, Vail Resorts assures New Hampshire residents the company is in for the long haul and doesn’t plan any real estate development at the state-owned mountain.
- A stack up of at least nine cabins on the White urban gondola line in La Paz last Monday is deemed the result of human error. No passengers were on the lift at the time.
- Loveland receives more than 3,000 name suggestions for its upcoming detachable quad and will unveil a winner early next week.
- One of the longest gondolas in Mexico, opened seven months ago in Torreon, has already carried more than 325,000 passengers and will soon get nine additional cabins from Sigma.
- Go inside Poma’s newest French factory.
- Arapahoe Basin and Leitner-Poma commence pouring concrete and digging tower locations for the Beavers lift.
- As Winter Park continues testing digital chairlift advertising, sister resort Steamboat goes old school with bar mounted trail map ads.
- The widow of Loveland mechanic Adam Lee, who died underneath a carpet lift last winter, goes on CBS This Morning to talk about his workers compensation claim being reduced due to a positive marijuana test.
- Magic Mountain submits a permit application/profile for the Black Line Quad and hopes to commence construction next month.
- Copper’s all-new trail map is amazing…
- Tussey Mountain thinks weakened spring packs caused last weekend’s lift incident and plans to reopen Saturday.
- As many speculated it would, Vail is taking a wait and see approach to capital improvements at Stowe.
- A lawsuit is filed against Granby Ranch one year after a fatal lift accident there.
- Billionaire philanthropist Barry Diller considers gifting a $30 million gondola to the people of Los Angeles, which would travel over 2.2 miles of parkland from the city’s zoo to the Hollywood sign.
- One Hall double at the defunct Big Tupper ski area will reopen next winter, with another needing extensive work before it can spin.
- A report suggests Sunrise Park mechanic Reggie Antonio lost his life when the lift he was working on moved while he was in a work chair but still attached to a tower.
- Proposed urban gondolas find friends and foes in San Diego.
- LiftDigital safety bar screens go live on five chairs at Winter Park.
- Garaventa completes the world’s steepest funicular railway in Switzerland.
- New owner of Mt. Whittier, NH weighs the future of a lost ski area with a 1963 Mueller gondola that still stands adjacent to a McDonald’s drive through.
- Poma wins monster $47.1 million contract for five lifts from the company that operates Val d’Isère, Tignes, Meribel, La Plagne and Les Arcs in France. Last year’s three-lift, $29.4 million contract from the same group went to Doppelmayr.
- An Australian teenager is lucky to be alive after doing pull ups on a moving chairlift cable.
- The inaugural gondola featuring Sigma’s Symphony 10 cabins debuts in Italy.
- Canton, Ohio looks at gondolas, calling them “transportainment.”
- Props to Bear Valley for frequent Moke Express updates.
- A judge sides with Monarch in lift unloading injury lawsuit.
- Following a workplace death and news that a major lift is out of service, confusion surrounds Sunrise Park Resort’s season, though new management and lifts could be on the way.
- Record-shattering aerial tramway with 6,381 feet of vertical and a 10,541′ free span opens in Germany a week from today.
- Connecticut’s Woodbury Ski Area might be gone for good.
- George Kruger of Ski Lifts Unlimited, instrumental in rebuilding lifts at Magic Mountain and beyond, passes away.
- Leitner-Poma is completing final assembly of a cool 25-passenger tramway at the upcoming Salesforce Tower in San Francisco.
- A mechanic loses his life while working on a lift at Sunrise Park Resort.
- T-Bar from Le Relais arrives at Ascutney Mountain with installation dependent on fundraising.
- Poma to build Medellín Metrocable’s sixth urban gondola, set to open in 2019.
- Stoneham’s new quad chair will be called L’Éclipse.
- A new 8-passenger Poma gondola nears opening in Zacatecas, Mexico.
- Al Henceroth of A-Basin fame gives not one but two great updates on the upcoming Beavers lift.
- A six-pack called Alpenglow anchors the new Eldora.
- Spruce Peak 2.0 opens Saturday at Sunday River, 17 months after the original Borvig fell over.
- A foot passenger who fell unloading a chairlift in March 2016 sues Silverton Mountain.
- Skytrac does another insightful interview with Kris Blomback, GM at Pats Peak.
The average detachable chairlift has 108 carriers while the average fixed grip lift has 103. Most people would assume the longest lifts have the most carriers but that’s usually not the case. One of the reasons is longer spacing on detachable chairlifts and gondolas. Also many long fixed-grip lifts get designed with lower hourly capacities and bigger spacing to save money. In fact, only one of the top ten lifts with the most chairs is also among the ten longest. Each of the lifts below has more than 200 chairs and, not surprisingly, all but two are fixed-grips.
- Cyclone – Sunrise Park Resort, AZ – 352 Yan triple chairs
- West Mountain – Sugarloaf, ME – 280 Borvig double chairs
- edited to add later: Town – Park City, UT – 264 CTEC triple chairs
- Alpine – Copper Mountain, CA – 218 Yan double chairs
- Porcupine – Snowbasin, UT – 212 Stadeli triple chairs
- Summit – Attitash, NH – 207 CTEC triple chairs
- C-Chair – Breckenridge, CO – 206 Riblet triple chairs
- A-Chair – Breckenridge, CO – 206 Riblet triple chairs
- Snowflake – Breckenridge, CO – 205 Poma double chairs
- Northwest Express – Mt. Bachelor, OR – 204 Doppelmayr quad chairs
- American Flyer – Copper Mountain, CO – 203 Poma quad chairs
What about gondolas? There are a bunch of them that stretch two-plus miles. Even so, no gondolas come close to making this list. The Sunshine Village Gondola has the most cabins in North America with approximately 175 CWA Omegas and the Whistler Village Gondola comes in at number two with 160 Sigma Diamond cabins. The average North American gondola has just 74 cabins.
Now, who can guess which lift has the most towers?
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