- 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