Chairs Going on the Teton Lift

The Teton lift got its haul rope and commline in the last few weeks and Doppelmayr started launching chairs on Saturday.  Agamatic grips were being attached to each chair before going onto the maintenance rail at the bottom terminal.  Doppelmayr was launching chairs in groups with the lift running slowly in reverse.  All 80 chairs should be on by this afternoon.  Next up: adjustments and load test.  Impressive to see this project nearly finished two and half months before its scheduled opening (which is December 19th.)

Chairs going on in reverse.
Towers 13-15 just below the top terminal.

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Teton Lift Home Stretch

The crew from Doppelmayr is flying through work on the Teton lift with 110 days until opening.  Jackson Hole’s fourth high speed quad now has a complete top terminal with the bottom not far behind.  The Uni-G model terminals are mostly gray with white ends.  The 8,500′ haul rope, which was manufactured in Canada, was brought up the mountain earlier this week.  Eighty DT-104 Agamatic grips also arrived in crates last week. The bottom lift shack is the only large component not in already in place besides the haul rope.  At this rate I would not be surprised to see a load test by October 1st.

Bottom terminal and haul rope.
Those are windows on the roof.

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Teton Lift Gets a Drive Terminal

Bullwheel at the drive terminal of Jackson Hole's new Teton detachable quad.
Bullwheel at the drive terminal of Jackson Hole’s new Teton detachable quad.

Workers from Doppelmayr began assembling the top terminal of the Teton lift by crane this week.  Once the top is finished, crews will move to the bottom return terminal 1,800 feet below.  The lift is on schedule to be load tested by mid-October.  A new ski patrol station is also taking shape and grading continues on the new Kemmerer, Ridge and Wide Open runs.  Weather permitting, the entire expansion will open December 19th.

Crane setting the last tire section for the drive terminal of Teton.

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Teton Quad Going Vertical

Breakover towers 13, 14 and 15 have metal plates for sun protection.
Breakover towers 13, 14 and 15 have metal plates for sun protection.

August is when most new lifts really start to take shape.  After months of digging, tying re-bar cages and pouring concrete, the public always seems to wonder whether the lift is going to be done on time.  I’ve been hearing it for weeks from locals on the tram here.  Then towers get set in a matter of hours and the perception changes.  Terminals go up almost as quickly.

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The Teton Lift is at that point with towers and terminals going vertical.  The Ranch parking lot is getting emptier by the day as terminal parts make their way up the hill for installation.  Trail crew is finishing grading the new trails and working on erosion control.

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The return lift shack arrived from Salt Lake last week and boy does it have a lot of buttons.  An automated maintenance lock-out mode.  ‘Start drive station unmanned.’  A really large touchscreen.  I can only imagine the drive controls will look like.  Remote start will be especially nice on a lift with a top drive terminal in a very rugged spot.  On big storm nights, JHMR already has three “night creatures” at the top of the gondola, tram and Thunder to start lifts. (and in the case of the tram, to start digging out the top dock.)   The top of Teton will definitely have patrol and possibly a fourth night man.

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Jackson Hole Tower Flying Part II

Brian Jorgenson of Timberline Helicopters flying towers for the Teton lift on July 28th, 2015.

Tower fly day number two for Jackson Hole’s Teton lift went smoothly with crews setting the remaining six towers in less than two hours.  Some of the top and bottom terminal parts were also flown up the hill while the helicopter was here.  With road access at both terminals, I don’t expect to see any more heli work on this project.  Lower Valley Energy is currently running power to the top drive terminal site from Casper and the first lift cabin arrived from Doppelmayr.  Footings for the bottom terminal are about halfway done.  See below for more pictures of today’s flying.

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Fly Day in Teton Village

Flying a tower tube with a K-Max.

Last night I heard the unmistakable sound of a helicopter flying over my house.  Around here it’s usually a search and rescue chopper but this time I looked out to see the double rotors of a Kaman K-Max.  It’s the same helicopter that did the concrete footings for the Teton lift last week. Doppelmayr started flying towers early this morning and the crew worked their way down from the top, setting towers 15 through 5 before wind and snow shut them down around noon.

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The K-Max can’t fly complete towers at 9,000 feet so the tubes, crossarms and sheave trains were flown separately.  As the wind picked up, the pilot had to call it a day while working on tower 5 so it sits for now missing a crossarm.  Tower 1 can be done with a crane when the lower terminal goes in so there are only a handful left to fly.

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Flying Concrete for the Teton Lift

Brian Jorgenson from Timberline Helicopters flies concrete for the new Teton Lift  earlier this week.
Brian Jorgenson from Timberline Helicopters flies concrete for the new Teton Lift earlier this week.

It’s mid-July and construction is ramping up on the north side of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. A K-Max helicopter from Timberline Helicopters was on-site Sunday to fly concrete for the towers that couldn’t be accessed by road.  The rest of the tower footings were already finished and back filled.  Concrete work is also complete at the top terminal and steel will be going up shortly. The bottom terminal is a few weeks behind.  Down in the parking lot, towers are mostly assembled and terminal components will be headed up the hill soon.

Tower heads are complete except the sheaves.  If a K-Max helicopter is used, sheaves will be flown separately.
Tower heads are just missing sheaves.  If a K-Max helicopter is used, sheave trains will be flown separately.
Bottom terminal is still just a hole.
Bottom terminal is still just a hole and tower one’s rebar cage is to the left.

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Work Begins on Jackson Hole’s Teton Lift

The view into Grand Teton National Park from the top of Jackson Hole’s new Teton lift.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is celebrating its 50th anniversary in December which will coincide with the opening of new terrain and a shiny high speed quad called Teton.  JHMR’s first Doppelmayr detachable will serve three new runs in the area formerly known as the Crags.  This project is part of a major lift upgrade that included the new Casper detachable quad and will also include a second gondola.

Ready for a base terminal.
Ready for a Uni-G terminal next to the Lower Werner run.

The new lift will serve approximately 1,800 vertical feet of terrain between the Casper and Apres Vous lifts.  With a steep profile, Teton’s ride time will be under six minutes.  Having four detachable quads on the north side of the mountain will hopefully take some pressure off the aerial tram.

Funny to see Doppelmayr staging next to a new Leitner-Poma terminal.
Funny to see Doppelmayr staging next to a new Leitner-Poma terminal.

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