In a decision the Durango Herald calls a “bombshell,” the Forest Service proposes granting road access to the controversial Village at Wolf Creek, which would include two new lifts near Wolf Creek Ski Area’s new Meadow quad.
Teams from Mt. Hood Meadows have repaired and re-opened the Shooting Star Express that was damaged by falling trees over Thanksgiving. Now the storm recovery turns to the Mt. Hood Express, which received ten feet of snow in one week.
White Pass has more snow than it did at anytime last winter but no one can get there. Crews have been working around the clock to repair washouts that cut off the resort from both sides of the Cascades Dec. 9th. The ski area will re-open Wednesday.
The Berry family says it’s close to a deal to sell Saddleback to a new owner that hopes to open by late January. Passholders can get a refund or gift card now.
Aspen’s 1971 SLI double on Shadow Mountain will be replaced with a detachable quad or gondola in 2016 or ’17. The top terminal will move 200 feet to the southwest resulting in a slope length of 3,600′ with 1,390′ vertical and a capacity of 1,200 skiers per hour.
Park City and Canyons are now one thanks to the Quicksilver Gondola but judging by snow conditions it’s going to be awhile before you can ski between the two.
1. Single Chair, Mad River Glen, VT – 1948 American Steel & Wire Single Chair
The single chair at MRG still has its original towers and terminal structures but everything else was replaced by Doppelmayr CTEC in 2007. As part of that project, towers were removed, sandblasted and repainted before being flown back to new foundations with new line gear. Doppelmayr also replaced the bullwheels, chairs, grips, drive and haul rope. This begs the question of ‘when is an old lift a new lift?’
Everett Kircher of Boyne fame bought this chairlift from Sugar Bowl, CA for $3,000 in 1954. Originally it was a single chair built in 1939. Modified sheave assemblies were machined at the Kircher’s car dealership in Michigan when the lift went to Tennessee. At some point it appears to have gotten newer-style Riblet towers. Boyne Resorts still operates this lift 800 miles from their nearest ski resort. (edit: JP notes in the comments below that this version was replaced by a Riblet double in 1991. Thanks JP!)
3. Chair 1, White Pass, WA – 19551962 Riblet double
This lift only operates on busy weekends and holidays but it’s an old one and a good one . A classic Pacific Northwest center-pole double with very few modifications from its original design and no safety bars! (edit: Brian notes in the comments that this lift was actually installed as Chair 2 in 1962. The original chair 1 operated 1955-1994.)
Located on the edge of Mt. Rainier National Park in the Washington Cascades, White Pass Ski Area has been operating continuously since 1956. Until 2010, the entire ski area could be accessed from a single lift with a 1,500 foot vertical rise. An ambitious expansion opened on December 4, 2010, doubling the size of the resort 33 years after it was first proposed to the Forest Service. The 767-acre Paradise Basin addition includes two new Doppelmayr quads called Basin and Couloir Express as well as a new lodge and trails. Both lifts were built mostly over snow to avoid road building in this former wilderness area. Construction took place over two springs, taking a break for the summer and winter of 2009-10.
The Couloir Express is the last Uni-GS model detachable that Doppelmayr built. Designed specifically for North America, 44 GS detachable quads and six packs were built between 2003 and 2010. Some resorts like Beaver Creek continued to order the Austrian-designed Uni-G so the GS never fully caught on. Presumably it was phased out in 2010 to simplify production in a market with limited demand.