Teacup Express #36 – Vail, CO

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Poma Omega double-stack drive terminal at the top.
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An empty lift line.
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Custom “barn-style” bottom terminal, one of four Poma detachable quads in this style added as part of the Blue Sky Basin expansion.
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Arriving at the top.
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Unloading area and parking rail.
Top terminal after being repainted.
View down towards Blue Sky Basin.
Middle part of the lift line.
View up the line.
Lower lift line.
The treeless portion of the line seen from afar.
Most of the line.

14 thoughts on “Teacup Express #36 – Vail, CO

  1. Peter Danis August 20, 2018 / 9:41 pm

    In the first picture, you say that it is a leitner-poma omega terminal, but in the spreadsheet, you say the lift is just a poma and was built in 1999, which was before the merger. Why is that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Landsman August 21, 2018 / 7:14 am

      Omega is the terminal model. Poma is correct. I should not have said Leitner-Poma as this was pre-merger.


  2. Sam A. February 26, 2019 / 8:59 am

    What is the point of the barn covers on the terminals? Just for aesthetics or wind protection?


    • Kevin February 26, 2019 / 9:23 am

      Just as Peter posted in the description, to match the lifts of Blue Sky Basin, Chairs 37, 38, & 39


    • Andrew February 26, 2019 / 11:42 am

      The all-grey is pretty bleak, not gonna lie. Wish they’d have gone with something a bit more exciting.


      • Donald Reif December 10, 2019 / 8:55 am

        I think they should’ve gone with just the regular terminal designs.


  3. Donald Reif August 30, 2019 / 9:36 am


  4. Donald Reif January 17, 2021 / 9:17 am

    The upper terminal was repainted in 2016, with the lift name being printed in the new standard Vail font to match the adjacent Sun Up Express lift. You can sorta see it in the background here:

    I believe the font used to print the lift name on the upper terminal was the same one that Breck used to have on the Mercury and Rocky Mountain SuperChairs, and which Aspen-Snowmass has used on all of their detachables built since 2004.


  5. jcpierce05 February 12, 2021 / 9:58 pm

    ’m a little skeptical that this lift has a 1200/hr capacity. Chair spacing seems to be too close for this, but I would assume that was the original design capacity. It seems like this lift had a capacity boost at some point in its life, with chairs 110ish-126 having smaller number plates, and the rest of the line having the larger number plates that take up the whole taco. Any idea what the new capacity is (if there is one)?

    If it is still remaining at 1200/hr, I would really like to see Vail add more chairs to the line to help reduce the afternoon crowds on this lift. If the lift is at max capacity, it might not be a bad option to try and move the base of Orient downhill about 300 feet when it’s replaced. I bet a large number of people coming from Pete’s Express would take it, and if they kept Skyline Express open a few extra minutes and routed the traffic down Cloud 9, it would move a number of people to Orient Express. That also would provide another way out of Blue Sky if Teacup were to ever go down.

    Of course, you could replace Teacup with a 6 chair, although that seems a bit unnecessary right now. If they chose to do that, they could re-use the equipment for the Mongolia Express or Sundown Express.


    • Donald Reif February 12, 2021 / 11:07 pm

      Peter’s table shows the initial capacity the lift was built with. The Teacup Express’s operating capacity is 2,400 pph, same as every other high speed quad in the Back Bowls with the exception of the Earl’s Express (1,200 pph) and Pete’s Express (1,800 pph) lifts .

      This and the Skyline Express were initially built in 1999 with enough chairs for 1,800 pph each. Vail upped capacity on both to 2,400 pph with additional chairs in their second year of operation, alongside the construction of the Pete’s Express lift.

      ” it might not be a bad option to try and move the base of Orient downhill about 300 feet when it’s replaced. I bet a large number of people coming from Pete’s Express would take it”

      That would be unnecessary because it is already possible to reach the Orient Express lift from the Pete’s Express lift. You ski down any of the trails to Cloud 9, then at one of the last switchbacks, continue straight onto the China Spur. You cross the creek around the bottom of the Siberia Bowl, and from there, you travel west along the creek, and the Orient Express is the first lift you’ll hit.


  6. Anonymous February 12, 2022 / 12:20 pm

    According to Skilifts.org, the top terminal (Drive) is a “Phatboy” terminal. IDK if they called it that just for fun or what, but they used this design if they needed to put a bigger drive for the lift.


    • pbropetech February 6, 2023 / 7:31 am

      I don’t know that the term ‘Phatboy’ was ever an official name. They just called those terminals the Omega regardless of whether it had the double-stack drive terminal.


      • Donald Reif February 7, 2023 / 7:20 am

        For me, I classify this and the Blue Sky Basin lifts as first-generation Omegas.


  7. Amos Kenyon February 13, 2022 / 11:08 am

    In the lift stats, this one is shown as covering only 1266 vertical feet, but looking at the endpoints on a topographic map it has to be over 1600 actually. Maybe a typo?


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