Vail, CO

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35 thoughts on “Vail, CO

  1. John M. July 28, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    Gopher Hill is actually #12 at Vail instead of #13 as you have it currently for the lift number.


  2. Andrew November 29, 2017 / 5:20 pm

    You put the pictures for the old High Noon triple in the pictures for the original High Noon Riblet double.


  3. Duncan October 29, 2018 / 10:35 am

    Born free (8) was removed in 1988, not 1996


  4. alex October 30, 2018 / 9:56 pm

    Pure Speculation – Four New Lifts For Vail

    If I had my druthers, I would add the following four HSQs (2400 PPH) to Vail.

    -Sundown Express – Base of High Noon to the top of Wildwood.

    -Mongolia Express – Base of Rasputin’s Revenge to the East Vail Chutes OB Gate

    -Riva Ridge Express – Top of Riva Catwalk to top of Christmas. Once completed, take down the second section of current Rivabahn

    -Ledges Express – Junction of Ledges and Born Free to the top of Pickeroon



    • Thomas Jett November 1, 2018 / 12:51 am

      1) Sundown is already planned. We’ll see if it gets built after all the CLD-260s get replaced.
      2) I remember hearing speculation about a Mongolia lift, but I think that was just a suggestion and not an idea from Vail.
      3) While a lift serving Riva Ridge would be nice, I don’t feel that it would be particularly useful. The only repeat terrain that it would serve would be two long and steep bump runs. Removing the second section of Riva Bahn would seriously damage circulation, as now, instead of taking Riva to Northwoods, you’d also have to take Highline if you wanted to access Patrol HQ.
      4) I think that a Minie’s replacement should follow the original lift line, instead of veering of to the top of Avanti. The fall line would be too weird.

      Personally, If I were to have free reign over the front side’s lifts, I’d build an express quad to the top of Golden Peak, and then replace Riva Bahn with a gondola. I’d then try to find a way to squeeze in a Giant Steps replacement, and then maybe a Minie’s replacement with a mid-station.


      • Donald M. Reif March 20, 2019 / 1:37 am

        With Minnie’s having a mid-load around where the lift’s loading area was after the Pride Express was built?


    • skitheeast September 17, 2020 / 6:46 pm

      1) Sundown Express is a great idea, especially given the High Noon line fiasco last winter. Personally, I would put the bottom terminal at the bottom of the bowl and not all the way down Sundown Catwalk, just to reduce crowding on that trail. However, Vail agrees with you and has this lift in their master plan.
      2) Mongolia Express is another good idea that Vail has in its master plan. They will also cut East Pete’s Bowl to make it accessible from Pete’s Express.
      3) I like this idea a lot, although I would probably extend the top terminal all the way to Buffalo’s at the top, just to more easily allow people to get to the Back Bowls.
      4) Not too sure about this one. It would be weird to lap because Ledges/Old 9/Minnie’s are diamonds but the terrain above them is all easier, it wouldn’t provide back bowl access… it seems as though it is a less useful Avanti to be quite honest.

      Something that I think would be useful that is not mentioned would be a high-speed quad out of Vail Village up Lindsey’s or Giant Steps right above Avanti to relieve Gondola One in the morning and post-lunch rush hours.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif September 17, 2020 / 7:50 pm

        If I were to install a Giant Steps Express lift, I would run it on/near the original lift line and run it all the way up to the Eagle’s Nest Ridge.


  5. GreatEight December 18, 2018 / 8:06 pm

    I think Vail needs to replace Born Free HSQ with a 6/10 Chondola and extend it up to Eagles Nest. This would relieve pressure off of Eagle Bahn in the morning while still maintaining the ease of a chair for multiple laps.


  6. mzg January 27, 2019 / 10:25 pm

    What is the planned Ski Tip Gondola?


  7. Thomas Jett March 19, 2019 / 8:03 pm

    Hey guys, I was digging through forest service archives, and I found Vail’s new 2018 master plan.

    Surprisingly, they don’t seem to be planning category upgrades for most of their old detachables, but replacement. Here’s a breakdown of the plan:

    #3 Wildwood Express (D4C) – Replacement with D4C, capacity to be reduced from 2,800pp/h to 2,400.
    #6 Riva Bahn Express (D4C) – Replacement with D4C, capacity to remain at 2,800.
    #7 Game Creek Express (D4C) – Upgrade to D6C, capacity to increase from 2800 to 3,200.
    #8 Born Free Express (D4C) – Replacement with D4C, capacity to remain at 2,800.
    #20 Cascade Village (4C) – Upgrade to D4C, capacity to remain at 1,800.
    #21 Orient Express (D4C) – Replacement with D4C, capacity to increase from 2,400 to 2,800.
    #22 Mongolia Platter (1S) – May be replaced before Mongolia Express (#40) is built, with capacity to be 503. Regardless of replacement, will be removed after the completion of Mongolia Express.
    #26 Pride Express (D4C) – Removal so that the liftline can be used by the second stage of the planed Ever Vail (AKA West Lionshead) Gondola (D8G), if the two-stage alternative is chosen. Will otherwise be replaced with a D4C, with capacity reduced from 2,800 to 2,400.

    New Lifts:
    #26 Ever Vail Gondola ((i) D8G or (ii) D4C) – Will run from new base area between Cascade Village and Lionshead to either (i) a midstation at the current bottom of Pride Express, with a second stage running to the top of Pride Express, or (ii) a spot on Post Road trail located between its junctions with Simba and Safari. Vertical rise for plan (i) will be 2,232′ and slope length 9,121′, with capacity at 2,400 for both plans (i) and (ii).
    #40 Mongolia Express (D4C) – Will run from the bottom of Siberia Bowl to a spot 650′ down the ridge from the summit of East Vail Chutes. Vertical rise will be 1,575′ and slope length 5,786′ with a capacity at 2,400.
    #41 Sundown Express (D4C) – Will run from the bottom of High Noon Express to the top of Game Creek Express. Vertical rise will be 1,608′ and slope length 6,177′, with capacity at 2,400.
    #42 Golden Peak Surface Lift (1S) – Will run from the Golden Peak Race Traverse (at the top of the Golden Peak Terrain Park) to the lowest summit of Golden Peak. Vertical rise will be 678′ and slope length 2,001′, with capacity at 1,400.

    I’m not sure why so many lifts are receiving replacements instead of upgrades. Vail might believe that they’ll have reached their largest market possible after the next four new lifts.


    • Collin Parsons March 19, 2019 / 8:39 pm

      Not sure why it makes sense to replace any of the detachables with tire driven terminals unless the capacity needs to be increased. With chain drive detachables it’s a different story as they get significantly less reliable as they age. Big Sky refurbished and relocated the old Ramcharger lift to Shedhorn which is older than all the Garaventa-CTEC high speed quads at Vail. Meanwhile, Vail scrapped Montezuma which could’ve received the same refurbishment and then been reinstalled.


      • Donald M. Reif March 19, 2019 / 11:09 pm

        On the Orient Express and Born Free Express, I can see them just replacing the terminals and grips and leaving everything else, like Mount Bachelor did with Pine Marten in 2006.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Donald M. Reif April 2, 2019 / 4:45 pm

          With Pine Marten, all Mount Bachelor did was replace the CLD-260 terminals with UNI-GS terminals, and the DS-104 grips replaced with DT-104 grips. Everything else was kept untouched, even the towers. Doppelmayr could do this to the CLD-260s that Vail needs to upgrade but doesn’t want to change to six packs, albeit with the newer AG grips that the Mountaintop Express and Avanti Express utilize.


      • Thomas Jett March 19, 2019 / 11:30 pm

        Are there any CTEC terminals outside of the five that exist at Vail/Beaver Creek? They might be looking to replace some or all of those due to a shortness of parts. Also – Montezuma wasn’t completely scrapped; its chairs and tower heads were used for Red Buffalo at Beaver Creek. They got rid of the terminals (which, while usable, were still old) and the towers (which I don’t think fit the lift profile). What’s really disappointed me is that they’re not replacing Riva Bahn with a gondola, and that they’re not replacing Orient with a six-pack, though they may have figured that Mongolia will help to relieve some of the burden on Orient.


        • Collin Parsons March 19, 2019 / 11:55 pm

          I believe the CTEC terminals at Vail/Beaver Creek are the same Stealth 1/2 (depending on the year) terminals but with a custom enclosure to match the CLD-260 detachables they already had. I hope they will upgrade Orient to a 6 pack as it seems the Mongolia Express is a ways off. I think replacing the remaining CLD-260’s should be the top priority followed by the expansion lifts. Then start replacing the Garaventa-CTEC high speed quads which will likely be over 30 years old by then.

          Outside of Vail itself, the only CLD-260’s remaining in the company are Arrow Bahn at Beaver Creek, Comet at Heavenly, and 7th Heaven at Whistler Blackcomb. I think 7th Heaven will be replaced soon, but the others will stick around longer.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Donald M. Reif March 20, 2019 / 1:36 am

          The CTEC design used at Vail and Beaver Creek has also turned up on the Great Western Express at Brighton.


        • John March 20, 2019 / 12:09 pm

          Machinery-wise, there are a fair amount of the Garaventa/CTEC terminals with AK grips in Utah, two in Washington, one at Steamboat, and several in the east. The issue isn’t getting parts. My guess is, like other older lifts, they’re just getting costly to maintain.


    • Excalibur March 20, 2019 / 1:37 pm

      Ever Vail appears to be dead in the water, there’s been no public activity on it for years and most of the permits expire at the end of next year unless certain development deadlines (the largest being moving South Frontage Road and the resort’s shopyard) are met. Vail Resorts has pretty much gotten out of property development by now in any case.


      • Donald M. Reif March 20, 2019 / 3:08 pm

        I’ll be all for a Giant Steps replacement, where the lift starts in Vail Village and ends at the top of Minnie’s, which could shift some traffic away from Mid-Vail.

        I’d also be for cutting additional trails in the area off the Highline Express between Roger’s Run and Flap Jack.


        • Kevin July 4, 2019 / 11:49 pm

          That terrain between Roger’s Run and Flap jack drains into Hairbag Alley is actually quite steap, almost chute-like steep in some sections. Because of this, it doesn’t hold snow well in some areas and has a lot of rocks and stumps. I think it would be difficult to open up as skiable terrain for the public.


  8. tokarski23 May 2, 2019 / 9:40 am

    I had a question, I saw this image online about the CWA conus cabins, but the cabin has the vail logo and says lionshead. Were these cabins on a gondola at vail at some point?


  9. John M. October 15, 2019 / 8:34 am

    The new Golden Peak T-Bar is number 16 according to Vail’s terrain and lift status on their site. Just so you know for the spreadsheet.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. powderforever45 November 23, 2019 / 2:14 pm

    Can’t get any pics of golden peak t bar. They are only currently letting the race team use it.

    In other news. I think Wildwood and Northwoods are going to open tomorrow. I think they finished inspecting Wildwood today. Not sure about Northwoods though.


    • John M. November 23, 2019 / 8:45 pm

      Northwoods #11 and Sourdough #14 are opening tomorrow. Not yet for Wildwood #3.


    • Donald Reif November 23, 2019 / 9:27 pm

      Pretty disappointed that Vail didn’t go with making an all-new map, preferably by James Niehues, to incorporate the Golden Peak T-Bar, instead using the existing VistaMap and modifying it just slightly. It’s noticeable that they’ve also retweaked other parts of the map, with the Avanti Express lift being realigned and Game Creek Bowl now being an insert with its own separate map. I guess this was done to make it because they’d had enough of having to put a disclaimer on Game Creek Bowl to remind people that the Game Creek Express is the only means of egress from the bowl.


      • Donald Reif November 24, 2019 / 12:41 pm

        And here’s the new map for Game Creek Bowl:

        Honestly, the perspective of the map is a little off. Because this map makes the Game Creek Express look like it ends closer to Wildwood than the lift actually ends.

        Also, Game Trail doesn’t have such a direct route to the lift from Eagle’s Nest. It actually crosses Ouzo and ends around where Faro feeds into Showboat.


  11. Greg April 10, 2020 / 6:17 pm

    Is there a reason Vail skipped numbers 28-35 on their lifts?


    • pbropetech April 11, 2020 / 7:12 am

      They may have been (or still are) carpets. I haven’t visited my counterparts across the pass in a couple of years but I know they have a few, and they most likely are numbered as well for internal identification.


  12. Nathan August 18, 2020 / 8:56 pm

    A lot of the historical data from the 1960’s and early 70’s is incorrect and i can clear most of it up.
    *Gondola one, lift 4 and lift 5 were the original lifts that opened in 1962. The stats for gondola one are incorrectly listed on lift 19. The stats for lifts 4 and 5 are likely lost to history and values listed belong to other lifts (see below).
    *Lifts 1-6 were all in place by 67. The stats you have for lift 4 belong to 1. Lift 6 and 3 stats look right. The stats for lift 5 seem to match lift 2 roughly but I think have some typos. The original lift 2 was shorter than the current but not that much.
    *7 and 19 were added in 69. The real stats for lift 19 from the lift survey of that year: Lionshead Gondola (6) Bell N/A 9300 2200 1100 690
    *Lifts 8 and 9 were added in 72 but the stats need to be flipped. Confusingly the current lift 8 is longer than the original and the original lift 9 was longer when first installed than it was in later years.
    From there on, the data looks accurate.

    I hope that helps


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