Wayback – Keystone, CO

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Doppelmayr fixed drive station and unload area.
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Top bullwheel and motor room.
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Looking up the lift line.
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Bottom station with hydraulic tensioning.
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Station overview.
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Return bullwheel and lift line.
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Arriving at the top.
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Upper lift line.
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Middle part of the line.
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Lower lift line.

10 thoughts on “Wayback – Keystone, CO

  1. Jonathan January 19, 2019 / 6:45 pm

    I was riding this lift with a local and they call this lift the WaySlow Lift!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Donald M. Reif February 22, 2019 / 8:51 am

      Keystone’s master plans call for Wayback to be upgraded to a high speed quad. I envision a Doppelmayr high speed quad with clockwise rotation and 90 degree loading.

      Like

      • Collin Parsons October 28, 2019 / 9:21 pm

        I think they should’ve used the terminals from Montezuma to upgrade this to a detachable instead of scrapping them.

        Like

        • skitheeast October 28, 2019 / 9:34 pm

          Montezuma was pretty old and had a lot of hours. They are better off getting a completely new lift. This now also gives them the opportunity to potentially make the lift a six-pack, which is needed for the crowds during certain hours of the day.

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        • Donald Reif October 28, 2019 / 10:41 pm

          “This now also gives them the opportunity to potentially make the lift a six-pack, which is needed for the crowds during certain hours of the day.”

          Wayback doesn’t need a six pack. The lift only has two trails that can be lapped from it, and it primarily functions as the egress lift from the Outback, which means its traffic numbers are not the same as those of the Ruby Express lift.

          What Collin was getting at was that, seeing how Big Sky was able to reuse Ramcharger 4’s equipment to upgrade Shedhorn last year, and it’s a lift of the same vintage as the old Montezuma Express, it would’ve been practical for Keystone to have reused the old Montezuma Express lift’s UNI terminals to upgrade Wayback. They wouldn’t even have had to replace any towers on it. I’m pretty sure that’s still true even if they have to use Doppelmayr UNI-G terminals now, since Doppelmayr did a FGQ to HSQ conversion of that nature for the Crystal Express at Diamond Peak, reusing the old towers of a FGQ.

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        • skitheeast October 28, 2019 / 11:41 pm

          I have only skied Keystone on relatively busy days, but still, Wayback always had decent lines on the way back from Outback (which itself often has very high wait times). A high-speed quad will have the same capacity as the current lift, so the wait times will not decrease. If there is concern about having its own pod, Keystone can always cut another couple trails, as there is plenty of space and the southern exposure should not be a concern at its very high elevation.

          I understand the Ramcharger comparison, but this is a different situation. Ramcharger had lower hours than Montezuma. While I do not know the exact condition of the drive equipment, I do know they removed chairs from the lift in its final year of operation (and not because of a lack of lift demand), which is not a good sign. Furthermore, a lot of Montezuma’s parts were also needed for spares/replacements for Outpost and Peru. While I agree the Wayback towers could probably have been reused, the remaining bits of the cannibalized Montezuma would likely not have been enough to make a good portion of the lift. At a certain point, it makes more sense for similarity and maintenance to just purchase new equipment minus the towers.

          Like

        • Donald Reif October 29, 2019 / 12:51 pm

          ” If there is concern about having its own pod, Keystone can always cut another couple trails, as there is plenty of space and the southern exposure should not be a concern at its very high elevation.”

          I can tell you that the trails that go from the summit of Dercum Mountain down to Labonte’s at the bottom of North Peak get an awful lot of exposure. Mozart’s the only blue, so it’s the one of those three that gets the heaviest snowmaking concentration. It’s for that same reason that there are only the two blue runs down the back side of North Peak to reach the Outback, which are Spillway and Anticipation, and they both take a southeasterly route that necessitates traveling a lengthy runout to reach the Outback Express.

          I should note that in Keystone’s master plan from ten years ago, they proposed upgrading Wayback to a high speed quad. (https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3828357.pdf, page 19) On the same page where they list that proposal, they also list the proposal of adding additional capacity to the Outback Express lift, a capacity upgrade that was ultimately carried out in 2014 when they added 24 chairs to the lift, chairs taken off the Dercum Mountain UNI high speed quads. Of course, it should be noted that at the time, Keystone had plans for adding chairlifts to the bowls, with a high speed quad servicing Bergman Bowl (and Erickson Bowl being lapped via the “Bergman Express” and upgraded Wayback) and new triple chairlifts servicing The Windows glades and the Independence Bowl, which would’ve meant more traffic on Wayback.

          (A high speed quad makes more sense than a six pack there too because of space limitations at the top, as you can see in my videos of Wayback and the Santiago Express lifts)

          Like

        • Jonathan October 29, 2019 / 8:16 pm

          I have suggested this before, I think a 6 chair should replace Outback Express and then equipment from Outback should be moved to replace Wayback Lift. The Outback Express would undergo the “Shedhorn Upgrade” when it is moved. The Outback 6 Chair would have a capacity of 3,000/hour and the Wayback Express would have a capacity of 2,600/hour. The extra chairs from the current Outback Express (if there are any) would be moved to help upgrade capacity on the Peru Express. I don’t think Peru Lift has much time left though. Maybe this upgrade could happen summer 2020?

          Like

        • Donald Reif October 29, 2019 / 10:25 pm

          The Outback Express doesn’t get enough traffic to warrant a high speed six pack. Besides, it also got a capacity upgrade five years ago using chairs taken off the Peru Express and the original Montezuma Express lift.

          And you don’t want a high speed quad being the only means of egress from a pod serviced by a high speed six pack.

          Like

  2. Donald Reif September 19, 2019 / 10:45 am

    Like

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