West End – Powderhorn, CO

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Vault drive on a long tension carriage at the bottom.
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Looking up the line with chairs removed for maintenance.
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Vault drive.
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Tower 1 at the load.
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Poma control pedestal.
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Heron-Poma double chairs.
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Leaving the base after a new coat of paint in 2016.
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Support-depression-support tower setup from before the invention of combo assemblies.
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View back down the lift line.
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This lift is one of the longest fixed-grip lifts in Colorado.
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Fixed top bullwheel.
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Top station overview.
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Heron-Poma chairs.
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Another view down the lift line.
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One of many low clearance spots.
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Lower half of the lift.
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Looking up from near the base.
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Riding up the line.

21 thoughts on “West End – Powderhorn, CO

  1. Maxwell July 31, 2019 / 5:34 pm

    I like how it’s Peter approved.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Gavin October 4, 2019 / 10:33 am

    Is this the longest double in North america

    Like

    • Andy June 14, 2020 / 4:18 pm

      Only a couple doubles of this length left in North America. This one (West End at Powderhorn, CO) is 7000 feet. Others to match are Bell Mountain at Aspen (85 Riblet at 6803 feet), Primo at Sunlight CO (66 Riblet at 7260 feet), Madonna at Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont (63 Hall at 6719 feet ) and Toll House at Stowe Vermont. (83 Dopplemayr at 6400 feet)

      Like

      • Andy June 15, 2020 / 5:51 am

        Add to the list of very long Double Chairs. still operating: Chair 3 at Sandia Peak NM, is 7200 feet (1980 Riblet) . Beautiful pieces of fine engineering, all of them.

        Like

        • Ben Eminger August 31, 2020 / 5:53 pm

          Also add Lift 1/Bonanza at 49 Degrees North WA, 1972 SLI that is 6,650ft

          Like

    • Somebodyelse July 9, 2020 / 5:39 pm

      Long since removed, C5 Campbell Basin, an SLI/Riblet double at Crystal Mt., Wa. was originally 7500 feet long from 1970 until it was shortened in 1988 to make space for the Midway Shuttle quad. It ran from just above the base area to where the Campbell Basin Lodge is now and was a 19 minute ride if it didn’t stop, which it normally did.

      Like

      • Donald Reif December 13, 2020 / 9:51 pm

        Campbell Basin was effectively trying to accomplish a duty that has been since taken up by Crystal’s two high speed six packs, Chinook for the lower half and Forest Queen for the upper half.

        Like

        • pbropetech December 14, 2020 / 9:24 am

          Yes and no. I doubt you skied there before chair 5 was removed, but the upper half of 5 was a round-trip lift in its own right with three trails plus the Bear Pits. We only ran it on weekends, unfortunately. Chair 9 (now the unfortunately named Forest Queen) served all the trails in that pod and did render 5 as an extra.

          Like

  3. Joe Blake June 13, 2020 / 5:08 pm

    This lift would give me some serious poop anxiety.

    Like

    • Katie Peterson March 11, 2022 / 5:22 pm

      It’s sketch. Not gonna lie. ;)

      Like

  4. wolf January 19, 2021 / 1:58 pm

    Low clearance spots? Pffttt. Look at High Trail Express (a Stadeli which ironically is not fast) at Soldier Mtn, ID. There is a sign saying DO NOT JUMP OFF LIFT.

    Like

  5. Myles Svec March 20, 2021 / 12:35 pm

    Does Powderhorn have the money to replace this with a HSQ? Not many people want to ride a 7000 ft long double with a 13.5 minute ride that serves half the mountain.

    Like

    • Katie Peterson March 11, 2022 / 5:24 pm

      It keeps the crowds off the west end. No replacement necessary. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The Lheritiers March 9, 2022 / 3:39 pm

    Chair #50 is painted gold – my kids love it when they get that one!

    Like

  7. skier March 9, 2022 / 6:36 pm

    How does this vault drive that’s also the tension station work? Is the gear box and motor suspended from the bottom of the carriage, rather than mounted on the floor?

    Like

    • Michael March 10, 2022 / 2:55 pm

      Exactly. The machinery frame hangs below the tension frame. The original E Lift at Copper Mountain was the same design.

      Like

    • Larry Wollum June 24, 2022 / 3:27 pm

      Red Chair at Magic Mt in Vermont has same design.

      Like

  8. Boardski June 25, 2022 / 8:33 am

    If they don’t spring for a detachable to replace this lift, triple with loading conveyor might be good next best option. Detachable would be best though, that lift is long and the terrain is super fun. Maybe they can wheel and deal on a reconditioned HSQ similar to Take 4s replacement… Definitely a much needed upgrade though, it will make a fun mountain even better.

    Like

    • pbropetech June 25, 2022 / 5:53 pm

      According to some sources who prefer to remain anonymous, the Flyer is a mixed blessing. They’d prefer to go all new for the West End upgrade after that experience. There’s talk there of a detach upgrade for West End, though the timeline is uncertain.

      Like

  9. Ashley Cooper August 11, 2022 / 7:24 pm

    This lift was my favorite thing about Powderhorn. The terrain under it is fantastic, and the ride up was fantastic. Always used to sit on it sideways with one ski over the railing and watch the trees go by. I need to get back there and ride it while it still lives.

    Like

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