There’s nothing like a nice, new ride, and that’s what you can expect at some North American ski hills this winter.
More than 30 chair lifts were slated to be installed over the summer and fall at various resorts in the United States and Canada and ready to be spinning for the 2017-18 season.
Sadly, not a lot of new terrain will be opened up due to all the construction because most of new chairs are upgrades of lifts that had been around for some time.
The following is a look at 10 of the more intriguing projects.
The Utah resort is replacing two double chairs — Cecret and Supreme — with a high-speed Leitner-Poma quad. The new lift, which will rise near Alf’s restaurant, will follow about half of the old Cecret line before making an angle turn to continue up the old Supreme line.
Stagecoach, Big Sky
The Montana resort is putting in its 27th lift with the construction of Stagecoach, a Poma double chair. This is one of the few new lifts that will access new terrain; however, the runs are mostly to get to and from lodging.
The old “superchair”, a high-speed quad that served as a gateway to the Colorado resort’s advanced and expert terrain on Peak 10, will now be a high-speed six-pack.
There is a handful or so of popular intermediate runs on the frontside, a.k.a, Dercum Mountain, of this Colorado resort that for years was accessed by a high-speed quad. This winter you’ll be riding a six-pack.
Buttercup, Mt. Hood Meadows
This Oregon resort is nearly doubling its beginner teaching terrain by replacing the old double chair with a SkyTac fixed-grip quad. The new chair has been realigned and is slightly longer than its predecessor; it also has a carpet loader, which will make the new lift ride 30 percent faster.
The first chair to be installed at the Utah resort (1946), the original single chair has evolved into a high-speed six-pack built by Doppelmayr. The new lift will cover the 1,290 vertical rise in five minutes.
Chair 1, Snow Valley
Southern California will welcome its first high-speed six-pack this winter when this Leitner-Poma begins spinning. The new lift will offer rides of less than five minutes versus the 14 minutes it took the old double chair to get to the top.
Sunshine and Village, Sugarbush
This Vermont resort is upgrading a couple of 50-year-old double chairs with fix-gripped quads. Sunshine, at the Mt. Ellen side of the resort, and Village, at Lincoln Peak Village, both are expected to enhance the beginner experience.
The venerable Northwoods Express is being retired after more than 30 years of service and will be replaced by a high-speed six-pack. It’s expected the new lift will create better traffic flow to fan from the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin.
North Country, Waterville Valley
In kind of a retro move, this New Hampshire resort is replacing its mountaintop double chair with a T-bar. The new conveyance will extend slightly higher than its predecessor — actually reaching the summit — and will be less prone to weather and wind delays.