Ski Resort Life

Traveler: I Know What You Did Last Summer


By the start of next season, North American ski areas will have installed more than 50 new lifts. Here are some of the uphill transports we think will have the biggest impact.

Breckenridge, Colo.
lift Quicksilver Super6, a double-loading high-speed detachable six-pack.
ski-area line Replaces the Quicksilver high-speed quad, increasing uphill capacity by 80 percent. “Double-loading” means two chairs are loaded simultaneously, giving skiers a nearly eternal 12-second interval between chairs.
local’s take “Great, it’ll get us up to Peaks 7, 8, and 10¿and away from the gapers¿much faster.”

Gore Mountain, N.Y.
lift Bear Mountain Gondola, an eight-person detachable gondola.
ski-area line Four new trails and a new lift line have been cut for the gondola. The seven-minute heated ride from the base area to Bear Mountain Peak will give skiers access to the entire mountain.
local’s take “We’ve been hiking to get to the chutes above the midmountain patrol hut for years. Now we won’t have to.”

Jackson Hole, Wyo.
lift Apres Vous, a high-speed detachable quad.
ski-area line Replaces the original Apres Vous fixed double, increases uphill capacity from 810 to 2,000 skiers per hour, and cuts the ride time from 12 minutes to five.
local’s take “It’s all good: The new Apres Vous will mean more backcountry laps in Granite Canyon and shorter lines at the Thunder and Sublette quads.”

Jay Peak, Vt.
lift Green Mountain Flyer, a high-speed detachable quad.
ski-area line Doubles the uphill capacity of the Green Mountain fixed double it retires and gets skiers farther up the mountain¿all the way to the Ullr’s Bowl area¿in just seven minutes.
local’s take “We’ll be able to ski all the cool glades from this thing, and it’ll be better than the tram for doing laps.”

Mammoth, Calif.
lift Lower Panorama, a high-speed eight-person gondola.
ski-area line New cars on the bottom half of the gondola make it compatible with the top half; skiers can now ride from a new base-area terminal to the summit without changing cars at midstation. Uphill capacity will nearly quadruple.
local’s take “Hopefully it will eliminate the huge lines at the base of the gondola.”

Snowbird, Ut.
lift An as-yet-unnamed high-speed detachable quad.
ski-area line The lift accesses Mineral Basin, 18 trails totaling 500 acres of new terrain that was previously reserved for cat skiing.
local’s take “Everyone’s psyched to have the terrain opened up; it’s too far away for hiking.”

Squaw Valley USA, Calif.
lift Headwall-Cornice II Express, a high-speed detachable six-pack.
ski-area line Travels a greater distance than both the Headwall and Cornice II chairs it replaces, but at six minutes, does so in half the time of either.
local’s take “A longer run in less time is great, but the Headwall area might get skied up awfully quick on a powder day.”

The Canyons, Ut.
lift Peak 5 Quad, a fixed-grip quad.
ski-area line Will open the ski area’s seventh peak¿300 acres of new terrain, including Enchanted Forest’s natural, powder-filled glades.
local’s take “Opening Peak 5 will just add more tree skiing to the area, but a double would have made the powder last longer.”

Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C.
lift A yet-to-be-named high-speed detachable quad.
ski-area line Located between the Blackcomb and Whistler gondolas, the lift will move an additional 2,600 skiers per hour out of the base village and up Whistler Mountain.
local’s take “Last year sleeping in¿even on a weekday¿meant a disgustingly long wait to get up the mountain. This lift should change that.”

Whiteface, N.Y.
lift Cloud Splitter Gondola, a high-speed eight-person gondola.
ski-area line Heated cabins will travel from the base lodge to the summit of Little Whiteface in less than eight minutes. On existing lifts, the trip would take almost 20.
local’s take “Long overdue. It’s cold up here, and the lifts are old and slow.”