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Copper Mountain's High Alpine Project: The 12s

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

http://www.coppercolorado.com/media/media_blog/authors/copper_colorado/u-s-forest-service-approves-copper

 

"...The 12’s encompass three towering peaks with elevations in excess of 12,000 feet: Tucker Mountain, Union Peak and Copper Peak. Capital improvements for the 2012-2013 season were recently approved by the U.S. Forest Service and construction is currently underway and will be completed for the 2013-2014 winter season. 

 

"Phase I of the High Alpine Project includes the upgrade and replacement of the Storm King lift. Copper Mountain guests will see a new t-bar lift in its place, providing access to the unforgettable skiing and riding in Spaulding Bowl, Upper Enchanted Forest and Copper Bowl. The new Storm King lift will offer a substantial upgrade doubling the up-hill lift capacity from the original lift.  Also, Copper Mountain has announced “Celebrity Ridge,” a new surface lift at the top of the Sierra chairlift providing easier access to Union Peak, Union Meadows, West Ridge and Copper Bowl, located adjacent to the top of the Mountain Chief chairlift. Copper’s commitment to The 12’s also includes improved ski out in Spaulding Bowl and terrain re-grading within the Sierra area, allowing the high alpine terrain at Copper Mountain to open earlier and stay open longer.

 

"Phase II of Copper’s High Alpine Project includes future enhancements to current terrain offerings and more acreage. This includes lift-service to expert steeps, (currently hike-to snowcat access on Tucker Mountain), as well as a snowcat accessed terrain expansion. The popularity of the terrain accessed by the resort’s free Tucker Mountain Snowcat led Copper Mountain to propose installation of the Tucker Lift. Over 260 skiable acres, presently accessed by the Tucker Mountain Snowcat, will become lift-served in this stage of the High Alpine Project...."

post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 

http://www.summitdaily.com/news/8372352-113/mountain-copper-lift-project

 

Breeana Laughlin

Copper Mountain Resort’s High Alpine Project elevates experience for riders

 

It’s shoulder season — summer is over, aspen leaves have turned a blazing yellow and winter is fast approaching. However, all is not quiet at Copper Mountain Resort.

Helicopters are dropping construction supplies high up on the mountainsides, and workers are pounding nails and drilling wood as they construct fences, pour concrete and install lift towers for Copper’s “High Alpine Project: The 12’s.”

“The 12’s,” as the project is known, is a multi-year effort to enhance 1,000 acres of ski terrain. The project’s name reflects the high-alpine terrain it encompasses — stretching over three towering peaks with elevations in excess of 12,000 feet.

Project developers had skilled skiers and riders in mind when designing The 12’s project on Tucker Mountain, Union Peak and Copper Peak. Their goal was to elevate the mountain experience for guests at advanced and expert levels.

“The 12’s allows this terrain to step into the spotlight and be featured at its fullest potential,” said Stephanie Sweeney, Copper Mountain public relations coordinator.

Copper’s commitment to The 12’s also equates to improved skiing in Spaulding Bowl and rock work within the Sierra area, allowing the high-alpine terrain at Copper Mountain to open earlier and stay open longer, Sweeney said.

Phase 1 of the project is now underway. It kicked off after a recent approval by the U.S. Forest Service — and includes the upgrade and replacement of the Storm King lift.

“The new lift will be faster and more efficient,” Sweeney said.

“The original Storm King lift had been in operation since 1985, so it was time for an upgrade,” she said. “Also, the original Storm King lift was a platter lift, so the new t-bar will double capacity with two guests able to ride at once.”

The Storm King lift and Celebrity Ridge, the new surface lift being installed near the top of the Sierra lift, are on schedule for completion for the 2013-14 season.

Phase 2 of Copper’s project will bring lift service to expert steeps in an area on Tucker Mountain that’s currently accessible only by snowcat. Once the Tucker Mountain lift is in place, Copper’s snowcat service will be relocated, Sweeney said.

Project organizers said The 12’s will not alter the natural layout or award-winning trail system that attracts skiers and riders of all levels to Copper.

The mountain is laid out from east to west, and the terrain naturally progresses from easiest to most difficult. The gentle terrain defining the west side of Copper Mountain provides a natural, progressive learning environment, while the east side of the mountain features long, steep runs.

“The 12’s provide our loyal guests, who love skiing and riding the high alpine, the opportunity to experience over 1,000 acres of advanced intermediate and expert terrain above tree line,” said Gary Rodgers, Copper Mountain’s president and general manager in a press release. “They will be amazed at the improvements we have made and will continue to make to enhance the high-alpine experience unique to Copper Mountain.”

post #3 of 22

Really like the way they’re approaching this, the Tucker lift would serve some stellar terrain.

 

Where is new snowcat terrain? Backside of Tucker? Jacques Peak area? IMO, the cat is the #1 reason why I think Copper is the best of SummCO.

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triangle3 View Post
 

Really like the way they’re approaching this, the Tucker lift would serve some stellar terrain.

 

Where is new snowcat terrain? Backside of Tucker? Jacques Peak area? IMO, the cat is the #1 reason why I think Copper is the best of SummCO.

 

Yeah, from the Master Plan, it is to "provide approximately 500 acres of terrain for Snowcat Tours within the bowl directly south of the ridgeline between Tucker Mountain and Jacques Peak."

post #5 of 22

So "Celebrity Ridge" is the name of the new lift.  I wonder where that came from, as I doubt many celebrities will be up there.  :)

 

The "West Ridge" name that was on the planning documents was growing on me.  Hopefully the name change means the actual West ridge of Copper will someday be further West, over here:

 

Jaques Peak... someday we'll hopefully be skiing Jaques Basin below.

 

That picture was taken last week from the top of the new "Celebrity Ridge" lift looking West.  The current ski area boundary is where the near meadow ends.  Further West, Jacques Peak on the left, the basin in the middle and the ridge on the right are all within Copper's USFS permit area but currently out of bounds.   I've been having recurring dreams about skiing that stuff since being up there last week :)

 

I'm glad to hear the Tucker Mountain lift is coming soon.  It's been fun hiking it for over a decade, but I'll be happy to lap Tucker from a lift and explore new hiking/snowcat terrain when they move the free snowcats.   Rather than moving the snowcat skiing to the back side of Tucker which is south facing, I wish they could find a way to move it to the North facing terrain in the picture above off Jacques Peak.  

post #6 of 22

I like the 12's marketing.  It a nice poke at Vail's summit at 11,500.

 

I also like that Copper is emphasizing their north facing bowls since Vail has none:

 

  • “Copper Mountain has always been recognized for its naturally divided terrain, north facing slopes and superior beginner and intermediate terrain.   With The 12’s, we are focused on improving access and adding acreage to some of the best high alpine skiing and riding Colorado has to offer.   The 12’s provide our loyal guests, who love skiing and riding the high alpine, the opportunity to experience over 1,000 acres of advanced intermediate and expert terrain above tree line.  They will be amazed at the improvements we have made and will continue to make to enhance the high alpine experience unique to Copper Mountain,” said Gary Rodgers, Copper Mountain’s President and General Manager.

 

Here's some pics of the 12's from last week where you can the north facing slopes holding the first snow of the season:

 

Copper Bowl and Tucker

Tucker Mountain

 

Newly improved run out in Spaulding Bowl

Copper Peak and Spaulding Bowl

 

Top of Union Bowl looking at the grading work under the S lift

Union Bowl taken from the top of Union Peak, and looking the other way from the same spot:

 

Top of Union Bowl looking over to Enchanted Forest and the (missing) Storm King Lift

Union Bowl in the foreground, Copper Peak and the Enchanted Forrest in the background taken from the top of Union Peak.

 

Lots more pics including construction of the new lifts in this album: http://epicski.onthesnow.com/g/a/122192/copper-fall-2013/

 

Edit: as a little stoke for the coming season, here are duplicates of the last two pictures taken in early March last year:

 

 

And, Tucker Mountain after I got some of the first turns of the year on it last year :D


Edited by tball - 10/3/13 at 9:47am
post #7 of 22

This is pretty awesome! I like it thanks for sharing! 

post #8 of 22

I haven't heard the locals complaining about adding lifts to formerly hike to terrain like they did for the Imperial and Peak 6 expansions at Breck. Must be a different crowd. :dunno

post #9 of 22

Oh, I've heard a few complaining, but opening up new free snowcat/hiking terrain lessens the reasons to complain about the Tucker lift.   And, since the Mountan Chief lift already goes to the same spot as the new Celeberdy Ridge lift there's not much reason to complain about that.

 

My big complaint is the name.  Where did Celebrity Ridge come from?

 

I have a theory.  They are going to bring back Jim Carrey and film a sequel to his classic movie "Copper Mountain" since he was the last celebrity seen skiing at Copper.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085363/

 

The trailer is worth a watch for a laugh:

 

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

Oh, I've heard a few complaining, but opening up new free snowcat/hiking terrain lessens the reasons to complain for the Tucker lift.   And, since the Mountan Chief lift already goes to the same spot as the new Celeberdy Ridge lift there's not much reason to complain about that.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, the Tucker lift has been approved for some time, and there was some grumbling early on, but since they are replacing Tucker with the expansion, the net is adding lift-served terrain but not removing hike-to terrain (although I don't know exactly how the new stuff will work). 

 

I am curious about the celeberdy ridge one, though -- I imagine the line will get crowded, so hiking (it's a short but steep hike) might often get you there faster than riding, unless you arrive nice and early. 

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post
 

I haven't heard the locals complaining about adding lifts to formerly hike to terrain like they did for the Imperial and Peak 6 expansions at Breck. Must be a different crowd. :dunno

Well, maybe those complaining locals were genuinely concerned about the impact to the lynx habitat and not the loss of their private playground. :ROTF:ROTF:ROTF:yahoo:

post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

 

Yeah, the Tucker lift has been approved for some time, and there was some grumbling early on, but since they are replacing Tucker with the expansion, the net is adding lift-served terrain but not removing hike-to terrain (although I don't know exactly how the new stuff will work). 

 

I am curious about the celeberdy ridge one, though -- I imagine the line will get crowded, so hiking (it's a short but steep hike) might often get you there faster than riding, unless you arrive nice and early. 

 

I don't think you need to worry about the new Celebrity lift being crowded since it's only fed by the Sierra lift.   I doubt the S lift has much more uphill capacity than the new surface lift, and it's never full anyway.  

 

Another way to think about it is the old Storm King lift only got crowded on weekends and powder days in spite of being fed by high speed 4 and 6 packs, probably 10x what's feeding the new Celebrity lift.  

 

When the celebrities show up, on the other hand, it's gonna be a zoo with all the fans and paparazzi :) 

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

Yeah, that's true. Is it a poma?a t-bar? can't remember. And I guess it is feeding not only Union, but Copper Bowl, too. That will be nice. I won't miss riding Rendezvous, except for the view when you get off.

post #14 of 22

I'm pretty sure it's a poma, but since it's made by Doppelmayr they have to call it a surface platter lift.  

 

Yeah, it will be really nice to easily ski back and forth between Union and Copper bowls.  There are not many peaks I can think of where you can so easily choose between skiing northerly and southern exposures depending on the conditions.

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

I'm pretty sure it's a poma, but since it's made by Doppelmayr they have to call it a surface platter lift.  

 

Yeah, it will be really nice to easily ski back and forth between Union and Copper bowls.  There are not many peaks I can think of where you can so easily choose between skiing northerly and southern exposures depending on the conditions.

 

That was one of the good parts about riding Rendezvous to Mountain Chief: you could figure out if it was nasty on the south side before you had to ski much, and then bail over to the north without getting stuck in coral reef. (Not that I always avoided it, but....)

post #16 of 22
Whoa! That is just fantastic. That clip makes me like copper more!
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

Oh, I've heard a few complaining, but opening up new free snowcat/hiking terrain lessens the reasons to complain about the Tucker lift.   And, since the Mountan Chief lift already goes to the same spot as the new Celeberdy Ridge lift there's not much reason to complain about that.

My big complaint is the name.  Where did Celebrity Ridge come from?

I have a theory.  They are going to bring back Jim Carrey and film a sequel to his classic movie "Copper Mountain" since he was the last celebrity seen skiing at Copper.



http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085363/

The trailer is worth a watch for a laugh:

 
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

So "Celebrity Ridge" is the name of the new lift.  I wonder where that came from, as I doubt many celebrities will be up there.  :)

 

The "West Ridge" name that was on the planning documents was growing on me.  Hopefully the name change means the actual West ridge of Copper will someday be further West, over here:

 

I'm glad to hear the Tucker Mountain lift is coming soon.  It's been fun hiking it for over a decade, but I'll be happy to lap Tucker from a lift and explore new hiking/snowcat terrain when they move the free snowcats.   Rather than moving the snowcat skiing to the back side of Tucker which is south facing, I wish they could find a way to move it to the North facing terrain in the picture above off Jacques Peak.

 

I think the name 'Celebrity Ridge' is a locals name for the little ridge/cornice that builds up below the traverse to Colmans Retreat and Union Meadows.   Lots of  skiers/boarders have gotten their 15 minutes of fame by going airborne off the cornice on a flat light day.

 

Anybody know for sure what type of lift is it?  Since it's going to be a surface it could mean 'rope tow' or 'carpet'.

 

I think the snowcat operation will been in 'Tucker Gulch' which is directly south of Tucker Mt.  Just guessing the high point would be on Jacques above 12,600ft and the low point could be about a mile away around 11,000.  Probably smaller than the existing Tucker Terrain.

 

 

I've been waiting for Tucker Lift since Copper Bowl opened to the public.  I will ride the Cat a couple of times each winter - but my legs/lungs aren't in any hurry to walk.

 

Some people do bitch about 'Tucker lift' and how more skiers/riders will bump/mess up the snow.  It's going to take most riders 20/30 minutes to get to the bottom of the lift in the morning and it will probably be closing 'early' to allow sweep.  The hours won't be much different than the existing cat operation. There won't be much of a crowd there most days.

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ali pine View Post
 

 

I think the name 'Celebrity Ridge' is a locals name for the little ridge/cornice that builds up below the traverse to Colmans Retreat and Union Meadows.   Lots of  skiers/boarders have gotten their 15 minutes of fame by going airborne off the cornice on a flat light day.

 

Anybody know for sure what type of lift is it?  Since it's going to be a surface it could mean 'rope tow' or 'carpet'.

 

I think the snowcat operation will been in 'Tucker Gulch' which is directly south of Tucker Mt.  Just guessing the high point would be on Jacques above 12,600ft and the low point could be about a mile away around 11,000.  Probably smaller than the existing Tucker Terrain.

 

 

I've been waiting for Tucker Lift since Copper Bowl opened to the public.  I will ride the Cat a couple of times each winter - but my legs/lungs aren't in any hurry to walk.

 

Some people do bitch about 'Tucker lift' and how more skiers/riders will bump/mess up the snow.  It's going to take most riders 20/30 minutes to get to the bottom of the lift in the morning and it will probably be closing 'early' to allow sweep.  The hours won't be much different than the existing cat operation. There won't be much of a crowd there most days.

 

 

Compared to a Vail resort that's true but on powder days it will be packed

post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ali pine View Post
 

 

I think the name 'Celebrity Ridge' is a locals name for the little ridge/cornice that builds up below the traverse to Colmans Retreat and Union Meadows.   Lots of  skiers/boarders have gotten their 15 minutes of fame by going airborne off the cornice on a flat light day.

 

Anybody know for sure what type of lift is it?  Since it's going to be a surface it could mean 'rope tow' or 'carpet'.

 

I think the snowcat operation will been in 'Tucker Gulch' which is directly south of Tucker Mt.  Just guessing the high point would be on Jacques above 12,600ft and the low point could be about a mile away around 11,000.  Probably smaller than the existing Tucker Terrain.

 

 

I've been waiting for Tucker Lift since Copper Bowl opened to the public.  I will ride the Cat a couple of times each winter - but my legs/lungs aren't in any hurry to walk.

 

Some people do bitch about 'Tucker lift' and how more skiers/riders will bump/mess up the snow.  It's going to take most riders 20/30 minutes to get to the bottom of the lift in the morning and it will probably be closing 'early' to allow sweep.  The hours won't be much different than the existing cat operation. There won't be much of a crowd there most days.

It's a platter lift, but not the old Storm King which went down to Green Acres (helping create a tremendous new learning environment!). The new Storm King is a completely new T-bar.

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ali pine View Post
 

 

I think the name 'Celebrity Ridge' is a locals name for the little ridge/cornice that builds up below the traverse to Colmans Retreat and Union Meadows.   Lots of  skiers/boarders have gotten their 15 minutes of fame by going airborne off the cornice on a flat light day.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2011/07/27/us-appeals-court-sides-with-copper-mountain-resort/

 

DENVER (AP) – An appeals court has ruled in favor of Copper Mountain Resort in a lawsuit filed by a doctor who says he was injured skiing off a cornice that should have been marked as freestyle terrain.

Rajeev Kumar accused Copper Mountain of negligence after the 2006 accident off an area nicknamed by visitors as “Celebrity Cornice.”

A federal judge ruled in favor of the resort, and a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling Wednesday.

The appeals judges say Colorado’s Ski Safety Act bars claims based on dangers inherent to skiing, like going off a cornice, and that Celebrity Cornice didn’t qualify as a “specified freestyle terrain area” subject to labeling.

The judges noted they didn’t rule whether the cornice qualifies as “extreme terrain.”

post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

Rajeev Kumar accused Copper Mountain of negligence after the 2006 accident off an area nicknamed by visitors as “Celebrity Cornice.”

 

Yeah, I saw that in the Vail lawsuit thread.  The name has grown on me since, so I now bestow my official blessing on the Celebrity Ridge lift name. :)  I apologize for bashing the name earlier, and retract my previous statements.   

 

I'm hopeful they are reserving the "West Ridge Platter" lift name.   Some day we can hope they put that name to good use further west in Jacques Basin!

 

Also still hoping Jim Carrey shows up for the opening of the lift and the first 100 riders get a free copy of his Copper Mountain DVD!

post #22 of 22

Given the briefing we received at orientation this year, I can say that Copper management shares your excitement for expanding the managed/controlled terrain into areas farther west. It won't surprise me to see special opportunities to sample additional areas over the next few seasons (although that was not covered as part of the presentation).

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