or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › 2014 Off Season Improvements summary
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

2014 Off Season Improvements summary - Page 2

post #31 of 56

There are some pretty good improvements outlined here. 

post #32 of 56
Okemo to install 1st heated six pack bubble chair.
Quote:
The new detachable lift, with chairs that seat six people, will be outfitted with heated seating pads and retractable acrylic domes to protect passengers from wind and weather. The new lift, built by Leitner-Poma, will replace Okemo’s Northstar Express lift and is scheduled to begin operation in December
...
The length of the new lift will be 6,430 feet with a vertical rise of 1,670 feet. The new six-pack bubble chair will carry 113 chairs at a speed of 1,000 feet per minute and deliver skiers and riders to the summit of Okemo Mountain in 6.4 minutes. The cost of the lift, including installation is $6.9 million
http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/july/okemo-install-heated-bubble-chairlift

The base will have a heated area to store the chairs over night and for quicker deicing of the cable.
So.... shorter lift lines, more crowded slopes i would think.
i saw mention that Canyons has a chair like this?
post #33 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Okemo to install 1st heated six pack bubble chair.
http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/july/okemo-install-heated-bubble-chairlift

The base will have a heated area to store the chairs over night and for quicker deicing of the cable.
So.... shorter lift lines, more crowded slopes i would think.
i saw mention that Canyons has a chair like this?

 

Interesting how many resorts purchase bubble chairs, just to dump the bubbles after a few years when they get destroyed by graffiti. Yet, resorts just keep buying them.

post #34 of 56

Sunapee just announced that they're replacing the old Sunbowl quad with an express quad.  Improvement, absolutely.

post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Okemo to install 1st heated six pack bubble chair.
http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/july/okemo-install-heated-bubble-chairlift


The base will have a heated area to store the chairs over night and for quicker deicing of the cable.

So.... shorter lift lines, more crowded slopes i would think.

i saw mention that Canyons has a chair like this?

Interesting how many resorts purchase bubble chairs, just to dump the bubbles after a few years when they get destroyed by graffiti. Yet, resorts just keep buying them.

Here I think they'd either get ripped off by high winds or the lift would be shut down more often.
post #36 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post


Here I think they'd either get ripped off by high winds or the lift would be shut down more often.

 

Yeah, that too. Lots more surface area to generate wind-holds.

post #37 of 56

I would say that the graffiti on the Sunburst Express bubble at Sun Peaks has been minimal. When the lift was installed in the early 90's the Lexan bubbles cost $3500 each. They sure are nice on a cold or snowy day.

post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 

Sunapee just announced that they're replacing the old Sunbowl quad with an express quad.  Improvement, absolutely.

Indeed.  The new chair is actually the HSQ that Okemo (also run by the Mueller family) is replacing with the HS6 bubble.

post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Okemo to install 1st heated six pack bubble chair.
http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/july/okemo-install-heated-bubble-chairlift

The base will have a heated area to store the chairs over night and for quicker deicing of the cable.
So.... shorter lift lines, more crowded slopes i would think.
i saw mention that Canyons has a chair like this?

 

Canyons has had it for 2 years.

 

On a warm day they still keep the seats warmed, so it gets very warm unless the canopy's open, and if it's warm enough for rain, then..........

 

The only place I've found it worthwhile is at the base of Blackcomb since the precip tends to be liquid at the bottom even when it's mid-winter in the alpine (and on the calendar).

post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post

Sunapee just announced that they're replacing the old Sunbowl quad with an express quad.  Improvement, absolutely.
Well its probably the Northstar express quad from Okemo.
Mt Snow's bubble six pack is notable for its plush seat and ultra smooth ride. Its very quiet.
I cant say im thrilled by the main lift suddenly having 50% more capacity. That just means more crowding on the trails.

In another note, whats up with loading chairs at right angkes to the cable? Then theres a nearly 2 ft dropoff where the lifties stand sonif you go too far you're toast abasin's recent new chair has it as do many others. Its awful.
post #41 of 56
Right angles to the cable?
post #42 of 56

Mary Jane’s Lunch Rock shack is gone. Swanky new building going up in its place.

post #43 of 56
Right angle to MOST of the cable. The chair (and the cable too, obviously) makes a sharp turn right after loading. I agree it's odd and awkward.

Somebody must have designed it for a reason, but what that is beats me.
post #44 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Right angles to the cable?
The chair loads with skiers and boarders facing the same direction as they are in the lift queue, so the skiers and boarders don't have to shuffle and turn while moving forward to catch the next chair. As the chair reaches the bottom terminal, after the "detach" from the tow cable, people are loaded as the chair is turned 90 degrees, and completes the other 90 degrees with the people on board.

Then they are whisked safely to the top of the lift, where they can ski out of bounds, get caught in an avalanche and break a leg and sue the resort; alternatively they die and their family sues the resort. Either way it's a bad situation.
post #45 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post


Well its probably the Northstar express quad from Okemo.
Mt Snow's bubble six pack is notable for its plush seat and ultra smooth ride. Its very quiet.
I cant say im thrilled by the main lift suddenly having 50% more capacity. That just means more crowding on the trails.

 

 

Snow's a little tight as it is.

 

I suppose Sunapee's Sunbowl will get more crowded as well.  I've always liked the Sunbowl side, but you spent a disproportionate time on the lift, so it was a bit backwatery.

post #46 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Right angles to the cable?
The chair loads with skiers and boarders facing the same direction as they are in the lift queue, so the skiers and boarders don't have to shuffle and turn while moving forward to catch the next chair. As the chair reaches the bottom terminal, after the "detach" from the tow cable, people are loaded as the chair is turned 90 degrees, and completes the other 90 degrees with the people on board.

Yes, I should have said you're loading at right angle to the cable going up the mountain. Most chairs you load facing uphill in the direction of the cable. This you're facing sidehill.

 

I'd much rather change direction in the lift line than get on the thing and then turn 90 degrees. It's just wrong. Often the surface just after you load, and just before the drop is slippery solid plastic so you couldn't use a pole for any emergency maneuvers nor have any edge angle. At Abasin, the chair height at loading is also diabolically too low. Just awful. Why put us through that crap??

 

Whoever came up with it should be publicly flogged.

 

If you still can't picture it, here's a video of getting on the Mt. Snow six pack. You'll have to endure pov looking at the ground though. It is exceptionally bad video.

 

http://youtu.be/ri25Wyl6Bok

post #47 of 56
Seems like that is easily fixed, but is mostly a problem due to the stupid gate.
post #48 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Seems like that is easily fixed, but is mostly a problem due to the stupid gate.
Easily fixed by changing where you load. Gate has no effect At Mt Snow you are making a turn in the lift line.

I suppose loading sideways has the safety advantage that if you dont get on quickly you fall into the pit where the lifties are. Maybe you dont get dragged up the lift. Instead msybe you get speared in the head by skis from someone on the chair. So take your pick.
post #49 of 56

We were riding a fast fixed lift at chamonix--can't remember which area--where you unloaded after the chair had gone about a quarter way around the bull wheel. Made for an interesting dismount. There were actually pads along the off ramp.  The other euro technology I wasn't thrilled with were the safety bars that came down automatically before you had a chance to get your pack arranged.

post #50 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Okemo to install 1st heated six pack bubble chair.
http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/july/okemo-install-heated-bubble-chairlift

The base will have a heated area to store the chairs over night and for quicker deicing of the cable.
So.... shorter lift lines, more crowded slopes i would think.
i saw mention that Canyons has a chair like this?

We're talking about it over here. 

http://www.epicski.com/t/128383/okemo-installing-new-six-pack-lift-for-upcoming-season#post_1750175

post #51 of 56
Thread Starter 

Wolf Creek posted some photos of construction progress. Looks like clearing the lift line is largely complete, but no foundation work for the terminals yet.

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/105964891740268200939/RecentPhotos#

 

It seems they are going a lot slower this year than with construction last year. Last year by the end of MAY, they had the old lift removed and the terminals and towers in already in place and mostly assembled.

 

The lower terminal is going into a wetlands meadow. Maybe they needed things to dry out more before working on things? I don't know.

 

I am a little sad about the alignment choice. The lift alignment cuts right through an area that was little used and deserted- the very last entrance into the waterfall area.  The drop is short, but it used to be a very safe bet for late-day untracked, as the video below shows. The video was shot around 3:00 PM on a powder day. No chance that will continue now that people can see it right from the lift...

 

post #52 of 56

Crazy how many trees are getting taken out by the beetles down there. Are they removing and/or thinning any timber?

post #53 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post
 

Crazy how many trees are getting taken out by the beetles down there. Are they removing and/or thinning any timber?

 

This is a link to their plan. http://www.wolfcreekski.com/docs/VegetationManagementPlan.pdf

 

Most of the mature trees inside the ski area are Spruce, and most are dead as of last year.  A huge difference from even 2012.

 

The plan, as I read it, is that the only trees removed as a matter of course are going to be the ones that could fall onto a haul rope on one of the chairlifts.

 

I think they are going to allow most of the dead trees to stand. This is in their best interests for snow preservation- helping the snow stay shaded. Remember that the trees at WC are already spaced rather wide, so I think there is less of an incentive to clear some of the trees to improve the gladed ski experience.

 

Wolf Creek has a real saving grace here- they have not been clearing saplings off of their runs for years. Instead of bulldozing saplings down to open a nice groomed run on an 18" base, Wolf just lets it grow.  These saplings are protected from the beetles because they are under the snowpack all Winter. They have a ton of saplings that they can transplant if the Forest Service approves.

 

The Alberta area is similarly filled with healthy saplings. As the snowpack typical hits about 10' deep in a typical season, they are well protected, large, and should allow the forest to rebound quickly once the beetles are gone.

 

I don't see Wolf Creek turning into one barren bowl, I just see a time where the trees will be 20' tall instead of 75' tall.

 

I don't think it will impact the skiing too much. There is already a ton of fallen timber everywhere (left on the ground for erosion and avalanche mitigation), and you just have to wait for the snowpack to cover it before charging full bore through the trees. more treefalls won't really do much.

 

Obviously fire risk is present, but at least some of that was mitigated by the fire last year burning away several of the approaches. I bet the ski area feels better about their chances post-fire than before.

post #54 of 56

From WCs site:

Currently Wolf Creek estimates that 95 to 100 percent of all mature Engelmann Spruce will be lost during this natural process.

 

I'm very skeptical that skiing would be minimally impacted. If you have 75' and taller trees falling down all over the mountain through the next 8-10 years ,even above average base depths will not cover them all. It's going to be a gnarly obstacle course (not the enjoyable kind IMO). Trees that massive will not rot quickly.


Edited by COBillsFan - 7/23/14 at 2:21pm
post #55 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post
 

From WCs site:

Currently Wolf Creek estimates that 95 to 100 percent of all mature Engelmann Spruce will be lost during this natural process.

 

I'm very skeptical that skiing would be minimally impacted. If you have 75' and taller trees falling down all over the mountain through the next 8-10 years ,even above average base depths will not cover them all. It's going to be a gnarly obstacle course (not the enjoyable kind IMO). Trees that massive will not rot quickly.

 

Well, there already are tons of treefalls, because Wolf doesn't clear them.  A ton of beetle kill trees have already come down- they don't need to rot so much as just become brittle after death, and then the heavy snowfall brings many of them over. Skiing Alberta early season (less than 60" base) IS a gnarly obstacle course, so having more treefalls won't do much to change that. More trees will obviously come down during the ski season than before, but I don't think it will be a huge deal.

post #56 of 56
Thread Starter 

Wolf just added a bunch of photos indicating the lift line prep is done and terminal/tower footings are progressing, along with special care to preserve saplings.

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/105964891740268200939/RecentPhotos#

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › 2014 Off Season Improvements summary