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New Ski Lift at Breck

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Highest U.S. ski lift approved at Breck

http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,...664936,00.html
post #2 of 24
Your linked article includes an extensive comment and quote from a fellow bear:
Quote:
Breckenridge Town Council member Jeffrey Bergeron, one of the most outspoken critics of the proposal, argued that the lift would pump hundreds of skiers into a wild backcountry area. "In all honesty, probably 70 to 80 percent of the time, the hike is more pleasant than the ski," he said. "For a lot of people, it's going to allow them to get up there and see what they've been missing, and a lot of times what they've been missing is not all that great, just because it's so exposed, windy and just does not hold that much snow."

Jeff Berman, an activist with Colorado Wild, said the environmental organization has concerns that the lift is simply a marketing ploy designed to generate more business and sell real estate at the ski-area base.
post #3 of 24
The negative---Jeff is right, it is going to make accessable, major acerage to the average "Joe". The only posible "safe escape road" for those who get in over their head may be down the ridge everybody now walks, and there will be plenty who shouldn't be there, that will end up there.

That section of the ski area is and has been "open" to all so long as you legally pass through the control gates, and has been in the ski areas Permit Area boundry for years.

The positive---For those who have argued that Breckenridge has no steep terrain, well bye-bye arguement. Another positive---It's gonna be a whole lot of fun !

For those of you who are wondering---I heard (though not official) that the lift will be in the the area now serviced by the #6 chair and will run nearly to the very top of Peak 8. If it ends up where I was told it was going (a good source by the way) it will still be a football field length or so from the summit of Peak 8.
post #4 of 24
Would they run the lift from the top of Chair 6 to the summit, or replace chair 6?
post #5 of 24
The issue with the wind and how even the top at the T Bar gets scarfed now is a big problem. We skied at Breck a couple of weeks ago on a powder day and when they did open the T Bar the skiing was pretty mediocre off the T Bar due to the winds blowing the snow. Anyway, the lift will open up more skiing and I think make Breck a better place to ski.
post #6 of 24
I wonder if they would block accesss to the western side of the ten mile range, or will the lift allow people to ski right into the SKY chutes?

I am in the camp where I would rather see it remain hike to terrain, although in all honesty, the snow up there is usually not that good.
post #7 of 24
How high does the lift at A-basin go?
post #8 of 24
I think the lift is a great idea. It just might spread the crowds out a little better, and I see no validity in the 'hike it or else' attitude. People pay for LIFT tickets, and then powder hounds demand exclusive terrain for a largely local group. ...It doesn't make much sense from a marketing standpoint! Breck has been one of the big offenders on stated acreages vs. lift served acreage for a LONG time.

Why can't they handle the snow problems up high like that with snow farming techniques many other high exposed ski areas use?
post #9 of 24
1. I doubt there will be access to Sky Chutes - it would require an access gate to be put in up there. Given they don't have one now and only expert skiers go up there, I don't see how they could justify putting in a gate when more idiots will be roaming around. (I would love to ski to work though.)

2. The news I heard regarding 6 was it was not going to go to the top. However, this summer it will be converted to a high-speed quad using the existing towers and terminals.

3. There's been a lot of debate over this in the county and both arguments make sense. My personal view is this is a good thing. We're not talking about adding acreage, it's just easier access to inbounds terrain. There's plenty of other places to go hiking inbounds in Summit County and tons at Breck alone. Some people say the terrain is too difficult for such easy access, but there's plenty of other places that have much more difficult terrain that's lift served. Plus, the existing "trail" people hike is simple to ski.

4. Plus, Jeff is right - Imperial Bowl just ain't that great a lot of times. I'd rather go hike something else where I'm virtually guaranteed good snow.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn
1. I doubt there will be access to Sky Chutes - it would require an access gate to be put in up there. Given they don't have one now and only expert skiers go up there, I don't see how they could justify putting in a gate when more idiots will be roaming around. (I would love to ski to work though.)
What prevents people who hike to the top of peaks 7 and 8 now from skiing the sky chutes? Every time I'm in Breck, the top is either closed due to not enough snow, or it is storming to much to go up there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn
2. The news I heard regarding 6 was it was not going to go to the top. However, this summer it will be converted to a high-speed quad using the existing towers and terminals.
From the press realease the new lift is not going to go to the top either, so I'm still left wondering if they are going to rip out 6 to put in the new lift and maybe have a halfway station to let people off before Imperial Bowl. I will have to hike up there before they put the lift in to take a look at the site. I didn't think there was much room up there to build a station, especially since it will probably require a wind shield ala Chair 23 at Mammoth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn
3. There's been a lot of debate over this in the county and both arguments make sense. My personal view is this is a good thing. We're not talking about adding acreage, it's just easier access to inbounds terrain. There's plenty of other places to go hiking inbounds in Summit County and tons at Breck alone. Some people say the terrain is too difficult for such easy access, but there's plenty of other places that have much more difficult terrain that's lift served. Plus, the existing "trail" people hike is simple to ski.
I've just always liked the idea of having a little bit of hike to terrain available, although this new lift would not eliminate all of the hike to terrain Breck has, or even it's best hiking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn
4. Plus, Jeff is right - Imperial Bowl just ain't that great a lot of times. I'd rather go hike something else where I'm virtually guaranteed good snow.
Agreed.
post #11 of 24
I guess I kind of have mixed opinions about the project.

The lake chutes are, in my opinion, the best inbounds skiing in summit/eagle county. However, they are probably also the most dangerous runs. Although other areas have just as diffucult lift served- places like jacskon hole seem to have a far lower gumby population.

I do like the hike, but it means that Im limited to only a couple runs a day on the runs. It would be amazing to do 20 runs on the lake chutes in a day.

I think deep down im hoping for the chair
post #12 of 24
Is nothing sacred? I read this last week when I was there. Most average people can't make it up the surface lift to Horseshoe Bowl, their legs give out. Now they want to put all these people up higher to clutter up the decent hike to terrain. That's crap. Sure, now everyone can snowplow and scrape all the good stuff off the only sacred terrain at Breck.
post #13 of 24
BTW, this will be the highest lift served terrain in the Continental US. Quote from the Summit Paper.
post #14 of 24
Great post Vinn--agree and exactly what I heard also. The word I got is 150 yards from the top (don't know if that was distance or vertical-- but expect distance.)

What I couldn't find out was what the plan was for a mid-station if any. My .02 It would be nice to see a load and unload midstation about where the top of 6 is now. I can't even imagine a new lift without the ability to AT LEAST off-load around where the top of the existing 6 lift is now. That would be a huge error.

Lars---LOL--good post (#12) I think those who DO go up there (that don't belong there) will scarf up the only safe passage out---the current walking trail. Other than that, I think what you will see is the typical front bowl action you do now...One or two turns followed by a fall, followed by a 55mph slide for life to the bottom of the bowl. PS---- Ever try to actually "snowplow" in Horseshoe Bowl ? That I'd like to see !
post #15 of 24
Uncle Louie, There was no snowplowing in Horseshoe on Thursday. I did get quite a laugh and a head shake though watching some jerk actually try. He made three turns and slid on his belly like a reptile about five hundred feet nearly taking out a couple people on the way. Didn't belong up there to begin with. Therin lies the problem. Give them a lift to higher terrain and the problem will only be multiplied. The ski patrol will need another hut up there for the carnage.

BTW, the guy didn't ge hurt too badly, just bruch burns and a few minor cuts. I did check him out before I asked him what the hell he was doing up there.
post #16 of 24
Can you see these people up there on a powder day in thirty mph winds?
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
I did check him out before I asked him what the hell he was doing up there.
What was his response?
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowSnake
How high does the lift at A-basin go?
If memory serves, it's 12,450. Back in the 80s, when I lived there, it was the highest lift. Then Copper put in a higher one, then Lovelan, now Breck. It's all about bragging rights.
post #19 of 24
Lars---really true on all accounts. One of the most frightening things in the Front Bowl is when you are making some nice controlled turns and someone comes by on their back doing 50 with no gear and their arms and legs in the air.

For those of you who haven't been there, this area is steep enough that if you can't "self arrest" in three or four seconds after a fall---you are headed for the bottom---and that's that !

I agree that the new "6 chair" may bring a host of folks, like the guy you spoke of, to the very top of some very steep terrain. No question some will get hurt---many will get scared and some may make it back down safely. That's part of the deal.

Let's hope the Breckenridge Ski Area posts plenty of warnings where everyone can see them and hope everybody actually reads them !
post #20 of 24
This brought up a question in my mind. I thought I read somewhere that Colorado areas have an agreement to measure official snowfall at a point midway between the top and bottom lift served elevations. With a new lift going higher, will they be able to move their official snow stake and maybe claim a little higher snowfall? The marketing department might like that.
post #21 of 24
Reading some of these responses gives me the impression there are some who think Breck is the only place that will have chairlift access to terrain with a decent pitch. ....To those I can only suggest you get a life and try one of the MANY other places with lift served terrain above intermediate level.

GET REAL!!!
post #22 of 24
From reading some of the articles in the Summit Daily, I don't think the new chair is going to replace 6. From the Summit Daily article :

http://www.summitdaily.com/article/2...73197224043656

"He also approved a rebuild of the 6 Chair, which would feed the Summit Lift."

I guess it makes sense if you are going to put a high speed quad up high on the mountain, you had better have a high speed quad feeding it.

I just don't see how this lift is going to run 100 days a year though. My guess 60-70 tops. In most years it will not be open until mid January, leaving it only about 90 days to operate max. Take out some storm and wind days and I just don't see how it will be open for more than half the ski year (mid-November to mid-April).

On the plus side, one of the articles did mention that the new Forest Service plan put Peak 6 within the operating boundaries, and they may open up more terrain over there to hike too.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by feallen
Reading some of these responses gives me the impression there are some who think Breck is the only place that will have chairlift access to terrain with a decent pitch. ....To those I can only suggest you get a life and try one of the MANY other places with lift served terrain above intermediate level.

GET REAL!!!
Excuse me? What do any of the comments made have to do with get a life? That wasn't you that slid all the way down Horseshoe Bowl was it? If it was, I hope You weren't too badly bruised.
post #24 of 24

Update Peak 8 lift

An update to the Peak 8 lift situation was posted today. I'm not familiar with the issue, just thought I'd post it since I saw it.

"Dillon District Ranger Rick Newton withdrew his approval of the lift Friday - two and a half months after he approved it - because agency officials said Newton did not have the authority to make the decision."

Regarding lower level skiers, how comparable is this situation to the top of the tram at Snowbird? Any chance that a work-around like a cat track might be installed to deal with it?
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