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New Collins Lift at Alta

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
The new Collins quad replaced the dual Collins/Germania lifts at Alta this season. It was supposed to be a major improvement in moving skiiers uphill from the Wildcat base, but my husband and I are not so sure. We skiied it a few times early on. On good snow/busy days we found very long, slow-moving lines at the base. It was impossible to load at mid-mountain because there were never any empty chairs. The result was that all skiiers were funnelled down to the base every time.

Is the management leaving empty chairs for mid-mountain loading now? What are your thoughts on the new Collins lift? Are you happy with it, or do you pine for the Good Ole' Germ?

post #2 of 8
I thought it was a nice upgrade. I too had the same problem trying to load mid mnt at times but found the problem to happen more on weekends. I think the lift is faster which means (if you're lucky to load fast quick enough) more skiing for everybody.

I don't know... I just love Alta and no matter how slow, busy or otherwise inadeq. some things are, I can't get enough of that mountain
post #3 of 8
I like the new lift and I love skiing at Alta. I was there a couple of Saturday's ago and didn't find the lines very long. I like to ski top to bottom therefore I wasn't concerned about the mid mountain loading situation. But I did notice they were leaving an occassional chair free for mid station loading.
post #4 of 8
I think it is a tremendous improvement. You have to look at the way something like this changes the way you ski the mountain. At Alta, the old arrangement made you tend to yoyo ski shorter lines of just the old Germaina lift or the Collins area. That's OK, but not what a classic place like Alta should serve up. Now, you can really stretch out runs and re-discover lines less usable with a two-lift layout (think High Rustler, Eagles Nest, Lone Pine, etc.) Alta, with its awesome snow conditions top-to-bottom should be skied all in one chunk. Let other ski areas serve up the piece meal stuff.

post #5 of 8
I rode the Collins lift exclusively my one day there this past December. That was not my plan but since it was my first day of the season and I was so out of shape, I rode it for the four hours I was actually on the snow. I liked it a lot since it easily allowed me to ski the groomers, West Rustler, and the Greeley area top to bottom without taking two chairs. Well, there is that transfer tow. I also wondered how good it would be on powder days. I think I'd just stay on the Wildcat chair and ski the Ho area or head over to Supreme. One thing I did notice that day, however, was that the High T was the worst I had ever seen it. I do not know if it was from the increased traffic from the new lift or because they had not had any snow in nearly ten days. Either way, it was more of a rutted death trap than it normally is.

I talked with some Ski Patrollers on the way up and they said that management (lawyers) will not permit them to load if there is a spot free on the chair. This certainly could be cumbersome if there were three people on the chair but I would think one or two people would be able to load if there were only one or two seated. Besides, the chair is crawling along at that point. They said they were still trying to work it out.

I use the mid-loading point at Sugar Mountain, NC when they are busy. (You have not seen crowds and massive lift lines until you've been there.) They will allow you to load on the double chair if it is occupied by a single rider. It works out fairly well.
post #6 of 8

collins lift

the "extra" availibility at the base loadiing and minimal / none at mid mountain
(wait time = infinity was posted when i was there in late Dec) was by design
and intended to reward skiers who ski the whole mountain.

with "active loading" at the bottom (ie singles line, two doubles make a quad), the chance of empty chairs is small on busy powder days. but that was by intent.

fwiw, the singles line is typically faster than the corrals...
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

New Collins Lift at Alta

Thanks for your observations. We're heading up to SLC tomorrow and I'll keep in mind what's been said. In any case, I remain a devoted Altaoid.

post #8 of 8
Originally Posted by GP

Is the management leaving empty chairs for mid-mountain loading now? What are your thoughts on the new Collins lift? Are you happy with it, or do you pine for the Good Ole' Germ?

I saw a sign yesterday at the mid-mountain station that said every tenth chair would be left empty. If this will remain so I don't know.

I haven't had much trouble loading at mid-mountain on weekday afternoons. I don't mind the trip to the bottom if it's busy.
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