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New Lifts Planned for Snowbasin

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
A replacement/realignment of the Little Cat beginner chair:


and an additional lift for Strawberry:

Resort seeks OK for new chairlift

By Mike Gorrell
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 04/16/2008 11:40:42 PM MDT

Several times a year, whiteout conditions can be a disorienting problem off the wide-open ridgeline serviced by Snowbasin's Strawberry Express gondola.
And blustery winds have shut the gondola down at times, stranding skiers and boarders at the bottom of expansive Strawberry Bowl. When that happens, Snowbasin has to dispatch snowcats to get them back to the resort's base facility.
To minimize those misadventures and improve skier flow through the Ogden-area resort's central bowl, Snowbasin has proposed to build a high-speed detachable quad chairlift almost parallel to the Strawberry Express gondola.
It will angle a little to the north, however, with its top terminal nestled into a protected basin beneath DeMoisy Peak. That location provides better access to the Middle Bowl area, largely via intermediate Dan's Run, which Snowbasin wants to improve with enhanced snowmaking.
The public has until Friday afternoon to suggest issues the U.S. Forest Service should address in an environmental assessment of the proposal. Forest Service approval is required because the top terminal and the next-highest chairlift tower are on its land; the lower 7,950 feet of the chairlift are on private land Snowbasin acquired in an exchange with the Forest Service during the buildup to the 2002 Winter Olympics.

If approved, Snowbasin hopes to build the 8,500-foot lift in summer
2009. It would rise 1,970 vertical feet and have a carrying capacity of up to 2,400 riders per hour.
"Strawberry [ridge] sometimes gets clouded in and it's hard to find you're way off the top," said Snowbasin General Manager Denzel Rowland. He noted that the proposed chairlift's top terminal is low enough that "you can get below the cloud level and the wind so you can utilize Strawberry bowl," but high enough that a short traverse enables visitors to get into Middle Bowl.
Putting additional snowmaking into Dan's Run will enhance that connection. Dan's Run needs the man-made supplement to cover early season bare spots, Rowland said.
"During critical busy times, at Christmas and Presidents Day weekend, this can throw a lot of traffic into Middle Bowl," he added.
Ogden District Ranger Chip Sibbernsen said the proposed lift is part of the resort's three-phase master plan, approved by the Forest Service in 1995.
He said only 3 acres of Forest Service land will be disturbed by project construction and that hardly any trees, if any, will be removed.
"This is a very low-impact type of project, but we will need to go there after the snowmelt to check for plants. We won't do anything until the biologists conduct their checks."
post #2 of 3
Cool. I cannot wait to get back out there. Snowbasin is truely a class organization.
post #3 of 3
Influence from trip reports this season, Snowbasin is at the top of my list of must do's!
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