Stoneham's newest lift. (Stoneham)
Santa Claus himself will deliver the Éclipse to Quebec's Stoneham Mountain Resort’s snow lovers Dec. 23. This new lift, a new fixed-grip quad with a loading conveyor belt, replaces the double lift La Bordée and the T-bar Le Chinook, respectively 50 and 32-year-old equipment.
Stoneham and manufacturer Doppleymayr have collaborated over the last seven months to install the lift. Since then, Stoneham has been running a few tests and staff trainings to make sure all operators, mechanics, and ski patrol are familiar with the new installations and procedures. The lift has been operating part time for the past week and will continue to do so until its official inauguration Dec. 23.
The loading conveyor belt technology has gained in popularity recently and is the first one at Stoneham, as well as the first one to be installed in the Québec region. When combined to the fixed-grip lift, the belt allows a faster trip because it is synchronised with the chairs’ arrival. The new Éclipse gets skiers up the mountain in approximately eight and a half minutes, with a top speed of 2.6 meters per second and a capacity of 1900 skiers per hour.
The name of the new lift comes from Stoneham’s Facebook fans, who choose between different names, all related to meteorological or astronomical phenomena as it is a tradition for all the lifts names at the resort. The Éclipse is certainly a nod to the full sun eclipse which occurred in August, during the heart of the lift’s construction.
The official inauguration Dec. 23 will be done by Santa himself, who will be visiting with surprises for everyone there. The Éclipse will then operate full time, seven days and seven nights a week.