New Lift At Snowmass Will Improve Access To Steepest Terrain
The realignment of the second-highest chairlift at Colorado's Snowmass will give skiers and riders more runs in the bowls and glades of the mountain’s most challenging terrain next season.
Crews are working this summer to dismantle the 30-year-old High Alpine fixed-grip lift and construct a high-speed quad that is 1,000 feet longer and anchored at the base of The Cirque. The new $8 million lift will eliminate the necessity of a run to the mid-mountain base of Alpine Springs in order to get back to the Green Cabin side on the High Alpine west area.
“The new alignment will allow guests to ski from Rock Island, AMF, and the Cirque without dropping to the lower mountain to access the High Alpine area,” Snowmass General Manager Steve Sewell told SnoCountry.com. “Additionally, skiers and riders can now easily access Upper Green Cabin without a long flat traverse ... especially important for snowboarders. This will improve the upper mountain circulation. There is no change in access to the Hanging Valley and no change in the uphill lift capacity.”
Despite its longer length, the new higher speed lift will reduce riding time from 11 to less than six minutes, but chairs will be spaced a wider gaps to keep capacity at the same, Sewell said.
The base of the new lift will be below the High Alpine Restaurant on Upper Green Cabin, near the base of the Sheer Bliss chair.
Forest crews also will take out their chainsaws this summer to begin 3-5 years of thinning on many of Snowmass’ famous glade runs. The multi-year project will increase gladed terrain by nearly 16 percent, with most in the upper mountain, steeper terrain such as Reidar’s and Castle glades.
Skiers and snowboarders will also find a bit more snowmaking for the 2015-2016 season, as Snowmass continues to expand its artificial snow capacities.
Photos: Top -- Lift line is cut for new High Alpine Lift (Jeremy Swanson/Aspen); Below -- Map showing location of new High Alpine lift at Snowmass (Facebook)