New for 2010-2011: Chair 5 High Noon Express
Chair 5 to Open Dec. 10 with Kickoff Celebration! Click Here for Details
On April 19th, 2010, the day after Vail closed its lifts for the year, mountain crews got to work on the biggest project of the summer: replacing the old Chair 5 with a new high speed quad. Elk calving season limits the construction schedule, so the old chair had to be removed by May 6, only weeks away. Chairs were removed, towers were taken down, and the top and bottom stations were cleared. After a two month break, work resumed in early July. The opening of the new lift for the 2010-2011 season is timed to coincide with the traditional openings of Vail’s Back Bowls, in early December 2010.
Concrete Pour Video
The lift will still serve Vail’s legendary Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls, improving skier circulation on the mountain in the Sun Up and Sun Down area and also for guests migrating west at the end of the day as an alternate route to using the Northwoods Express Lift (#11) from the top of the Teacup Express Lift (#36).
The Back Bowls have been part of the ski scene since Vail opened in 1962 with only a gondola out of the village and two chairlifts on the mountain. The chair out of the bowls was one of them. Two distinct drainages form the area – Sun Up Bowl on the east side, Sun Down Bowl on the west – with High Noon Ridge standing between. Except for the forested area at the top of Sun Down Bowl, the bowls are almost devoid of trees due to weather conditions in the hot, dry year of 1879 when forest fires ravaged many mountain slopes in Colorado. The fires left the wide-open slopes and sweeping vistas of Colorado high country that made the Back Bowls famous among skiers.
Old Lift Facts:
- Fixed-grip triple
- Manufacturer: Doppelmayr
- Installed in 1979
- Ride time: 11 minutes
- Capacity: 1,400 people per hour
- Lift was sold to a reseller and then sold to Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson, British Columbia where it will be known as the Glory Ridge Chair New Lift
New Lift Facts:
- New high-speed quad was approved in December 2009 after approximately two years of Forest Service review and public input
- Manufacturer: Leitner-Poma
- Ride time: six minutes
- Capacity: 2,400 people per hour
- Vertical Rise: 1,852 feet
- Alignment is slightly different with a load location 20 feet west the old load terminal location but unload location will remain the same.