by Clayton Moore
Dateline: Wednesday, November 27th 2013 – the first public debut of the new Chair 4.
Location: Mid-Vail riding Vail’s newest High Speed (six passenger) lift to the summit of Vail Mountain.
Last year marked the introduction of Vail’s new Gondola One – built and installed by Leitner-Poma, of Grand Junction, Colorado.
This years new ski skier detachable six-pak lift was built and installed by Leitner’s competitor – team Doppelmayr/Garaventa.
What the ECT learned…
While the Colorado Tramway Board certified the new lift – safe for public use…apparently the “load testing” done at the lower Terminal the time did not in anyway match the real “Skier loads” of Skiers on day one…else Vail’s lift maintenance team would have known there were performance issues on day one.
It was reported (informally of course) that the “tensioning” of the new belt pulleys that control some of the wheels that move the Chairs while detached from the moving “rope” in the lower terminal (that’s what lift maintenance calls the steel cable) was the central problem.
To their credit Vail Lift’s Mechanical team (the Men in Black Vail ski suits actually) made real time adjustments and an improvement in lift performance was seen by about noon time on day one. They also worked on the lower terminal of Chair 4 the first evening as well.
Vail’ Mountain’s Grey Ski Jackets…
Skier and Boarders can look forward to improved lift performance from the new Chair 4 this season as lift maintenance will no doubt get this dialed-in in the next few days.
In the mean time here are a few photos for the new lift – some were taken while in motion on the lift…