The high-speed quad out of Mid-Vail, Mountaintop Express Lift (#4), will be replaced with a high-speed six-passenger chairlift for next season. This will increase capacity by 33 percent to 3,600 people per hour – the same capacity as Vail’s new gondola, One.
The existing lift was installed in 1985 and is one of the most frequently used lifts on Vail Mountain, providing access to Patrol Headquarters and a number of surrounding areas including the legendary Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin. The new lower lift terminal will be located approximately 90 feet to the east of the existing terminal, resulting in a lift maze configuration that will decrease cross-traffic of skiers and snowboarders in the surrounding area. The upper terminal location will undergo minor adjustments to accommodate a more efficient circulation of skiers and snowboarders.
The Gopher Hill Lift (#12) in Golden Peak – a fixed-grip double Riblet chairlift installed in 1974 – will be replaced by the old Rose Bowl lift (#4) from Beaver Creek. The fixed-grip triple Doppelmayr lift will increase capacity by 50 percent over the existing Gopher Hill Lift (#12), which predominantly provides access to the Golden Peak area for beginners as well as access to Vail Village. The triple lift will also allow for twice the capacity of three to six year old ski and snowboard school guests, who are required to ride the lift with an adult. The lower terminal will be adjusted slightly in both location and elevation to allow beginner guests easier access to the lift and to facilitate better use of both the west and east lift mazes.
The lifts are proposed to be installed in the spring and summer of 2013 and operational the 2013-2014 ski and snowboard season. The new lifts are subject to Town of Vail and U.S. Forest Service approval. Additional details on the design and approval of the proposed lifts as well as the manufacturer of the new Mountaintop Express Lift (#4) will be available in the coming months.