Saddleback aims to open

mapnutmapnut expert
in NELSAP Forum Posts: 794

https://www.facebook.com/SaddlebackMaine/?hc_ref=ARQzIoB5P16KPvfXwaNgGz61nfQ_BXHtSdXPICSSLpC45WB_hZsGyyIvvWR3tN4avyE&fref=nf

"Dominoes have fallen into place." Not a good metaphor, but they're ready to start tearing down the Rangeley chairlift, rebuilding the T-bar, and, they say, "rebuild the Rangeley", which is either confusing or optimistic or both.

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Comments

  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,079
    did the property transfer?  
  • RemskiRemski advanced
    Posts: 339
    Positive news is good news. Fingers crossed for an opening this season.
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 875
    Sounds to me like they hope to get a Rangeley replacement up for the winter. Pretty late to start IMHO
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 452

    Afternoon Saddlebackers! We wanted to check in and let you know the dominoes have fallen into place and we are able to amp up efforts to reopen the mountain. We are pleased to announce physical work is starting at Saddleback.

    The first step will be taking down the existing Rangeley lift. This process will be carried out by Jim Quimby, Jared Emerson and the Mountain Operations team, weather permitting. Following this, the next step will be construction and repair of the T-Bar and also the Rangeley chair lift.

    We know your single biggest question here is going to be, when are you going to open? The only thing that is going to hold up or delay this process is Mother Nature. As work progresses and we are able to establish a firm timeline, you will be the first to know. We thank you for your continued support and patience through this process.

    Best regards, 
    The Saddleback Team

    -------------------------

    IBrack suggests the Saddleback Team plans to rebuild the Cupsuptic for this season. If possible that makes sense. But "construction and repair" (above) don't seem to go together. Maybe it's Aussi speak! Of course we SJers are reading everything in detail. I suggest, that if the T-bar will be the lift to get people onto the mountain to start the season, then wouldn't they say that repair, not Rangeley dismantling, would be the priority. Did we ever hear what has made the Rangeley "unusable"?

  • Posts: 957
    Per the Saddleback comments on their FB page they clarified they indeed found it best to open on time this year that they only replace the Rangeley chair with a new fixed grip quad and repair the existing Cupsuptic t-bar to be fully operational.

    IBRAKE
  • skipro77skipro77 intermediate
    Posts: 51
    +1
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 452

    Per the Saddleback comments on their FB page they clarified they indeed found it best to open on time this year that they only replace the Rangeley chair with a new fixed grip quad and repair the existing Cupsuptic t-bar to be fully operational.

    IBRAKE

    I think this is a very good way to reopen and have access to the whole mountain for this season. I actually suggested this in an email to their staff. I also told them about a FGQ 350 mi. to their north that is available. I hope they can open by Christmas. Their second paragraph just doesn'tsays 
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 452
    Hum. I didn't finish my draft. I actually deleted it. When I got back on the page it appeared and was even posted. Whatever, I hope they get the Cupsuptic repaired and running.
  • Posts: 957
    TomWhite said:

    Hum. I didn't finish my draft. I actually deleted it. When I got back on the page it appeared and was even posted. Whatever, I hope they get the Cupsuptic repaired and running.

    They should. Looks like foundational work needs to be done at the t-bar's base terminal and perhaps some of the tower footings. The motor, towers, sheaves, and hangers may all well be structurally sound.

    IBRAKE
  • edited September 19 Posts: 957
    I'll even add this: if the Hall ends up staying in place following the repairs perhaps Doppelmayr (who inherited Hall through its acquisitions through the years) could modify the lift to utilise spring boxes from the hangers versus telescoping masts. If this lift is subject to strong winds these are less likely to be buffeted about than the metal masts. That way the lift is even less likely to risk derailing or general inoperability due to high winds.

    IBRAKE
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 875
    What's wrong with the Cupsuptic?
  • ME2VTskierME2VTskier intermediate
    edited September 19 Posts: 93
    obienick said:

    What's wrong with the Cupsuptic?

    Scroll down...

    http://www.newenglandskihistory.com/lifts/viewlift.php?id=94



  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    edited September 20 Posts: 1,745
    There was a "condo owner/Magella" meet-and-greet last Sunday". Representatives of SB announced that they had decided that they would have a limited opening that started off with the T-Bar and hopefully transitioning to an operating replacement for the Rangeley Chair by the end of January. 

    Also mentioned was the possibility that they would operate only weekends and holidays.  No representatives from Australia were at the meeting.  Just the CEO, Fred LeMontagne and COO, Perry Williams.   
     
    The Aussies plan to close on the property at the end of this month, but we've heard that a few hundred times before.. 
  • edited September 20 Posts: 1,964

    I'll even add this: if the Hall ends up staying in place following the repairs perhaps Doppelmayr (who inherited Hall through its acquisitions through the years) could modify the lift to utilise spring boxes from the hangers versus telescoping masts. If this lift is subject to strong winds these are less likely to be buffeted about than the metal masts. That way the lift is even less likely to risk derailing or general inoperability due to high winds.

    IBRAKE


    The Cupsuptic isn't in an area where wind is much of an issue. It's sometimes the only upper mountain lift open at Saddleback, when everything else is on wind hold. I don't know if you remember my trip report from Lonesome Pine Trails, but Doppelmayr had supplied new telescoping Ts for the old Hall T-bar there.
    - Sam
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 452

    There was a "condo owner/Magella" meet-and-greet last Sunday". Representatives of SB announced that they had decided that they would have a limited opening that started off with the T-Bar and hopefully transitioning to an operating replacement for the Rangeley Chair by the end of January. 


    Getting the T-bar ready for service seems to be a realistic way to go. Removing the Rangeley and building a FGQ by the end of January doesn't seem realistic. But at least they want to get it done, and soon.
  • newpylongnewpylong expert
    edited September 20 Posts: 531
    That time frame for replacing Rangley is absolutely doable if the installer has the time. Will be tight though.
  • PeterPeter intermediate
    Posts: 53
    It might help that Doppelmayr has a slightly lighter project load than last year at this time.  The Leitner-Poma Group out sold them for the first time since the merger of Doppelmayr and CTEC in 2002.  Of the 14 Doppelmayrs this year, one is already finished and a few are being installed by third parties.  Last year they had 18.
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited September 20 Posts: 875
    What will they have to do, just backfill? Doesn't seem too hard.

    Dopp has all 3 new chair installs in the New England before you count Rageley. No company has had that workload here since Dopp in 2004.

    There is one benefit: there is no way the work will get done for opening day. So the crew(s) can focus entirely on Rangeley once the others are done.  But the footings will need to be in the ground by late November.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,745
    TomWhite said:

    There was a "condo owner/Magella" meet-and-greet last Sunday". Representatives of SB announced that they had decided that they would have a limited opening that started off with the T-Bar and hopefully transitioning to an operating replacement for the Rangeley Chair by the end of January. 


    Getting the T-bar ready for service seems to be a realistic way to go. Removing the Rangeley and building a FGQ by the end of January doesn't seem realistic. But at least they want to get it done, and soon.
    For those not familiar with SB, the full mountain is available with either the Rangeley Chair or the Cupsuptic T-Bar.  However, riders don't do well on T-Bars.  On days when the Rangeley didn't run, there were lots of stops due to mis-loads/falls of snowboarders on the T-Bar.
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,079

    Thanks Joshua for answering my previous question. There's probably a Yogi Berra quote that applies to all of this
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 452
    Have we ever heard what is wrong with the Rangeley?
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,745
    TomWhite said:

    Have we ever heard what is wrong with the Rangeley?

    Pretty much everything from towers to tower footings.  That lift dates to 1963 and these things do wear not last forever.  Even the MRG single cost more to when it was restored about a decade ago than it would have cost to replace it with a modern lift.  The Rangeley Double just doesn't have that kind of pedigree to make it worthwhile to preserve/restore.
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 452

    TomWhite said:

    Have we ever heard what is wrong with the Rangeley?

    Pretty much everything from towers to tower footings.  That lift dates to 1963 and these things do wear not last forever.  Even the MRG single cost more to when it was restored about a decade ago than it would have cost to replace it with a modern lift.  The Rangeley Double just doesn't have that kind of pedigree to make it worthwhile to preserve/restore.
    Thanks, that makes sense. What surprises me is that some resorts seem content with 60's chairs. Smuggs' Madonna I and Sterling come to mind.
  • newpylongnewpylong expert
    edited September 20 Posts: 531
    It all depends on what shape the lift is in. There does come a point where it becomes too costly to keep modifying and repairing an old lift to remain certified. For a 1963 Mueller that is a core lift I would not spend a dime any longer if I could help it.
  • sugarloafsugarloaf expert
    Posts: 759

    did the property transfer?  

    If that still has not happened, this is all still pure speculation.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,745
    TomWhite said:

    TomWhite said:

    Have we ever heard what is wrong with the Rangeley?

    Pretty much everything from towers to tower footings.  That lift dates to 1963 and these things do wear not last forever.  Even the MRG single cost more to when it was restored about a decade ago than it would have cost to replace it with a modern lift.  The Rangeley Double just doesn't have that kind of pedigree to make it worthwhile to preserve/restore.
    Thanks, that makes sense. What surprises me is that some resorts seem content with 60's chairs. Smuggs' Madonna I and Sterling come to mind.
    Smuggler's is an oddball case.  Have you ever noticed the towers on M1?  I was told that it was a particularly complex design where extra towers had to be added afterwards to deal with some unanticipated wind problems. My guess is the replacement cost for that lift would be prohibitive, both because of its length (about 9K feet) and its topography.  I'd bet on at least $8M to replace it with an FGQ.

    I hope we have a Smuggler's expert on SJ who might be able to elaborate more.
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 452

    Madonna I Lift
    Smugglers Notch
    Vermont
    StatusStanding  
    TypeChairlift - Double - Fixed  
    BrandHall  
    Install Season1963-64  
    New Install?New  
    Ancestors
    Cost  
    Install Length6,719 feet  
    Install Vertical2,150 feet 
    Final Season Standing 
    Descendants
    NotesRebuilt by CTEC for 2002-03  
  • newpylongnewpylong expert
    Posts: 531

    TomWhite said:

    TomWhite said:

    Have we ever heard what is wrong with the Rangeley?

    Pretty much everything from towers to tower footings.  That lift dates to 1963 and these things do wear not last forever.  Even the MRG single cost more to when it was restored about a decade ago than it would have cost to replace it with a modern lift.  The Rangeley Double just doesn't have that kind of pedigree to make it worthwhile to preserve/restore.
    Thanks, that makes sense. What surprises me is that some resorts seem content with 60's chairs. Smuggs' Madonna I and Sterling come to mind.
    Smuggler's is an oddball case.  Have you ever noticed the towers on M1?  I was told that it was a particularly complex design where extra towers had to be added afterwards to deal with some unanticipated wind problems. My guess is the replacement cost for that lift would be prohibitive, both because of its length (about 9K feet) and its topography.  I'd bet on at least $8M to replace it with an FGQ.

    I hope we have a Smuggler's expert on SJ who might be able to elaborate more.
    Likely closer to $4M. Still not cheap, that is a very long lift.
  • z1000307470z1000307470 intermediate
    Posts: 91
    newpylong said:

    TomWhite said:

    TomWhite said:

    Have we ever heard what is wrong with the Rangeley?

    Pretty much everything from towers to tower footings.  That lift dates to 1963 and these things do wear not last forever.  Even the MRG single cost more to when it was restored about a decade ago than it would have cost to replace it with a modern lift.  The Rangeley Double just doesn't have that kind of pedigree to make it worthwhile to preserve/restore.
    Thanks, that makes sense. What surprises me is that some resorts seem content with 60's chairs. Smuggs' Madonna I and Sterling come to mind.
    Smuggler's is an oddball case.  Have you ever noticed the towers on M1?  I was told that it was a particularly complex design where extra towers had to be added afterwards to deal with some unanticipated wind problems. My guess is the replacement cost for that lift would be prohibitive, both because of its length (about 9K feet) and its topography.  I'd bet on at least $8M to replace it with an FGQ.

    I hope we have a Smuggler's expert on SJ who might be able to elaborate more.
    Likely closer to $4M. Still not cheap, that is a very long lift.
    Making this lift a FGQ would be a gigantic error. I would guess that is one of the reasons they have not replaced it. It needs to be a HSQ.
  • sugarloafsugarloaf expert
    Posts: 759

    newpylong said:

    TomWhite said:

    TomWhite said:

    Have we ever heard what is wrong with the Rangeley?

    Pretty much everything from towers to tower footings.  That lift dates to 1963 and these things do wear not last forever.  Even the MRG single cost more to when it was restored about a decade ago than it would have cost to replace it with a modern lift.  The Rangeley Double just doesn't have that kind of pedigree to make it worthwhile to preserve/restore.
    Thanks, that makes sense. What surprises me is that some resorts seem content with 60's chairs. Smuggs' Madonna I and Sterling come to mind.
    Smuggler's is an oddball case.  Have you ever noticed the towers on M1?  I was told that it was a particularly complex design where extra towers had to be added afterwards to deal with some unanticipated wind problems. My guess is the replacement cost for that lift would be prohibitive, both because of its length (about 9K feet) and its topography.  I'd bet on at least $8M to replace it with an FGQ.

    I hope we have a Smuggler's expert on SJ who might be able to elaborate more.
    Likely closer to $4M. Still not cheap, that is a very long lift.
    Making this lift a FGQ would be a gigantic error. I would guess that is one of the reasons they have not replaced it. It needs to be a HSQ.
    +1

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

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