Beech Replaces HSQ with FGQ

TomWhiteTomWhite expert
in NELSAP Forum Posts: 583
Beech is south of our focus area but Peter's discussion on Liftblog.com is interesting.

Beech Mountain Adding Two Doppelmayr Quads

March 27, 2018 Peter
Landsman
 

 

 Beech Mountain,
North Carolina will replace two of its
workhorse chairlifts ahead of the 2018/2019 winter season.  Lift 5, which
ascends to the 5,506-foot summit, and was originally built in 1987, is
currently being disassembled in preparation for the installation of a new
Doppelymayr fixed-grip quad.  The lift will include the addition of a
loading conveyor to ensure safe boarding, higher travel speeds and shorter trip
times.  Lift 5 will now include 144 chairs with a 6.5 minute ride time
accommodating 2,400 people per hour.






This marks only the second time in North American history that a fixed-grip
chairlift will replace a detachable one, though the trend may continue. 
Sugarbush, Vermont replaced the Green Mountain Express with a fixed quad in
1995, though it went detachable again in 2002.  Willamette Pass in Oregon
has put its detachable six-pack up for sale, seeking to
replace it with a fixed-grip lift that’s more affordable to operate.  A
used T-Bar may also rise this summer at Ascutney, Vermont on the site of a
former high-speed quad.

Back to Beech, Lift 6, currently a double chair
with parts from Goforth Brothers, Hall and Doppelmayr, will also be replaced
with a Doppelmayr fixed-grip quad.  This one will feature 106 chairs and a
6.5 minute travel time with a capacity of 2,000 people per hour.  Both quad
lifts will feature footrests, upholstered seating and back rests.  Guests
can now expect to reach the mountain’s 5,506-foot summit with easy on-and-off
loading, comfortable seating, and a more efficient layout to eliminate
congestion.

Comments

  • DrJeffDrJeff advanced
    Posts: 387
    Capacity is capacity. Ride time is ride time. 2 completely different things.

    Looking at their trail map, both existing lifts end up at the summit and start near their base lodge. So an old double and an old high speed quad will be replaced with 2 fixed grip quads, probably a net increase in capacity, with still a sub 7 minute ride time.

    One has to remember that whether a lift is a detachable or a fixed grip, if the chair spacing is at 6 seconds, that's going to put 2400 people an hour for a quad at the top of the lift, regardless of the time spent on the lift
  • pagamonypagamony advanced
    edited March 27 Posts: 143
    This is actually great I think.  I am a Beech fan.  The HSQ was not very HS and has a terrible landing zone.  The very slow summit double was only used on high traffic times, or when the HSQ was down, and is oriented more to serve the two main black slopes.  

    When all the slopes are open the traffic spreads out good enough.  I would rather have a reliable lift and a good alternative than a fidgety old HSQ.  I am glad to see they still have money to spend.  

    You might remember they removed another rarely used summit double a few years ago, so the net max seats going to the top remains the same. 

    I think you guys would like Beech, it's very old school with some ok terrain.  




  • skipro77skipro77 intermediate
    Posts: 91
    A very good move on their part.  The former HSQ was cobbled together from the original bubble gondola and was not very high-speed.  Loading and unloading was a pain.  This is a very big improvement.
  • Posts: 2,361
    That's the HSQ with a bunch of lattice towers, right?
    - Sam
  • skipro77skipro77 intermediate
    Posts: 91

    That's the HSQ with a bunch of lattice towers, right?

    Yes.
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 425
    They need to make more snow before anything else. They closed in Feb this year after a thaw. Sugar, a very close neighbor is open still. They put a new quad on OZ Run a few years ago. Since it's been in it has seen three winters it hasn't been open. The hs quad broke at the end of the year. They used the double to the top until the summit ran out of snow. For the last ten days of operation they were lower mountain only. Highest ski lift served peak east of the Rockies.
  • Posts: 2,361
    newman said:

    They need to make more snow before anything else. They closed in Feb this year after a thaw. Sugar, a very close neighbor is open still. They put a new quad on OZ Run a few years ago. Since it's been in it has seen three winters it hasn't been open. The hs quad broke at the end of the year. They used the double to the top until the summit ran out of snow. For the last ten days of operation they were lower mountain only. Highest ski lift served peak east of the Rockies.


    A quick Google search shows that the Oz Quad has operate a number of times.
    - Sam
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 425
    It has. But it didn't all last year. Also a few other seasons it never got opened. That is the last trail they make snow on. Some years they get over there. Some they don't. The very first year it was installed it didn't open. Other years it got used for two months. The snowmaking windows and the thaw cycles are very different then most New England skiers would think. I've been checking the reports and webcams for Beech and Sugar all season long for many years now.
  • pagamonypagamony advanced
    Posts: 143
    Newman that is a very unhealthy obsession. They did close unusually early this year after the mid term rains. Let's say they wanted to get an early start on the lifts.  Beech is high but also very exposed to wind and sun.  They have really improved a lot the last 5 years. 

    Oz is an nice low angle slope, it fit well into the terrain and faces the western sun; if it is open, you know the whole mountain is pretty good.  

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