Killington Update

Photos (didn't paste) include bubble chairs.

SEASON OF MORE - CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES 8/7
Our mountain ops team has been busy making moves to say the least. Here is what the Director of Mountain Operations, Jeff Temple, told us what they have going on with only 45 days until snowmaking begins!


LIFTS
Lift construction is in the works. As stewards of the environment and our playground we could not start upper mountain construction until the nesting period of the Bicknell thrush was over on August 1. Construction is now underway on the upper terminal and towers of the South Ridge Quad and the new Snowdon Six Express bubble chairlift.

The new haul rope for the K-1 Express Gondola has arrived and installation will begin the week of September 10. The new K-1 cabins are being manufactured in Europe and we will hear soon about the shipping date.
Storage facilities for the new 6-person bubble chairs and the K-1 Express Gondola cabins are in the last stages of design and construction will begin shortly.
The Swirl Racing Venue lift route is laid-out and being cleared. The work will begin shortly on installing the lift. In the meantime, a few mountain bike trail segments are being re-worked on both Ramshead and Snowdon to accomplish the lift/ski trail work and to keep these signature bike trails open through the fall as much as possible.

SNOWMAKING
We are replacing and adding 44,000 feet of snowmaking pipe. Replacing deteriorated pipe is important in our goal to protect our environment so we can Play Forever and be energy efficient. Leaking air or water is not efficient; along with the replacements, we are reconfiguring some pipelines for better operational efficiency. We are also adding snowmaking to trails at both Snowdon and South Ridge areas to enhance skiing and riding experience. Upper Bunny, Upper Chute, Upper Cruise Control, Lower Pipedream and additional areas at Snowdon are all locations snowmaking pipe work is in progress.
TUNNELS
Tunnels are being installed to enhance the skier experience in four locations to provide more top to bottom runs on key intermediate terrain. The Skyeburst Tunnel has footings being installed and is about ready for concrete. The actual tunnel installation is a couple of weeks away. The Upper Bunny Tunnel and the Lower Chute Tunnel are being dug out and will be ready for tunnel installation by early September. The Great Bear Tunnel will be the last location we work on due to the amount of trail cutting and grade work required for this site.

https://www.killington.com/culture/social-blog/insider-blog/construction-continues

Comments

  • edited August 17
    Lower Pipe Dream snowmaking repair as expected, very nice.

    Need to find out if by adding at Snowdon they mean a capacity increase or actually increasing acreage (to Great Bear?).
  • newpylong said:

    ...

    Need to find out if by adding at Snowdon they mean a capacity increase or actually increasing acreage (to Great Bear?).

    In replacing the Snowdon Quad with a 6-pack and removing the poma, they are essentially adding only about 15% (Triple + poma + 4 = 8) vs. (Triple + 6 = 9). I think their intent is to leave the acreage unchanged, but to deal with increased traffic with the two bridges/underpasses.

  • In replacing the Snowdon Quad with a 6-pack and removing the poma, they are essentially adding only about 15% (Triple + poma + 4 = 8) vs. (Triple + 6 = 9).

    That's not how lift capacity works.

    Old:
    2,400
    1,865
    730
    =4,995

    New:
    3,000
    1,865
    =4,865

    -2.6%

    But real capacity is going up as most people never rode the Poma if it was even operating.
  • > @Peter said:
    > In replacing the Snowdon Quad with a 6-pack and removing the poma, they are essentially adding only about 15% (Triple + poma + 4 = 8) vs. (Triple + 6 = 9).
    >
    > That's not how lift capacity works.
    >
    > Old:
    > 2,400
    > 1,865
    > 730
    > =4,995
    >
    > New:
    > 3,000
    > 1,865
    > =4,865
    >
    > -2.6%
    >
    > But real capacity is going up as most people never rode the Poma if it was even operating.

    If it was/is running, I always make it a point to ride the Poma when I'm at K-mart.
  • edited August 17
    Peter said:


    In replacing the Snowdon Quad with a 6-pack and removing the poma, they are essentially adding only about 15% (Triple + poma + 4 = 8) vs. (Triple + 6 = 9).

    That's not how lift capacity works.

    Old:
    2,400
    1,865
    730
    =4,995

    New:
    3,000
    1,865
    =4,865

    -2.6%

    But real capacity is going up as most people never rode the Poma if it was even operating.
    You'd be surprised how many of the public rode it. Whether it greatly affects the calculations, probably not.
  • edited August 17

    newpylong said:

    ...

    Need to find out if by adding at Snowdon they mean a capacity increase or actually increasing acreage (to Great Bear?).

    In replacing the Snowdon Quad with a 6-pack and removing the poma, they are essentially adding only about 15% (Triple + poma + 4 = 8) vs. (Triple + 6 = 9). I think their intent is to leave the acreage unchanged, but to deal with increased traffic with the two bridges/underpasses.
    When I spoke to someone there their plan is to eventually install snowmaking on Great Bear, as they used to drag hoses up and down Upper GB eons ago. How far out that is on the horizon, I do not know.

    Without the crossing it becomes more viable.

    Either way, an exciting time for Killington!
  • Peter said:


    In replacing the Snowdon Quad with a 6-pack and removing the poma, they are essentially adding only about 15% (Triple + poma + 4 = 8) vs. (Triple + 6 = 9).

    That's not how lift capacity works.

    Old:
    2,400
    1,865
    730
    =4,995

    New:
    3,000
    1,865
    =4,865

    -2.6%

    But real capacity is going up as most people never rode the Poma if it was even operating.
    I miscalculated. I assumed going from 4 to 6 would be a 50% increase in traffic and apparently that was not the case.
  • Liftblog says this local photographer is posting weekly Killington projects.

    www.outdoorimages.ifp3.com/gallery/2018-killington-summer-projects-most-recent-to-oldest/5i5a3758/#/page/home/
  • Wow! Big bucks getting spent there. Can’t wait to ski the results.
  • Tunnels are a great idea. Wish more places had them in the high-traffic areas. Sugarbush had one at Mt. Ellen years ago where the return from Lower FIC crossed the park. Seemed to work well. Now you are forced down to base of Sunny D...
  • I wonder what the backup plan is for early season skiing if the K1 Gondola is not ready to go.
  • NJSki said:

    I wonder what the backup plan is for early season skiing if the K1 Gondola is not ready to go.

    I was wondering the same thing last night when i was over on k-zone and I am beginning to think they may try and open the new six pack over on Snowdon and use some of their new snowmaking pipes they are putting in. This is all a major backup plan, but you could get over to Rime/Reason and the nrt from the new lift.
  • edited September 5
    The 6 pack is likely not going to be done by the time they typically require K-1 to get to the summit. That said the work being being done to the gondola should not delay its opening.

    New snowmaking pipes aren't going to lower the wet bulb, so they won't go to Snowdon first.
  • I guess another option I didn't really think about... As long as that haul rope is strung and ready to go they can use as many of the new cabins as they have tested and approved. Realistically the gondi is just used to get folks up and down from the NRT and therefore it is not the end of the world if for one weekend it is running at low-ish capacity. Hell two years ago on opening day the gondi was not even up and running until like noon and we all hiked up to NRT.
  • There's always the truck ride up to the Canyon quad option. I remember doing that one year. Maybe the K1 construction year?
  • jaytrem said:

    There's always the truck ride up to the Canyon quad option. I remember doing that one year. Maybe the K1 construction year?

    My understanding is there was an accident that involved an insurance settlement that permanently scuttled the truck thing. That being said, the Canyon quad leaves one off at the top of the North Ridge and using it would eliminate the 250+ steps up the stairway to the K1 at the end of the day.
  • That being said, the Canyon quad leaves one off at the top of the North Ridge and using it would eliminate the 250+ steps up the stairway to the K1 at the end of the day.

    Lol! How do you figure that? :D :D
  • That being said, the Canyon quad leaves one off at the top of the North Ridge and using it would eliminate the 250+ steps up the stairway to the K1 at the end of the day.

    Lol! How do you figure that? :D :D
    If you were to download CQ and truck out.
  • Two minute video of impressive tunnel construction:
  • More from their email:
    Even in the midst of all this Spartan Racing excitement, our construction teams are busily building away. The K-1 Express Gondola received a new haul rope this week and we even finished the project a day early, meaning the K-1 Express Gondola will be open for scenic rides to Killington Peak Friday, September 14.

    The Skyeburst Tunnel is being backfilled as the foundation work continues on the Bunny Buster Tunnel and preparations are underway to stand the towers for the new Snowdon Six Express. It’s a big project and a big investment--we dropped a new press release this week that pegs the total investment at $25 million. Head over to the Insider Blog for more project details.
  • Interview with worker in video of tunnel construction:

    What project are you working on right now?
    “This summer we are building tunnels to improve the flow of skier and rider traffic. Where we previously had a trail traversing across a top-to-bottom trail we will now have a tunnel to allow the skiers and riders on the primary trail to ski over the people using the tunnels to traverse.”
    Give us some more details about these tunnels and how they will function.
    “To build these tunnels we first rough out the trail, which can sometimes involve blasting. Concrete slab footings are then poured for the base of the tunnel. The archways are then installed on top of those footings. Once the tunnels are built, we will cover them with finer dirt and allow the grass to grow back. This will help to re-stabilize the bank. Come winter time, we will make snow above and inside the tunnels, blowing about two feet of snow inside each tunnel. The tunnels will be between 110-140 feet long, 15 feet high and 32 feet wide, the same width of about one and a half snowcats.”
    Have you ever built one of these tunnels before?
    “This is the first tunnel that I have ever been a part of building. We are working with a couple of engineering firms who have designed our tunnels and have built others around the country. We also have a specific steel crew that has assembled many of them before.”
    What are some challenges you have come across?
    “The biggest challenge we have when constructing one of these tunnels is the amount of material (dirt, rocks, etc.) we have to move. Each tunnel has about 40-45 thousand yards of material that has to be moved. It’s a challenge moving that much material in the short window of construction time we have in Vermont. We are running two of our haul trucks and three excavators 7 days a week to complete this project. Our biggest haul truck weighs 40 tons and can move about 28 yards of material per load.”



    What is your favorite part about this project?
    “This this summer I would sometimes come across a big rock or piece of ledge that I couldn’t dig through, then we could call the blasters in. Within a couple of hours we would get some holes in the ground and then watch everything that was in the way just blow right up.”
    What is your favorite thing about working for Killington?
    “One of my favorite things about working here in the summer is playing in this big sandbox with these big toys. We are having a lot of fun doing this work and we have a really good group of guys to do it with. I also love being outside and that every day is a new challenge and a new reward. I like seeing people enjoying the features that I had a hand in creating.”
    Are you looking forward to seeing all your hard work come together this winter season?
    “I think it will be really cool this winter to figure out the new challenges of grooming and making snow around these tunnels. I’m excited to see how the whole flow of the mountain will change for the better, right from the snowmaking and grooming all the way through to the guests.”
  • In addition the big items, other improvements are listed, including Pico in their Insider Blog:

    The $16 million we announced in March included projects such as the new Snowdon Six Express bubble chairlift, re-installation of lift service in the South Ridge area, RFID ticketing, tunnels and trail re-routes on Snowdon and Bear Mountain/Skye Peak, and the move of the Snowdon Poma to Ramshead. Additional improvements, costing $9 million and bringing the total investment to $25 million are as follows:

    A Snow Surface Worthy of Delivering the Longest Season in the East
    More than a million dollars in snowmaking enhancements will include 44,000 feet of replaced and new snowmaking pipeline, reconfiguration and replacement of current pipes for enhanced operational efficiency and adding snowmaking to the Great Bear trail on Snowdon and Lower Pipe Dream on South Ridge.
    Additionally, four new groomers will be added to the fleet ahead of the winter season. One Prinoth Bison Winch Cat will specialize in steep terrain including the World Cup Superstar Trail, one Pisten Bully Park Cat will be brought in as a critical component of terrain park building, and two Prinoth Bison Free Groomers to tackle the nightly grooming plan.

    Lift Reliability Improvements
    In addition to our major lift projects, multiple lift components are being upgraded or replaced on the Bear Mountain Quad, Skye Peak Express and Superstar Express lifts. Seat pad replacements and lift house rebuilds round out our improvements to lift infrastructure.

    Overall Killington Experience
    Our staff are key to delivering excellent service and with the purchase of the Mendon Mountain View Lodge property, we’ll be able to offer convenient housing which will improve our ability to attract staff for key seasonal positions. Additional improvements are being made resort-wide in administrative areas such as conferences, vehicle maintenance, ski patrol, human resources and food & beverage in our ongoing efforts to ensure our guests and staff has access to the best equipment and facilities. Highlights of these improvements include:
    Rental Shop Remodels for K-1 and Ramshead
    New Kitchen Equipment and Banquet Facility Equipment Upgrades
    New Desktop Computers, Point-of-Sale Stations, and Datacenter Upgrade
    Lodging Property Management System Upgrade
    ATV, UTV, Snowmobile, and Vehicle Replacements
    Human Resources Welcome Center Remodel
    Ramshead Childcare Center Roof Replacement
    Killington Access Road Paving (completed August 2018)
    Beast Mountain Coaster Cart Upgrades
    Waste Water Facility Upgrades

    Pico Mountain Improvements
    The Pico snowmaking crew is replacing snowmaking pipe and installing a more efficient water transfer system between the two Pico snowmaking ponds. These two improvements coupled with the installation of new snow guns last season will further improve our ability to maintain a quality snow surface at Pico. In addition to the on-mountain snowmaking work completed this summer; extensive permitting work is underway relative to providing a new source of water for snowmaking at Pico. If permitted and when completed, this additional water will greatly enhance snowmaking’s ability to consistently provide a quality snow surface.
    Additional improvements include an extensive replacement of the retail and administration building roof in preparation for the installation of a rooftop solar system. New roofs on the Little Pico Triple chairlift bottom terminal as well as the vehicle maintenance building round out the facility upgrades at Pico.
  • Killington Window & Express Card Rates are up on the site.

    Killington and Pico Express Cards will continue with the best rates available through Oct. 18, 2018, ($84 adults, $71 Seniors, $65 Youth) and provide: 50 percent off mid-week and 25 percent off weekend lift tickets, seventh visit free, plus direct-to-lift convenience throughout the 2018-19 season (peak days excepted and to be announced).
    https://www.killington.com/plan-your-trip/tickets-passes/express-cards/express-cards?season=winter
    (Goes to $99 adults on Oct. 19th.)

    2018/19 SEASON Window Rates
    NON-PEAK DAYS $119
    PEAK DAYS $124
    *Adults (19-64)

    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
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