It’s official: we’re 100 days away from opening day and work is well underway on the new Snow Bowl Lift.
After removing the old lift at the end of last season, crews from Doppelmayr and South Londonderry’s Hunter Excavating arrived on August 1, just as the Bicknell’s thrush nesting season came to an end.
The migratory songbird nests above 3,000 feet in the Boreal forest – at about the line where evergreens become dominant – from May 15 to August 1, and in order to protect their song, we hold construction until those baby birds can spread their wings.
Crews are now on the ground preparing sites for the relocated terminals and readying new tower foundations. The high-speed quad is positioned to minimize wind impact with lower towers, and built with a parking rail for all 98 chairs to combat overnight icing. With a 1,000-foot-per-minute speed, ride time is reduced from 14 to five minutes. Plus, the top ramp will provide smoother access to Mike’s Way and one new trail will be added along a line favored by locals on a powder day.
You’ll notice a few other changes on the trail map, with a shorter SnowBowl Alley to access the load ramp, a lower down entrance to Upper Wanderer, and a cut-through to Mike’s Way. New trees will fill in the old lines and become part of the conservation easement.
Vermont is blessed with a natural landscape that we work hand-in-hand with state and local agencies to protect. The multi-faceted Act 250 permit for the Snow Bowl Lift outlines a number of steps we will be taking to mitigate environmental impact, all designed to preserve this mountain playground we call home.
More updates will be on their way. If you’re on the mountain over the next few months, please be aware of all posted construction signage and roped off areas along our hiking trails, and be sure to check our updated hiking map. In the meantime, start dusting off those boards and skis, get those boots fitted and start counting down the days. We can’t wait to see you on the slopes.