BEND, OR -- Crews at Mt. Bachelor are deconstructing the 34-year-old Skyliner lift. "We’ve been working moving snow, pulling all the parts off the lift that we want to keep, that are compatible with other lifts," says Director of Mountain Operations Dustin Smith.
He tells KBND News Skyliner was not the oldest lift at Bachelor, but its location makes it one of the most important, "Our learning terrain is all on the east side of the resort and our more advanced powder-skiing terrain is on the west side. So, for families trying to juggle kids in the ski school and parents that want to go ski the powder on Northwest, Outback, Pine Marten, this lift connects the dots for those two groups, so you can ski together, you can find some mellower terrain."
Smith says the new lift will feature six-person chairs instead of four, and it'll be more reliable, "When we have those big storm days where the winds are affecting our lifts, Skyliner can have some really long lines. So, replacing the lift with a six-pack is going to increase our capacity. And then the chairs themselves are heavier, so they’ll perform better in the wind."
Late season operations are already limited for the construction and Smith warns there will be occasional trail closures this summer. "We’re diverting guests away from the Sunrise base area; they usually park along the highway and go access the hiking trails over there. So, we’ve been working with the Forest Service and we have rerouted our hiking trails to all finish out and start out at the West Village base area." He adds, "When we’re flying towers and concrete and the footing boxes up there, we can’t have anybody underneath those helicopters. And those bike trails and hiking trails travel through the Skyliner area."
The new Skyliner lift is expected to be up and running by December 23rd.