With the season quickly coming to a close, it is time to focus on the 2022 offseason, and there is much to discuss. This off-season, the Midwest will be seeing seven new chairlifts installed across four states, so we thought it would be good to go through each of these installations briefly.
Boyne Mountain - D8
Starting over in Northern Michigan at Boyne Mountain, Disciples ridge will be getting the Midwest's first eight-person chairlift. This lift will replace both Disciples' triples and run roughly right between the existing chairs.
The lift will be called Disciples 8 or D8 for short and will be built and installed by Doppelmayr. This 8-pack will have standard D-line Chairs, meaning there will be no bubble or heated seats, but it will include a large digital display at the bottom terminal, similar to that of its older brother Ramcharger Eight at Big Sky in Montona.
This lift will replace two triple chairlifts with roughly the same uphill capacity as the previous two-chair layout. However, on less crowded days, skiers will be getting to the top in about three minutes compared to the almost ten-minute ride on the old triples.
As you could imagine, this will make this pod much more skiable, and its central location will allow skiers & riders easier access to the majority of the terrain on that side of the hill. Additionally, removing the D1 chair will allow that old lift line to become an official run again, which hasn't been labeled on Boyne's Map since 1997.
Caberfae Peaks - East Peak Triple
About an hour and a half south, Caberfa Peaks is gearing up to replace their 1967 Hall double with a brand-new Doppelmayr fixed-grip triple. This triple, which will be named the East Peak Chair, will not only increase uphill capacity but will travel to the top of a new peak labeled East Peak.
This new peak will be located on skier's right of North Peak and will offer top to bottom beginner and intermediate runs and easier access to Cab's Backcountry terrain.
This chair will also significantly improve the flow of the base area as the old shelter double was always a bit of a bottleneck when taking off from the main lodge. The East Peak triple will be a welcomed addition to Caberfae, giving beginners and intermediates direct access to longer runs without taking multiple chairs.
Bittersweet - Snow Flyer
Moving a little further down the state of Michigan to Otsego, Bittersweet spent the last off-season realigning the Sweet Express to lookers right, roughly where the double chair used to be on the trail map.
This summer, they will install a new highspeed quad that will run roughly where the Snowberry lift sits. This quad will be named "Snow Flyer" and will mark the hill's second highspeed - which is impressive given the size of the ski hill.
This highspeed quad will increase uphill capacity and offer quicker rides to the top, with a ride time clocking in just under two minutes compared to the almost four-minute ride on the old triple.
Given the traffic that Bittersweet can see on a typical weekend, this lift will help move people up the hill and offer endless hot laps between the two highspeed quads on less crowded days.
Boston Mills - Buena Vista
Moving down the Ohio, Boston Mills in Boston Township will replace their first-ever chair, a Hall double installed in 1964 labeled "Lift 5."
The new quad will be a Skytrac fixed-grip quad named Buena Vista. For those unaware, this refers to an old lodge near the top of the North Bowl that was removed around the 2016/17 season.
Brandywine - RAM
Across the Cuyahoga River, Brandywine will be replacing their Borvig triple that operated under the name lift 3. This lift will also be replaced by a skytrac fixed-grip quad named "RAM."
This name is very special as it is the initials of Ron Morrison, who has worked at Boston Mills/Brandywine since the early 1980s. Ron has worked through three ownership changes and has proven to be the go-to guy for anything related to Alpine Valley - OH, Boston Mills, & Brandywine.
Cascade Mountain - Unknown Name (Mogul Monster)
Swinging on over to Portage, Wisconsin, Cascade will be replacing their Mogul Monster Triple. This Borvig triple was installed in 1987, but it utilizes the original towers from Cascade's first double chairlift that they opened back in 1962.
The replacement will be a fixed-grip quad by Leitner-Poma, and right now, Cascade is unsure if the lift will be renamed or keep the Mogul Monster label. This new quad will increase uphill capacity, and Cascade is also adjusting the lift line and terminals.
The bottom terminal will be moved slightly downhill and closer to the main lodge. This will allow skier/riders easier access to the loading terminal with less hiking. The top terminal will also see some changes as it will be extended uphill - and they will be clearing a new off-load area that will make it easier to access the runs onlookers right, such as Badger Pass and Upper Adele's.
Powder Ridge - Powder Puff
Flying over to Minnesota, Powder Ridge will be receiving its first new lift since 1992. Powder Ridge will be replacing their Miner-Denver Double chair called the Powder Puff Lift. The new chairlift will be a Skytrac fixed-grip quad and retain the original "Powder Puff" name.
On top of increasing uphill capacity, this new quad will also be relocated about 20 to 30 feet closer to the chalet, making loading and unloading easier as there will be more space on both sides.
Pinehurst Park - Unknown Name (Handle tow)
And last but certainly not least is Pinehurst Park in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Although this is not a chairlift, I think this handle tow is the most important of these lifts because this will officially mark Pinehurst's revival back into a ski hill.
For those unaware, Pinehurst Ski Bowl was a small ski area that operated from 1951 until 1967. Unfortunately, the venture was abandoned until the Pinehurst Project was founded in 2013. The goal was simple, to bring back outdoor recreation for the community of Eau Claire.
Through years of hard volunteer work and thousand of dollars in donations, that goal is materializing. Thanks to donations, Pinehurst Park will be installing their first lift, a handle tow, since 1967. The handle, which currently is unnamed, will be located very close to where the original rope tow use to be for the original "Pinehurst Ski Bowl."
This new handle tow will allow skiers/riders a quick and easy way to free-ski and endless laps in the park. Although this is the smallest lift installation on this list, I think this one will have the most significant impact - bringing lift access skiing/riding back to the community after a 55-year hiatus.
But there you guys have it, all the lift installations for this upcoming off-season. If you enjoy this type of content, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, as we will be checking in with resorts throughout the summer to see how the installations are going. But until next time, I hope all of you have a great week, pray for snow, and I'll see you out there!