It’s summertime in Vail, but we’re already looking forward to the upcoming winter—and getting excited about the Vail Chair 11 upgrade for the 2017-2018 season. Also called the Northwoods Express Lift, Chair #11 provides access to amazing frontside skiing on Vail Mountain and helps disperse skier traffic. One of our favorite improvements to Vail Mountain this past winter was the addition of the new Sun Up Express Lift, Chair #9, which improved access to Vail’s famed Back Bowls. We’ll also hopefully see some similar improvements with the new Vail Chair 11 upgrade.
The new Northwoods Express Lift will be located in the same place, but it will replace the old Chair #11 four-person chair with a six-person lift. The old Chair #11 was installed in 1985, so it’s definitely time for this upgrade. And, even better, the Vail Chair 11 upgrade will have some standout benefits for Vail skiing.
But before that can happen, crews will be hard at work on Vail Mountain this summer. The lift corridor will need to be widened, and eight new tower foundations will need to be built. In order to do that, a construction road will also have to be built, along with construction staging areas and log decks.
If you’re wondering how all of this construction will happen, check out this video of the 2010 Vail Chair 5 upgrade on the Vail Resorts YouTube channel. Yes: Helicopters, cranes, and a lot of hard work is involved.
Vail Chair 11 Upgrade: Improving Vail Skiing
Skiers who want quick access Vail’s famed Back Bowls most frequently ride Chair #11 when beginning their ski day, so this lift often gets crowded in the morning. Chair 11 also often becomes crowded in the afternoon as skiers begin making their way down to the mountain’s base areas. The Vail Chair 11 upgrade is expected to cut down these wait times and make other skiing improvements, too.
“The replacement of Northwoods will impact a key area of the mountain, especially at the end of the day, as guests are leaving Blue Sky Basin and making their way west.”—Doug Lovell, Chief Operating Officer at Vail Mountain, says in a Vail Resorts press release.
Some of the Vail skiing benefits anticipated to come with the new Vail Chair 11 include:
- Increased capacity: The new Vail Chair 11 will carry 3,000 people per hour; the old chair carried 2,400 people per hour
- Reduced wait: With a 25% increase in capacity, the new Chair 11 will reduce time spent in lift lines
- Better flow: The Vail Chair 11 upgrade will improve skier flow to and from Blue Sky Basin and the Vail’s legendary Back Bowls
- Quick access: The new Chair #11 will allows skiers to lap frontside powder stashes and frontside steep skiing more quickly
- Upgraded technology: Technology has changed a lot since 1985; this upgrade is due.
What’s commonly called a magic carpet—similar in some ways to an airport sidewalk—has been installed with other recent upgrades to six-person lifts on Vail Mountain. However, the new Vail Chair 11 will not have a magic carpet, so skiers will ski all the way up to the chair to load.
Save More Time with VBSR’s Vail Ski Rentals
We’re looking forward to saving time in lift lines this winter with the new Vail Chair 11. And the time we’ll save up will just give us more time for skiing and riding. Here, at Vista Bahn Ski Rentals (VBSR), we love doing things that can help you have more time for the slopes, too. Here are a few more time-savers you can look forward to when you come to our shop this winter:
- Online booking: Save time and money booking online Vail ski and snowboard rentals with VBSR. Fill out our easy reservation form online, and then simply stop by to pick up your ski and snowboard rental equipment. It will be tuned and ready to go. Plus, you’ll save 20% when you reserve Vail ski and snowboard rentals online with us.
- Steps from the Slopes: Vista Bahn Ski Rentals is the closest place to pick up your Vail ski and snowboard rentals near Gondola One. Avoid walking through town with all of your gear by picking it up at VBSR, just steps from the slopes.
- Ski storage: Keep your gear at VBSR’s Vail ski lockers so that you’re ready to go skiing or snowboarding on a moment’s notice.
- Overnight service: Our full-service ski tuning and repair shop offers overnight services. We also over on-the-spot ski tuning, so you can spend time out Vail skiing instead of waiting on gear.
The new Vail Chair #11 shows the Vail Resorts commitment to continuous improvement and to providing the best ski experience possible. We’re also committed to excellence here at Vista Bahn Ski Rentals, and we look forward to seeing you this winter for ski rental, storage, and service.