New Quad Lift!

That’s right – Solitude Mountain Resort has begun installation on Powderhorn II, a $1.5 million improvement to the lift system. This new fixed grip quad replaces the original Powderhorn double, a holdover from its mid-70s installation – albeit with an improved lift line .  Coming on the heels of last winter’s $7 million investment in two detachable express quads the resort should ski much more efficiently. That’s three new quads in just the past two years!

Powderhorn II will start from the bottom of Sunshine Bowl, travel above the Concord ski run, and end in the same location as the original Powderhorn Lift. The move to a mid-mountain starting point allows expert snowriders to make continuous laps on the upper mountain – from Diamond Lane to Sunshine Bowl – without the need to return to the base area via beginner runs. A speedy 7 minute lift ride on the new lift, as opposed to 12 on the old double, saves 5 minutes per run on some of the state’s steepest groomed terrain. Plus, the off-piste terrain in Honeycomb Canyon will still be conveniently accessed from the top of this lift.

Last winter’s new Apex and Moonbeam Express lifts introduced high speed lift access from both base areas to mid-mountain, allowing Powderhorn II to begin higher on the mountain. Accessible from all three detachable lifts, including Eagle Express, a greater on-mountain flow is achieved throughout the resort. Solitude’s goal with terrain and lift improvements, now and into the future, is to efficiently utilize pockets of terrain which are naturally separated by the layout and slope of the mountain.

Beginner and intermediate visitors will appreciate the new lift, as well, even though they may not ride it until their skills improve, as advanced and expert visitors will remain higher on the mountain, easing traffic in prime learning areas lower on the mountain. Crafting this natural segregation put visitors of like abilities in terrain conducive to their ability, creating an improved experience for all.

Note the mid-mountain starting point for the new lift - still ending at the same top terminal.

24 thoughts on “New Quad Lift!

  1. you have now ruined Solitude. I guess I can now go back to Alta/ Snowbird since you have now effectively x4 the amount of people on PH. no than u!!

  2. i just stumbled across this info. As a long time skier and now boarder at Solitude this looks like a good thing. Hopefully the unload will also be a bit simpler too and not directly facing a huge wall.

  3. loved the old unload – kept out the riff raff; but am looking forward to a quicker ride. Not sure what I think of the new site for the PHII base – will have to wait ‘n see

  4. first:
    Debbie, if you’re a long time rider then you would understand this will only increase beater traffic on the upper half of the mountain because beaters will be saying, “Hey its only 5 minutes lets do it. it is very easy to get to from apex/moonbeam/eagle so we can make it down.”. Also if you couldnt handle the unload even after being a “long time skier and now boarder” maybe its time to stay on the lower half of the mountain so they dont have to slow the lift for you….when you fall….which you will because of the “huge wall”.

    second:
    Tag, You’ve got it right. That unload and wall kept the riff raff out.

  5. Very sad to see this day come. I have lived here all my life and have always been a Solitude advocate. All this will do is create more traffic and we will see the powder disappear. Milk Run and Honeycomb gates will get skied out much faster. Congratulations Solitude management, you are right up there with Alta and Snowbird now. Choosing mogul fields over powder. Damn

  6. Lame! The old PH chair was the coolest thing about this mountain. Now we’ve got to take two chairs rather than one, to access the same terrain. Is Solitude just trying to stick it to the 10 ride purchasers or what?
    Also, now that people can loop that new quad the top of the mountain that used to stay good for days will get hammered. Way to go Solitude. Your reputation just got flushed. Snowbasin here I come.

  7. Another thing I’ve noticed. It looks like the base for this new PH2 lift is in an area where some of the highest traffic runs converge. Now we’re going to be loading in this area? Smells like collisions and injured skiers to me. Nothing says fun like a Life Flight ride.

  8. I skied Solitude as a youngster as well as Alta but when the circus came to Little Cottonwood I migrated to Solitude for good. This was over a decade ago and I must say it has been wonderful. Trading the crowds of Alta and the “corporate mountain development” of Snowbird for Solitudes undiscovered feel. Unfortunately the writing has been on the wall for a couple of years and now it has manifest with the most backwards “Mountain Improvement” ever. The chair that gave Solitude its reputation has been discarded like yesterdays lift ticket. Not only will this chair rob 10 ride buyers it offers nothing in the way of improvement to the patrons. In fact it will take more time and is prone to cause accidents in the loading zones. In order to access the top of the mountain everyone must board one of the slower loading beginner chairs waiting for snowboarders to flail their way onto the a chair. This new chair will also put lift towers in the middle of one of the mountains best runs. The previous chair utilized a traversing method leaving more of the mountain open for skiing (WHAT A CONCEPT). If you look at the map above you will also notice that skiers will have to slow much earlier to avoid careening into the loading zone of the new chair. This will decrease the effective ski-able length of the three best runs off of Eagle Express making that chair less desirable and funneling everyone to the new “improved” Powder horn. So in one move Solitude has taken an uncrowded mountain with perfect skier traffic flow and turned it into a one chair nightmare. Say goodbye to powder days at Solitude and say hello to a crowed accident prone less friendly mountain.

  9. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! are you serious? this is a horrible idea. I have been skiing solitude all my life and i have so much to say about this but whats the use! SEE ALL YOU LOCALS THAT HAVE BEEN SKIING AT SOLITUDE ALL YOUR LIFE AT ALTA THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!!

  10. I guess it would have been nice if Solitude asked for feedback before construction started. Lets look at mountain improvements from a user stand point instead of an outside consultant looking at a map and saying “put a chair over there”. If Solitude really wants feedback take this into consideration. Take Sunrise which gets virtually no traffic and put a high speed quad in its place. Have a mid mountain unloading zone at the original location and a final off load on top of Evergreen. This would draw skiers to a different chair thinning lift lines even more. Now take the original Powderhorn location and make that chair a quad using the old moonbeam chair. Next reuse the original sunrise chair to replace Summit with a triple. This puts more seats to the top of the mountain. It opens new lift accessed acreage and would generate new excitement for Solitude. Which of the following choices makes more sense? Choice #1: A quad that services half as much mountain as the previous PH chair, loading zone chaos (can you say insurance premium hike and higher lift ticket prices), more condensed skier traffic, and less ski-able runs than before. Choice #2: One new chair, three improved lifts, new lift accessed acreage, no loading zone issues, and improved skier dispersion which is what Solitude is known for. Solitude is not the mountain with the most vertical, It doesn’t get the most snow, it doesn’t have the most acreage. Solitude is known for its lift lines, or lack there of. And in one move, poof!

  11. You can no longer call this resort Solitude. this reminds me of how locals are not important, it is about money. You closed summit lift in 07-08 the last week of the year on a powder day. Your resort is not big like Snowbird and Alta, it is going to take away all of your top ratings in ski mags that dont rate on food or other stuff that has nothing to do with good powder! Change your name to soldout?

  12. People, lets show some perspective! Skill, not lifts, sorts out the riff raff.

    Do you think really this re-configuration is going to be the thing that draws more OC traffic? Or diverts Eagle Express traffic to Concord? Do you really miss the cruise down main street, Blue Spruce, or Alta Bird to get another lap on Vertigo on a Pow day? Let’s face it, Front side (Powderhorn) is done by 10AM on most powder days now, sure you can still find cean lines next to the trees. All this is going to do is favor the strong riders who take two minutes (albeit glorious) to get to the moonbeam unload from the top of PH. The real action after 10 am is when the summit chair opens, or the gates at the top of powderhorn open, none of that changes, and skill sorts out the traffic.

    For strong riders this will help keep your heart rate up and legs warm, until the bombs stop and the terrain opens up. Kudo’s to the D family for keeping the mountain moving forward, relevant to it’s name, but the traffic down. I can’t imagine REAL Solitude fans jumping to any other resort just because the uphill time got faster. What makes anyone think Alta, or the Bird, etc. have less crowds and more fresh lines after this lift goes in????

    I predict the Lower lot traffic will stay on Diamond lane, half of the Eagle Express traffic struggles to get down Sunshine bowl as it is.

    Find Here be Dragons, Evergreen, No Mans Land, the Cathedral with or without this lift and you get Solitude.

  13. I guess you did not post my first message because I was a bit too blunt! This simply ruins what WAS great about Solitude. The new chair now puts 4X the people on top of PH..meaning, bumps and no more fresh powder. I guess I can now go back to Little Cottonwood since you have stooped to their level. You had a great, great thing with the old PH chair.. I did buy two chairs so I can tell stories to my kids about the good ole days where you could ski powder. thanks for the memories.

  14. Peter,
    You could not be any more wrong. 4X the uphill capability on PH, means no more clean lines unless you fight, fight, fight for that first 30 minutes. What was fun powder runs now becomes the same high stress powder fight you find at Alta and Snowbird. Without the old PH chair, now my choice is more Pow and more Vertical on Little Cottonwood or less at Solitude. Thank you Solitude for making an this an easy decision.

  15. Firstly I would like to say this was a buisiness decision, a poor one, but only a business decision. I was going to buy SUN – FRI and leave the crowds at the Bird for good, but now I’ll keep my money, stand in line and fight it out until something better happens (like moving to Snowbasin!)

    Secondly this was NOT an improvement for skiers in any way. Solitue offers many unique advantages (that we are all familiar with) over other resorts in the area, but has a severe terrain handicap. Off fallline is the name of the game here and the ONLY exception to that theme was just removed and replaced with a ‘shorter’ lift ride. What a marketing miracle!!! Remove a 12 min lift and replace with a 5+ min lift, PLUS a commute from the top of one lift to the lift line in the other, PLUS a 5 min lift!!! What?

    Robert, Brandon and Collin obviously go skiing and enjoy it and don’t just talk about skiing and how much they hate Little Cottonwood skiers. A good mountain is a good mountain, Period. What’s good for beginners is good for experts. Separation for safety, variety for differing abilities within a family, etc. Contrary to what Peter claims, this is not moving the mountain forward. This is sideways, and concentrating. Concord will be immediately tracked out since noone is going to initially take the 2 chairs required to hit the edge of the cirque. And yes the base loading will now have frenzied lapping skiers hauling into the blue runs to get back on the chair.

    The greatest vertical and IMO the best skiing on the hill is now a 2 chair adventure. This seems backward to me. Forwards is collins + germania = new collins!

    This kills me, but I am not going to buy a pass. I AM going to keep an open mind and hope that when I ski there this winter the double ride doesn’t pose the logistical nightmare it seems on paper!

    Oh and I vote Collin head of future resort development!

    No spell check or proof, sorry!

  16. ugh. there goes the pow pow. so many out of towners that i’ve taken down that area and ended up with smiles on their faces. i don’t think that’s going to be the case with this new lift. they curse the long lines at the new moonbeam lodge and i can only see them cursing this new lift that removes the main reason for going to solitude instead of snowbird or alta.

  17. Fabulous, I’t now a two chair ordeal to get to the top of Powderhorn.

    I hated this Two Chair ordeal and still do at ParkCity, The coldest days I ever had skiing or riding are at ParkCity they should have never removed the Gondola at PC.

    You ruined Diamond Lane, now your ruining Concord. Perhaps two of the Best bump runs in the Country.

    You also ruined the the vertical drop, Isolation and separation of skier abilities.

    Letter to Solitude Management, Quite Wasting money on Stupid Decisions, How many times have you moved Moonbeam in the last 20 years?? How much does that cost? Lets groom (ruin) this run or that, how many times does it take to get a lift right, If it wasn’t for the Lodging you would have had to file Bankruptcy by now. Stop making decision based on a consultants opinion, This industry sells extreme, but has gotten smart and starting selling and wearing helmets. Maybe you need to wear a helmet the next time you decide on lift alignment. It will help protect you from making poor decisions.

    Unbelievable Disappointed!

    Fix the Link chair to be a quad, fix the hard left hand exit off this lift.

    Put the Old original moonbeam chair alignment in but have it unload out to the North of the roundhouse. Or lower down in the flats.

    Spend your money on fixing the Top 200 feet of slope grade on the Sunshine lift make it a Highspeed quad and put the base station just west of the fishing Pond.

    Or slightly shorten the top of the Sunshine chair (still make it a HP Quad). Put in a little double from the flats coming out of the Summit chair and have it unload at the top of the old Sunshine lift top platform.

    Could have done that for less than re-doing aligning Moonbeam II III III VIII V ??? Quite messing up the mountain redoing lifts over and over again.

    Are you kidding me, Stop doing stupid things.

  18. One historical note: the “new” PH2 liftline was the original liftline for the original Powder Horn lift, back in the early days of Solitude Ski Area. Concord was the liftline run then, as it will be now.

    Frankly, I don’t disagree with this realignment, and I’ll give it a wait-and-see as to how it affects skier traffic. Folks groused over the installation of Eagle Express back in 1990, and from my recollection the complaints died down once people realized that the traffic flow was better with the new alignment.

    Time will tell…

  19. I love the new setup. My favorite thing about Solitude is the loop: up Powderhorn, down Parachute to Summit, up Summit, down Honeycomb, up Honeycomb Return, back to Powderhorn. With the new lift it’s a much faster loop. Rock on!

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