Last weekend Waterville Valley Resort bid farewell to the ol’ faithful diesel High Country double chairlift. It was only fitting that Butch Cushing, head of Lift Operations, loaded chair number 51 in honor of High Country’s 51 years of operation.
The High Country double will be dismantled and construction on a new T-bar lift (on skier’s left) will continue this summer.
Why a T-bar surface lift and not an aerial lift? The T-bar will be two and a half times faster than the double chairlift. If you’ve skied Waterville Valley, you know that upper mountain winds can be an issue for an aerial lift. A T-bar will be less affected by wind, and that means more consistent access to the High Country trails.
Someone on social media asked, why not keep the chairlift AND add the T-bar? Having two lifts on High Country is just not practical for a number of reasons – wind being one of them. Installation of the T-bar closer to the side of the trail will create a bowl effect for skiers. The T-bar will also unload higher on the trail, which will make it easier to access the top of Hassle on skier’s right.
The pros who run our ski area feel this is the right fit for the challenges the terrain presents.
Stay tuned for construction updates.