Waterville Valley to Install 6 Person Bubble Chairlift
The new lift is expected to debut for the 2022-23 season.
Monday, April 19, 2021, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Waterville Valley has signed an agreement with MND Ropeways to install a new six-person bubble chairlift, LiftBlog reports. The lift will be the French company's first detachable chairlift in the United States. MND has had a four-year relationship with Waterville Valley, installing three new surface lifts and hundreds of snow guns at the White Mountain resort.
The project was added to the White Mountain National Forest's Schedule of Proposed Actions in the fall of 2019, receiving approval in September 2020. In addition to the new bubble lift, Waterville Valley also received approval for the replacement of the Sunnyside Triple with a fixed grip quad and the removal of the Northside Double.
The existing White Peaks Quad was New Hampshire's first detachable chairlift when it was installed by Poma in 1988. Some original Stadeli towers and footings were reportedly reused. Originally 7,532 feet long by 1,912 feet vertical, the lift was plagued by wind holds due to its high summit elevation. As a result, the lift was truncated to its current length in 1996. The new lift would use the existing footprint with a length of 5,700 feet and a vertical drop of 1,585 feet. With the larger chairs, the uphill capacity will increase by 200 riders per hour.
Due to the high elevation of the chairlift, Waterville Valley has a very limited construction window, as the White Mountain National Forest has declared elevation 3,000 feet and above to be Bicknell's thrush habitat. As a result, construction will take place in 2021 and 2022, with no "noisy construction activities" allowed between May 15 and August 15. Waterville Valley's High Country T-Bar, constructed by an MND company, was installed over the course of two construction seasons, with the first focused on concrete work.
A storage barn would also be installed with the new lift, constructed where the former World Cup Triple terminal was located. Seats would be designed by Porsche Design Studio, while grips use MND's new clamp design.