Progress Report: Brand New Chairlift Coming to Alpine Meadows, CA Next Season

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The base terminal is in. Credit: SVAM

If you haven’t already heard the good news, Alpine Meadows is getting a brand new high-speed detachable quad chairlift for the 2019/20 season.

Treeline Cirque will replace and expand upon the existing Hot Wheels triple chairlift. It will have an unload-only mid-station where the current top terminal of Hot Wheels is and a 1,300-foot extension up to the top of Sherwood Cliffs, with its top terminal landing between Art’s Knob and the top terminal of Sherwood Express.

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The orange star indicates the approximate location of the new top terminal for Treeline Cirque, which is scheduled to open during the 2019/20 winter season.

With a total ride time of approximately five minutes, Treeline Cirque will give skiers and riders quick and direct access from the base area to both the front and back sides of the Alpine Meadows slopes. Treeline Cirque will be a four-minute ride from the base area to the mid-station, where guests can unload to access intermediate terrain. Another one-minute from the mid-station to the top terminal, skiers will have immediate access to the Sherwood Cliffs, Art’s Knob and all of the terrain served by Sherwood Express (without having to traverse along Ray’s Rut or hike High Traverse). The new high-speed lift ride will cut in half the lift ride of the somewhat ironically named Hot Wheels while taking riders further up the ridge.

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A helicopter was used to place concrete tower pads for towers 9, 10 and 17. Credit: SVAM

The location of Treeline Cirque is also favorable in high winds & inclement weather, which means the chair could operate on storm days when winds are howling at the top of Summit.

The chairlift name comes from “Treeline Cirque” terrain just adjacent to the top terminal to the looker’s right of Art’s Knob. A “cirque” is a deep steep-walled basin on a mountain usually forming the blunt end of a valley. While the cirque is not listed on the guest trail map, it is on the Alpine Meadows Ski Patrol map that has been in use for decades.

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A crane was brought in on 5th September to start assembling the base terminal. Credit: SVAM

Stay tuned for more updates on the lift’s progress throughout the summer. We can’t wait for the inaugural winter of Treeline Cirque!


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