Snowbird ski resort in Utah recently announced that they will be closing their famous tram for repairs beginning on April 18th, 2016.
Snowbird will also be closing the Peruvian Express Chairlift and all the runs in the area including High Baldy Traverse. The High Baldy Traverse accesses some of the best skiing and riding at Snowbird.
“In order to provide a safe work environment for contractors and guests The Aerial Tram and Peruvian Express will be slated for closure on April 18, 2016. All ski runs within these areas including High Baldy Traverse will be closed for skiing and snowboarding.” – Snowbird
This a bummer for skiers and riders this season as Snowbird generally stays open until June and these closed areas are favorite springtime runs and lifts.
Snowbird will still allow access to Hidden Peak (where the tram tops out) via the Gadzoom and Little Cloud chairs. They’ll also make extra snow in the Gad Valley to extend spring skiing there as long as possible.
“Gad Valley, Little Cloud Bowl, and Mineral Basin will be open in spring of 2016 during the Aerial Tram cabling project. Skiers and riders can still access Hidden Peak via Gadzoom and Little Cloud chairlifts. As a result of increased traffic on these lifts Snowbird plans to make additional snow in Gad Valley this winter in order to keep late-spring skiing and riding going as long as possible.” – Snowbird
We wish they could have done this in summertime…
Snowbird has seen 328″ of snowfall this season and they’re sitting on an 83″ snowpack right now.
“First opened in 1971, Snowbird’s Aerial Tram whisks passengers along a 1.6 mile cable and up 2900 vertical feet during the 10 minute trip to the top of Hidden Peak.” – Snowbird
SNOWBIRD PRESS RELEASE:
The Snowbird Aerial Tram will be closed April 18, 2016 through June 17, 2016 to replace the track cables.
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort announces a brief suspension of Aerial Tram operation in the spring of 2016. During this time the four cables the Trams ride on will be removed and replaced with new cables. The scope of this maintenance project will affect ski terrain in Peruvian Gulch, and pedestrian access in certain areas around the Snowbird Center.
The Aerial Tram at Snowbird has a flawless safety record in its 45 year history. Inspected daily, the machinery which drives the Aerial Tram and the exterior components are carefully monitored by a highly trained crew of Snowbird employees. The current Tram track cables are original equipment from the initial construction in 1971. These cables have had 45 winters of service and are now due for replacement. The decision to replace the cables in April of 2016 was a combined recommendation from Snowbird’s Tram and Lifts Team, outside engineering inspectors, and experts from the manufacturer of the cables.
Materials and work crews have been sourced from all over the globe in order to perform the cable replacement. Doppelmayr® Garaventa will be the contractor of record overseeing this project.
Every foot of cabling on the Snowbird Aerial Tram weighs 12 pounds, and with each track cable consisting of 8,600 total feet the vehicles and equipment required to hoist and install new Tram cables will occupy a large portion of Peruvian Gulch including some equipment in the base area. During this undertaking machines will be pulling as much as 20 tons of material uphill, and descending with an equal amount of weight. The total project will require the use of land based vehicles such as cranes and winches, elevated positions on each of the four Tram lift towers, as well as aerial delivery of materials from commercial helicopter contractors. As a result an exceptionally wide perimeter must be given in and around the construction zone.
In order to provide a safe work environment for contractors and guests The Aerial Tram and Peruvian Express will be slated for closure on April 18, 2016. All ski runs within these areas including High Baldy Traverse will be closed for skiing and snowboarding. “The safety of all Snowbird guests is our number one priority; the safest and quickest way for us to replace the Aerial Tram track cables requires shutting down Peruvian Gulch entirely” says Dave Fields, Vice President of Resort Operations at Snowbird.
Gad Valley, Little Cloud Bowl, and Mineral Basin will be open in spring of 2016 during the Aerial Tram cabling project. Skiers and riders can still access Hidden Peak via Gadzoom and Little Cloud chairlifts. As a result of increased traffic on these lifts Snowbird plans to make additional snow in Gad Valley this winter in order to keep late-spring skiing and riding going as long as possible. The trifecta of these parts of the mountain will once again ensure that Snowbird will have the longest ski season in Utah. On average Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort receives over 500 inches of annual snowfall, with seasons that have reached the 4th of July multiple times. The Summit, Snowbird’s newest guest facility atop Hidden Peak will remain open for guests during this timeframe, thereby offering mountain-top food, beverage, and retail services to skiers and snowboarders.
Guests are encouraged to plan ahead and visit snowbird.com often for updates on ski terrain. During construction specific locations around the Snowbird Center may be closed with little or no notice. For a detailed map of scheduled terrain closures, as well as operational lifts beginning April 18, 2016 please visit the Snowbird Mountain Report.