Flagstaff, AZ – High above Flagstaff, Arizona Snowbowl is installing its first high-speed lift, and the first six-seater in the state: the Grand Canyon Express.
The annual monsoonal rains of August slowed daily construction progress, but crews have been working long days and weekends to make up for any lost productivity and keep construction on schedule. The lift line corridor was completed in late July. By the end of August and early September, crews were completing tower footings and constructing the foundation at the lift’s top terminal with the help of concrete flown in by helicopter, before that helicopter will be used to lift towers into place.
The new base-to-summit lift line replaces a fixed-grip triple and rises from Snowbowl’s Hart Prairie Lodge, crossing the resort’s Agassiz, Blackjack, and Tiger runs, providing many new ways to ski the Ridge side of the mountain. The lift line itself will be skiable with a significant double fall line.
This is the second new lift in as many years at Arizona Snowbowl, after last year’s installation of the Humphreys Peak chair. Other projects currently taking place include remodeling of Snowbowl’s rental equipment facility, widening Ridge trail to the left to accommodate the upper unload terminal of Grand Canyon Express, and many other routine maintenance projects on lifts, vehicles, and facilities.
Snowbowl’s scenic chairlift rides continue on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through mid-October when the Aspen leaves finish turning, and the Agassiz Deck remains open for lunch or cocktails. Opening day for the 2016-17 ski season is scheduled for Nov. 11, conditions permitting.