KILLINGTON—Helicopters moving chairlift poles through the sky could be seen over Killington Resort Wednesday, May 9. Snowdon Quad towers were removed and transported over to the top of South Ridge; part of Killington Resort’s investment of $16 million, ahead of the 2018-19 season.
The upgrades will optimize the guest experience and make the mountain more accessible to all guests, the resort said in a news release Thursday.
Enhancements will include a new six-person, high-speed bubble chairlift, new lift service at South Ridge, significant upgrades to the K-1 Express Gondola, additional availability of intermediate trails, improvements to existing intermediate runs, and the addition of hands-free lift access validation with radio-frequency technology at both Killington and Pico.
“While we are committed to staying core to our beastly advanced terrain, we are also putting the focus on our blue family-friendly terrain,” said Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort. “The investments we’re making will reshape the guest experience for years to come. Uphill capacity will increase to 48,000 riders per hour and the downhill enhancements will create more diverse terrain for all levels of skiers and riders.”
The new investments include:
New Snowdon six-person bubble chairlift
Manufactured by Leitner-Poma, the Snowdon chair features a bubble shield that will protect skiers and riders from wind and weather as they ascend 1,100 vertical feet to the Snowdon Mountain peak, which features primarily intermediate cruising terrain. There also will be a storage facility built to house chairs.
South Ridge quad
The highly anticipated return of lift service in the South Ridge area will occur with the relocation of the refurbished Snowdon Quad chairlift. It will load and unload in the same locations as the old South Ridge triple and will have a length of 3,900 feet and a vertical rise of approximately 875 feet. It will provide easier access to trails such as Pipe Dream and an additional way to connect back to the north side of the resort from Bear Mountain.
New and improved K-1 Express gondola
Ahead of next season, all cabins will be replaced with brand-new Leitner-Poma Sigma eight-person cabins, which will be stored in a new cabin storage facility to improve reliability and de-icing time. The haul rope will also be replaced and improvements to the loading area are also planned. This lift will continue to run on electricity generated by BioGas, through a program commonly known as Cow Power, as part of our commitment to Powdr’s Play Forever using renewable energy.
New RFID Gates
Killington Resort and Pico Mountain will introduce Axess smart gates with RFID (radio-frequency-identification) at lift access points. This technology will improve the guest experience by the use of hands-free automated gates instead of manual barcode scanning.
Killington Resort will continue to improve the on-mountain experience for its intermediate skiers and riders. These improvements include trail widening and adding tunnels and bridges at the following intersections: Great Northern-Bunny Buster-Mouse Trap; Great Northern-Upper Chute; Great Northern-Lower Chute; Snowshed Crossover at the Stash-Skyeburst. Tunnels, bridges, regrading and a slight re-route of Great Northern will improve several key intermediate trails by limiting trail intersections in high traffic locations and removing pinch points for more top-to-bottom trail runs.
Snowdon Poma relocation
The Snowdon Poma lift will move to Swirl to create a dedicated race training venue for Killington Mountain School and Killington Ski Club. This move will open additional terrain to guests in the Snowdon area and allow for uninterrupted top-to-bottom skiing and riding.
Summer operations continue to expand at Killington Resort. A Woodward WreckTangle and additional summer attractions will be added to the Adventure Center. The WreckTangle is an outdoor Ninja obstacle challenge featuring nine different sections of unique and fun-filled obstacles to conquer including cargo nets, balance beams and rope swings. Additionally, Killington’s Mountain Bike Park will make improvements to beginner terrain, unveil the newly completed Krusty Trail on Ramshead, and extend riding hours.
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Photos by Paul Holmes
A helicopter flew above Killington May 9 for a new chairlift, which is part of a $16 million upgrade that includes improvements to the skiing and riding terrain, the gondola and mountain bike trails.