The face of Mt. Hood Meadows is changing along with the trail map. This fall, construction has started on the resort's sixth high-speed chair.
The new Stadium Express High Speed Quad came from Leitner-Poma lift company. Its bottom terminal has been placed about 300 feet closer to North Lodge for easier access, and its top terminal sits on the ridge adjacent to the top of Heather Lift.
The new express quad replaces the old Stadium double lift. Known originally as the Yellow Lift, it was one of the first two lifts constructed at the resort in 1967. The old lift was renamed when it received upgrades in 2008.
Construction of the new lift started in August with deconstruction of the old lift. Check out this YouTube video of collapsing the old tower structure and the arrival of the new lift parts from Leitner-Poma:
The new lift boasts better stats than the old lift. For one, the vertical rise is 33 feet higher, making access to the North Side runs easier as well as a shorter walk to the bottom terminal from the lodge. The new lift will carry 2,000 passengers per hour compared to the 1,200 passengers per hour of the old lift.
Most of all, the ride time is chopped. Skiers and riders can get to the top in 2.9 minutes instead of 4.5 minutes on the old double lift.
The new Stadium lift comes with others benefits, too. It can run at full capacity even in high winds. It will have a better loading contour for beginners and intermediates. Racers will have a faster return to the Stadium race courses. Night skiers and riders will now have a choice of two high-speed quads.
Installation of the new lift also included restoring wetlands on about 1.5 acres. Roads were re-engineered to avoid impact to the wetlands.
Construction of the lift continues this month with installation of the cable and chairs. Twelve towers and cross-arms for the new lift were flown into place with a KMAX helicopter in late September. Check out this YouTube video of flying the towers:
The new lift is expected to be ready for opening day, which is usually by Thanksgiving. Meadows After Dark night operations start in mid-December.
Click here for more information on the new high speed lift.