Marmot Basin is putting the finishing touches on two new lifts. The new lifts are on track to start running when the ski resort opens for the season on Nov. 11.
The resort began work on the $7 million project as soon as the ski season ended last spring. Hauling equipment over the spring snow pack protected the sensitive flora and alpine ground cover of Jasper National Park. Once the snow disappeared, helicopters did the work of moving equipment, pouring concrete, and installing towers and cross-arms.
"The installation of the two new chairlifts is right on schedule," Vice President Brian Rode said. "The chairs will be hung, and load-testing will take place the week of October 17—which are the final steps before the two lifts are given the green light."
To improve the beginner hill, the resort shuffled lifts around the mountain. The old School House T-bar and the old Paradise Triple Lift were removed.
One of the Leitner-Poma crewmen shot video of the construction process. Watch how the tower cross-arms are unbolted from the triple chair and flown out by helicopter, courtesy of this Vimeo video shot from a headcam:
After the old lifts were removed, the two new lifts were installed. The Paradise high-speed quad parallels the Canadian Rockies Express, but starts lower on the mountain than the old Paradise chair. The lift's new base location makes it more accessible from mid-mountain, and it provides a speedier transport for those who just want to take laps on the upper mountain.
The old Paradise Triple Lift was moved to the location of the old T-bar. The chair will accommodate novices with easier uphill transport than the T-bar.
Watch how the concrete for the tower bases was flown and poured in this Vimeo video shot from the helicopter:
To protect the national park landscape, the towers were flown into place by helicopter. Check how it was done on this Vimeo video:
Due to the ski area's location in the national park, Parks Canada required extensive reclamation work to disturbed areas. That work included reclamation around towers and terminals.
Marmot Basin plans to open this season on Nov. 11.