AD Main Menu

Photos: Mount Alyeska's $6 million new chair lift

Installation of the new ski lift at Alyeska Resort.
Courtesy Alyeska Resort
A Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane was used to place towers for the new ski lift at Alyeska.
Courtesy Alyeska Resort
A Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane lifts a ski lift tower into place at Alyeska resort.
Courtesy Alyeska Resort
Parts for the new ski lift at Alyeska resort ready to be installed.
Courtesy Alyeska Resort
Towers and other parts for Alyeska resort's new ski lift await installation.
Courtesy Alyeska Resort
A Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane lifts a ski lift tower into place at Alyeska resort.
Courtesy Alyeska Resort
Concrete pouring at the site of Alyeska resort's new ski lift.
Courtesy Alyeska Resort
Craig Medred

Skiers and snowboarders, rejoice: Commute times from the base of Mount Alyeska to upper mountain runs should be about twice as fast as last winter come opening day of the 2012-13 ski season.

Chair 4 -- the slow, lower-mountain chair lift situated outside the day lodge and running midway up the mountain -- was replaced this summer with a high-speed detachable quad. Construction went into overdrive in mid July when a Skycrane helicopter arrived to remove Chair 4's old lift towers. New replacements arrived the last week of July.

"The old chair 4 was a fixed-grip (lift). It took about 12 to 14 minutes" to get from the base up to mid-mountain, said Amy Quesenberry, an Alyeska Resort spokesperson. "What's most exciting to us is the speed of this new lift. It's about 40 percent faster, meaning a six-minute ride up."

All told, the chair-lift replacement and construction work cost about $6 million, Quesenberry added. The new lift is in pretty much the same location.

The new, faster Chair 4 will operating on opening day of ski season, currently scheduled for Nov. 21. Alyeska Resort 2012-13 winter season ski and snowboard passes are already on sale and include special pass-holder-only ski days and discounted hotel rates.