May 15, 2014
The Summit at Snoqualmie announced today that the ski resort will start construction of a new chairlift this spring. Rampart Chair is scheduled to open for the 2014/2015 winter season with construction expected to start in June. The fixed-grip quad chair featuring an easy-load conveyor system is all new and will be built and installed by SkyTrac, an American chairlift company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Rampart chairlift is a long awaited addition to Summit East and will increase uphill capacity substantially while opening up a sizeable portion of glade skiing in the area. The new chairlift will be located on the northern facing slopes of the Summit East ski area.
The new Rampart chairlift represents one of the final pieces to The Summit’s Silver Fir/Summit East family-friendly zone. This last winter season the resort also opened its newest day lodge, the Silver Fir Lodge, situated at the base of the Silver Fir high-speed quad chair. The resort has continued to improve the Silver Fir/Summit East zone over the last several years to significantly boost its offering of quality intermediate and family-friendly slopes. The Silver Fir/Summit East zone features numerous tree-lined trails, longer runs, beautiful Cascade Mountain views and of course, a new lodge and four new lifts all installed within the last six years.
“We’ve eagerly awaited this key piece of the puzzle that now really helps complete the fun, adventurous side of The Summit,” says The Summit at Snoqualmie’s general manager, Dan Brewster. “Our skiers and snowboarders love the diverse terrain offerings and freedom of the entire Silver Fir/Summit East zone with its beautiful glade terrain and spectacular scenic views.”
Among a long list of other resort improvements for this summer, The Summit also plans to purchase the latest in summer slope maintenance equipment. This will aid in the resort’s brush cutting and trail manicuring efforts. Also, Alpental will receive lighting improvements and several winch anchors built specifically to expand the resort’s winch grooming capabilities. In total, The Summit at Snoqualmie plans to invest approximately 3.5 million dollars in improvements to the resort this summer.
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Rampart Chair at Summit East is under repair following a tree-fall during a violent wind storm in January. After a thorough inspection by lift engineers, The Summit personnel with the help of the lift designer/manufacturer, SkyTrac, will replace several components of the chair lift. When the large fir fell on the lift, tower four received the brunt of the impact in a way it was never designed to withstand, according to the engineers. As a result, the tower tube and concrete will be replaced. We began concrete work on February 4th and have completed the tower's foundation. We will also begin replacing parts from damaged chairs along with a complete MRT (Magnetic Resonance Test) of the haul rope. Once all the repairs are complete, we’ll be conducting a full load test and inspection with authorities having jurisdiction prior to opening to the public. Our plan is to have the chairlift ready for operation as soon as inspections are complete and Summit East terrain has adequate snow depth.
Yesterday, Sunday, January 18th, an unfortunate incident occurred involving our new Rampart chairlift at Summit East. The strong windstorm yesterday morning blew a tree over onto the lower part of the slopes adjacent to the lift. It unfortunately struck the lift cable very close to tower 4 and some damage occurred to the lift tower. Summit East was closed as it is yet to open for the 2014/15 season. At this point, lift mechanics are assessing the lift, however, so far we’re happy to report that the damage seems to be contained to tower 4 and most other parts of the lift appear to be unaffected. We will know more once a full inspection is completed by our lift engineers. While this set-back is disappointing, we’re 100% committed to getting our new lift open as soon as possible!