Ride Alta’s Newest Chairlift
December 23rd saw the opening of Alta’s newest chairlift, the revamped Supreme chair. Your correspondent was present on behalf of skiers everywhere with an interest in what exactly the new lift was going to do, and not do.
Given the dearth of snowfall so far this season, the heavy (okay, moderate, but we’re working with slim numbers to date in 2017/18) snowfall was an auspicious portent. Over a foot fell and Canyon Blog took the opportunity to visit the new lift late in the afternoon when the skiers had thinned out, which turned out to be an understatement.
First, the loading is much better than the old “magic moving carpet” that so often seemed to throw off out of towners and beginning skiers. Each chair has four seats as opposed to a single long bench. It’s difficult to say what the individual seat purpose is, but there’s one certainty, each pad has more cushion than any other chair in the resort. They also have the standard safety bar without the ski rest for your feet, something of which your correspondent has never been a fan.
The best attribute of the change is the removal of Cecret chair, which moved about as fast a person could ski uphill, if so inclined. It baited the skier with views of the old Supreme climbing up over Hammerhead run, while you rode in slow motion. The other net positive is that you can catch the new lift conveniently from Alf’s restaurant, so that afternoon bowl of chili and beer doesn’t leave you struggling uphill to catch a “lift.”
The only drawback as far as this frequent skier is concerned is the long run-out after dropping down your favorite line, be it Big Dipper and Rock and Roll or Supreme Challenge and Last Chance on Katherine side. Instead of quick turning and heading back up hill, you’re forced to ski the green run all the way to Alf’s.
But the best news of opening day was the missing people. Only two others were on the lift as far as Canyon Blog could see in either direction. And at the top, only one skied off into the heavy flakes. Overall, your correspondent thinks Alta made the right move in replacing two lifts with a single chair that extends the distance from Alf’s to Supreme’s traditional summit. See you at the top, or hopefully, not.