Answerland " Chair 5 on Vail Mountain
A: Heaters for the bull wheel liners at the tops of Chairs 5 and 17 ” High Noon Lift and Sun Up Lift ” sometimes can’t heat the liners well enough on extremely cold mornings, said Bill Jensen, chief operating officer for Vail Mountain.
The bull wheels are the large wheels at the tops and bottoms of the lifts that hold the cables. If those chairs were fully loaded on very cold mornings, the cable could slip on the wheel, he said. For safety reasons, lift workers load people on every other chair until the bull wheel liners heat up, he said, and that can last for an hour to 90 minutes in the mornings. The heaters work 80-90 percent of the time, he said.
Two years ago, Vail Resorts and the Forest Service solicited public comment about the replacement and upgrade of Chair 5 as well as the addition of a second lift in Sun Down Bowl. Based on the feedback, Vail Resorts decided to leave Sun Down Bowl as it was.
Replacement of Chair 5 at the end of its useful life ” which could be five-10 years from now ” is still in Vail Mountain’s master plan, Jensen said. There could be another comment period on the replacement of Chair 5 in about a year, he said, when the company updates that master plan.
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