PHOTOS: Haul rope now up on new Sun Down Express chairlift at Vail |

PHOTOS: Haul rope now up on new Sun Down Express chairlift at Vail

Vail Mountain ski patrol skis past the new Sun Down Express lift line on Monday. Sun Down Bowl has been closed while crews work to install the new lift.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

Crews have been working on the haul rope splice portion of the new Sun Down Express chairlift on Vail Mountain in recent days.

After the installation of the haul rope line is complete, chairs will be hung on the lift.

The lift will be a four-person detachable quad from Leitner-Poma, transporting guests along a new lift line on Vail Mountain. That lift line will run from the bottom of the High Noon Express (No. 5) line to the top of the Wildwood area on Vail Mountain, where the Wildwood Express (No. 3) lift meets Game Creek Express (No. 7).

Snow hits the new Sun Down Express line on Monday. The bottom lift terminal is located next to Vail’s High Noon Express.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

Vail Mountain also upgraded Game Creek Express this season, from a four-person to a six-person chairlift. While Game Creek Express was originally targeted for an early December opening and Sun Down Express a late December opening, it was Game Creek Express that opened in late December, while Sun Down Express is now targeting a January opening.

Vail Mountain now has all other lifts running for the season, and has recorded 164 inches of snow total during the 2022-23 season, about 40 inches more than the mountain had recorded at this time in the 2021-22 season.

Support Local Journalism

Six inches of fresh snow were reported on Saturday, a day which proved to be the busiest for the town so far this season, according to the number of cars in the Frontage Road overflow parking areas. Both of the town of Vail parking structures were filled by 10:03 a.m., with 364 cars taking advantage of the free parking on Frontage Road. Prior to Saturday, the largest car count so far this season was 202 cars on Dec. 28.

A haul rope runs between towers on the new Sun Down Express lift on Vail Mountain. Guests can expect to see chairs hung on the line once the haul rope installation is complete.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

Snow was falling on the mountain on Monday as crews worked on the Sun Down Express lift, and more is in the forecast for this week. The National Weather Service’s Grand Junction office issued a winter weather advisory for this week on Monday, saying snow is possible on Wednesday.

Support Local Journalism