If you saw the top of Mt. Bachelor Friday morning, you may have noticed a little bit of new snow at the peak. It was the first dusting of the season and a sign that winter is closer than it otherwise seems.
Central Oregon Daily News got an inside look at the new upgrades coming to the mountain this year.
“This summer we are replacing Skyliner with a six-pack from Doppelmayr. This is going to be a big upgrade for our lift system,” Director of Mountain Operations Dustin Smith said. “It’s going to make things a little bit more reliable for us, provide a little bit better operation in the winds and in our environment. We’re super excited to see how this machine runs up on this resort.”
A total makeover for the Skyliner lift, identified as a bottleneck area on the hill. In addition to the extra seats, the base terminal is moving further up the mountain, allowing more space for lift lines and event activities.
“We’re moving right along. Everything’s on track. We are almost complete with the mechanical installation on the lift,” Smith said.
The new six-pack is on its original schedule, to be operational a few weeks after opening day.
“Our scheduled date for opening (of Skyliner) is December 22nd and we’re feeling great. I mean, we’re all indications is we’re on track,” Smith said.
Operations staff say they are not worried about keeping patrons moving up the mountain before the re-opening of the Skyliner lift but that they will lose a small fraction of their terrain with the ongoing construction.
Other offseason changes include a new motor in the Outback lift and restoring the Northwest chair to primary electric power. Last season the Northwest lift ran at a reduced speed due to motor complications.
Mt. Bachelor is shooting for an opening day of Nov. 24 — the day after Thanksgiving.