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Lifting the lifts: Bogus, Tamarack to hoist ski lift towers

It isn’t something you see every day, but for two straight days – you can in the Gem State.

Towers Take Flight at Tamarack

Today, crews will lift a series of 18 lift towers into place at Tamarack Resort near Donnelly. A total of 18 lift towers will go up, reactivating the Wildwood lift.

The lift stopped running in 2009 as Tamarack sputtered under previous owners and the weight of the weakening economy. Bank of America repossessed the lift in 2012. Putting the lift back in place should open up an additional 200 acres of terrain at the resort.

When BoiseDev broke news of Tamarack’s new owners last fall, Kyle Mowitz of Imperium Blue talked about the importance of the restored lift.

“You will see us install the Wildwood lift that was taken out by Bank of America previously to get to more of that advanced terrain and really open up more of the mountain, and we are going to start working on the mid-mountain restaurant and lodge.”

The State of Idaho required Imperium to restore the lift as part of its agreement to purchase the resort.

Busting a Bogus bottleneck

At Bogus Basin, similar work will start Wednesday. BoiseDev also first broke this story – that a new high-speed detachable quad lift would replace the slow three-person lift from the base area to the Pioneer Lodge.

The lift is a bottleneck at the resort north of Boise – the new chair will cut down the time it takes to get up the mountain from eleven minutes down to three, and significantly increase capacity.

The lift will be open for the 2019 ski season.

How it happens

Using a heavy-duty helicopter, workers fly the towers in. Crews on the ground grab each tower and secure it to a pre-set concrete base.

The helicopter then comes back to put the cross arm into place, with workers up on the tower to catch it and secure it in place. Later, crews strong the lift cables and add chairs to get the lift up and running.

This 2010 video from Vail Resorts outlines the process:

Don Day - BoiseDev editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].
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