A month ago Unofficial Networks released its 10 BEST Ski Lifts in the World and placed Snowbird's Tram at # 8. I do not totally agree with this ranking ( I would put it at number #5 or #6); however, I am glad that we go some props for out Red and Blue boats. Here is a little more info on my favorite lift



The Snowbird Tram Review | Facts and Statistics



Name(s): Snowbird Tram, The Boat, The Tram

Elevation Gain: 2900 Vertical Feet

Amount of Passengers: Max is 120, but during ski season loads are usually in the area of 105.

When was it Constructed: In 1971 as one of Snowbird’s original lifts.

Accidents: None that I know of. The windows have been known to fall out from time to time due to smashing into towers. I have also heard that once a window popped out over the Cirque because of some kind of pressure vacuum thing caused by the wind. People sometimes pass out and fall over, but that is not the Trams fault….

Positives: Fast, Warm, Bottom to Top in one lift ride, Accesses 90+% of the resort in one lift ride, Great place to meet your fiends, Great place to meet new friends

Negatives: Can have long lines, Affected by heavy winds, bad if you are claustrophobic or suffer from seasickness,  see Smell

Smell: Can vary from pleasant to awful depending on who you are standing next to. Freeskiers/Snowboarders with bad breath or gas are the worst to be near.

Terrain Accessed: Nearly the entire resort

-Baldy (Short Hike to the best inbounds terrain in the Western US)

-Upper Cirque

-Silver Fox

-Cirque Traverse

-Little Cloud

-Mineral Basin


Snowfall at the Resort: Snowbird averages over 500″ per year of the good stuff. This past season was especially awesome with Snowbird setting a resort record of 776 inches (1,970 cm) of cumulative snow (mid-mountain measurement) by May 2011


Who Built it: Garaventa

Speed it can Travel: Not sure on the meters/second, but it takes about 8 minutes to get you up 2900 vert and deposit you on Hidden Peak at a nice even 11,000 ft above sea level.

How Many Cabins: Two (One Red, One Blue….like the fish)

What Winds can in Operate in: Up to about 50mph winds if they are up and down the line. If the wind is blowing up canyon or down canyon and hitting the tram broadside it will shut down at lower wind speeds. (More like 30 mph or so)

How Many Horsepower: 1975hp

Other Facts:

– Was the site of an epic Freeskiing World Tour party in 2004. Both cabins were filled with freeskiers and beer and were taken to the point where they pass each other. A DJ pumped tunes in both cabins and people danced their asses off. This party was never to be repeated…

– The Tram was recently outfitted with new windows because the old ones were all scratched up from skies and boards. The new windows allegedly have a replaceable protective layer on them so that they can be more easily fixed up in the future.

The “Tram Rap” is still in effect although Alex can only do it a limited number of times per day. He told me it is best if you get a tourist to request it, then he can do it with less fear of getting in trouble.

All information was gathered in an Unofficial manner by talking with Tram operators and other Snowbird employees.

If you have any other great info, or if you want to correct any mistakes I have made hit us up in the comment section below.

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  • Spirit76

    The article referred to at the top of the page would have been more aptly named, “The 10 Best Ski Lifts the Author is Personally Familiar With.”

    Having learned to ski in Utah, I didn’t know for a couple years there could be anything better. After all, the government-issued license plates declare “Greatest Snow on Earth.” Who’s gonna argue with the government about snowfall? My eyes were blown wide open on my first trip to Blackcomb, before it had hooked up with Whistler.
    I remember when our group came back to Utah, being struck by how much less steep, and how small, alta and snowbird were. The epiphany that there could exist be such a ueled a desire to ski the world to find out if there were ski experiences even more impressive than Blackcomb. And there are.

    So, “Best” lists and “The top” lists tend to get my dander because they’re not only subjective, they are often wholly inaccurate, yet pronounced with seeming authority as fact. taken from a small sample top d Really? How can snowbird’s tram possibly be in th

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  • RosstheBoss

    I used to manage Snowbird’s Tram and I can clear some info up.

    In terms of efficiency the standard operating speed is 7.0 m/s, 8.5 m/s if it’s a busy day, 10.0 m/s (top speed) for extremely busy days or medical emergencies. Winds permitting with all of this of course.

    Having a stereo and not being able to use it created for one of my biggest pet peeve questions. The reason why we can’t play music is because the Tram is limited by the amount electricity that can be stored locally in the cabin in batteries. These batteries can only be charged when the Tram is docked and parked. You can see the brass charging plates located on the inside of the carriage (the part of the Tram with the wheels rolling on the cables). When the Tram is open during the winter season it is only supposed to be docked for about 2 minutes (always preferably less) so it never really gets a chance to recharge. It probably spends about only 5-7% of it’s time recharging during a typical operating day. The reason why the system was installed in the first place was to play those dreadful pre-recorded narratives in the summer for the tourists. The Tram only does a trip every 30 minutes and has plenty of time to recharge between trips.

    So theoretically music could be played but the Tram would have to take a 15-20 minute break a couple of times throughout the day to replenish the electricity. Which is more important to you, fresh laps on Baldy or Jimi Hendrix blasting in the background while you shout over it to converse with your friends?

    Yes, JHole’s Tram plays music blah blah blah, but let’s remember IT’S A FREAKING BRAND NEW TRAM COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING. Snowbird’s was retrofitted in 2000 or 2002 from an entirely analog system to a brand spanking new digital set up. However, they were still limited by the technology of the day. Plus I’ve always figured JHole’s Tram Ops had it way easier with automatic doors and heat. I kept my feet warm by jumping rope on an ice covered floor.

    Also, Alex’s Tram rap is awesome and keeps the spirit of Snowbird alive. The reason why he had to start spacing out his performances was because tourists were oh so very confused by it and thought it lacked professionalism (fuckers…). Listen up on the last tram of the day when it’s pretty much locals and you just might get lucky.

  • BIG O

    Wonder what kind of tram they are going to install from Hidden Peak to the twins? BTW, which twin will it drop you off at?

    • Kyler

      From standing in during Bob Bonar’s Development meetings this summer I will inform you of his plans.

      The Twins tram is planned as being a small capacity tram. The Cabin will hold about 75 people and as opposed the “The Tram” which has 1 car going up as 1 goes down, this tram will just be 1 car. This will reduce the trams footprint and possible visible impacts from the Salt Lake Valley since the top station will not have to be as large.

      The current idea for the location would be between the peaks, also to reduce visual impacts. The tram if built is also planned to be tower-less, which would be really cool.

      In order for the project to happen, Snowbird is looking at a 3-5 year environmental impact study for the Twins area and Mary Ellen Gulch area. The study is not expected to start until a 2 year study on Gad Valley improvements is finished.

      The Gad Valley proposed improvements include:
      -Upgrading Gad 2 into a Quad
      -Night skiing off of Gadzoom (Lunch Run to the Road to Emma cat track to Big Emma)
      -Building Mountain School a Yurt in the Baby-T area
      -Developing the area across Little Cottonwood Creek from the back of the Baby-T lift as another Bunny Hill.
      -Expanding Creek Side to include more lockers, seating, and an area for Wasatch Adaptive Sports
      -Somewhere outside of Creek Side there is a possibility for a magic carpet (around the race building) for Adaptive Sports to use.

      If Snowbird gets approval to do some land swaps in Mary Ellen and gets Forest Service approval and State and County Approval the Tram to the Twins will allow expert skiing into Mary Ellen Gulch and a limited or a No access Back-Country gate into White Pine. To allow skiers to get out of Mary Ellen a lift will be built to the Mineral Basin Ridge-line, and the Mineral Basin Express will be extended backwards a couple hundred yards.

      Unfortunately don’t expect to have lift service skiing off of the Twins for another decade.

      On the bright side of things, I have heard that construction for the restaurant on Hidden Peak may begin the summer of 2012. I don’t know what the final design will end up being, but may include a Restaurant, Ski Patrol Facilities, and a small cat shop. Presumably to one day allow faster access to Mary Ellen Gulch for grooming and sloop maintenance. Till then it would be great for Mineral Basin.

  • Niko Woodwarski

    One (and only) problem with the tram: No music. What’s with Snowbird and the lack of music in lift lines and base areas? I love riding big red at Jackson Hole and hearing good tunes the whole way up. Or hearing my ninth Bob Marley song while lapping Sugarloaf at Alta. I can only dream of one day getting the whole tram cabin to sing More Than A Feeling during a ride to Hidden Peak.

    • Someone

      The Snowbird Tram to the best of my knowledge use to play music depending on the Tram Op. I’ve heard a couple explanations as to why they don’t anymore.

      The first I ever heard was that in the Winter patrollers were having difficulties hearing radio calls and making radio calls over people talking and the music.

      The second one I heard is that since the electronics run on batteries that with music playing all the time, batteries were dying.

      The real answer however might be a vacationing mother might have been appalled by Marley and complained, and God forbid 1 person is upset at the expense of 99 others.

      • Daryn

        I heard directly from a Tram Op that the last reason given above is the real reason for no tunes. I agree that it is lame to have no music for all because one person sucks…

  • Daryn Edmunds

    Even when the line is long it is still less bad than the KT wait. Plus you get twice the vertical on terrain that is 10X better……hmmmm

      • Say what?

        Flat? cool story bro. You’re just jelly that we are STEEP and DEEP.

        Go have some fun on your Sierra Cement

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