After the major chairlift additions that are coming to Sun Valley this winter, two more could be coming soon.
The Christmas chairlift, which is a detachable high-speed quad chairlift, opened back in 1988. Its potential replacement will be a chondola: a mix of gondola cabins and six-pack chairs. The length of the new lift would be 4,221 feet. This would make the capacity increase from 2400 people per hour to 3000 pph. Tree clearing of up to 60 feet on both sides of the lift line would be needed.
The Seattle Ridge chairlift is a high-speed quad chairlift that opened back in 1993. Its replacement would be a high-speed six-pack chairlift, with a length of 4,068 feet, and a capacity increase from 2400 pph to 3000 pph. Up to fifty feet of tree clearing on both sides of the lift line would be required. The vertical length of both lifts would be 1,350 feet.
The third project that is being proposed is the expansion of the ski patrol building. The current small building is situated at the top of Gretchen’s Gold trail. This would either be a small building extension or the construction of a second floor.
These potential additions would help further modernize Sun Valley’s lift network. This summer at Sun Valley will see the addition of two new chairlifts. The Challenger and Greyhawk are being replaced by a detachable high-speed six-pack chairlift, which will feature a mid-station for unloading. The Flying Squirrel chairlift, which was removed back in 2014, is finally being replaced by a detachable high-speed quad. An extension trail, more gladed terrain, along with snowmaking improvements, are also being added.
All three projects will need to be approved by the U.S. Forest Service before construction can begin. The Christmas, Seattle Ridge, and ski patrol building projects are currently in the public comment period. If you’re interested in chiming in, you can email your hot takes to firstname.lastname@example.org or send them via mail to Matt Filbert, who is the District Ranger of the Ketchum Ranger District.
A public meeting about the potential lift replacements will happen on Aug. 31st at the Community Library in Ketchum from 4:30-6 pm.
Image Credits: Sun Valley Resort