This summer, we are deep into several lift projects at Whiteface. We’ll start with the Face Lift, which is coming up on its 20th anniversary. To celebrate, the Face Lift is getting all new Brains! We are doing a complete renovation with a fancy new control system, the Doppelmayr Connect. This system features state-of-the-art technology with the best safety implementation, a new hydraulic braking system, an all-new terminal wiring, comm line, a new AC motor, and a new operator house on top.
The new station equipment cabinet is the brains of the entire terminal! It’s unique because it is the first Doppelmayr connect to have a drive tension system. The cabinet is jam-packed, with circuitry dedicated explicitly for the tension system. It has the most significant number of components Doppelmayr has ever put into one station equipment box. It even has its own climate control that monitors the humidity and temperature. Then utilizes either a fan or heater to more closely replicate an ideal situation for the control unit.
For this update, we are doing a complete motor conversion from a DC to an AC motor. Why you ask, would you want to do that? Well…it’s something that we’ve evaluated for years. An AC motor generally requires less maintenance, runs cleaner and more efficiently than a DC motor, and has parts more readily available. What does that mean for you? It means we can do the best job possible in keeping the Face Lift running at peak condition so that you always have a smooth, safe ride.
Next up? Bye, bye Mixing Bowl and Bear Chair, hello shiny new SkyTrac Quad! We are removing the Mixing Bowl, and Bear lifts replacing them with one new SkyTrac Quad. That will start on the Mixing Bowl trail lower than the Bear chair, but follow the Bear chair lift line up Deer trail. These two double lifts were installed in the early 80s. Replacing them with a quad will allow easier access from a lower point at the base for new skiers and riders. With the 2023 World University Games coming to Whiteface this new quad will provide more efficient transportation for both athletes and foot passengers to Freeway, our Cross course, and the alpine finish area for races and events.
The Freeway lift is also getting some love this summer. The big news here is power infrastructure. You may have noticed we have been investing in updating our power across the mountain. Now Freeway lift is getting a new transformer. We’re replacing the main feed to that transformer and the secondary from the transformer to the lift. The freeway lift is also getting a new drive and new bull wheel bearings at the top and bottom stations.
A lot of what was done at Whiteface Mountain revolved around the 1980 Olympics. Most of the power infrastructure, pipeline infrastructure, and snowmaking infrastructure were put in place for the Olympic games and are now 40 years old. Going into the 2023 World University Games, we are getting most of this older antiquated equipment and infrastructure replaced. All of these improvements will help us provide a better Whiteface experience for you.