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Mt. Bachelor’s damaged Skyliner lift officially out of commission for rest of season

Repair crews at work on Mt. Bachelor's Skyliner Express lift in January
Mt. Bachelor
Repair crews at work on Mt. Bachelor's Skyliner Express lift in January

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Mt. Bachelor will be without one of its base area lifts through the end of the season.

Resort President General Manager John McLeod announced in an update posted on the mountain's conditions page Tuesday the Skyliner Chairlift, out of operation since late December, will remain out of action through the end of the winter season.

McLeod said the mountain had "exhausted every avenue" for completely replacing the lift's bullwheel assembly to get the lift running again this season.

He added that work would begin at the conclusion of the '21-22 season to repair Skyliner, and they have "plenty of time" to get it operational in time for the '22-23 season.

You can read McLeod's full update below:

When we discovered in mid-January that the damage to Skyliner went beyond the bull wheel bearings, it was determined that the only way to restore it to operational status this season would be to locate a complete bull wheel assembly to swap out our existing one. Sadly, we have exhausted every avenue for that option and have to face the reality that Skyliner will not return to service during winter 2021-22.
 
Clearly, this is a blow to all of us, Skyliner serving the terrain that it does, being home to the MBSEF programs, as a connector between East and West terrain, and just being a locals favorite with the easy parking lot to lift access. I want to acknowledge the efforts and creativity of our Mountain Operations and Base Operations teams and many others, who are re-imagining our Woodward terrain park locations, running a daily shuttle for guests parking or skiing the Skyliner terrain, and many other adaptations necessitated by this unpredictable event. This is truly a case of making lemonade out of lemons, and the team is doing a great job. 
 
That brings us to next season. We explored every alternative to ensure we would be back in business in the Skyliner area for winter 2022-23. The only option that will guarantee operations for next season is removing and repairing our current bull wheel and other damaged components. Our plan is to commence this work with Doppelmayr as soon as our current season has concluded. This approach still gives us plenty of time to remove the damaged components, complete the repairs, re-install, test, and inspect everything in time for next season. We will continue to keep our mountain community updated as repairs progress. Meanwhile, winter 2021-22 has plenty left to offer; we have fresh snow today and hopefully plenty more powder days before we get to enjoy the spring bluebird days ahead!

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.

Comments

24 Comments

  1. When the initial announcement came out, and implied they could fix it this season, I called bs. Having been a lift maintenance tech at Squaw Valley, I knew there was zero chance of that happening.

    1. As the “just in time” access to materials era is officially over with supply chain issues for the foreseeable future, Mt B needs to purchase redundancy in its parts inventory. So better get two Bull assemblies during the off season and a
      While lot of other parts as this will not fly with ski customers next year.

      1. It won’t fly with ski customers next year???? What do you think they will do? They’ll complain like they complain now about lift ticket prices, fast trak, summit not being open, all the tourists, etc then they’ll plop down their money and go get in the lift line. It’s called a captive audience. Think Mt Hood is better?

    2. Powdr Crap spent their money on installing new gates for their Fast Tracks lift lanes instead of investing in preventive maintenance and spare parts. Maintenance costs money, Fast Tracks is supposed to make money – not sure how well that investment is working out for them.

  2. Season pass holders deserve a refund or discount on 22-23.

    I’ll be the first say it.

    This damage was likely known about before they sold full price passes.

    1. You have to be pro-active to avoid breakdowns like this. Critical parts can be X-Rayed to detect any developing defects. Parts have a predictable life, within a wide range. Replacing crucial parts before this time prevents breakdowns. It is a bit more expensive, though, because you surely replace some ‘too soon’. By not being honest about the repair, Mt. Bachelor prevented any loss of revenue, at the expense of its customers, of course.

  3. Once again, KTVZ sloppily throws together a “story”… you repeated the same thing twice and forgot the most important information. WHEN was that lift first installed and/or last replaced? You guys are so bad at this.

      1. The difference it makes, is that 1989 puts her well over the projected lifespan for a detachable quad, especially one of the early ones… its a subject some folks are talking about, just not bachelors holding company POWDR- they know this isnt their only lift about to age out from parts availability

  4. I haven’t gone downhill skiing at a resort for many years. I stopped going when the prices for single-day lift tickets got into the low-mid 50’s. I just checked the single day prices for Mt Hood Meadows and Bachelor and was shocked to see that they charge well over $100 for a 7 hour lift ticket on Saturdays. They weren’t worth $50+ to me in the early 2000’sand they sure as heck aren’t worth $100+ to me now. When I stopped alpine skiing I got into xc skiing and snowshoeing. Much safer, good for your cardio vascular system and a LOT less expensive.

  5. Curious to know who you would blame if this was a total “no snow year”.

    Would you ask for a refund then? Blame Mother Nature?

    Not a fan of Mt B for a variety of reasons.
    But ~I would guess that product supply/ demand (pandemic related) doesn’t help.

  6. https://www.plantservices.com/assets/wp_downloads/pdf/100225_Fluke.pdf So depending on age there should have been an acoustic sensor on the main bull wheel bearing or at least a retrofit option. Fluke (an Oregon company) says that Whistler Blackcomb measures start-up and running electrical loads to compare on yearly inspections. You would do this so that complete failure would not be your indication of an issue. I would be extremely embarrassed to have a system that needs to be safe for transporting people with a yearly inspection, fail in use. There should be some very pointed questions regarding the safety culture at Mt B and recordkeeping There is an opportunity to ask some very pointed questions here. A failure requiring a complete replacement is a critical safety issue.

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