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Repairs to Mt. Bachelor’s Skyliner Express prove challenging; lift to remain down for ‘indefinite period’

Mt. Bachelor Skyliner Express lift repairs 113-2
Mt. Bachelor
Repair crews at work on Mt. Bachelor's Skyliner Express lift in January
Mt. Bachelor Skyliner Express lift closed Jack Hirsh 113-1
Jack Hirsh/KTVZ
Lots of snow fun to be had Thursday at Mt. Bachelor - but not via the closed Skyliner Express lift

'Days, possibly weeks'; resort shifts gears to make up for it, says Summit lift should reopen Friday

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Skiers and snowboarders at Mt. Bachelor were greeted Thursday by a new round of fresh snow – and the disappointing news that a main chairlift, out of commission since before Christmas, will be down for “days and possibly weeks” because some parts are hard to replace and may need to be re-manufactured.

The Skyliner Express, a quad (four-chair) high-speed lift built in 1989, has been down since Dec. 23 for repairs described as “complex” by Bachelor General Manager and President John McLeod.

Here's the Thursday morning update he posted on the resort's website:

"Since we originally took Skyliner down due to mechanical failure, we knew this would be a complex repair but were hopeful that the damage was limited to standard, available components. Had this been the case, we had all the parts necessary to have Skyliner back in action for the upcoming weekend.

"Unfortunately, yesterday we learned that Skyliner sustained damage to major components that are much harder to replace and may ultimately have to be re-manufactured. Meaning we will be without Skyliner for an indefinite period while we engineer a solution with our Doppelmayr partners. 

"Our teams are already implementing contingency plans to re-imagine our resort for a period without this important lift and the terrain and parking area that it serves. This will include:

  • Moving some of our Woodward Parks to new areas of the mountain
  • Expanded grooming of less frequently groomed areas of other parts of the mountain
  • Running shuttles from the Skyliner parking lot so we can continue to utilize that parking area and provide access to Skyliner trails for those willing to ride a bus back to West Village for their next lap (think untouched powder runs on certain days!) 

"Our resort will transform over the next few days and possibly weeks as we explore ways to make lemonade from this bunch of lemons. The good news is that our crews completed recovery work on the Summit chairlift yesterday, the haul rope had extensive icing from our four-week storm cycle, but the lift is now ready to go.

"Unfortunately, the weather is against us operating Summit today; however, once patrol has completed control work tomorrow morning, Summit should be good to go tomorrow (weather and wind permitting). The weekend looks clear for continuous Summit operations.

"As always, the Mt Bachelor team's dedication and creativity will shine through, and although we are all sad to be without Skyliner for a bit longer, we will do whatever we can to make the most of what we have, which is still plenty!" McLeod concluded.

Meanwhile, Mt. Bachelor reported the Rainbow lift, also out due to maintenance work, should return to operation on Friday.

KTVZ news sources



    1. HAHAHA You must be dreaming or smokin crack. Powder corp couldn’t care less about pass holders. Drove me away shortly after they took over. I was a season pass holder for well over a decade until these clowns took control.
      Most around here don’t remember skiing on the 4th of July with runs treated with salt to keep the snow skiable, the US Ski and Snowboard team came to train here yearly. They used to push snow from the upper mountain all the way to the bottom of the Skyliner lift to provide top to bottom skiing as long as possible.

  1. Seems as though Mt. Bachelor has a fix it mentality rather than preventive maintenance mentality. What they are not sharing is this was self inflicted when they shortened the haul rope this summer. If they would have tested under load on a windy day they would have identified the issue before the season even started. Of course, this is all hearsay from the chair lift rumor mill.

  2. You would think that some thought would have been put into this BEFORE a issue? It’s OK because any lost revenue will be made up in higher “maintenance” fees. LOL!

  3. I worked in lift maintenance for both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, both world-class properties. We never had a failure of this magnitude. There are ways of testing equipment in the off-season, including X-Rays and Ultrasonic tests, can avoid failure of major metal parts. Also, most of them have somewhat predictable life-span. They experience an expected number of use-cycles before failure. Those parts are replaced before that window is reached. The financial implications, as presently being experienced by Mt. Bachelor, of replacing before failure, far outweigh the cost of premature replacement.

    1. Welcome to Powdercorp’s Mt Bachelor where there are excuses of too much snow, conditions unable to run all lifts, breakdowns, and other ongoing woes. The only thing that is a sure bet is higher lift prices and no refunds. Ah, make one miss the good old days before corporate skiing.

  4. Thanks to all those who are working up on the mountain. Without you, the lifts don’t run at all. Things do go wrong. But with proper management at the corporate level, these things can be minimized. Too often the top guys in big corporations are only thinking about the bottom line. Not enough thought is given to paying employees a decent wage or undertaking the proper level of maintenance. In checking the job openings at Mt. Bachelor they are still looking for three maintenance people. Not a good sign in the middle of the season. There is an obvious shortage of workers up there across the board just as many other businesses are seeing. Make sure and thank the workers on the mountain who are up there when you can.

  5. It’s a mechanical device operating in a challenging environment. I remember one spring where that lift ran on the diesel backup for weeks. I’m sure they are working hard on this. If it’s a lift or two here and there, nobody is gonna do more than grumble. If this keeps happening, people will ski elsewhere. As it is, I doubt Bachelor will see anything on their bottom line other than a little less labor and electricity costs.

  6. Glad I haven’r been on ski’s since 1981! Sounds like a huge hassle up there with a bunch of C.O. crybabies with their first world issues and entitlement!

  7. Don’t really like the idea of moving the Woodward crap over to screw up some (currently) skiable runs. Rainbow has been down for a few weeks now, also due to a “maintenance issue”. Perhaps they should fix it and move more Park crap over there?

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