The Countdown to Opening Day

[ycd_countdown id=15369]

It’s time for another summertime update from your favorite mountain while we all count down until opening day on November 27 (105 days as of this article being published). Sure, in this new age of safety and social distancing, there will be changes, but skiing and snowboarding outside on 1000 acres of beautiful mountains are definitely one of the better ways to go about spending a winter in Vermont. We’ll all just have to make some adjustments in the process.

In light of the changes we’ll need to make to how things are done this winter season, we had considered replacing Madonna I with a giant 12-person heated massage chairlift, but due to all the concerns with social distancing, we decided to stick with what we know works. Our classic Madonna I double. That said, we replaced the haul rope with a new one to ensure many more great years of skiing and riding on some of the best terrain in the East. This process takes a few days and is quite involved. We’ll explain in detail a little below.

Passes and Badges are On Sale!

Music to our ears. Winter is coming, and while there will no doubt be some major changes regardless of how we go about getting our snowy fix, we know that our favorite mountains will still be here for us when we need them most. Head to the online Pass and Badge store now to head straight to the lift on opening day!

So, about those favorite mountains…

Our faithful mountain operations team battled rough weather last week to replace the ropes on Madonna I. This is actually a really cool process! We posted to social media about the arrival of our new haul rope– a 46,000-pound spool of wire rope. The difference between cable and wire rope is mainly just the way you refer to it, but did you know that inside the haul ropes used for chairlifts is actual braided polypropylene rope? The polypro rope helps add elasticity, as does the way the steel threads are wrapped around it. This means more trips up and down the mountain for all of us!

Haul rope up Madonna Liftline
Hoisting the 46,000-pound spool of wire rope
Setting up equipment

Something cool about this process is understanding how the rope is attached once the new one is installed. Due to the construction of wire rope, no hardware is needed to attach the two ends. Instead, each “strand” is woven into the rope, called a splice. The tension on the wire rope is what keeps it all together. It’s the same idea as a Chinese finger trap, which has a wide range of uses from children’s toys to doctor’s offices. You might see the splice locations as you ride up the lift. Look for a very small bulge on the opposite side of the haul rope. Since there are multiple splice locations, those bulges appear over a long distance.

The more you know
Share this post

Hugh Johnson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *