Get ready powder lovers, because one of the biggest ski area construction projects happening right now in North America is Taos Ski Valley's new Kachina Peak lift. In an effort to become a premier, year-round mountain destination, Taos Ski Valley is pumping loads of cash into their property so it can compete with industry giants like Park City or Beaver Creek. The new lift up the iconic Kachina Peak will cut out a 45 minute hike, rise 1,100 vertical feet in five minutes, and top out at a lung-busting 12,450 feet. Altogether this will increase the mountain's lift-served advanced and expert terrain by 50% and provide some jaw-dropping views to boot. We've got the inside scoop on some epic construction photos, right this way.
From the top of the completed lift, skiers will be able to see Wheeler Peak, the Taos Plateau, and the Spanish Peaks in Colorado. And if that isn't enough, the Kachina lift is just the first step in a whole list of mountain improvements. Taos Ski Valley plans to redevelop the base area in spring 2015 with a 140,000 square foot building that will house the ticket office, ski school, retail stores, and some residential space.
So how do you install a chairlift onto an incredibly steep mountain like Kachina Peak? Most of the summer has been devoted to installing the lift towers up the mountain. Last Sunday, Taos Ski Valley used a helicopter for six hours to transport the massive structures that will compose the lift's top terminal. Construction crews have been busy setting bullwheels, building the drive station, stringing cable, and connecting chairs to the cable. Taos Ski Valley reports that the installation is more than half-way complete, so the new lift is still on schedule to open for the 2014-2015 season. It's quite the engineering feat, so have a look.
· CEO Briner says Taos' Kachina Peak work most significant ski project in North America [Albuquerque Business First]
· Taos Ski Valley Wants To Compete "With The Big Boys" [Curbed Ski]
· Taos Ski Valley Will Get a New Chairlift to Kachina Peak [Curbed Ski]
· Just In: Billionaire Conservationist Buys Taos Ski Valley [Curbed Ski]