Excitement is at an all-time high as we enter into this final phase of the Chair 2 replacement project. The haul rope has been strung and the splice will be underway this week! Work at the Top Terminal is almost complete but for the finishing touches, and the new motor was started and the bull wheel was spun for the first time. There are only a few major milestones remaining to complete work on the Wenatchee Express! Once the work is completed, necessary inspections and testing will be scheduled. We will continue to keep you up to date with our progress and are thankful for the encouragement and patience you have had as we do our very best to get this job done. Many members of the team here have worked for weeks without days off and we are incredibly thankful for their continued effort!
The Past Week
- The haul rope is all of the way up and down the lift line! It is a beautiful part of this project in so many ways!
- Electrical and control systems are finishing up.
- The top terminal motor and auxiliary motor have both spun the bullwheel and are running smooth.
- The loading rails are nearing completion
The Upcoming Week
- Splicing of the haul rope will happen this week.
- Alignment of the towers and terminals.
- Loading of the work chair on the haul rope.
If you’ve been on the mountain, or if you’ve been watching the Midway webcam, you’ve seen that great progress has been made in the last week. The roof on the Lower Terminal has been completed, the operator houses at both the top and bottom terminals have been completed, and continued progress on the loading conveyor and chair loading rail system (allows chairs to be moved from the garage on to the haul rope) at the bottom terminal has been made. The installation of electrical connections and systems continues and we have entered another exciting phase of the project - the installation of the Haul Rope. On Wednesday, January 7th mobilization of equipment and materials for the haul rope installation and splice took place. Today, January 8th, a ton of snow at the bottom terminal was moved and the crane was repositioned. None of this worked was made any easier by the accumulation of over two feet of new snow since our last update but we are certainly not complaining about that!
We have entered the final phase of this project. The work remaining to be completed includes:
- Haul rope installation
- Haul rope splice
- Electrical final connections top, bottom, and towers
- Finish installation of the loading carpet
- Finish installation of the chair loading rail system
These final tasks include work that can be significantly impacted by weather. As we have for the entire project, we will take changes in the weather in stride, but the reality is that the forecast can have an impact on the timeline. The haul rope for example weighs fifty-six thousand pounds and is 14,000 feet long. That’s not something moved with ease.
The Bottom Line
While a lot of great work has been completed in the last week, the Wenatchee Express will not be open for snowboarders and skiers by January 15th. We are so close to the finish line but projecting an exact opening date is difficult as things continue to change daily. By the end of next week, the haul rope will have been installed and we look forward to seeing carriers on the line shortly thereafter. When exactly, down to the day, each of the other remaining steps will be completed may vary for a multitude of factors. Instead of posting another targeted opening date, we will continue to update you weekly until the Wenatchee Express has its official opening day. We know everyone is anxious to get out there. We are too. We will be there soon.
12/29/20 Project Update
Good progress has been made this past week on the Lower Terminal and the lift operator house and at the Top Terminal. Although you can’t see it from the webcam, we’ve been busy working every day. This week you will be able to see the roofing being installed on the lower terminal and we will continue putting the finishing touches on the top terminal. We are completing everything we can in advance of the haul rope installation which is scheduled for January 6th to 11th. Getting this done and passing all inspections by the 15th is still possible but will definitely be a challenge and a tight timeline. We are putting everything we have into the effort and will continue to keep you updated next week. Look for episode 13 of On The Way Up to come out soon highlighted by views of the nearly complete Top Terminal.
To check out past On The Way Up episodes visit our Youtube page.
12/21/20 Project Update
A big question on a lot of people’s minds is “when is the new Chair 2 going to open?”
The answer we really want to give you is: "tomorrow". The reality is, there are still a few weeks of work remaining. Every day we are getting closer and the finish line is now in sight! Our crew is dedicated, strong, on top of every last detail, and kicking butt on this project. We are extremely proud of them all and soon you will see why!
The updated completion goal for Chair 2 is January 15th. This target is based on the remaining steps in the project being completed without delays and is subject to change due to many factors. Going forward, we will update this timeline on a weekly basis to help keep everyone informed as we approach the grand opening of this chairlift.
We know everyone is excited to experience this beautiful new lift and acknowledge that the completion of Chair 2 has an impact on many people’s plans. We remain absolutely committed to delivering an exceptional new lift and experience to Mission Ridge guests that will be a benefit to our community for many, many years to come. We have not, and will not, sacrifice quality for expediency in this effort and look forward to welcoming guests aboard the Wenatchee Express in 2021. Thank you all for the support, kind words, and being the Mission Ridge community we love to serve.Mountain Updates