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Chair 2 Project Update

Posted on February 13th, 2021

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2/13/21 Update

Final inspections for the Wenatchee Express certification got underway yesterday, 2/12 despite the below zero temperatures. Load testing, a significant component of the inspection, requires riders' weight to be simulated by cardboard boxes filled with a bag of water on each chair. Needless to say working with hundreds of gallons of water per chair in below zero temps is not an enviable task. The load test was completed successfully along with numerous other aspects of the inspection. The final inspection for the Wenatchee Express continues this weekend. There cannot be an opening date until after the certification of the chair. As soon as we know with certainty when the Wenatchee Express will open we will communicate that date. This announcement may come quick and at a moment's notice.

2/6/21 Update

Closer every day. We are so very close. Yesterday, Friday the 5th, all carriers were loaded on the Wenatchee Express for the very first time. It was a truly awesome sight, stopping both snowboarders and skiers as well as employees for a moment to take in the beauty of our new chair. For so many who have worked so long and hard on this project, as well as those who have waited in great anticipation since the end of last season, it was an emotional moment. While the timeline for this project has stretched on longer than anyone would have preferred, this is a huge project and will be a tremendous improvement for our passholders and guests. This is not just a chairlift. This is an investment in the Mission Ridge community that will be enjoyed for a long, long time

Load testing and final inspections are scheduled for Friday the 12th. While things are subject to change, we are in really good shape right now. Between now and the certification of the lift, we will be loading carriers and running the chair while  testing all of the systems in advance of inspections. There cannot be an opening date until after load testing and the certification of the chair. As soon as we know with certainty when the Wenatchee Express will open we will communicate that date. This announcement may come quick and at a moment's notice. We know everyone is very excited for that announcement. Thank you all for your support and patience as we look forward to soon loading the Wenatchee Express for the first time.

The Past Week

  • Testing, testing, testing
  • Programing of controls
  • Running carriers through the terminals
  • We have now fully loaded all chairs on the hall rope and ran at full speed
  • Testing, testing, testing

The Upcoming Days

  • Testing, testing, testing
  • Scheduling of load testing
  • Testing, testing, testing
  • Running the chair continuously for multiple days, checking all systems and monitoring
  • Final testing and certification

1/27/21 Update 

One of the most interesting, and most critical, aspects of the Chair 2 replacement project is now complete! The haul rope has been spliced and is sitting in place. At 56,000 pounds and 14,000 feet long, the haul rope is an impressive component of the chair. Make sure to check Out Episode 15 of On The Way Up to take a detailed look at the processes. Now the finishing touches for the alignment of terminals and towers can be completed. Finishing work on the electrical connections on each tower will also be taking place this week as well as work on the loading carpet and the system that moves the carries from the garage to the haul rope at the beginning and end of each day. The project is in the home stretch and the finish line is in sight. Once the work is completed, necessary inspections and testing will be scheduled. We look forward to updating you again soon as we approach opening day for the Wenatchee Express!

The Past Week

  • Haul Rope splice completed
  • Haul Rope installation completed
  • Tower Alignment completed
  • Load/Unload ramps constructed
  • Painting of Upper/Lower Terminal operator buildings

The Upcoming Week

  • Final electrical connections on each tower
  • Top and Bottom Terminal alignment
  • Loading carpet installation
  • Carrier loading/unloading system
  • Scheduling final testing and inspections

1/19/21 Update

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.

1/8/21 Update

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.

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New Mission LLC operates Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort under special use permits from the U.S. Forest Service and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Address
7500 Mission Ridge Rd
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Contact
Snowline: (509) 663-3200
Phone: (509) 663-6543
Email: [email protected]
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