Mt. Hood Meadows will replace its Buttercup beginner chairlift this summer. The lift was originally installed in the 1979/80 season, and has provided nearly forty years of introducing hundreds of thousands of new skiers and snowboarders to the sport.
The chair will be replaced with a SkyTrac fixed grip quad which doubles the capacity. The new lift will run 30% faster than the old Buttercup, thanks to a novel loading carpet - a conveyer that beginners step on to that matches their speed to the lift chair.
Meadows V.P. of Marketing Dave Tragethon calls the lift critical to the growing numbers of snow sports enthusiasts wanting to learn to ski and snowboard. “Buttercup has served us well but this new technology will allow us to more than double the ridership on the lift. The realignment of the lift also opens up much needed learning terrain more than doubling the amount accessed in the past. We will be able to provide an improved learning experience to more beginners, resulting in more people having fun and improving their skill and technique to more fully enjoy and appreciate our mountain.”
The new lift also makes it easier for children to load - the loading carpet has an automated height adjustment that can elevate a guest up to four inches. With the loading carpet overall lift efficiency is also expected to increase through the reduction of slow down or stoppages due to misloads.
Deconstruction of the old lift has already begun and the new Buttercup beginner quad will be ready for the beginning of the 2017/18 50th anniversary season this November.
New Buttercup lift specifications compared to the old Buttercup lift:
- Passengers increases from two to four
- People per hour increased by more than 70%
- Vertical feet increases 30%
- Speed of lift increases 30%
- Learning terrain more than doubles
- KidsChair loading carpet with automatic height adjustment