Another Rocky Mountain high |

Another Rocky Mountain high

Aspen Times Staff
Aspen, CO Colorado

WINTER PARK, Colo. ” Winter Park is poised to lay claim to the highest, high-speed six-pack chairlift in North America with construction of the $8 million Panoramic Express, which began this week, according to the resort.

The new chairlift, being installed at Winter Park’s Parsenn Bowl, will hoist skiers up to approximately 12,060 feet above sea level, making it the highest, high-speed six-pack chairlift on the continent, claims the resort in a press release issued Tuesday.

The lift doesn’t top the lofty upper terminus of Breckenridge’s Imperial Express SuperChair, which debuted in 2005 and gave that resort claim to the highest chairlift in North America, but Breck’s famed chair is a high-speed quad ” it accommodates four riders per chair. The distinction for Winter Park is the six pack ” each chair seats up to six riders.

The Imperial Express at Breckenridge transports skiers and riders to the top of Breckenridge’s Peak 8, at 12,840 feet of elevation. It trumped the Cirque Poma at Snowmass ” a platter-pull that takes skiers and riders to the top of the 12,510-foot Cirque.

Construction of the Panoramic Express at Winter Park will incorporate the use of helicopters and over-snow equipment in order to minimize ground disturbance in the sensitive tundra environment. From now until the resort’s scheduled close on April 15, intermittent closures of various areas near the lift-construction site will be necessary, the resort said.