Towers flown in for Vail’s new High Noon Express lift | SummitDaily.com

Towers flown in for Vail’s new High Noon Express lift

Daily News staff report

Special to the Daily/Vail ResortsA helicopter flew in all 20 towers Thursday for Vail Mountain's new high-speed Poma in the Back Bowls. The lift replaces the old No. 5 triple chair.

VAIL, Colo. – An early-fall dusting of snow last night and cool temperatures this morning, combined with installation of the the new High Noon Express Lift (#5) towers by helicopter today are clear signs that Vail Mountain is coming to life for the 2010-2011 ski and snowboard season, beginning Friday, Nov. 19.

The Kaman K-Max helicopter, operated by Timberline Helicopters, Inc., flew and set all 20 towers today, marking a major feat in the construction of the Leitner-Poma high-speed quad lift, which is replacing a fixed-grip triple that was installed in 1979. The lift will continue to serve Vail’s legendary Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls, carrying 70% more guests per hour in nearly half the ride time.

“Construction has been going smoothly all summer and we’re still on track to deliver the finished product in early November and to open the High Noon Express Lift to the public with traditional openings of Vail’s Back Bowls in early December,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “The lift will dramatically improve the guest experience in the Back Bowls through more efficient circulation and it will also provide an alternate route for guests moving west at the end of the day.”

Towers will continue to be assembled and aligned after today before the terminals can be set, haul rope pulled and chairs assembled among other activities.