The Summit at Snoqualmie has received the green light from the United States Forest Service to begin the installation of a new high-speed quad chairlift, named Silver Fir Express. Located just East of The Summit's Central Base Area , the new Silver Fir Express will replace the current Silver Fir triple chair, originally installed in 1988. Construction is expected to be completed in November, 2008, meaning the chair will be open to the public in time for the start of the 2008-2009 winter season.
Work is beginning this week on disassembly of the current Silver Fir triple chairlift. The project, costing an estimated $4.5 million, will continue throughout the summer and fall and involve the use of a helicopter to install the new chairlift towers. The process will be documented through photos and video on The Summit's website.
While this new lift will serve the same terrain as the existing chair, ride times and lift capacities will be dramatically improved. The length of ride time will shorten from its current 10-plus minute ride to just over four minutes. Lift capacity will increase to 2400 skiers per hour.
"We are very excited to break ground on this highly-anticipated improvement project. Silver Fir serves as a means of access to many of our gladed trails and allows for easy connectivity between two of our base areas - Summits Central and East," said Dan Brewster, general manager for The Summit. "This improvement marks the start of an exciting new phase at The Summit."