Selwyn Snowfields has recently become the proud new owner of a Doppelmayr Triple Chairlift. The new chairlift will interset the resort stright down the middle replacing the current Township T-Bars and Powerline Poma and is the first major lift upgrade project the resort has undertaken since the installation of the New Chum Chairlift in 1988.
The second hand lift purchased from Mount Buller will be completely reconditioned prior to its installation which is planned for November 2008 with a scheduled opening for Winter 2009 and will become the longest lift at Selwyn Snowfields at 702 metres in length.
The dual loading lift will bring a variety of benefits to the resort including an increased lifting capacity meaning smaller queues and less waiting for guests. Beginners will love the ease of riding a chairlift as opposed to the current surface lifts but is sure to be a wecome addition to the resort by all visitors alike.
The greatest benefit of the new lift is the ability to optimise the snow produced on Township and therefore increase the duration of operation for the run. "Thousands of cubic metres of snow are lost every year from pushing snow off the Township run onto the lifting tracks of the T-Bars", says Bob Heatley, resort Director. "This action thins the cover and encourages a faster melt rate. The new chairlift negates the requirement to maintain lift tracks and therefore preserves the snow on the run resulting in a longer operational period." The resort estimates that an additional 2 weeks of operation would have been possible in 2007 if the chairlift had been installed.
The same can be said for the popular runs of Long Arm and Kangaroo Ridge with snow often "farmed" off these runs to maintain the lift track on the north-easterly facing Powerline Poma lift track. This will also be a task of the past resulting in a longer season for these two runs also.
The resort is currently preparing for the installation in November with many tasks and challenges ahead before the first footing can be poured. "Probably the biggest challenge is the burial of 200 metres of high voltage powerlines which currently intersect the proposed chairlift route", says Jack Glasson, Environmental Manager.
The chairlift completes the first phase of a 5 year lift enhancement plan which will see Selwyn Snowfields' terrain double in size. General Manager, Christie Glasson says, "It's an exciting time for the resort with some big changes ahead in our future and I'm confident that our guests, both new and returning, will really like what we have in store."