Introducing the Freedom SuperChair: A New Chair Creates a Classic Pair on Peak 7
Freedom and Independence.
Two words that go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Macaroni and Cheese. Batman and Robin.
Coming this winter, a brand-new chair creates a classic pair on Peak 7 – Freedom and Independence. The new Freedom SuperChair, alongside the existing Independence SuperChair, will provide guests the opportunity to experience the wide-open and rolling terrain of Peak 7 in a whole new way, and carve their own path down and across Breck’s expansive peaks.
The new Freedom SuperChair is set to debut for the upcoming winter and the resort’s 60th anniversary season. Located on the north side of Peak 7, the new lift will provide additional access to the popular peak and will be a game-changer for the interconnected, peak-to-peak experience at the resort. With the lower terminal located just below where the Lincoln Meadows and Monte Cristo trails meet, guests coming from Peak 6 will easily be able to hop on the new lift for quick access to Peaks 7 and 8. The lift will drop guests off just above the Pioneer Crossing restaurant. This investment at the resort will greatly enhance the on-mountain experience for skiers and riders, providing relief to the Independence SuperChair and the base of Peak 7, while improving the circulation of skiers and riders between Peaks 6, 7 and 8.
Construction of the new high-speed quad lift, manufactured by Leitner Poma, is underway this summer. Read more below on the progress of this exciting project!
June 29, 2021
The resort has closed for winter operations and the snow has begun to melt, which means construction on our new lift begins to heat up! Throughout the month of June, construction work began with the creation of a new path and lift line for the Freedom SuperChair.
FUN FACT: Tree removal actually took place over the snow! This was a thoughtful and intentional part of the project because conducting tree removal activities over the snow protects sensitive wetlands and has less impact to the soil and vegetation.
As a part of Vail Resorts’ EpicPromise and Commitment to Zero, we are working towards a zero net operating impact on forests and habitat by 2030, which means planting or restoring an acre of forest for every acre of forest displaced by our operations. All with the goal of creating healthier, more resilient forests.
July 6, 2021
Once the path was cleared, crews started digging out space for the foundations of the new upper and lower terminals as well as the tower locations. The molds are created using temporary wood structures, then the cement is poured for many of these foundations using excavators. For those harder-to-reach locations, we’ll use a helicopter to pour those foundations. Fun fact: after it has cured, a sample of the cement is sent off for analysis to ensure its quality.
July 15, 2021
As tower foundations continued to be poured, teams prepped to move equipment up the hill, including the bullwheel (the mechanism that makes all the magic happen and spins the chairlift!) and other components of the top terminal structure. The completed top terminal will be located just above our Pioneer Crossing restaurant, putting this new chair in the perfect spot for your mid-day break to refuel!
August 27, 2021
Time for some heavy lifting! For those final few hard-to-reach tower locations, crews used the expertise of a specially-designed Black Hawk to pour the remaining foundations. With all tower and terminal foundation work complete, now work can begin to prep them for tower installations. Also arriving were the new chairs! So all around, it was a very exciting day at Breck.
October 1, 2021
Throughout the month of September, crews have been hard at work on the top terminal construction. This are the core of the lift – what makes it spin – so it’s understandable that it would take this long to complete. From the outside, it may not look like much to us as we slide up to the loading line, but the inside has all of the rollers, motors and mechanisms that make this high-speed chair slow down as it comes into the terminal, but speed up to quickly get you to the top of the hill. With the top terminal now complete, next up is building the lower terminal and flying the towers onto their foundations!
October 10, 2021
The helicopter is back, back again. This time, we used the Black Hawk to fly the towers into place, which involved two steps: 1) placing the tower pole then 2) installing the cross-arms that include the rollers where the lines will run. From here, things will move along quickly! Next up, we’ll build the lower terminal then install the haul rope, load up the chairs, then testing will begin. This is a really exciting sign that winter is near!
October 27, 2021
The lower terminal is complete! Check out that pretty wood siding and shiny new name attachment! Oh, we are just like kids on Christmas… just giddy and ready to ride this new lift!
November 19, 2021
Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3! Is this thing on? Yep, it sure is! Recently, our teams installed the chairs onto the haul rope then did load testing. Load testing consists of filling buckets with water and placing them on the chairs, representing the guests that will be riding the Freedom SuperChair, and ensuring everything is all set and ready to go! Once the lift passes this test, it’s ready to be certified and start spinning for the public as soon as the terrain on Peak 7 is ready to open for the season.
Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to work on the project ahead of the winter 21/22 season. Also, check out the capital project going on at our sister resort, Keystone!