This section is primarily Photographic, featuring large size
images with supporting text where necessary.
one topic, there are multiple updates attached in replies below.
Please scan through them for information on all Mountain upgrades
done at this time. We will add operational detail on each specific
item in the course of time and use.
It’s A Race Against Time.
$17,000,000 Summer of 2018, Mountain Upgrades
With only 7 months between April 22, Last Run and November 22, First Tracks,
it’s going to be a Race Against Time to complete all the ambitious plans
-A Brand New, Detachable High Speed Quad Chairlift
at Lowell Thomas.
-Expansion Renovations at the Summit Grand Manitou Lodge.
-Expansion Renovations at the Versant Nord, Base Level Lodge.
-5 New Sous Bois, Glade, Hors Piste Ski/Board Zones.
-Multiple other minor changes and upgrades.
We think that there will be an extraordinary amount
of supplier and local Labour/Contractor support though,
because as a major driver of regional tourism and
local economic/employment generation, there will be a
very big motivation and commitment to get the job done
for the beginning of Ski Season next fall.
From nothing other than a prioritized Skiers POV, the most
important of these is the Logistical/Utility upgrade to Up-Hill
Lift Capacity with a new detachable high speed quad for
Lowell Thomas. Anything that gets you back to the Summit
quicker is a significant positive asset and in this case, we feel
it has the potential to fundamentally change traffic patterns.
Below: This POV is an Artists Rendering from a point over
the Upper McCulloch Trail Entrance. We say “Over” because
it is not from ground level and would be as if you were about
3.5 metres, 15 feet or so above ground at this exact angle.
5 New Sous Bois, Glade Ski/Board Zones!
There are only 4 Highlighted zones below which we think(subject to confirmation),
means that one of these highlighted zones may have two sections of expansion.
We will attempt to clarify that and post here accordingly.)
Below is a copy of the Official Press Release outlining the
detail of the work to be undertaken over the spring, summer
and fall of 2018.
Insert Update, 8.16.18 Screenshot Aerial POV, Summit Tremblant
project construction status. More updates to follow.
------- Additional Updates: 8.25.18 ------------
As we stated above, from a purely skiing, Mountain utility point of view,
the new high-speed detachable quad chairlift at Lowell Thomas has to be
the most significant infrastructure enhancement. We think this will
fundamentally change traffic flow patterns on the whole Mountain because
of the much faster lift cycling.
Basically, we think that this new lift will see greater use by Tremblant
guests who may have previously avoided the slow, old, Lowell Thomas
fixed triple chair, and opted to ski right to the Nord/North base for more
Duncan and/or Expo lift cycles that allowed greater skiing vertical per units
With the cast concrete bases for towers the top and bottom turn-arounds
and the very large steel mechanical structural assemblies now on site,
it will not be too long until we begin to see things get bolted up and
looking more recognizable as the new Lowell Thomas Quad.
A big component of the potential enhancement to traffic-flow
and terrain utility is that...
Kidz of all ages who enjoy the Versant Nord, North Side
“Rope Tow” Terrain Park are going to be huge beneficiaries
of this upgrade. We think you’ll see a far greater “Repeat Rate”
on “Rope Tow” just because it’s going to be so much faster
and easier to get back to it.
The new Lowell Thomas high speed detachable quad may have it’s most
profound effect on traffic at seasons opening when P’tit Bonheur often forms
the core of Opening Day(s) terrain development, however...
throughout the season, anytime there are high traffic time periods at any other
lifts on the Mountain, Lowell Thomas is going to be a new high speed option for
quick access to some of the Mountains naturally snowiest terrain, and rapid
transit back to the Summit.
Summit Grand Manitou Lodge Update:
Tremblant Grand Manitou Summit Lodge guests are going to have
more space, and better views this season with the two projections
expanding the floor space square footage.
Coming up the Gondola and seeing the new space fully enclosed
is proof of progress as construction crews are seeing the final
countdown of days closing in with Opening Day less than 90 days away.
In addition to the above Artists Renderings, Pic’s, Official
Mountain Press Releases and updates, it is our intent to
continue adding to this topic when-ever possible with
newest Site-Pic’s and/or such other publicly available,
relevant archival information, when available.
Lowell Thomas High Speed Detachable Quad, Summer 2018.
Introduction: We have genuine affection for all the investments being
made at Tremblant this summer, however we are especially keen on
the Lowell Thomas high speed detachable quad chair because it will
be the one thing that will increase the amount of vertical we can ski,
every single day. For that reason we want to focus a bit on some
facets of this very complex project.
This chair lift is being supplied by Doppelmayr, a very fine
Austrian Ski Lift manufacturer with almost 80 years of
experience in Alpine Ski Lift design and installation.
Included below is an approximate construction sequence
highlighting the installation of Chair Lift Towers along the
path of travel.
First, you need to survey for the location of the towers, sample
the soil/rock substrates, then excavate(more on that below),
and instal anchors into whatever mix of soils or rock, that are
capable of withstanding the forces the system will be subjected to.
In this shot above, the POV is above the Lowell Thomas lift line at the
crest where the trails “La Traverse” and “Rigodon” originate. The bottom
of the lift line at the intersection of “Gagnon” and “Beauchemin" is visible.
The old triple passenger, fixed cable lift and all its support structures
have been removed.
Next, you need to build the forms in the surveyed locations to cast the concrete
tower bases. This is one of the most challenging phases of the lift construction
because the location of the towers needs to be placed along the topographical
line of lift travel on some of the most steep, uneven and inaccessible terrain
in order to have the cable span the high and low points of its path with
adequate clearance and appropriate weight bearing span. It is critical that
the entire lift assembly is in an absolutely true, straight as a laser beam line.
Additional challenges involve the complex excavations that need to be carried
out at each tower base to get down to the depth needed for both anchors and
foundations. Bedrock often needs explosive blasting to start with and
it can be a very dangerous and hard physical working environment.
All the tower locations and forms are very carefully done beforehand so
the concrete pouring can be done in one team effort. Weeks and months
Considering the accessibility challenges of the tower locations, with
particular reference to getting large amounts of freshly mixed concrete
in sufficient quantity to rapidly fill the forms, the Doppelmayr Construction
Team sets up a concrete distribution base zone at the Versant Nord parking
area where the trucks can easily group in order to keep the flow maintained,
and they use a very large cargo helicopter with a cable attached dump bucket
to move many many loads up to the ground crews that will be stationed at
the individual tower locations.
The grey barrels you see above are "Jet Fuel A” for the helicopter turbine engine
main rotor drive. It’s going to be a long day and there’s no time to be wasted by
having to leave the job site for fuel, so everything is set up to keep work flow uninterrupted.
As soon as everyone’s in place, the concrete delivery to the tower sites begins.
Off To The Races! (a)
Rapid transit to each tower location is essential. Here we see a load
suspended below the chopper on the way up to the tower sites as it
has just left the Versant Nord, North Base.
Off To The Races! (b)
Once concrete is mixed, it has a finite window for pouring and mixing performance
in order to yield a well blended consistency within the form when it takes several
loads to fill that one form. If the pour is too slow, you could end up with layers within
the mould that might be weaker strata than if its evenly blended from top to bottom,
so time is of the essence to rapidly deliver consecutive loads to the form being
Airborne delivery is a super efficient way to get to sites that would
be nearly impossible to get a truck close to. Pin-point accuracy is
a Pilot skill that this experienced crew rely on to get the job done
quickly and safely.
The Helicopter Pilot will have specifications for wind and weather factors
that the loads can be safely be transported, so blue skies with low winds
will be greatly appreciated, but in the end, if there are any doubts or
judgement calls, the Pilot controls the whole show. Another factor here
is the variable swirling of air current over the Mountain summit that will
require the Pilot to be instantaneously reactive.
The whole team has a well rehearsed signalling system for safe lowering
and unloading. This will be one time during the construction cycle that the
usual summer bugs will not be bothering the ground crews for a while!
There’s a lot going on in a short time! Ground crew members
work quickly to pour the concrete. The handle on the bucket
has a linkage that opens the valve on the bottom of the bucket
and the whole process is activated by a ground crew member pulling
the rope attached to the handle. This person will also allow the
valve to close by releasing the rope if a wind gust moved the
Once the ground crew gets enough concrete to fill the form, they can move
on to the next and this tower base is allowed to set.
The wooden form is left on the tower base while the concrete cures for several
days and when the concrete is hard enough, they can remove the wood to reveal
the finished base that the steel tower can be bolted to.
The following are samples of of the Summit level Off-load/Return station
that have completed base structures, with forms removed, backfilled levelling,
and can now have the mechanical lift components bolted down in preparation
for final completion.
Please Note: There are literally HUGE differences between the Summit and
Base Lift structures compared to tower bases. This is due to the size and
weight of the mechanical components they need to house, PLUS, the fact
that roads exist to both Summit and Base levels, so concrete trucks can be
driven to the top and bottom locations and the helicopter is not necessary,
however... they clearly illustrate just how the mechanical parts get bolted down.
Closer and Closer....
Closer to “Finished” and closer to “Ski Season”! As early October advances,
construction crews show rapid progress in detail completion and it won’t be long
now until we begin to see more operational items like the installed towers,
main wire cable, and the chairs begin to appear. in this snap shot below we
can see the Summit Control House has just been put on to its foundation by
the crane. It’s time to start hooking up the control wiring. At this stage, we might
think that this lift assembly could be ready for testing by sometime around the
first week in November???? With Ski Season scheduled to start on Nov.22, 2018,
it seems as though there should be enough time to meet the target.
As we stated in the intro. to this segment, and elsewhere in this article,
we feel the upgrade of the Lowell Thomas lift to a high speed detachable quad
is going to fundamentally change traffic flow patterns on the Mountain
because of the greatly speed enhanced access to the excellent terrain
serviced by this lift. From every seasons Opening Day that features P’tit Bonheur,
throughout the entire season when the Lowell Thomas Sectors typically
abundant natural snowfall can be more quickly(*) be descended repeatedly,
this new lift will absolutely deliver more potential vertical for every Skier and
Boarder on the Mountain from Beginners to Experts.
We can’t wait!!!
(*) The old fixed triple took about 9 minutes to ride up. The new
high speed quad should be about 4 minutes, maybe even a bit less.
So, in the old days, up to the end of last season, what that meant was
that if there were no lines, you could literally ski to the Versant Nord,
North Side Base, jump on the Duncan Quad, and be 8 minute high speed
delivered back to the Summit within a couple of minutes of what it would
have taken for the slow ride up Lowell T. alone, so you got way more skiing
by not using Lowell T. Now, that’s all going to change and we think you’ll find
a lot more Skiers/Boarders finding this lift as an attractive option as a Sector
destination for high speed repeats. From Ski Instructors/Beginners on P’tit Bonheur,
to Coaches/Expert Racers training on Beauchemin Haut(upper), and all the
Banzai, MCA, Le Tunnel and Sous Bois, Glade Fans, quick rides up are going to
mean a lot more time on this Sector's slopes that typically get “Ton’s" of great
More updates to follow as available.
Thanks for your visit!
Lowell Thomas High Speed Detachable Quad Instal.
We learned a lot about the new Lowell Thomas
lift installation on Oct. 21st, 2018.
There were two unexpected delays encountered.
1) Forest Fires elsewhere demanded all available Helicopters.
That caused a delay in the pouring of tower bases that needed
concrete to be flown in due to the steep, unevenness of the
2) Clay substrates under the Lower Base Station.
The old Lowell Thomas triple chair had its mechanical/cable
assembly held in place by a counterweight system that
had very big cable running from the bottom wheel, back
across(above) descending trail # 70, Gagnon, where the
cable was fastened to a huge concrete counterweight.
This system kept the forces of the lift itself in balance
and the clay underneath was therefore not a stability factor.
The new High Speed Quad relies on Footings and Foundation
under the lower station for anchoring, so initially, the way we
understand it, they simply attempted to go big enough, and deep
enough with conventional footings to offset the softness of the clay.
Despite those efforts, the Engineers were not satisfied with results
and it became necessary to drill 7 very deep anchor pylons
as far down as 90 feet into this clay deposit. Basically, and
again, if we understand it correctly, it might be similar to drilling
7 large diameter well casings, then filling them with concrete,
and adding the foundations on top of all that. That took extra time.
All the towers are laid out in the Versant Nord, North Side parking lot
looking like a giant toy assembly kit. You might think it would take weeks
to get everything to the individual tower sites and bolted up, however,
it turns out that this is actually only about a six hour job because they
use a Helicopter to quickly move the big parts to their exact locations
in sequence. Experienced assembly crews will be stationed at each tower
position and things get bolted up very rapidly.
Big tools for a big job... cargo helicopter to the rescue!