The winter of 2010-2011 was a great season for skiers across North America - especially those in the vicinity of Salt Lake City. Snowbird Resort had an all-time, single-season record snowfall of 783 inches. Yet the 2011-2012 was a totally different story and, were it not for some last-minute, spring snow dumps, it would have been record setting in the opposite direction. So it would seem surprising that, after one of the worst ski seasons in recent history, Snowbird Resort would tear down and upgrade one of its lifts. To everyone’s surprise, Snowbird’s management saw this slow season an excellent time to bargain with lift builders. And so, in the summer of 2012, Snowbird tore down and rebuilt the Little Cloud Lift.
The Terrain Serviced by Little Cloud Lift — Photo courtesy of randomduck
Located on the upper half of Snowbird’s slopes, the Little Cloud Lift services a basin called Gad Valley, bringing skiers from the bottom of this bowl to the ridge just beneath Hidden Peak. Located on the front, north-facing side of Snowbird Resort, this lift allows skiers and snowboarders to do laps on the upper terrain of Gad Valley without riding all the way to the base area.
Despite its great location, the old Little Cloud Lift was fairly limited in its speed and capacity. Taking 7 minutes to reach the top, the chairs of this fixed-grip, two-seater lift made for long lines and slow, chilly rides. But now, the new-and-improved chairlift, with its four-person seats and greatly expedited speeds, has cut the riding time in half and nearly quadrupled its riders-per-hour capacity.