NewsIdaho Back Roads


Brundage's new high speed quad is coming along thanks to a team effort

Posted at 3:50 PM, Aug 26, 2023

Brundage Mountain Resort is replacing their old Centennial Triple with a new Dopplemayr high speed detachable quad, and it should be ready by ski season.

This week it took a team effort to put in the towers as Timberline Helicopters out of Sandpoint, Idaho used a blackhawk helicopter to transport the tower pieces up the mountain where crews secure it all.

Timberline Helicopters has helped built more ski lifts in the west then any other company, their lead pilot Brian Jorgenson has helped install more than a dozen lifts just this summer.

"It actually has a magnetically controlled hook that our tower yard team connects to the tower," said Dustin Johnson, the director of operations at Brundage. "Once that is connected, we give a hand signal to the pilot and he lifts it out of the yard to a team of about ten to twelve out on the hill."

Each tower weighs between 6,500 and 12,000 pounds and the lift will have 16 of them. I's the job of Brundage crew to secure the tower to the foundation they created earlier this summer. The Dopplemayr team secures tower pieces, the top piece and this technique is all made possible because of the helicopter.

"The way lifts used to be installed is we would build roads into proposed tower locations," said Johnson. "We would drive a crane in there and we would have to make a pretty dramatic footprint in the forest, the helicopter really allows us to minimize that disturbance."

It has been a busy summer of construction summer up at Brundage. They already finished their newski patrol building last year, there's the new lift and crews are working on a new lodge that will not be ready this year, but it's on track for ski season in the fall of 2024.

"We started as soon as we could clear the snow off the ground this April after ski season," said April Whitney. "Things are coming along really nicely and people are going to be so excited."

The Centennial Triple took 16 minutes to get skiers and snowboarders to the top, this new lift will take six minutes. Dopplemayr is currently working on the bottom and top terminals, the communication lines and the cables, but Brundage believes it will be ready for ski season.

"The weather has been cooperating, even this rain has helped out a lot it," said Johnson. "It has helped us with the visibility of the helicopter so progress wise we are right on schedule."

The new Dopplemayr high speed quad will have 92 chairs, take riders up a vertical rise of 1,636 feet and will be able to accommodate 1,800 people per hour.