Crystal Mountain: New Buck chairlift and slope
While we're busy enjoying another gorgeous northern Michigan summer to its fullest, we frequently find ourselves having to stop, stare, and point up at the stunning construction project happening on the south side of our frontside slopes.
For those unaware, we are replacing our old Buck chairlift, which was installed in 1978, with a new Skytrac Quad Lift. The new Buck Quad will be similar to the Loki Quad lift we installed in 2011, but without a loading conveyor. The new Buck Quad will be operational for the 2013/14 winter season. In addition to the new ski-under lift expanding our skiable terrain on Buck slope, we are creating a new glade area skier's right of the Buck lift line.
The demolition of the old Buck lift happened this spring, with the removal of the old lift towers and tower foundations, in addition to all of the snow guns along the lift line.
In June we began glading the south slope trees, skier's right of the lift line. While there is still work to be done, there are some fantastic lines forming in the forested area that has always been accessible from Teddy's Turn slope. But the thick trees and not so well-known access route kept the area under the radar of most skiers and riders. While an official slope rating is forthcoming, the new glade area will likely be intermediate to expert. The new glades are much steeper than our Glacier Valley Glade Area. In my opinion, the Buck glades are shaping up to be some of the best tree skiing on the mountain.
Also in June we began relocating the snow guns that stood in the Buck lift line to other parts of the mountain. Soon we will have at least six new snow guns on Buck slope. Alpers Excavating of Traverse City has been a crucial partner in the entire project and is currently in the process of re-grading the face of Buck slope.
Construction has already begun on the base lift terminal and new lift towers should begin to go up the first half of August.
Buck slope is a perennial and award-winning favorite of many Michigan and Midwest snow sliders. Having grown up on the slopes of northern Michigan, I know only a handful of named runs in the lower peninsula that get the blood pumping and my boards flirting with gravitational forces the way Buck does. That being said, we are taking care to ensure the legacy of Buck endures for our future generations of skiers and riders.
Here at Crystal Mountain, we are looking forward to sharing our expanded frontside terrain this winter. And I'll be right there with you, making new turns on a classic run.