In a 6.9 minute ride, the Big Burn chairlift at Snowmass Resort carries passengers to the top.
Photo: Leitner-Poma of America
Ropeways New ropeways


New Big Burn chairlift featuring a DirectDrive

The new chairlift in Snowmass, Colorado (USA) opened for the 2020/21 winter season as a replacement for a lift built in 1987. Featuring a Leitner DirectDrive, this lift is a new highlight in the long partnership between Leitner-Poma and Aspen Ski Company as the operator of the resort.

Starting the 2020-2021 ski season, Snowmass highlights the new Leitner-Poma Big Burn Chair, replacing its predecessor originally installed in 1987.  The new Big Burn chairlift features a Leitner DirectDrive system, six-seater chairs and a full capability backup power generator. It is also upgradable with a future bubble chair retrofit.

The new installation at the Snowmass Ski Resort covers a slope length of 7,639 feet (2,328 meters) in 6.9 minutes. It brings skiers and riders comfortably to the Big Burn area, a very popular terrain for winter sports enthusiasts. The vertical rise from the bottom to the top station amounts to 1,982 feet (604 meters).

Long-lasting partnership

Aspen Ski Company is a long-standing partner of Leitner-Poma of America. All the lifts installed since 1983 have been Leitner-Poma equipment. This partnership has resulted in the installation of three gondolas and over 25 detachable chairlifts over the past thirty-eight years.

Aspen Ski Company owns and operates the Aspen/Snowmass resort complex comprised of Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. Aspen is known globally for its abundant powder snow, famous terrain, and iconic town and community. Aspen has long been the global retreat for families, celebrities and national leaders.

Fifth DirectDrive in the US

According to Leitner-Poma of America, Big Burn highlights the trend of North American resort operators to invest in DirectDrive technology, representing the fifth Leitner DirectDrive installation in the United States. The DirectDrive solution provides an energy-efficient, quiet and reliable system  for driving the lift.  Its eco-friendly operation aligns perfectly with Aspen’s environmental initiatives.

With its first season completed, Big Burn has been a huge hit with the skiers and riders at Snowmass. The lift services some of Snowmass’s most famous open rolling intermediate trails in the precision-groomed terrain of the Big Burn area. 

Photo: Leitner-Poma of America
The old Big Burn lift was replaced by a new six-seater detachable chairlift during the last winter season.
Photo: Leitner-Poma of America

Technical Data

Big Burn detachable six-seater chairlift

Slope length7,639 feet (2,328 meters)
Vertical rise1,982 feet (604 meters)
Rope speed1,100 fpm (5.59 mps)
Capacity2,200 pph (2,800 pph final)
Trip time6.9 min
Carriers89 (113 final)
Drivetop station
Tensionbottom station
Rope diameter50 mm
MotorLeitner DirectDrive LD9
Drive power675 kW
Stromaggregat1,000 kW
GeneratorInternal combustion/hydrostatic ring and pinion on the bullwheel


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