LINCOLN, N.H. – This winter New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain Resort unveiled North America’s fastest eight-person chairlift as well as what is billed as “the most technologically advanced lift in the east.” Called the Kancamagus 8, this state-of-the-art Dopplemayr D-Line system spins at a whopping 1,100 feet per minute, (that’s 18 feet/second), eclipsing the former record holder, the Ramcharger 8 at Montana’s Big Sky Resort.
From the Governor Adams base area the Kanc 8, as it’s colloquially known, takes a mere four-and-a-half minutes to reach its terminus, just above mid-mountain on Loon Peak. The capacity of the lift has increased a full 25 percent to 3,500 riders per hour. The lift replaces the Kancamagus Express, a 1995 detachable quad that serviced the lion’s share of the resort’s intermediate trails.
In a video released in mid-May 2021, Steve Howell, Lift Maintenance Manager on the Project praised the lift’s technological advances.
“Dopplemayr has put a lot of refinements into this new D-line package. It’s a lot quieter, a lot smoother ride.”
Featuring individual heated seats, wider hip room, and a bubble shield, the lift is the first phase of Boyne Resorts’ multi-million dollar investment project called Flight Path: 2030, a ten year infrastructure push at Loon also announced in January 2020. Upgrades are expected over the next ten years, including four major lifts: Seven Brothers, Lincoln Express, North Peak Express and the resort’s gondola.
“It’s actually inside a building,” marveled a wide-eyed Andy Reath, himself a particularly well-traveled, life-long skier. “You ski into the part of the base lodge where they’ve built up blown snow, and then the magic carpet takes you the rest of the way to the chair. It’s really nice, when it works.”
Reports from the field indicate some growing pains where various gremlins forced it to close for a few hours at a time. Still, it’s been a hit, proving popular with both locals and IKON pass patrons, serving several iconic Loon trails such as Rampasture and Blue Ox. Word on the street is that the gondola is next for renovation. Sources say it will feature either six or eight passenger cars, an increase from the four-seat models in use now.