The Lift

The Lift

THe original Summit Express was powered by a 1978 Ford F-150 and run in reverse. The lift sped at 10mph, thus the name "Summit Express" was christened.

The Summit Express is a custom made lift utilizing parts from our dairy farm as well as parts from former lifts at Hunter Mountain.

The Summit Express under goes a complete rehab annually.

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The Grand debut our our the first version of our Summit Express occured on March 6, 1991 after a medium sized snowfall, since then it has been all down (or in this case up) hill. While industry has evolved, one thing has remained the same, the rope town continues to be one of the most efficient lifts ever built, and Polar Peak is one of the few places that still relies on this form of uphill transport.

Before the days of the ski lift people were forced to hike relentlessly for hours, up the side of a steep mountains in search of the perfect turns. In 1934, Billings Farm in Woodstock, Vermont became the site for what would become a major break through in skiing, the ropetow. A simple, yet novel idea, the ropetow has taken its place in American ski history as a ski lift that is an icon for outdoor enjoyment. Today high speed quads and gondolas bring skiers and snowboarders to the places you could only dream of going via surface lift. For many years our Summit Express ropetow was powered by a truck, in 2007 we replaced the truck with a much smaller drive which is anchored in at the summit. The bullwheel is located at the base of the hill and is anchored by almost 7 cubic yards of concrete.

Hunter Mountain Generously assisted us with development of our lift as well as some of the materials. We thank them for their help and support!


About the Summit Express

Just the Facts


  • Since its inception in 1991 the Summit Express has went through 3 major transformations, the latest occuring in 2000.
  • Utilizes 1.25″ polyprene rope
  • The base bullwheel, is 60″ in diameter, and 400 lbs.
  • The base bullwheel and some sheaves/parts are originally crafted by Poma of America.
  • The entire lift is powered by a Briggs and Stratton 11hp motor
  • The main drive was originally crafted by Hunter Mountain, and utilized for Ropetow 1, (R1)
  • Base Elevation: 546 feet.
  • Summit Elevation: 656 feet
  • Vertical Rise: 110 feet
  • Total Length: 395 feet
  • Total Tower/sheave Assemblies: 5
  • Uphill Capacity: 120 rph