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Stevens Pass (WA) trivia question for the old geezers in the audience

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Was there a rope tow between the main (Barrier?) chair and the 7th Heaven chair?

 

Went skiing at Steven's last week for the first time in 25+ years, as could be expected there were changes. I seem to recall a rope tow from the main chair (which has been replaced) to the 7th chair.

 

Am I insane?

 

da Flav

post #2 of 10

You retain your sanity.  The, red, main, Barrier, Chair 1 (all names it went by) followed a slightly different route up the mountain.  It started at the same place but ran a little to the west of where Skyline is now, eventually running right up the ridge on the west side of the top bowl.  From the off load area on the upper end of the ridge a rope tow ran up to around where the Skyline off load area is now.  The 7th Heaven loading area also has been moved. It was in the same area as the top of the old rope and the top of today's Skyline.

 

So, to get to 7th Heaven you took the Barrier Chair, rode the rope up to the loading area for 7th and rode it on up.  When I was on Patrol in the '70s we would bring toboggans up to the top of Barrier and then take them up the rope tow to put them on the 7th Heaven chair. The rope was really fast, steep, and often icy (the rope itself), so it took a lot work to get that damned toboggan up to the top.  It was a fantastic idea to change the lifts to the configuration they have now.

 

I was there last week too.  Sorry I missed you.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Posaune, I was hoping you might see my posting, I thought you might have the answer. I was riding the chair last week with a gentleman in his 60's who claimed he had been skiing Stevens "for decades", he told me there was no rope tow.

 

Curious how time changes things. I remember skiing 7th in the late 60's / early 70's (I was a teenager) and thinking 7th was very steep (Nancy and Bobby's run..), these days it seems relatively sedate.

 

I seem to recall the rope tow was a bit of a "challenge". No doubt wrestling a tobaggen was a huge challenge, thank you for your time with the Ski Patrol.

 

Sorry I missed you. I was up on Tuesday, not bad conditions (given the winter of 2011) and I was impressed with the changes since 1985.

 

Though Disneyland North is my "home" mountian, this spring I am on  a pilgrimage to rediscover mountains such as Stevens, Alpental, Crystal, Hyak, White Pass and Mission.

 

As a sidenote, in the late 60's / early 70's my older brother and I used to figure 1'15" drive from Edmonds to Stevens, last week I was surprised that I spent 1'44" on the same drive...then again there has been so much growth in that area...so much for "progress". Of course we also figured on less than $10 for a lift ticket in those days also!

 

Thanks again for your input!

 

da Flav

post #4 of 10

I get to Stevens every couple of weeks but spend most of my ski time at Baker, though I was in Whistlerland yesterday for the day.  What a strange one it was.  Talk about wind and snow!  I was actually afraid that my skis might be blown off my feet when I was riding the top of Solar Coaster.  The snow was pretty good when you finally got your skis down on it.  Lines were ridiculous, though.

 

I think I'll be up there for the Tellus madness this year.  Maybe we can meet up for a few turns.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'd like to get together with you, either at Baker or Disneyland North...thanks agian!

 

da Flav

post #6 of 10

I skied Stevens in the early 60's and there was a rope. I don't remember it as particularly challenging, at least compared to the series of ropes where the big chief chair is now.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Miles View Post

I skied Stevens in the early 60's and there was a rope. I don't remember it as particularly challenging, at least compared to the series of ropes where the big chief chair is now.

The challenge for me was getting started from the constricted spot where you grabbed onto the rope with a toboggan hooked onto me.  I burned up more than one pair of leather glove protectors with that rope as the main culprit.  Possibly my memory is influenced by the fact that we would have to drag the sled up the steep ramp to the loading area for 7th Heaven as soon as we let go of the rope.  We also had to pass the rope over our head as we let go.  A tricky move at times since it wasn't at the end of the rope.

 

I'm very happy to have begun skiing the year just before they opened the Big Chief chairlift, 1963/64.  I only rode the lowest rope a time or two.  You're right, those three ropes separated out those who were not dedicated from the truly committed.
 

post #8 of 10

I skied Stevens one time in "69  and it was so foggy I probably tripped over the rope and didn't even know it was there.

I'm headed for Mt. Baker and Whistler on the 21st. My son lives in Bellingham and we usually have a great time at Baker.

Never been to Whistler before and am really looking forward to it.

post #9 of 10

Was reminded of this thread yesterday evening.  I was sitting in a bar and ended up talking for a short time to a gentleman who worked at Stevens Pass from '50 to '57 and helped install their first chairlift.  I didn't get to talk to him for very long, unfortunately, I bet he's got some great stories to tell.

post #10 of 10

I'm pretty sure the first chair was Barrier.  In its original form it had wooden chair "poles" that went up and over with the guide wheels attached to a beam across between two upright supports, making a sort of "trestle" effect.  You can see photos of it in the Granite Peaks Lodge stairwell, or possibly the entry or bar, I don't remember exactly where they are.  It stayed like that for a really long time.

 

Another past legend is "Windy Knoll."  It was at the bottom of the bowl under the Barrier Headwall, a big, tall bit of land that blocked the way for most skiers.  You had to sandwich between it and the Winnie Cutes or go around it on the right where most people then traversed around the back side of it to the main run.  Stupid idiot skiers (the type we complain about today as boarders) would sometimes straightline from the light standard on Winnie Ridge and launch the top of the knoll, which was really high and very steep on the other side.  They would sometimes do this without a spotter and it was dicey if there was someone traversing across the back side of it. Anyway, the area just bulldozed it down in the late '70's or early 80's.  It's kind of odd that a few years ago TGR created a big jump at Stevens for a movie after the area closed for the year.  It was EXACTLY where Windy Knoll used to be.

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