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Disappearing Classic Gondolas

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

The recent fire at Ski Apache destroyed one the very few pre-1980 gondolas left in North America.  (http://www.firsttracksonline.com/2012/09/06/ski-apache-to-welcome-winter-with-three-new-lifts/ ) I’m clearly nostalgic and it’s a shame so few are left.  Vail, Steamboat, Crested Butte, Big Sky, Loon and many other places had these old gondolas at one point.  I could only think of one other pre-1980 gondola still in use: Lutsen, MN.  Am I forgetting others?  Surely I am?

post #2 of 8

Wildcat in New Hampshire still uses their old gondolas during the summer tourist season. It's quite interesting really. During the ski season the lift is a HSQ chairlift but during the summer they take the chairs off & use the old gondolas.



post #3 of 8

Actually Wildcat doesn't use their old gondola cars in the summer but new cars manufactured to with grip mechanisms that are compatible with the HSQ.  The old fiberglass "M&M" style gondolas were in tough shape at the end, but a fun way to ride to the summit on a cold day.

post #4 of 8

The problem with gondolas, especially in places like Wildcat, is that more often than not, on the days you need them most i.e. very windy, they can't run. Just one reason for replacing the with high speed quads.

post #5 of 8

Aspen's is newer, but it runs in winds up to 35mph, depending on the direction.  I love that thing!

post #6 of 8

AFAIK Sugar Bowl still has an old one that goes from the parking lot over the meadow and train tracks to the base area.  It may well be the oldest.

post #7 of 8

I grew up riding the Ski Apache gondola.  Peed my pants in it when I was 6 years old learning how to ski.  Memories...

post #8 of 8
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Aspen's is newer, but it runs in winds up to 35mph, depending on the direction.  I love that thing!



Memorial weekend 2011 they opened Ajax Express back up (and the skiing was awesome).  As there was no snow much below the base of Ajax, you had to download on the gondola.


It was a windy day, so the gondola ran at a crawl. It took about 45 minutes to download.

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