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Backyard Chairlift (pics)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Heres my Donner Ski Ranch chairlift I put in my backyard.  Early Oct 08

 

Oct Chairlift

 

 

Couldn't upload more than 1 picture, Winter pic  to follow.

 

 

post #2 of 13

I've got a chair from the old defunct Roundtop Mountain, which is next to Killington, VT.  They closed down in the 70s and reopened a few years ago as a "country club" ski resort.  Back in the mid 90s, when me and my buddy got our chairs, there were very few left to choose from.  So we found a couple near a tower and climbed the tower.  It's also a center pole 2 seater, but mine has swing in/out safety bars.  Pretty cool, but no pics around.  Although I did post pics of it here many years ago.  I'll have to look to see if it's still around.

post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH View Post

  It's also a center pole 2 seater, but mine has swing in/out safety bars.  Pretty cool, but no pics around.  Although I did post pics of it here many years ago.  I'll have to look to see if it's still around.

 

Kinda like Gad 2 lift?

post #4 of 13

As an anniversary present to each other, my wife and I acquired this center-pole Riblet frame this week.  This carrier came off of the Spud lift at Purgatory, the first lift installed on the mountain in 1965. It was replaced in 2000 with the current high speed six that runs up the front face.

 

The Riblet center pole has a special connection to our relationship. I met my wife when she was in between teaching jobs and spending the summer with her parents.  We had been dating for a little over a month when she moved to Rifle, CO for her new teaching job.  We both bought season passes to Sunlight, despite it being 4 hours away for me. Every weekend, I would leave after work Friday, get to Rifle late at night, wake up and go ski, ski Sunday, leave from the ski area to drive home.  The vast majority of the time I saw my now-wife was on skis. The vast majority of the time I spoke with her (in person) was on a chairlift.

 

Most of Sunlight's terrain is accessed by center pole Riblet doubles.  The main chair runs about 1800 vertical feet and is a 20+ minute ride. We spent a lot of seat time on those chairs courting each other.

 

 

 

I was not able to get the center pole or the under-seat crossbar for this chair.  However, I want this to be hung from a center-pole arrangement. I was thinking I could use a 2x4 and carriage bolts for the crossbar, but am not sure what to use for a center pole. I could make that out of wood too, but it wouldn't look right. I would then bolt the assembly into a rafter for our porch awning using either a section of chain or hinge to allow it to swing. I just don't know what to do about the center pole. I would love suggestions from those with experience.

post #5 of 13

Happy anniversary!  I skied Purgatory a couple days mid 80s and rode that lift.  If I were you I'd print out several decent sized photos of the style chair you want to restore it like then take the photos and the chair to a local welder or pipe fitter.  Might as well have it all done in steel and painted up nice before hanging it.  No idea on the cost bout shouldn't be too bad.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

Happy anniversary!  I skied Purgatory a couple days mid 80s and rode that lift.  If I were you I'd print out several decent sized photos of the style chair you want to restore it like then take the photos and the chair to a local welder or pipe fitter.  Might as well have it all done in steel and painted up nice before hanging it.  No idea on the cost bout shouldn't be too bad.

 

We really like the patina of this carrier- I don't think we will paint it, at least until the paint deteriorates to the point where it is a preservation issue.

 

We will see how the seat pad cleans up, and may replace the vinyl if needed, but again, patina is important.

 

Most of the carriers at Sunlight are just vinyl stapled over plywood at this point with essentially no padding. You feel it after 20 minutes in the chair. A chance handful of carriers have blue vinyl and have more padding. We always cheered when we managed to catch one of these chairs, so maybe we will replace the vinyl with some blue stuff down the road.

 

I am thinking I can probably do the work myself to recreate a center pole, I just have to figure out a good way to mate a pipe to a T intersection with the under seat crossbar. I bet a trip to the hardware store or a pipe supply outfit will square me away- there is plenty of pipe/welding outfits down here from the natural gas work in the area.

post #7 of 13

Why backyard? Why not front porch?

 

Here's a little tutorial for those considering tackling this project.

 

Step one: assemble all necessary materials.

 

Step two: Locate your rafters, and hang your super-strut.

 

 

Step three: Hang your chair in such a manner that it will remain in service on your porch for at least as long as it was on the hill.

 

 

Step four: paint in a tasteful color that matches your surrounding decor.

 

 

Step five: A cush for your tush and SWING AWAY MERRILL!!!

 

 

Oh yeah, the chair's from Loveland's lift 4 which I rode for 3-4 years after moving to Colorado before they replaced it. Our house is built on a parcel in Georgetown that used to be owned by the guy who engineered the old lift. Not as historic as some of those center-pole chairs, but the back-story, and the probability that I've skied off this very chair ought to count for something... 


Edited by MT Skull - 8/1/14 at 1:24pm
post #8 of 13

 

 

Oh yeah, the chair's from Loveland's lift 4 which I rode for 3-4 years after moving to Colorado before they replaced it. Our house is built on a parcel in Georgetown that used to be owned by the guy who engineered the old lift. Not as historic as some of those center-pole chairs, but the back-story, and the probability that I've skied off this very chair ought to count for something...

 

 

Loveland's chair 4 was built by Heron Engineering in 1965.  Heron is a Colorado-grown company, best known for installing the first double chair in Colorado up on Berthoud Pass in 1947- the second double chair in the world, narrowly missing the top spot (Riblet a year earlier). Plenty historical, I'd say.

 

Does this mean the land your house is on was owned by Bob Heron?

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

 

 

Loveland's chair 4 was built by Heron Engineering in 1965.  Heron is a Colorado-grown company, best known for installing the first double chair in Colorado up on Berthoud Pass in 1947- the second double chair in the world, narrowly missing the top spot (Riblet a year earlier). Plenty historical, I'd say.

 

Does this mean the land your house is on was owned by Bob Heron?

No, the property was owned by Frank "Buff" Rutherford. 1929-2010. I want to say he was at least 2nd generation Georgetown native, but don't want to spread any more mis-information about him than I already have.:o 

 

His widow, Mary Lou told me he worked for Loveland, and helped build chair 4. I was pretty sure she said he didn't have an engineering degree, but that didn't matter in those days. Not sure when "those days" were, but '65 would have made him 36 years old, so maybe he worked on it, but clearly didn't engineer it. 

 

Not sure if Mary Lou had it wrong, or I just misunderstood, but I guess I'll have to stop spreading that sub-urban legend about Buff engineering my chair-swing. Heh, I'll just take all the credit myself from now on, never mind that I would have been 3 at the time. I was an early bloomer!:D

post #10 of 13

It is very disturbing to me to see these chairs without safety bars. I hope people at least wear helmets when they sit in them.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

It is very disturbing to me to see these chairs without safety bars. I hope people at least wear helmets when they sit in them.

No need for a helmet if there's no bar to be slammed down on your head.

post #12 of 13
post #13 of 13

I saw this chair during a bike ride.  In the country, 5 or 6 miles north of Jeffersonville, VT.  Really cool setting and has lights so

it'd be kinda neat during the evenings.  Not mine but definitely worthy of recognition!

Sorry that it is sideways,...I couldn't get it to rotate.

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