- 4 Posts. Joined 5/2015
- Location: Christchurch NZ
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Photos of abandoned Iron Mountain, CA ski area - Page 4
The last time I had posted photos, the old Chair 1 lift's top terminal had burned in a fire but there were still chairs on the line. Was up there about a week ago, and noticed that Chair 1 now had no chairs or even a rope on the line anymore. As all but the last tower at the bottom of that chairlift is on private property and not forest service land, I wonder if the current land owner removed the chairs or if the forest service mandated did it even though it was on private land or what? Seemed odd that this "remediation" work was done when everything else has been left abandoned.
The old ski school and ski patrol buildings are still there -- but barely. You can literally see through the ski school building from one end to the other now when outside the building thanks to a bunch of additional vandalism.
FYI -- when I was up there the place was full of people on snowmobiles. Lots of people racing up and down the old ski runs. I almost thought it might be worth someone trying to open a day lodge to provide food, snowmobile rentals, etc. for the crowd that was there. They could also do tubing on the old beginner chair lift line.
Lots of snow, FYI -- probably a good 6 to 8 foot base right now up there!
How much of the original resort is now left?
Does any lift have chairs on it?
It seems that ever since the caretaker left the property, the damage has been severe.
By the way, is the land on the base of chair 1 posted with "no trespassing" signs?
I would love to have some pictures of the resort today. It looks like Iron Mountain is on its last legs, as the final remnants of the lifts, buildings, and cleared runs are taken over by vandalism and nature.
There isn't much left at this point.
The old maintenance building that was in the lower parking lot was removed by the forest service years ago as it was on their land.
The main day lodge burned down several years ago. Complete loss with just minimal debris where the building was.
The motel, old "conference center", another maintenance building (that also had a water tower inside) and the Chair 1 top terminal burned down about a year later. The motel and conference center were complete losses as well were minimal debris where the buildings were. The top terminal of chair 1 had some fire damage but wasn't totally destroyed (see photo below).
As I said in my last post, the ski school building and ski patrol building are the last two buildings that are there -- but there are still there just barely and are heavily damaged from vandalism.
In terms of chairlifts:
Chair 1 still has all towers and bottom and top terminal. No chairs or rope on the line. This chairlift is on private land except for the last tower at the bottom which is on forest service land.
Chair 2 (the beginner chair) has all towers and bottom and top terminal. There hasn't been rope or chairs on the line since before the resort shut down -- the summer before its last year of operation a tree hit the rope and they never finished repairs. This chairlift is 100% on private property.
Chairs 3, 4 and 5 were all on forest service land. The forest service had someone come in and remove all the towers for those chairs -- but for some reason they never removed the top or bottom terminals of the chairlifts and those are still there.
As of about a year ago in the summer, there were still some various chairlift parts that had been placed in the lower parking lot. Those parts were mostly from two chairlifts that the old owner of Iron Mountain removed from the abandoned Echo Summit Ski Resort -- the old Iron Mountain owners removed them from Echo Summit with the approval of the Forest Service, and were going to be used as spare parts as they were the same model of lift as Chairs 1 and 2 at Iron Mountain.
FYI -- Chairs 1 and 2 were built by Lift Engineering, and chairs 3,4 and 5 were from Riblet. After Iron Mountain closed, Riblet placed notices on Chair 5 that they were going to repossess the lift due to lack of payment but they never removed the lift.
In the upper parking lot, there used to be parts (towers, chairs, etc.) from another lift that Iron Mountain's owners removed from a ski area in New Mexico that they were also going to re-use but never did. I don't know what ever happened to those lift parts -- I remember they disappeared about five years ago.
The ski runs themselves are in various states of re-growth. Some, like the beginner hill (which had a leach field underneath it for sewage), still looked like pristine ski runs with virtually no growth. Others have many small trees beginning to grow on them.
There are absolutely zero no trespassing signs, fences, etc. I do know that in the summer a local rancher puts up some minimal fencing to keep his cattle inside a designated area, but that fencing is taking down before each winter.
There used to be a locked gate at the entrance to the parking lot, but that gate has been unlocked and open for a very long time now and may not even be there anymore (couldn't see it under the snow this last trip).
First photo is of the old ski school building.
This is the top terminal of Chair 1:
This is the Chair 1 towers / lift line:
First off, thanks to Skierrob for this preponderance of information on Iron Mountain. For my English Honors class, I have to write an essay on lost and forgotton places. People have written things on defunct airlines and amusement parks, but I feel iron mountain resort is a perfect example of years of hard work burnt to the ground. I may get in contact with skierrob via epicski e-mail. Something tells me vandals are destroying this place faster than nature. About the lift parts in the parking lot and drivetrain for the never installed lifts, I believe that the forest service cleaned the place up during the summer and sold the parts as scrap or as whole. I still don't understand what pleasure people achieve in destroying places several otherswould otherwise enjoy preserving. Being in one of those abandoned corridors gives a feeling that you own the whole place. Check out google earth for a terrain visualization of the resort. The Lions run seems to be shorter than two miles, considering the vertical is only about 1300 feet.
I thought the Chairs 1&2 were SLI, they had yellow plastic seats if I remember. When I patrolled there I didn't pay much attention to the lifts. That was back in 1972, when Silver Basin closed we moved up to Kirkwood.
I patrolled there 1972 to 1974, then moved to Kirkwood hen it closed. Cappy? Would that be John Richards? He was our patrol leader, worked for Caltrans. Peddler Hill was to the west a little ways. Had a T-bar and rope tow. My brother and I skied there once, they wouldn't run the T-bar because not enough people were there. You can still kind of make it out on Google Earth.
Chairs 1 and 2 were SLI indeed. I got the Yan sign from wikipedia, although I have a picture I took stored on my computer. SLI was a successful company, but Riblet, its acquirer, declared bankruptcy in 2004 due to financial troubles. Riblet never manufactured detachable chairlifts. There were also two more lifts from Echo Summit, but they were never installed. After years of rusting, the lift’s parts disappeared (the forest service probably cleaned the place up and sold the parts for scrap metal), and the terminals lay there for another year. The motor was relatively intact, although the entire terminal disappeared a year later. I would really appreciate pictures of the buildings and interior of the single family cabin.
- 563 Posts. Joined 6/2011
- Location: San Jose, CA and Tahoe
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Tahoe Daily Tribune posted a video of skiing Iron Mountain on 2/25/2016 without snowmobiles. See https://vimeo.com/156789728
How many different names did it have? I remember it re-opened as Carson. Was it also called Silver Mountain and Sundown or Sundowner?
I remember skiing a lot of laps on Chair 5/Bruin which had some short, steep runs. If only chairs 1, 2 and 3 were running, it got boring as you had to spend a long time on 3 to get enough steepness for some powder turns. Chair 4/Eagles Nest ran on less than half of the about 10 days I skied there.