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May 29, 1996

Trivia #21 - Published 29 May 1996

Greetings from THE COLORADO SKIER (Unofficial Ski Trivia Newsletter of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games)

This is part of a series on Skiing and Ski Area TRIVIA. It is posted separately from our companion series on "LOST SKI AREAS", "THE COLORADO SKIER - SKI NEWS", and "TCS LISTS". Check 'em out.


A. JEFF (MT) sent us some Montana ski area brochures (thx, Jeff) and also a list of potential "Lost ski areas of Montana". Good stuff.

B. JAN-ERIK sent his annual mail pouch full of ski area trail maps from the Pacific Northwest (U.S. and Canada). Without him we wouldn't know that region existed.

C. As we went to press, DAVID (NY) sent a giant care package of trail maps which entertained us over the Holiday weekend. He is also a trail map collector so we will be talking about future trades.

D. Some of the data in this post was obtained from "THE WHITE BOOK OF SKI AREAS", which is copyrighted by Inter-Ski Services, Inc.


a. Name five or more SKI AREAS with the word "SUGAR" in their title.

b. Where does the SKI TURN name "Stem Christie" come from?

c. WHERE are the following ski trails and WHOM were they named for?

Gibson, Jill's Run, Debbie's Gold, Perry Merrill

d. Name 5 or more (past and present) U.S. chairlift MANUFACTURERS.

e. NOSTALGIA QUESTION: There are two operational SINGLE CHAIRLIFTS in the U.S. At which SKI AREAS are they located?

BONUS ONE: Open Question - What are the most popular names for bunny slopes? ("Broadway" and "Main Street" come to mind)

BONUS TWO: (Survey/poll) You're moving and decide to foist off accumulated junk on your neighbors instead of moving it. You neatly arrange the junk in the garage and driveway and on the lawn and place a sign out front with TWO WORDS. What are they?

BONUS THREE: How many "U.S. owned" TIRE COMPANIES can you name?


a. Name three or more SKI AREAS which have operated under THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. ANSWERS:

CATEGORY I (Active) -      Silver Basin,  Sundown,  Iron Mtn,  Kit Carson  (CA);     Moonridge,  
Goldmine, Bear Mountain  (CA);     Jackass,  Silverhorn,  Silver Mountain  (ID);     Calico Hill,  
Durango,  Chapman Hill  (CO);     Storm Mountain,  Mt. Werner,  Steamboat  (CO);     Tree Spring,  La Madera,  
Sandia Peak  (NM);     Playboy,  Americana,  Lake Geneva,  Hotdog Mtn  (WI);     Cave Mtn,  
Windham Mtn Club,  Ski Windham  (NY)   CATEGORY II  (Closed) -      Guanella Pass,  Indianhead,  Geneva Basin,  Alpenbach  (CO);     
Big Bear,  Brookline,  Musket  (NH);     Onset,  Bobcat,  Crotched Mtn West  (NH);  Petersburg Pass,  Mt Raimer,  
Taconic Trails  (MA)   CATEGORY III (Name Variations) -      Arapahoe Basin,  A-Basin,  Arapahoe  
(CO); Buttermilk,  Buttermilk Mountain,  Aspen Buttermilk, Buttermilk/Tiehack,  Tiehack/Buttermilk,  Tiehack  (CO);       
GUESSES:  ERIC (NY) had Windham,  JOSHUA (NH) had Brookline, Onset, and Petersburg, 
and BOB (CO) had A-Basin. 

b. Name two U.S. SKI AREAS owned and operated by American Indians.

ANSWER: SKI APACHE, near Ruidoso, NM, is owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache tribe. The area started out as SIERRA BLANCA, was purchased by the tribe and the name was changed several years later (1985). SUNRISE, AZ was built on Indian land by the White Mountain Apache tribe. [Note: We don't know who is the owner/operator, but BEAR PAW, near Havre, MT, is located on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation. (the area may now be closed.)

GUESSES: Only MATTHEW (TX) had both APACHE and SUNRISE. Five other folks had SKI APACHE. BRIDGET (CA) guessed APACHE SUNRISE (one time name for Sunrise) and, curiously, "Valley of The Gods". Well, there is an "Inn of The Mountain Gods" operated by the Mescalero Apache, but it isn't located at the ski area. Is that where your family stayed, Bridget?

c. At which SKI AREAS are the following ski trails located?

  1) Apollo,  Mercury,  Gemini,  Discovery,  Vanguard    2) Apollo,  Mercury,  Splashdown,  Scrub,  
Telstar   ANSWER:  MT HOOD MEADOWS (OR) and LOVELAND BASIN (CO)   GUESSES:  No meaningful guesses. 

d. Name the SKI AREA GONDOLAS located East of the Rockies.

  ANSWER:  Lutsen, MN;  Gore Mtn, NY;  Killington, Stowe, & Stratton,   VT;  Loon and Wildcat, NH;  
Sugarloaf, ME.   [Also Mont Sainte Anne   and Mt Tremblant in Quebec.]    GUESSES:  MARC (NY) had 7 of the 8 US gondolas and 1 Canadian.  JOHN   (VT) got 6 and DAVID (NY) got 5. 

e. Nostalgia Question - Name the two FARTHEST SOUTH ski areas in the 48 U.S. states

  ANSWER:  MT LEMMON, AZ (32.5 degrees latitude) and SNOW CANYON /   CLOUDCROFT, 
NM (32.9 degrees).  In the East, it's CLOUDMONT, AL   (34.2) AND SKY VALLEY, GA (34.8).    
GUESSES:  Only new reader JAY (state?) got both Mt. Lemmon and Snow   Canyon.  BRIDGET 
got Mt. Lemmon and MATTHEW got Snow Canyon.  There   were several guesses for Apache 
(north of Cloudcroft) and the two   southeastern areas. 

BONUS ONE: A very FAMOUS PERSON was seriously wounded during WWII while serving with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy. WHO?

  ANSWER:  SENATOR BOB DOLE.  Sen. Dole was too young to have trained   with the 87th Mtn 
Regiment in Washington, or the 10th Mtn Div in   Colorado.  After basic training he was assigned 
directly to the 10th   Mtn in Italy, where he was wounded.  He still has only partial   control of his 
right arm and hand.   GUESSES: BILL (CA), JAY, and BOB (CO), knew that it was Citizen Dole. 

BONUS TWO: Which THEME PARK was the SECOND LARGEST to close? Hint, it was located in the southeast and not near a big city.

Davenport, FL (near Disney World) around 1970.   There was a big top, side shows, and a large 
wooden roller coaster   named "Florida Hurricane".  In 1987 the name and theme were changed   
to "BOARDWALK AND BASEBALL".  The park became a ML Baseball spring   training site and had a 
minor league team in the summer.  The park   was purchased by Busch Entertainment (Busch 
Gardens, Sea World) but   was closed in 1990.   GUESSES:  None 

BONUS THREE: STANDARD OIL was broken up into 34 drilling, refining, and marketing companies in 1911. Each of the several marketing companies continued to use the "Standard" brand name in their own established territory. Eventually, the various regional "Standards" realized that in order to expand nationwide, they would have to change their name. We know five of the former regional Standards now operating under new names. Four are among the biggest oil companies in the U.S. HOW MANY FORMER "STANDARDS" CAN YOU NAME?

ANSWER: (The "shield" and the "oval" and red, white, and blue colors figured into new logos.)

STANDARD of CALIFORNIA used a shield, the word "Standard", and red, white, and blue "sergeant's stripes", commonly called "chevrons". In 1984 STD/CA (Socal) changed their name to CHEVRON.

STANDARD of INDIANA used a red, white, and blue oval design with the word "Standard" and a flaming torch running vertically thru the center. In 1957 STD/IN adopted the name of a subsidiary company, American Oil Co. They kept the same logo, substituting the name "American" for "Standard". In 1961 American followed the trend to shorter, punchier names and adopted their current name - AMOCO.

STANDARD of NEW YORK was a biggie, and was operated directly by the Rockefeller family. They were the first "Standard" to change their name. They used a shield with a "flying red horse" under which were the odd words "Socony - Vacuum". "SO CO NY" is obvious. "Vacuum" came from the Vacuum Oil Co, one of the original 34 Standards, which merged with SOCONY in 1931. Oh yes, above the horse was the brand name, "Mobilgas". Over time the shield and the name were squashed down to a tiny red horse and the name "Mobil". Now the shield is gone and the name (with the "O" in red) is just MOBIL.

STANDARD of NEW JERSEY was the Rockefeller "flagship" Standard Company. Their logo was "ESSO" (for S.O.) in an oval. "Jersey" was very proud of that logo and intended to blanket the country with it. However, when Jersey tried to enter Ohio (1937), STD/OH sued over brand name infringement and a court ruled that the Esso name couldn't be used in Ohio. So Jersey started using the name of a Texas subsidiary, Humble Oil Co, selling "Humble" gas in Ohio and Texas.

Standard of Kentucky sold "Standard" brand gas thruout the southeast. The gasoline was provided by Jersey. However, STD/KT was bought by CHEVRON in 1961. Without a retail outlet, Jersey needed to expand into the southeast, but, fearing another Ohio-type court case, decided to forgo the Esso name and adopted a new name "ENCO" (for "Energy Company"). Jersey was now selling gasoline under three different names (ESSO, Humble, ENCO), not a good marketing strategy.

A committee was established to pick one name for the whole country and for overseas companies as well. ENCO failed as it translated into "junk car" in one language. ECCO and ARCON were considered and rejected. "ENJAY" (for NJ) was rejected because some languages don't have the letters J or Y. Eventually, a meaningless coined word was developed and, in 1972, STD of NJ became EXXON.

STANDARD of OHIO caused us some problems as we came up with two plausible stories. 1) The OHIO OIL CO was formed in 1887 and joined the "STANDARD" family in 1889. Of course they became independent again in 1911. In 1962 they changed their name to MARATHON. 2) In 1969 BRITISH PETROLEUM needed a partner to help develop the Prudhoe Bay (AK) oil field and selected STANDARD OF OHIO. BP invested in STD/OH and eventually bought the whole company in 1987, at which time they changed the name to BP AMERICA.

In neither of these histories did the familiar name "SOHIO" come up. So we went to a list of "brand names" and found that "SOHIO" belongs to BP America (not Marathon). OK. That leaves some questions which maybe our Ohio readers can answer: 1) What brand name did OHIO OIL use before they became Marathon? 2) Did all the SOHIO stations become BP? 3) In what states are Marathon and BP sold?

More STANDARD trivia:

 o  Standards of Illinois and Minnesota were absorbed by STD/IN.  o  Standard of Iowa was 
absorbed by CHEVRON.  o  Standard of Louisiana was a small subsidiary of Jersey Std.  o  
Continental Oil Co, selling under the name CONOCO ("Hottest       Brand Going"), big in the 
Rockies, was also part of the Standard  Oil family, but never used the name "Standard".  o  
(For a reader) MAGNOLIA PETROLEUM marketed in Texas and the Southwest.  
They were purchased by SOCONY (Mobil) in 1925.  Eventually "Magnolia" stations became "Mobil" 
stations.  o  Imperial Oil Co still sells gasoline in Canada under the name  "ESSO".  Imperial is 69%
 owned by EXXON.  o  Here in COS there is a service station with two tall signs.  One says "AMOCO" 
and the other says "STANDARD".  o  We kiddingly said that GULF couldn't be a "Standard" company 
because their color was orange.  Actually, for a time, Gulf was owned by CHEVRON!  Gulf is now 
owned by Cumberland Farms, the New England convenience store chain.  o  When we said all the Sta
ndard companies used red, white, and       blue, we were thinking of Marathon.  BP uses Green and Yellow.       Sorry.  o  Premium gasoline seller "Energy Institute" (of Utah) merged       with the "Eastern Idaho Oil" Co, and now sells under the name       EIEIO. 

GUESSES: Of those who supplied the Old AND New names (e.g., Std/NJ is now EXXON), BILL HERY (NJ) nailed all 10 names (mentioning both SOHIO and BP). CHRIS (VA) was close, with SOHIO but not BP. RICK (CO) got 9 of 10 and JAY had 7 of 10. For those giving only the NEW name, BEN (WA) had all 5, and Bob, Judith, and Eric each had 4. Overall, the following "Standard" companies were named (by 13 responders): EXXON-11, AMOCO-9, CHEVRON-9, MOBIL-8, SOHIO-8, BP-1, ENCO-1, MARATHON-1.

Note: There must be some readers who have a "Buy American" philosophy. You should know then, that: TOTAL Petroleum is a French company. BRITISH PETROLEUM is a British company. SHELL OIL is owned by the Royal Dutch/ Shell Group, a British/Dutch conglomerate. CITGO is owned by Petroleas de Venezuela.

[SNEAKY TRIVIA: What was the former name for "CITGO"?]


a. CARIBOU RANCH (west of Boulder, near Nederland) contained a recording studio used by what pop/rock group? ANSWER: DUKE (KN) reports that the "CHICAGO" producer owned the ranch and that five CHICAGO albums were produced there. Apparently the ranch was rented out to other groups as readers also mentioned: The Dirt Band; Crosby, Stills, and Nash; The Dillards; and Elton John.

b. NAME THE FOLLOWING MOVIE: A John Wayne western, directed by Howard Hawks, and filmed at Old Tucson. Wayne comes to the rescue of his friend, a drunken sheriff, played by a very famous actor. A colorful character actor plays the old deputy. This trio is joined by a young rising star whose character name is a "state" name. There is also a love interest (female) for Wayne. Much of the movie takes place in the sheriff's office/jail. NAME THAT MOVIE.

There is an expression that goes: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." Well, guess what movie buffs; you've been fooled twice! Once again, the description above fits TWO movies. They are "RIO BRAVO" (1959), and "EL DORADO" (1967). Details:

                       RIO BRAVO             EL DORADO     Director            Howard Hawks          Howard Hawks    Star                John Wayne            John Wayne    Filmed at           Old Tucson            Old Tucson    Sheriff             Dean Martin           Robert Mitchum    Deputy              Walter Brennan        Arthur Hunnicutt    Young Gun           "Colorado"            "Mississippi"    Played by           Ricky Nelson          James Caan    Love Interest       Angie Dickinson       Charlene Holt 

Most critics say that El Dorado was a remake, but Hawks said no and produced a book from which it was made. During casting, Wayne allegedly said "This time I want to play the drunken sheriff".

GUESSES: No one guessed both movies but there were votes for both.

Rio Bravo: DUKE (KN) had the actors correct; STUART (CA) had Wallace Beery for Walter Brennan (Beery died in 1949) and Bobby Darin for Ricky Nelson (close). TODD (NJ) named Dean Martin but then remembered "Montana" (Mississippi) with a Top Hat, from El Dorado.

El Dorado: RALPH (NH)


a. SAWYER'S HILL, NM - This area is purported to be in Los Alamos, but distinct from PAJARITO,

and located west on Hiway 4, rather than north on Pajarito Mtn. As is often the case, once we obtain

a ski area name, the name starts popping up everywhere. A 1949 reference says that SAWYER was

operated by the "Los Alamos Ski Club". That club also operated PAJARITO.

So apparently they abandoned one in favor of the other. We don't have quite enough data to

determine if there was a period when both operated simultaneously.

b. FUN VALLEY, CO - Just for grins we set out to find this lost area southwest of Denver (closed

around 1970). It was easy: Travel south on Wadsworth to a point just south of C-470.

Turn right (west) on Deer Creek Canyon. Travel west for five miles until the road turns north.

One half mile north turn right (east) on Murphy Gulch. After 1/4 mile turn right on Watson Gulch.

Keep going until you see the ski area on your right. PRIVATE PROPERTY! POSTED!

The base lodge is still there, possibly occupied. There is a house in the parking lot. About 100

feet further is a good view point. The Poma is still standing, with the Poma bars still hanging

from the cable. The chairlift has mostly been removed, but you can see some towers and the top

lift shack up the hill. Enjoy! [Then continue to Tiny Town.]

c. SANTA FE, NM - Some recently acquired 1955 and 1957 highway maps of NM show the SANTA FE

ski area as "Sierra de Santa Fe" ski area. No problem. Everyone knows that "Sierra" is a Spanish

word meaning "Five Dollar Hamburger".

d. MCGAFFEY, NM - Said maps also show this very obscure ski area about 24 miles southeast of

Gallup, near the Continental Divide.

e. SAWTOOTH MTN (MN) was suggested as a Lost Ski Area by PAUL (MN). We came up with:

Sawtooth Ridge, Sawteeth Bluff, and Grand Marais as possible matches. Research will continue.

f. A note to Newbies: We are doing Lost VT in alpha order and we have only covered A, B and

part of C. We will get to MAGIC and ROUNDTOP eventually. But keep suggesting anyway.

g. Next Time we will respond to comments on Lost: MT (Jeff), MN (Paul), Syracuse (Eric), and

Mt Greylock, MA (Dana).


a. MAGIC MTN, VT - Several loyal readers wrote to say that they had seen the signs or heard the

rumors that Magic is trying to reopen. Let us know when you see hard news. (New lifts or old?)

b. ALPINE MEADOWS, CA now allows snowboards and PARK CITY, UT will allow snowboarding next

season. Still no word from KEYSTONE.

c. ALPINE MEADOWS will replace the Summit Quad with a Six-Pack.

d. STEAMBOAT, CO - Is expanding to new terrain with at least one new lift and several trails for

the 96/97 season.

e. SENTINEL SKICENTRE - Get in on the ground floor and buy shares in this new ski area to be built

on the backside of Pikes Peak at the same location of a planned area never built back in the 70's.

f. Several folks who have actually ridden the new Slidebrook chair at SUGARBUSH (we haven't) say

that they don't see a problem with rescues - there are plenty of trails/roads to ski out. And, those

"bicycle thingee" rescue devices have hand cranks. They obviously can go uphill as all cables droop between towers. True. Our mistake.

g. BIG SKY, MY - will replace Gondola II with a Poma HS Quad. Good news. Their gondolas are

ancient and slow.

h. A good snow season here in Colorado. VAIL closed on 1 May - first time continuously open into

May. Closings: KEYSTONE - 5 May; COPPER & LOVELAND - 12 May; BRECK - 27 May. A-BASIN is

shooting for 4 July or beyond. Last year they closed on 10 August. Here is a comparison of

A-basin snow depths from last Spring to this (1995/1996): 1 April 69/93; 15 April 72/93;

1 May 90/103; 15 May 93/79; 27 May 91/82.


a. First there was the YAN detachable accident at WHISTLER apparently due to a faulty cable grip.

Then all YAN detachables in VT and UT were shut down for grip inspections. Now Seth Masia at

SKI reports that all 24 "YAN Model 7" lifts in the U.S. were closed for inspection. But, "There is no

connection with the Whistler accident". OK, maybe the YAN at Whistler wasn't a Model 7. Could be.

b. Some time ago we reported that the monorail connecting the Luxor and Excalibur hotels in Las

Vegas was closed due to bad performance. On our last visit, the tracks and towers had been

removed. We finally found out who built it - ARROW DYNAMICS (builder of metal roller coasters

and several of the early rides at Disneyland).

c. Erich Konstam invented the T-BAR in Davos in 1934. He later moved his company to Denver

and sold "Constam" T-bars thruout the U.S. If you see an old T-bar, it will be a Constam (there

are also some Roebling and Doppelmayr T-bars). We were surprised to discover that the "Mach 1"

CHAIRLIFT at Breckenridge was built by Constam. Constam also built chairlifts at Lion Head (MT),

and Ogden, UT.

d. KATHY "D" (from Doppelmayr) reports that chairlift manufacturer "CTEC" is a U.S. company

located in SLC, with a branch office in Sacramento. BTW, Kathy claims she is a "P", not a "D".

The "D" is for Doppelmayr, Kathy. "P" is for POMA. Can't call you KATHY P. Can't do it. Wouldn't

be right. Wouldn't be prudent. :)

e. ERIC J (NY) reports a new type of gondola system in Europe. Most gondolas have a single

hanger from a single cable. The drawback is that the wind can catch the flat car side and cause

the cars to swing. This new method involves TWO cables, one supporting each outside edge of

each car. Should cut way down on the wind problem. The big challenge is synchronizing the two

cable speeds EXACTLY. You can imagine the problem if one cable got one foot ahead. The one

Eric saw was running but not carrying passengers. Sort of a Beta test.

f. Eric also saw a two cable gondola with the cables one above the other. The upper cable is a

stationary "load" cable and the lower one is the "haul" cable (like tram systems). All the "BELL"

gondolas in the U.S. are like that. Two at VAIL, one gone and one leaving; the OLD gondola at

STEAMBOAT; and the two gondolas at MAMMOTH. All other gondolas are a single cable system,

operating like detachable chairs. Eric claims the one he saw was a Doppelmayr. That surprises us.

[Great. We have always had two readers named "Steve H"; now we have two "Erics" from NY.]


a. ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL TRIVIA RESEARCH PROJECT - A friend from North Bend, Washington

(on I-90, east of Seattle) reports that when she was growing up there, a weekend ski train ran

thru her parents property and up thru a tunnel to a ski area. She says the tunnel is now open

to hikers and bikers. Wow! A neat challenge. [We ask Washington ski, RR, geography, and

history buffs to check our conclusions.]

A check of the map shows that I-90 goes thru Snoqualmie Pass, current home of the ALPENTAL,

HYAK, SKI ACRES, and SNOQUALMIE ski areas. The big pass nearby is Stampede Pass, under

which is the NORTHERN PACIFIC RR "Stampede Tunnel". Quick solution? No way. Two problems.

1) Stampede Tunnel is 2 miles from the nearest ski area. 2) There were two major east-west RR

routes into Seattle. The other was the famous "New Cascade Tunnel" (GREAT NORTHERN RR). In

1971, the Great Northern, Northern Pacific, and the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy merged to form

the "Burlington Northern". The BN picked Cascade tunnel as their main route and mothballed the

Stampede tunnel. We keep reading rumors that they might re-open Stampede, however.

One thing you should know about railroads is their no trespassing policy. Obviously the Stampede

still has tracks, signals, etc. So no bikers and hikers.

Trivia research is often a matter of luck. At a recent book fair we managed to acquire a Wenatchee

(WA) National Forest map. We checked it. Sure enough, there was the Northern Pacific route up to

the Stampede Tunnel. But, looky here. On a parallel route were the tracks of the "Chicago,

Milwaukee, and St Paul", known as the "MILWAUKEE ROAD". These tracks continued on up to,

would you believe, the "Snoqualmie Tunnel". The Milwaukee has withdrawn from Pacific service

and now serves only the Midwest. So, the tunnel could have been abandoned and given to, say,

the Forest Service.

OK, now we have a RR and tunnel, how about a ski area. Eureka. A 1949 reference reveals the

"Milwaukee Road" ski area, a short walk or ski from the "Hyak Station". So now we have a ski area.

And, could "Milwaukee Road" now be "Hyak"? Well, the HYAK trail map shows a ski run called

"MILWAUKEE RIDGE". Good enough for us. We love it when a trivia research project comes


b. WRONG, FUNNY, OR ODD. In a book called "The Skier's Encyclopedia" there is a chapter on

ski lifts which discusses cog railways, funiculars, trams, gondolas, chairlifts, T-bars, Pomas, and

rope tows. Here is what they said about chairlifts: "... it is the most uncomfortable, primitive, and

on occasion the most dangerous of all winter sports transportation systems. It is also, without

doubt, the coldest way anyone could devise of ascending a mountain. In the transportation

popularity stakes, the vast majority of the world's skiers would put the chairlift firmly at the

bottom of the list." Odd.

8. ASK TCS (Snavely explains it all to you)

a. JOHN (QUE) asks how long is the long T-bar at WESTCASTLE, AB. We haven't found a

breakdown yet. There are 3 T-bars at Westcastle and a total vertical drop of 1600 ft.

If any one T-bar went the whole way it would be "way long".

b. RICK (CO) asks how long the #1 T-bar at ELDORA (CO) was. Gee, even we don't remember

when #1 wasn't a Chair. Anyway, the length was 3900 ft. (FWIW the #1 T-bar at Breck was

4000 ft long.)

c. We said that BRECKENRIDGE once had only 2 chairlifts (and 2 T- bars). RICK (CO) asked what

about the Poma above the "upper chair". "Upper chair", Rick? Boy you are young. The upper

chair is new. The #1 chair (gone) once ran from the Peak 8 base all the way up to the road

leading to the upper T-bar (up the "Boreas" run). The chair extended a few hundred feet above

timberline. Since Breck faces East, a brutal crosswind came in from the North above the tree line.

So, in 1965, Chair #1 was shortened to the tree line and the new "upper" chair (#2) was installed

(in the trees) up to the left. Then in 1967 the upper Poma was installed, extending from the top

of Chair 2 up towards the top of the current Chair 6. Years later the Poma was removed and

essentially replaced by the current upper T-bar. [This must be totally confusing to folks without a

Breck trail map!]

d. ROBERT (MO) asks: What is the difference between a TRAM and a GONDOLA? The difference

has very little to due with the size of the cars, the number of cables, or whether you sit or stand.

A TRAM has two cars. They generally travel on a fixed "load" cable and are pulled by a "haul" cable. When one car goes up, the other comes down. When one car is loading at the bottom, the other is loading at the top. The haul cable stops during loading/unloading. After loading, the cars reverse direction. At ski areas, the large cars carry 50 to 150 skiers. Tourist trams carry as few as 20 to 30 passengers.

GONDOLAS have multiple cars. There can be two cables or just one. The haul cable travels

continuously in the same direction. At ski areas, the cars detach for loading/unloading.

Tourist gondolas are sometimes fixed grip and travel very slowly. There can be 10 or 50 or 100

gondola cars. Cars started small (with seats) at 2, or 3, or 4 passengers. Then came 6, 8, 10

and 12 passengers cars. Now there are systems with cars which carry 15 or 20 standing passengers.

There are some "hybrid" systems. At Hawks Nest in WV, each "tram car" consists of two attached

gondola cars. But the system is an up and back tram operation. In Europe there is a system with

four attached gondolas cars. At ski areas the gondola cars are getting bigger and bigger but as

long as the cable keeps moving in the same direction, it is a gondola system.


a. ROBERT (MO) - (who claims to be a Structural Engineer, not an ME - is that like a "framer"?)

says that "truss" type ski lift towers (which we called "lattice/erector set") have an advantage over

the newer tube type in regard to metal fatigue - if they are bolted, not welded. The stress is taken

up by slight movement. The bolts have to be occasionally "retorqued". He says look for the

"torque paint" on the Lioinshead gondola towers at VAIL.

b. Robert also asks if the new gondola at VAIL will use the old towers or new ones. It will use new

ones. They will be to the left (looking up) and much lower. New upper and lower terminal buildings

will be required. This means no more climbing the steps at the lower Lionshead terminal plus the

opportunity to remodel a rather ugly building. There is a trend to lower towers on gondolas.

At STEAMBOAT the old gondola had two very tall intermediate towers and now there are six shorter

towers. The 2nd gondola at KEYSTONE is very low to the ground. We assume that the main reason

is to get the cars down in the trees out of the wind. Easier rescues may be a secondary reason.

c. SKIP asked if we had ridden the tram at Palm Springs, CA. Yes. [Von Roll, 1963, 5873 ft vertical]

The impressive thing about this tram is that it rises from the desert floor to a mountain top with

pine trees and snow.

d. JOHN (CO) reports that an episode of "Walker, Texas Ranger" filmed an "isolated wilderness"

river scene on the Cache la Poudre River in CO. Wilderness? This river is paralled by (paved)

CO Hiway 14. About as isolated as the Merrimack or Kennebec. (We are clueless as to the filming

on Berthoud Pass, John)

e. BILL (CA) asks where does the name "Granlibakken" (CA ski area) come from? Granlibakken

freely translates as "snowsnake" from the actual Swedish: "large ankle biter". Be careful how you

use term in Sweden as it is considered a swear word. [ ;-) ]

f. A TRAM on Mt. Beacon, NY, ERIC? Tell us about it.

g. For PETER (NS) - We personally have no info on skiing in Italy. Check the "Blue Book of

European Ski Resorts". Looking forward to those mega-ski area trail maps from NS.

h. MATT (MI) - wonders where "Hot Dog...The Movie!" was filmed. We say SQUAW VALLEY.

Anyone disagree?

i. Apologies to ANDY (IL) for our misleading reply when he suggested MT NORWAY as an upside

down ski area. We were just wondering - Where is MT NORWAY?


Every time we discuss our trail map collection (e.g., last issue) folks ask: What do you need or want? Last year we listed all the states and provinces for which we had not one single map. Since then some nice folks have kindly sent us maps for ski areas in AL, GA, WV, NJ, MO, IN, IA, ON, & PQ. We are still missing: CT, RI, KY, OH, IL, KS, ND, PEI, NB, NF, NS, MB, & SK.

Here is another approach. Suppose it was our goal to obtain at least one trail map for every operational ski area in the U.S. Right now we stand at about 54%. We have started a list, by state, of areas we are missing. The following table summarizes the western states.

  State        Have/Total   Missing    
Nevada          3/ 3      --   
Colorado       24/25      Howelsen Hill   
New Mexico      9/10      Cloudcroft   
Utah           13/14      Nordic Valley  
Oregon         10/11      Spout Springs   
Alaska          4/ 5      Cleary Summit   
Arizona         1/ 4      Mt. Lemmon, Sunrise, Williams   
Washington      8/11      Badger Mtn, Sitzmark, Ski Bluewood   
Wyoming         5/ 9      Antelope Butte, Eagle Rock, High Park, Pine Creek   
California     29/33      Buckhorn, Granlibakken, Plumas-Eureka, Ski Green Valley   
Idaho           7/12      Brundage Mtn, Cottonwood Butte, Little Ski Hill, Magic Mtn, Soldier Mtn   
Montana         7/13      Great Divide, Lost Trail Powder Mtn, Maverick, Snow Bowl, Rocky Mtn Hi, 
Obviously we would love to receive trail maps for the missing areas. 


a. Please provide your CITY NAME (and YOUR NAME) when FIRST writing to TCS.

We need pen pals.


Cheers from The Colorado Skier (basic loner)

Our thought for today: "Eschew obfuscation"

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