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  1. #1
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    Need a little help with Vail history...

    So, through an awesome maggot which will remain nameless, I have in my hands an old Vail double chair. I'm using it as a wedding gift for someone from the Vail Valley.

    We thought it was a 1962 original chair, but I took the wood off of it today and will be taking it to be sandblasted and powder coated tomorrow. I found a stamp on it that says "VA 65". Right at the top where it mounts to the grip/rope.

    All the Vail history I find online says "Opened in 1962 with several chairs.....Lionshead Village opened in 1968." No real info of the time between 62 and 68.

    Wondering if this chair was from a new lift installed in 65 or if they stamped it when they changed the grip assembly or something.

    Anyone have some real detailed history of those years at Vail?

    It's not super important, but i'm damn curious now.

  2. #2
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    Doesn't matter. I was born in 1965, which should make it extra valuable regardless. Just tell the happy married couple that. you could replace the stamp with one that says 'Fu Va'
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Colorado Snowsports Museum
    231 South Frontage Road East
    Vail, Colorado 81657
    (970) 476-1876

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Jan 2017
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    who manufactured the chair? Riblet? Hall?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shredhead View Post
    Hmm, link is down of the moment? Looks like the kinda info I am looking for. Thanks.

    There is also like a million layers of paint. I think the original paint may have been red or blue. Guaranteed to be lead based so I am glad I am not trying to sand this thing myself.

  7. #7
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    Maybe it was chair # 65?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    Maybe it was chair # 65?
    Ah, that might make sense. Maybe all lifts are marked this way so the guys working on them can keep track without having to look for/maintain painted on numbers?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
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    Oct 2007
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    Liftblog says installs were in '62, '64 and '67, but date of manufacture doesn't necessarily mean date of installation. I would think it's a chair number rather than a manufacturer date; not sure if Riblet would stamp VA in each chair for a job; they were making so many lifts back then it doesn't seem to make sense.

    If you strike out at the ski museum, I can run up to Purg and see if any of our chairs are stamped similarly; our broke ass is still running riblets from the '60's.

    Rad wedding gift; subscribing to see what you find out.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2004
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    YetiMan
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    Actually I could go look at some local riblets too…

    If it comes to that, it would help to know kinda where that stamp was located on the chair.

  11. #11
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    Appreciate the help guys. It's actually got #65 stamped into the back of the seat as well. Also there was a #48 on there at one time too. I wish that liftblog site worked so I could figure out which chair. Probably should call the ski museum.

    The chair in question:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The powder coat guys have a "chair lift Red" so I am gonna go with that color since that seems to be the standard for almost all vintage chairs.

    I wanted to try to salvage the original wood seat pieces, but I think I will start fresh and maybe use Teak for maximum weather resistance.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Warm parts of the St. Vrain
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    Need a little help with Vail history...

    Rad! Sorry no help but what a cool gift!!


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    If we're gonna wear uniforms, we should all wear somethin' different!

  13. #13
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    Nov 2017
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    That liftblog link works fine for me. Interesting.

    I've never seen a Riblet that did not have the pole in the middle. Anyone else?
    I'm guessing it's a Yan lift.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djongo Unchained View Post
    That liftblog link works fine for me. Interesting.

    I've never seen a Riblet that did not have the pole in the middle. Anyone else?
    I'm guessing it's a Yan lift.
    Link worked when I opened in a different browser.

    Supposedly this chair is from "Original Chair 1" which is Giant Steps removed in 2006.

    Looks to be correct from these photos:

    http://www.chairlift.org/vail.html

    Edit:

    More pics

    http://www.skilifts.org/old/images/r...giantsteps.htm

  15. #15
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  16. #16
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    a chairlift doesn't necessarily have it's full final number of chairs hanging when it's first opened. It's not unusual to add more chairs to a line later if there is a need for greater capacity, or to keep the initial costs down.

  17. #17
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    Don't know why the liftblog link doesn't work for you; long story short, the only pic they have of that type of chair was the old Sourdough lift, installed in '73. Riblet double.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Edit: Just saw your post, that looks like a winner.

  18. #18
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    I like that Riblet design better, the pole in the middle was always a bit awkward with 2 grown dudes.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djongo Unchained View Post
    I like that Riblet design better, the pole in the middle was always a bit awkward with 2 grown dudes.
    Only if you both lick it.

    Try loading a three-year-old on one. It's an acquired skill.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    My folks got the same chair many years ago. I can confirm it was from the International lift (chair 1).

    I finally got around to cleaning it up last week since they're moving.

    It was a really fun project. I decided to chop the top off since I didn't have anywhere to hang it and the thing probably weighed 50lbs. Without it two adults can move the chair and base around if needed. I'm keeping the top in case someday I have a good spot to hang it. I didn't find the old wood salvageable so we cut new boards that turned out great. Good luck!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by The SnowShow View Post
    Keystone is the new Snowbird

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronic View Post
    My folks got the same chair many years ago. I can confirm it was from the International lift (chair 1).

    I finally got around to cleaning it up last week since they're moving.

    It was a really fun project. I decided to chop the top off since I didn't have anywhere to hang it and the thing probably weighed 50lbs. Without it two adults can move the chair and base around if needed. I'm keeping the top in case someday I have a good spot to hang it. I didn't find the old wood salvageable so we cut new boards that turned out great. Good luck!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looks great. The couple I am giving it to are hopefully buying a house soonish and I plan to hang it on their porch. I am having 18" taken out of the top pole so it should be able to be hung on a porch with an 9 foot ceiling. If not I may hit you up for those base plans. That looks like a good way to put it in the yard.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteroom_Guardian View Post
    Looks great. The couple I am giving it to are hopefully buying a house soonish and I plan to hang it on their porch. I am having 18" taken out of the top pole so it should be able to be hung on a porch with an 9 foot ceiling. If not I may hit you up for those base plans. That looks like a good way to put it in the yard.
    I have one on my front porch (no history or anything like that) and I can say if you can mount it so it swings that would make a HUGE difference, in comfort, etc but mostly in being more like a real lift. In my humble opinion, history is great, but if it doesn't swing like a lift, what's the point?
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    I zoomed way in, as close as my computer would let me, and I can faintly make out a carving in the wooden seat slats. I see "PM Ro" and there looks to be more, but I cannot figure it out.

  24. #24
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    Awesome gift, awesome friend!

  25. #25
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    Cool chair. I'd use white oak for the seat before teak.

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