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Snow King’s Summit Lift Bid Farewell with Final Spin

This spring, Snow King will begin disassembling the iconic lift for its new eight-person gondola. Katie Lozancich photo.

Sunday, March 28th marked the end of an era for Snow King’s iconic Summit Lift. For the last time this weekend, the black two-seater whisked skiers, snowboarders, and bystanders to the top of the hill. This summer the iconic lift is being replaced by an eight-person gondola, which will be running by next winter.

In many ways, it was the little lift that could, dutifully transporting riders up an impressive 1,400 feet up a steep cut in the mountain. While the black two-seater wasn’t as speedy as most high-speed quads, the lift rewarded riders with quite a view of the Jackson Hole valley. Plus, the machine is steeped with history. It was first added to the resort in 1947 as a single chair lift, weaving through a narrow cut in the trees. To build it, the mountain repurposed an old gold mining tramway from Salida, Colorado, ultimately swapping out the ore buckets for chairs. It was the mountain’s first chair, which also made it the first chair for the valley as well. In the 1950s they upgraded it to a two-seater, and then in 1981, they replaced the chair entirely with the lift that is there today.

Steep, dark, and cold—that's the Summit Lift in a nutshell. Katie Lozancich photo.

After decades of transporting locals, tourists, and all kinds of athletes ranging from beginners to Olympians, the Summit Lift’s bullwheel came to a final halt Sunday evening. The mountain will begin disassembling the lift this spring, and there's some talk about auctioning off the iconic black chairs. Regardless, it’s been a long ride Summit Lift. Thanks for always chugging away to bring us up to the top—even if took 25 minutes at times. 

We're excited to be highlighting Snow King and 11 other independent ski resorts this fall in our latest film In Pursuit of Soul. Stay tuned for more information!

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