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Hjorth Brothers

company builder kelly canyon idaho id

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#1 passengerpigeon

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 05:44 PM

While browsing LiftBlog today, I viewed the profile of Kelly Canyon, Idaho, looking for photos of the famous Counterfeit Riblet, and came across another rarity, a double chairlift built by the "Hjorth Brothers". Has anybody heard of this company before, and does anybody know more about them? The design doesn't look familiar, so I assume they designed unique lifts rather than working as a contractor, but I could be wrong.

#2 iceberg210

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 06:39 AM

They were and are (at least of a couple years ago) a machine shop out of Provo Utah. I talked to them a while back and they said they were basically sub contractors, for someone else who came up with the designs and just had them build the parts, but couldn't remember who the engineers were. Honestly not a bad looking little lift, there's a few more pictures on this site as well. Kelly Canyon sure is a mix of inventive ways to do lifts.
Erik Berg
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#3 sheave

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 08:55 AM

Hjorth Brothers is not the first company I have heard of that just built one or two lifts. I was always wondering who those people are that show up in someone's business and ask for lift parts to build a single lift?

#4 pbansen

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 06:18 PM

We had a couple by Hjorth at Squaw Valley. The story that I was told is that two lifts worth of uninstalled parts were sitting in a yard in Nevada and could be had for some ridiculously low price for the lot. Squaw owner, the notoriously, uh, thrifty, Alex Cushing got wind of the deal and sent some guys out to look the goods over and make a deal. One of the lift maintenance guys, Bob Gebhardt, laid out a line and just dropped a tower in every few hundred feet - no engineering, no nothing. It worked pretty well on the Headwall lift, not so well on Exhibition, where the downline would float above the sheaves on one tower when the upline was fully loaded. Headwall was converted to a Miner-Denver/Yan a few years later and Exhibition to an SLI/Riblet hybrid.

#5 iceberg210

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 07:42 PM

Were they any decent in terms of lifts or? Just curious how they compared to other stuff from the time.
Erik Berg
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#6 pbansen

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 07:56 PM

I can't say, Erik - Headwall had been converted to a Yan by the time I got there and Exhibition was an SLI/Riblet hybrid.

I kind of suspect if the Hjorth lifts had been good there would have been more installations and we would hear more about them. The main attraction for Squaw seems to have been price.

Pete

#7 pbansen

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 02:41 PM

I had coffee with my friend Hans Burkhart today and we talked about the Hjorth lifts. The story of the Exhibition lift at Squaw Valley is even more complex than I thought. It was originally a Hjorth lift, acquired as loose parts and installed by Squaw Valley's lift maintenance crew. In about 1975, Hans did a conversion and it ended up with Riblet drive and return equipment, Doppelmayr line machinery and grips and Ski Lift International chairs. They should have called it Frankenlift.

#8 sheave

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 09:41 AM

If they just acquired loose Hjorth parts, where did they all came from? Have there been more Hjorth lifts than the one at Kelly Canyon?





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