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Mt. Rose - Ski Tahoe--History and Pics


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#1 Phoenix

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 11:19 PM

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe actually did not exist when Slide Mountain was originally developed as Reno Ski Bowl. When Reno Ski Bowl was constructed in 1952, the Mt. Rose Ski Resort mainside as it is known as today was known then as the "backside."

In 1952, Reno Ski Bowl opened with three lifts:

Chair 1:
Ringer Double Chair
Length: Unknown
Vertical: About 750 feet.
Number of Carriers: Unknown
Number of Towers: Unknown
Installed: 1952
Taken Out of Service: 1965
Completely Removed: 2001
Notes: Chair was taken out of service when the Mt. Rose Highway (NV SR 431) was constructed over the summit to connect Incline Village with Reno. Remants of the chair, including two intact carriers remained hanging above the highway until Winter 1983, when those chairs were removed. The towers and load station remained standing until 2001 when the USFS required their removal. The Nevada Department of Transportation kept one old tower standing that was located in its right of way as a sentimental reminder of the location of the lift.

Pictures of Chair 1:

Attached File  bumsgulch_chair.jpg (30.48K)
Number of downloads: 50 Attached File  bumsgulch_chair_load.jpg (62.46K)
Number of downloads: 48

Chair 2:
Ringer Double Chair (Riblet conversion completed in 1971).
Length: About 3800 feet.
Vertical: 1450 feet.
Number of Carriers: Unknown
Number of Towers: Unknown
Installed: 1952
Updated: 1971 (load and unload stations upgraded and carriers replaced)
Removed: 1989

Picture of Chair 2:

Attached File  chair2.jpg (60.62K)
Number of downloads: 42

Rope Tow:
Manufacturer: Unknown
Length: Unknown
Vertical: Unknown
Number of Carriers: Unknown
Number of Towers: Unknown
Installed: 1952
Removed: 1965

A third chair was proposed that was to operate from the lodge downhill about 1300 vertical feet. This lift was never constructed; most likely due to eastern exposure of slope and lack of snow that would be prevalent at the bottom of the lift in dry years.
__________

In 1965, Reno Ski Bowl was sold and the resort separated into two different areas: Slide Mountain (the former Reno Ski Bowl mainside) and Mt. Rose (the former Reno Ski Bowl backside).

The following is the data on the former lifts on Slide Mountain (which Mt. Rose removed when it acquired the resort in 1988):

Pioneer Chair:
Ringer Double Chair (Riblet conversion completed in 1971).
Length: About 3800 feet.
Vertical: 1450 feet.
Number of Carriers: Unknown
Number of Towers: Unknown
Installed: 1952
Updated: 1971 (load and unload stations upgraded and carriers replaced)
Removed: 1989
Notes: This was formerly Chair 2 of Reno Ski Bowl. Note the use of the towers after the Riblet conversion in the pictures below.

Pictures of Pioneer Chair:

Attached File  Pioneer.jpg (32.67K)
Number of downloads: 36 Attached File  Pioneer_load.jpg (42.02K)
Number of downloads: 43 Attached File  Pioneer_unload.jpg (37.21K)
Number of downloads: 38

Overland Chair:
Riblet Double Chair
Length: About 4000 feet.
Vertical: 1450
Number of Carriers: Unknown
Number of Towers: Unknown
Installed 1971
Removed: 1989
Notes: Had mid-station which allowed for unloading for beginner slope and uploading for summit access. Also, there was a "floating" bullwheel at the unload station. What I mean by "floating" (I am sure there is a technical name for it) is that the bullwheel was tethered to its counterweight and remained suspended in the air by the wires attached from the bullwheel to the counter weight support and the tension provided by the lift rope itself.

Picture of the Overland Chair load:

Attached File  Overland.jpg (33.76K)
Number of downloads: 60

Platter Lift:
Riblet Platter Lift
Length: About 1500 feet.
Vertical: 200 feet.
Number of Carriers: Unknown
Number of Towers: Unknown
Installed: 1965
Removed: 1988

Little Red Chair:
Miner-Denver Double Chair
Length: About 700 feet.
Vertical: About 60 feet.
Number of Carriers: Unknown (some had been removed)
Number of Towers: Two
Installed: 1969
Removed: 1988
Notes: This lift had to be the slowest lift in existence! It took 10 minutes to go the distance from load to unload!
__________

Most of the information regarding Mt. Rose - Ski Tahoe is current with the present situation, but the former lift information is missing. The following is that data:

Former Lifts:

Northwest Passage Chair:
Lift Engineering/YAN Double Chair
Length: 4761 feet.
Vertical: 1400 feet.
Number of Carriers: 181
Number of Towers: 17
Installed: 1965
Removed: 1985
Notes: This lift did not have a back-up generator installed until about 1980. It was interesting in 1978 when the lift had several mechanical problems that required people to be lowered off the lift by ropes.

Alphorn T-Bar Lift:
Lift Engineering/YAN T-Bar
Length: About 1700 feet.
Vertical: 800 feet.
Number of Carriers: Unknown
Number of Towers: 6
Installed: 1965
Removed: 1986

Ponderosa Chair:
Lift Engineering/YAN Double Chair
Length: 2980 feet.
Vertical: 450 feet.
Number of Carriers: 56
Number of Towers: 10
Installed: 1965
Removed: 1993

Pictures of Ponderosa Chair:

Attached File  Pondo_liftline.jpg (42.31K)
Number of downloads: 92 Attached File  pondo_load.jpg (54.41K)
Number of downloads: 84

Poma Lift:
Lift Engineering/YAN Platter Lift
Length: About 800 feet.
Vertical: 300 feet.
Number of Carriers: Unknown
Number of Towers: 4
Installed: 1971
Removed: 1986

Northwest Passage Chair:
Lift Engineering/YAN Triple Chair
Length: 3800 feet.
Vertical: 1400 feet.
Number of Carriers: Unknown:
Number of Towers: 16
Installed: 1985
Removed: 2000
Notes: Lift sold to Reno Junior Ski Program for $1.00. Now America Lift at Sky Tavern Ski Resort

Picture of Northwest Passage Triple Chair Unload:

Attached File  Northwest_triple_unload.jpg (22.75K)
Number of downloads: 36
__________

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe acquired Slide Mountain in 1988. They have since upgraded the mountain to its current lifts as stated under this link on this WEB site: Mt. Rose - Ski Tahoe

This post has been edited by Phoenix: 02 September 2007 - 09:50 PM


#2 Phoenix

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 07:27 PM

I modified and clarified the prior posting I made regarding Mt. Rose - Ski Tahoe; providing greater detail, pics, and history.

#3 SkiBachelor

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 08:33 PM

Do you know if Slide Mountain got into financial trouble and that's why it was split into two seperate ski areas?

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.
- Cameron

#4 EagleAce

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 09:21 PM

Nice! Thanks.

#5 Phoenix

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 09:37 PM

The site of Mt. Rose was on private property, while the Slide Mountain side was operated with a permit by the USFS. When the owners of the Mt. Rose side decided to build their own ski resort, the "iron curtain" between the two resorts was created.

Slide Mountain had money problems from time to time...being closed during the 1978-1979 season and again during the 1985-1986 season. The two mountains operated as a partnership during the 1979-1980 season in which they were known as "Ski Reno" with interchangeable lift tickets. Slide sold their tickets much cheaper than Mt. Rose, which explained why the Slide folks never upgraded much of the mountain. Much of that was due to the USFS partnership and that the land in which the lodge sits is actually owned by Washoe County (Nevada).

A few years after Mt. Rose acquired Slide Mountain, they tried to get permission to upgrade the lodge from the county, but they refused to allow the necessary permits to be issued, fearing that it would lead to the building of condos and other apres-ski facilities. Mt. Rose is still trying to get the lodge upgrade, which they may finally get in 2010.

One big disadvantage to the Slide side of the mountain is that the runs face to the east. Thus, the runs can be great to ski on in the morning after a storm, but will be icy in mornings without fresh snow and get rather cruddy and mushy in the afternoon, even at 9,700 feet. Plus, Mt. Rose has been unsuccessful in getting permission from the USFS to clear some of the runs to allow for earlier opening in the season. The Slide side needs at least two feet of snow to open due to ground clearance, while the Rose side has been able to clear some of its runs, allowing for opening with less than a foot of snow, thanks to top-to-bottom snowmaking abilities.

They are in the process of finishing connecting Mt. Rose - Ski Tahoe to the Washoe County sewer line. This may add to the building of more facilities to Mt. Rose, but with water in such short supply and water rights being prohibitively expensive as well as require federal government approval, that may not happen anytime soon.

I worked there last season as a ski instructor and got to learn much about the resort.

As for additional lifts in the future, Mt. Rose does not have any plans to add any at this time. Opening of The Chutes after a 30 year closure was a VERY big deal, especially getting approval for an exit lift out of there by the USFS as well as the Washoe County Commission no longer making it a misdemeanor to ski in The Chutes. The story behind the misdemeanor ordinance is that it was a closed area back in 1972 and the son of a Washoe County Commissioner skied under the ropes and was subsequently killed in the avalanche he caused by skiing in the out-of-bounds area. Thus, as a reaction to this death, the County Commission passed an ordinance that made it illegal to ski in The Chutes. The ordinance kind of epitomizes how some things happen in Nevada regarding laws...it depends on who you know.

The big disadvantages to locals is that Mt. Rose is becoming more widely known as a quick place that is 20 minutes from Downtown Reno with great skiing. Now, it is harder for locals to take a two hour lunch break or a morning retreat before work to hit the slopes! :cursing:

#6 liftmech

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 05:48 AM

The 'manufacturer unknown' double looks like a hybrid, perhaps an older lift modified by Riblet? The carriers have Riblet seats but the bail is not the standard Riblet design. The adjustable tower 1 looks very similar to one on Baker's old Chair 2, also a Riblet, but the sheaves are unfamiliar. The very tall motor room looks like a Yan design.
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#7 skierdude9450

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 01:38 PM

Actually judging by the sheaves and the back of the seats, it looks like a Lift Engeneering center-pole double. There were only a handfull. And if I'm correct, there are just three left, all at Alta.
-Matt

"Today's problems cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them." -Albert Einstein

#8 LSS

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 02:45 PM

Look up the Hunsucker Ski Lift Company as that is what the old Pondo lift was before the Riblet etc.
There is a brochure I have seen out there somewhere.





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