West Virginia’s Timberline to Relaunch as Timberline Mountain

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When the State of West Virginia regains a fifth ski area next season, a lot will be new.  The folks behind Perfect North Slopes in Indiana acquired the resort formerly known as Timberline Four Seasons in November and are already busy preparing for a 2020-21 rebirth under the name Timberline Mountain.  Being closed this season has a silver lining: there’s been little natural snow to speak of in the mid-Atlantic, allowing work to begin.  This week, a crew started removing the Thunderstruck triple, one of two Borvig lifts on the mountain.  The retirement is significant as this key lift suffered a major structural failure near the end of the prior owners’ run.

timberlinelogo

A new logo, new signage and new website all debuted recently.  The resort announced a partnership with Doppelmayr to bring a brand new, top-to-bottom lift to Timberline Mountain this summer.  The lift will traverse more than 4,000 feet with a thousand foot vertical rise. “Details of the size and scope of the new lift are still developing,” a posting reads.  “We will be excited to share updates on this new addition to the West Virginia ski and snowboarding community as they become available!”

Thunderstruck’s 165-plus Leitner triple chairs will be sold to the public at the price of $250 (or $200 apiece for multiple) in the coming weeks.  The mountain’s two other chairlifts will remain in place for now.

chair-pile-up

20 thoughts on “West Virginia’s Timberline to Relaunch as Timberline Mountain

  1. powderforever45 February 4, 2020 / 2:37 pm

    What kind of lift will the new top to bottom be? A quad? HSQ?

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  2. Meir K. February 4, 2020 / 5:10 pm

    Are there any other Leither fixed grip chairs in North America? And did they even build any fixed grips in North America?

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    • Somebody February 4, 2020 / 5:32 pm

      This chair appears to have been a Borvig Triple that somehow got Leitner chairs later, but to answer your question, yes they did build completely original fixed grips in NA, here’s an example of one- https://liftblog.com/white-pass-fernie-bc/

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      • Meir K. February 4, 2020 / 5:50 pm

        Anything else non-Alpha looking? Also, what years did Leither built lift in NA before merging with Poma?

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        • Skier February 4, 2020 / 6:34 pm

          There’s a fixed grip quad at Mt. Norquay and two detachables at Sunshine Village. The newer one was from 2000 and there’s a Leitner Poma there from 2002

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      • xlr8r February 4, 2020 / 7:42 pm

        The Chief Triple at Nashoba Valley, also is a Leitner/Borvig design that had these orange style chairs. But the chairs on Chief have since been replaced with Partek chairs. White Pass is a Blue Mountain (BM) design not Leitner. Leitner bought (BM) around the turn of the millennium. I think Kicking Horse at Granby is a Leitner designed fixed grip, minus the Poma chairs.

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        • Skiz February 5, 2020 / 5:59 am

          According to a max hart post, he says a former employee said this;

          According to a former Borvig employee, Borvig was based out of Pine Island NY from 1963 to 1993. In the mid-1980s, Borvig began an informal partnership with Leitner. From that point forward, most if not all new Borvigs featured different degrees of Leitner components, the most common being the Leitner sheaves. Towards the end the Borvig lifts featured an awful lot more Leitner components than just that, including gear-boxes, electronics, hanger arms, even grips and chairs. Borvig also built two detachable quads with Leitner in the 1980s. Fast forward to the early 1990s (or possibly late 1980s), apparently Leitner was bidding for Borvig projects like crazy (hence all of the Borvigs in Eastern Canada, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the newer Borvigs out west), and were pretty much overworking Borvig as a manufacturing facility to the point that they couldn’t keep up.
          Eventually they (Leitner) told Gary Schulz (founder and owner of Borvig) to sell out to Leitner or else they would put him out of business; instead of selling out Gary Schulz closed up shop and that was the end of Borvig. Leitner later formally entered the North American market when they bought out Blue Mountain Lifts of southeastern Canada (essentially screwing them over the same way they screwed Borvig).

          Then in 1996 Gary Schulz’s son Hagen stated Partek, and used an awful lot of his father’s designs (including the Borvig spoked sheaves, grips, crossarms and lifting frames, sheave assemblies, return terminals, among others). Partek was also based out of Pine Island (and still is to this day). Apparently it is pretty much the same company under a new name (and without any shenanigans from Leitner). Then in 2005 after 24 installations, Partek “sold out” to Doppelmayr CTEC. Partek was trying to come up with its own detachable systems, but Hagen Schulz felt that it would have only harmed the company and decided to sell.
          HOWEVER… this is the part that I still can’t figure out: in 2010, brand new Parteks started to show up again and at least one new Partek has been built almost every year since

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        • conradmward February 5, 2020 / 7:05 am

          Not sure what sort of deal went down in 2005, as is often reported, but I do know that Partek is independent from Doppelmayr now and was never “acquired.” I reached out to them with some questions about the new West Mountain lifts and he was very clear about this, though I didn’t find out much more.

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        • Skier February 5, 2020 / 5:28 pm

          Skiz, what detachables did they build and are they still around or are there any pictures?

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        • Skiz February 5, 2020 / 6:46 pm

          The former high speed quad, now removed, at spirit, but if you go to those pages you can find pics of it

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      • JP February 5, 2020 / 9:16 am

        The Homestead Resort in Michigan has 3 Leitner/Borvig collaboration lifts. built early ’80. there were only a handful built

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      • Pat February 7, 2020 / 3:25 am

        they also built one quad at Brimacombe and another at Hockley Valley, both in Ontario Canada

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    • Andy February 4, 2020 / 8:46 pm

      The Wideload, a 6 person fixed grip chair at Snow Valley, Barrie Ontario is a Leitner.

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      • Michael February 5, 2020 / 11:36 am

        Not really. It is one of the last Blue Mountain (BM Lifts) installations.

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  3. afski722 February 5, 2020 / 9:03 am

    Glad to see the Timberline situation resolved and having a desirable outcome.
    I haven’t skied there since 2007, but that lift was super slow and was not running at full speed them, and that was well before the lift accident a couple years ago.

    That would be awesome if it does become a HSQ. The current lift has a mid-station unload for the lower mountain beginner terrain, which seems like it would be better served by its own lift instead of a mid-station unload. If did keep the unload, they’d have to keep a fixed-grip chair.

    Timberline has some excellent terrain for the region, and its good when they actually get snow. Their winters tend to be feast or famine. This winter has not been kind to the region so its good they didn’t try to open as their entire snowmaking system is in shambles from the previous owner’s neglect. They will need a major upgrade to snowmaking and all mountain infrastructure.
    When they get snow, and they can get alot, that place was super fun with the tree skiing and backcountry like experience, by Mid-Atlantic standards.

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