Aerial Tram – Sterling Vineyards, CA

Hall built the Sterling Vineyards gondola in 1972 and it opened the following year.
The lift runs in a triangle one way configuration and operates all year.
This is the downhill or last section after riding the first two.
View up section one with half Hall towers.
Doppelmayr CTEC added new catwalks and controls for the lift in the 2000s.
A cabin departs the drive station.
Cabins are launched manually at irregular intervals.
Tower 1.
Tower 9 on the downhill side and towers 3-4 on the uphill.
View of stage III.
The drive unit and double bullwheel at the loading station.
Arriving at the bottom terminal.
Leaving the unmanned mid-station.
View down the downhill lift line.
There is an intermediate station on the downhill ride with a nearly 90 degree turn.
Leaving the second mid-station.
A bullwheel deflects the haul rope with the cabins on a separate rail.
The middle station.
This is a standard Hall ski lift design in a non-standard application.
Arriving at the unmanned mid-station. Cars move using inertia and gravity rather than tires or chains.
The first mid-station has loading and unloading for the vineyard.
View between the mid-stations.
On the flat middle section.
View from the vineyard toward the north.
A tower with added catwalk.
Tower 6 and the second midstation seen from the first midstation.
A custom CWA cabin.
Towers converging on the vineyard station.
View of the short, flat section.
Loading for the downbound ride.
Vineyard station bullwheel.
The track for cabins arriving from the drive.
Cabins are caught by workers each and every time.
Riding up stage I.
A cabin on stage II seen from stage I.
CWA plaque. I am not sure if these cabins are original or not.
The bottom station departure side.
Double grooved bullwheel allowing for another bullwheel to act as the drive and tensioning.
Attachment zone at the base terminal.
Overview of the lower station.
The drive is a normal Hall ski lift one set back just a few feet from a return bullwheel.

7 thoughts on “Aerial Tram – Sterling Vineyards, CA

  1. Somebody February 1, 2019 / 2:40 pm

    I am pretty sure I rode this lift when I was ~5 years old, don’t remember the turn or any of that though (all I remember is riding up a 4 person gondola at a vineyard in California). Still such a cool and unique lift!


  2. Mountaineer September 2, 2019 / 6:11 am

    An old picture hanging inside the vineyard is showing the lift being equipped with original Skycruiser cabins.


  3. Truckee Local August 10, 2021 / 7:11 pm

    The tram, and the entire vineyard, have been closed since the Glass Fire went through Napa in September 2020. Based on statements from the winery at the time, the tram is “still standing”, but it isn’t clear whether it sustained any damage. As of August 2021, Sterling hasn’t provided any additional details or announced a reopening date.


  4. Mason September 6, 2022 / 10:52 pm

    Any other detachable halls?


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