Alpine Valley, WI

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16 thoughts on “Alpine Valley, WI

  1. Myles Svec January 4, 2021 / 8:07 pm

    Does anyone know what Mohawk was? I see it as a manufacturer for a removed quad that was built in 1965.

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    • skier72 January 4, 2021 / 10:40 pm

      It was an early lift company that didn’t last long. They built one of the first detachable chairlifts in the world at a small ski hill in New York. There’s more history in this article here: https://skiinghistory.org/news/first-flopped

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      • Chris January 4, 2021 / 11:59 pm

        Von Roll built lots of detachable chairlifts starting in the 1940s, so I’m not sure how that one would qualify as one of the first.

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  2. Skiz January 5, 2021 / 7:28 am

    Why so many detachables?

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    • Myles Svec January 24, 2021 / 12:24 pm

      Because the lines are over 30 min long on every lift on weekends. They need more capacity when as of typing this EZ rider line stretches 400ft back with 4 queues in place.

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      • Andrew February 1, 2021 / 7:50 pm

        Detachables don’t increase capacity – a detachable quad and a fixed quad both usually have a capacity around 2000-2400 pph.
        I would actually argue that detachables increase wait times/congestion on the slopes, as one person spends more time on a fixed lift than a detachable, meaning that the slopes are less crowded and there’s less people waiting.

        I think Alpine chose to build that many as bragging rights – right now they’re tied with Granite Peak for the most # of detachables in Wisconsin.
        I think that them making EZ Rider a detachable is a good idea – detachables are much easier for begineers to load and unload than fixed lifts. However, I don’t really think Valley Flyer or Super Glide needed to be detachables – I think it would have been better to have those as fixed quads, and then make Lodge a detachable, since it’s longer than the VF and SG, plus putting the detachable on the other side of the creek would help them have more space to have the maze.

        Also, wow, lots of information is wrong in this chart. EZ Rider is definitely not longer than Valley Flyer or Super Glide (at least not by 900 ft) and either the EZ Rider height is too high or SG and VF are too low (Alpine Valley says that their hill is 388 ft so I feel like it’s the latter if they are to be believed).

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        • Utah Powder Skier February 1, 2021 / 7:55 pm

          Detachable quads aren’t maxed out at 2400 pph, there are some that can reach over 2800 pph, but if a ski area is going for 2800 pph, they usually do a six pack which maxes out at 3600 pph.

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        • Myles Svec February 1, 2021 / 9:11 pm

          When Valley Flyer gets replaced they are probably going to need more capacity unless Lodge is upgraded to a HSQ. Valley flyer is getting older and in the next 15 years will likely get replaced.

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  3. RT February 2, 2021 / 3:50 pm

    Do you think they can squeeze any more lifts on that land fill?

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    • Myles Svec February 2, 2021 / 4:58 pm

      Probably not there is enough service for now.

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    • Utah Powder Skier February 2, 2021 / 5:06 pm

      That sums up Midwest skiing right there.

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  4. Myles Svec March 4, 2021 / 2:16 pm

    Apparently Vail wanted to buy Alpine valley for 14 million for the whole entire resort including the concert venue and the gold course but Alpine Valley refused because that was too low. Super glide alone costed 2.6 million.

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  5. Utah Powder Skier May 26, 2021 / 9:06 pm

    I’m seeing a lot of confusion in the spreadsheet. It doesn’t help that Alpine Valley was one of those areas that had one lift per run with 12 runs.

    Starting with the Riblet triples, Lodge is the longest lift on the mountain but the spreadsheet lists Lodge as the second longest Riblet triple. The 1986 Riblet triple with a length of 1545 would make more sense for lodge by virtue of being the longest. The 1987 triple with a length of 1525 should be Broadway, which started very close to Lodge (https://skimap.org/data/169/2030/1457207996.jpg). Sheltered Valley is matched with the correct Riblet triple from double checking with Google Earth. The 1987 Riblet triple with a length of 1271 was most likely Lift 11. The other 1986 Riblet triple with a length of 1393 would most likely be Lift 8 because the former Lift 8 double didn’t reach the summit and the triple did (https://skimap.org/data/169/2200/1452017640.jpeg). It would be more likely that Lift 8 was that Riblet triple rather than Lift 7, which already reached the summit.

    With First Adventure (Hall triple), it appears that it was originally 1155 feet long and was extended when lifts 9 and/or 11 were removed, most likely with the installation of EZ Rider. It would most likely be lift 10 on the map above.

    As for the rest of the lifts, I don’t think there are enough doubles on the spreadsheet to match the description on this map (https://skimap.org/data/169/2200/1452017640.jpeg). The spreadsheet only lists ten doubles and the map says that there were 11 doubles at the time of the map, which is listed as 1980. The problem with this map is that it shows 13 lifts and only lists 12 of them. That one other lift could be the Mohawk (the brand) quad, but the other Mohawk quad didn’t last very long (https://skiinghistory.org/news/first-flopped). I would guess that the other lift is the Mohawk (the lift’s name) Hall triple and they didn’t update the description on the map. For it to add up to 13 lifts (assuming there aren’t any missing lifts on the spreadsheet) with 11 doubles and 1 triple, then both the Mohawk (the lift’s name) triple had to have been installed, along with the Mohawk (the brand) quad having most likely been converted to a double. That would make sense with Mohawk’s (the brand) odd quad chair design with the chairs at 45 degree angles to the haul rope.

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  6. Utah Powder Skier June 1, 2021 / 10:56 am

    I posted this awhile back, but it appears to have not come through.

    More on Alpine Valley’s insane lift history (still speculation):

    After a closer inspection of the 1988 trail map (https://skimap.org/data/169/2200/1443544618.jpeg), assuming the date is correct, Mohawk lift was not on the map at that time. It appears that lifts 2 and 3 ran parallel (https://skimap.org/data/169/2200/1452017640.jpeg) after the numbering system was put in place and Lift 3 was removed first prior to 1988 (still assuming the date on the map is correct). Mohawk would later be relocated, most likely from somewhere else, to replace Lift 2 on the Lift 3’s alignment. Google Earth shows what looks like a former lift line for Lift 2.

    I think I solved the mystery with the two unlisted lifts. Whey I looked at the lift database for Alpine Valley in Michigan, I found two removed St. Lawrence doubles and one of happened was built on 1963, the year Alpine Valley in Wisconsin opened (https://www.skiinghistory.org/history/ski-resorts-years-they-were-founded). Sure enough, I was able to find a lift that was a better match for Valley View. 1343 was way too long. A removed Hall double from Alpine Valley Michigan happened to match up with Valley View pretty well (1214).

    As for the double chairs , here is where I’m at for which lifts were which on the spreadsheet. This is all based off of this map: https://skimap.org/data/169/2200/1452017640.jpeg

    Name Manufacturer Length

    Lift 1: Hall 1442
    Lift 2: Hall 1343
    Lift 3: St. Lawrence 1350
    Lift 4: Hall 1343
    Lift 5: Hall 1343
    Lift 6: St. Lawrence 1600
    Lift 7: Hall 1382
    Lift 8: Hall 1608
    Lift 9: St. Lawrence 1275
    Lift 10 (later known as Lift 12 and Valley View):
    Hall 1214
    Theoretical lift 11:
    St. Lawrence 1165
    Theoretical lift 12:
    St. Lawrence 1510
    Theoretical lift 13:
    St. Lawrence 1415

    For the lifts I listed as “theoretical,” there wasn’t a name or number given to the lifts on the far right of the map above. Applying Alpine Valley’s numbering system to these lifts, you would get the numbers 10-13 above. (https://skimap.org/data/169/2200/1452017640.jpeg)

    Lifts 11-13 were most likely on terrain that is now abandoned. If those beginner “pods” for the current magic carpet lifts are the exact same beginner pods as the rope tows on the map (I have to reason no think otherwise), then it would have to be terrain that was later abandoned because there isn’t anything to the viewer’s right currently on the upper part of the “mountain.” The beginner area must have been moved with the installation of a Hall triple (First Adventure) and a Riblet triple (1980s Lift 10). The lower part of the beginner run is now part of their golf course.

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  7. Detroit Skier March 31, 2022 / 4:05 pm

    I’ll take a stab at assigning some of these old and current lifts as well based on my research…

    The First Adventure triple chair was originally Lift 10 and had a shorter alignment than Lift 9/11/12. The lift was completely re-aligned in 2015 to roughly follow the old Lift 11 alignment and lengthened by SkyTrac in 2015 when they installed the new lower drive/tension terminal.

    Regarding the Riblet triple installations from 1986 through 1988, all researched through skimap.org, HistoricAerials.com, and Google Earth/Google Maps:

    – The hill had additional fill added to the top in 1986, significantly expanding the vertical drop (https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1986-11-16-8603260777-story.html).

    – Lodge was and is the longest installation, and is the 295/1545 lift from 1986. I agree with Utah Powder Skier here.

    – The other 1986 installation (287/1393) is very likely Lift 7, which followed the same alignment as Valley Flyer, and was removed in 1999 when that lift went in. Its stats align very closely with Valley Flyer.

    – The 1987 installations were very likely Lift 8 (292/1271 – the vertical is not 244 as entered above, but 292 from SAM Lift Installation Survey) and Sheltered (244/1525). Lift 8 went to the peak and was right along the edge of the land fill line, which resulted in a shorter lift line and verified in historic aerial photos. Sheltered was a long lift line, also verified in historic aerial photos, and the extra vertical was not nearly as dramatic to the skiers’ right. Lift 8 was removed sometime between 1999 and 2004 due to the installations of Valley Flyer and E-Z Rider. Using the Wayback Machine, it’s hard to tell when it was removed, since the trail map showed it until 2004, but Wisconsin Resorts and its predecessors have a history of not updating trail maps for a few years after changes are made (Pine Knob, MI and Mount Holly, MI are current examples in 2021/22 – they do not show new ropes installed in the last few years). Sheltered was removed in 2011 when Super Glide was installed.

    – The 1988 installation was very likely Broadway (276/1363), since this did not go all the way to the very top of the peak area and the length lines up with historic aerial photos. This lift was removed in 2011 to make room for Super Glide and also aligns very well with its stats.

    – None of these Riblets were installed in the beginner pod to the skiers’ right where E-Z Rider, Snow Drift, and First Adventure are today. The vertical is too short for all but the 1987 installation of 244, and the length is way too long. I believe the beginner pod lifts were all Hall doubles. Ironically, when Valley View was upgraded to a Riblet triple and later renamed Snow Drift in 2016, it was likely just a relocation of Broadway or Sheltered, whichever one did not go to Bittersweet to become Sweet Pea.

    Regarding the E-Z-Rider, I believe the SAM Lift Installation Survey goofed up the stats. Knocking 343/2360 down to 243/1360 makes WAY more sense. I’ve skied these lifts about 10 years ago, and you can see from the photos that the peak of E-Z-Rider is a good 50-60 feet down from Valley Flyer. The 1360 length matches up great with Google Maps, and the vertical makes total sense, but I have not verified this. The USGS map for this area does not have the extra vertical added in 1986, so it cannot really be trusted.

    Aren’t Midwest ski areas fun in unraveling their history??

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  8. Detroit Skier March 31, 2022 / 4:20 pm

    One more comment – Mohawk is a relocated Hall triple. Based on historic aerial photos and skimap.org, this was installed sometime between 2001 and 2004, and likely came from Bittersweet, MI. They are owned by the same company, and Sweet Express replaced a triple in 2000. The original length was definitely long enough to get moved to Mohawk.

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