Argentine – Keystone, CO

Looking up the lift line.
Yan towers and chairs.
Towers 1-2.
View up the first part of the line.
Tension station. The counterweight is hundreds of yards away next to the Peru Express.
Return bullwheel.
Top drive station/unload.
Unloading ramp.
See the counterweight?

34 thoughts on “Argentine – Keystone, CO

  1. Ryan July 14, 2017 / 10:22 pm

    The original Argentine was a 1970 Riblet double and then it was replaced with this Yan double in 1977. Any idea why?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donald Reif March 2, 2020 / 5:21 pm

      Hard to find photos of the old Riblet. But here’s one:

      Liked by 1 person

    • V12Tommy April 10, 2022 / 11:33 am

      I was thinking the same thing. Riblets last forever, so perhaps it was engineered or installed incorrectly.


      • V12Tommy April 10, 2022 / 11:35 am

        I never noticed it skiing Keystone, but the top of this lift sits on the old vault drive of the Riblet lift.


  2. Cameron Halmrast July 15, 2017 / 10:44 pm

    I’ve always wondered the same thing. Either it was engineered wrong and derailed on a regular basis or it had a design defect where the counterweight was bending the bottom terminal like on KT-22 at Squaw. Without any photos of the original lift, it’s hard to judge so hopefully an old timer has some knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Donald M. Reif March 15, 2019 / 10:11 pm

    Keystone’s master plan calls for a high speed quad to replace Argentine, starting at the current location but having a midway turn station around Schoolmarm, and then running to the top of Paymaster. (Which would allow for more efficiency in uphill traffic, and give the lift more usage, rather than only be an alternate route to get to the Montezuma Express when the Peru Express goes 101).


  4. Donald Reif May 30, 2019 / 2:50 pm

    There are 21 towers on Argentine, though I don’t know how many chairs it has. From tower 10 to tower 13 is when you’re above Lower Haywood. It’s between towers 13 and 14 that you cross lower Schoolmarm, and between towers 17 and 18 that you cross over the west approach to the Montezuma Express lift.


  5. afski722 February 10, 2020 / 10:18 am

    How often has Argentine even spin in recent years, in particular this season?
    Per the headline on the main page, it says that in the USFS plan, they have indicated the plan to remove Argentine with the pending Peru Express replacement project this summer.


    • Donald Reif February 10, 2020 / 12:50 pm

      Pretty rarely. I’ve never managed to catch Argentine running when I’ve skied. I think it’s only run when things are really backed up at the Peru Express. Otherwise, I think someone was saying on another thread that ski patrol only uses this in the morning when getting patrollers up the mountain, or something like that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • New England Chairlifts & Skiing February 10, 2020 / 1:01 pm

        Think it’s run a few holiday weekends. Might run this weekend for president’s day


  6. Coloski September 29, 2020 / 4:53 pm

    Yeah, It only runs when the lines at peru are jacked or on most weekend powder days.


  7. Coloski January 22, 2021 / 6:03 pm

    How does that counterweight work if it’s not pulling directly on the rope?


    • Utah Powder Skier January 22, 2021 / 6:11 pm

      It is pulling on the bullwheel, but redirected to a remote location. What I don’t understand is why they hid the counterweight. There’s definitely enough room at the bottom


      • Donald Reif January 22, 2021 / 6:33 pm

        This isn’t the only Yan to have a hidden counterweight. Look at Alpine:


  8. Michael January 22, 2021 / 9:39 pm

    YAN actually designed a few lifts that way in the ‘70s. The idea was the counterweights were taking up space at base area lifts that could be utilized for skier queuing so Yan moved the counterweights to remote locations. Alpine, as shown by Donald, was fairly straight forward- angle sheaves at the rear of the longitudinal beam. Look up Copper Mountain ‘High Point” lift and Discovery (Checkerboard) at Keystone. The counterweight rope actually does a 180 degree turn at the rear of the longitudinal beam and then exits the front of the beam to be deflected to the remote location of the counterweight!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Jonathan April 13, 2021 / 3:29 pm

    Argentine did not run often, however it was mainly used to transport patrol up the mountain in the mornings, and take traffic off of Peru during the busy season. Don’t quote me on this, but I think the lack of Argentine running this past season was due to Keystone being short staffed. They did spin it for guests on closing day last Sunday.


    • pbropetech April 13, 2021 / 4:05 pm

      They even advertised that on local radio up here- ‘come get a last lap in on Argentine!’

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tyler Baroody April 16, 2021 / 2:43 pm

        Especially since those last laps are the LAST laps – Keystone is removing it.


      • pbropetech April 19, 2021 / 8:53 am

        I know. That’s why I posted it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Donald Reif April 23, 2021 / 6:26 pm

        Old lift, maintenance nightmare, has only served as backup for the Peru Express these past 31 years.


  10. Tyler Baroody April 16, 2021 / 2:44 pm

    Is the counterweight cable underground?


    • Kirk April 16, 2021 / 7:31 pm

      In the trees at about 45* angle


    • Donald Reif April 16, 2021 / 8:13 pm

      You crossed under it while getting in line for the Peru Express.


  11. skitheeast April 18, 2021 / 3:01 pm

    Can someone explain to me why they are removing this lift with the installation of Peru Express 2.0? I understand it really is not used more than perhaps 10 days a year, but does it not make sense to have a backup? Or for those peak days when Peru will inevitably be overloaded?


    • jcpierce05 April 18, 2021 / 3:49 pm

      On closing day I was talking to someone from lift maintenance. He was telling me that in order for it to operate for another few seasons, they would have to do a complete gearbox re-build and more. With parts becoming harder and harder to find, it just isn’t worth it to keep the lift up and running anymore.

      However I do think they should have kept it until at least next summer in case there are any issues with the new lift.


  12. Carson April 18, 2021 / 7:15 pm



  13. Ryan April 18, 2021 / 11:26 pm

    Rust in peace.


  14. COSpringSkier April 24, 2021 / 8:14 pm

    I’m going to miss this lift, it ran pretty regularly in the 90s and early 00s, last time I rode it was probably around 2005. it operated for night skiing in the 90s and was really cool riding up at night in the quiet and dark unlit trees. RIP Argentine


  15. liftdino May 6, 2021 / 10:07 am

    Like is it getting fully removed or are they adding a new ski lift?


    • Peter Landsman May 6, 2021 / 10:09 am

      Peru Express is being replaced, Argentine is being removed and not replaced.


  16. Bill Dinis December 1, 2021 / 6:11 pm

    The new Peru Lift is up and running, I’ve ridden it, sure will help on busy days. Argentine is completely gone now and it really opened up the base area.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Donald Reif December 2, 2021 / 4:08 pm

      You don’t have to pass by a derelict lift when walking from your car to the Peru Express, and you aren’t passing under a derelict lift when approaching the Montezuma Express from the west.


  17. Donald Reif January 12, 2022 / 6:33 pm

    When Keystone was marketing the farewell for this lift, it seems as though they treated this and the predecessor Riblet as if they were the same lift, as they were saying “Farewell Argentine 1970-2021” not “1977-2021” to refer to when the Yan went in.


  18. Donald Reif February 8, 2022 / 7:45 am

    On the original master plan from 2009, the plan had been to replace Argentine with a two-stage high speed quad running from Mountain House to the top of Paymaster, with a midway turn station at the top of Haywood. This would create a one-seat ride to most of Dercum Mountain’s terrain from Mountain House. There was also a planned connector trail from the top of Paymaster to Diamondback (which would enable bypassing the Summit House), and a planned triple chairlift to connect the extended Argentine Express with the Summit House (plus supply an extra learning area to supplement Ranger).

    That’s clearly off the board now, considering Keystone instead went with just upgrading the Montezuma Express and Peru Express to high speed six packs while removing Argentine entirely. Still, I think a few have raised a good point that it might be a good idea to revive Argentine as a direct Mountain House to Summit House high speed quad (with no midstation), with the upper terminal being on the west side of the Summit House at the point where the Saint’s John lift (the Heron-Poma double that functioned as a backup for the Montezuma Express prior to 2003) ended. Such a lift would also be incredibly beneficial for Dercum Mountain as a whole given the number of functions it would have:

    1. It’d create a one-seat ride from Mountain House to the Summit House (beneficial for those headed straight to North Peak, Bergman Bowl, and the Outback)

    2. It’d ensure that there’s a way out of Mountain House if the Peru Express goes down for any reason.

    3. It might shift some traffic off the Montezuma Express (which gets slammed as it not only is the sole lift to do laps on upper Dercum Mountain without going down to River Run, it’s also having to take the Peru Express’s traffic). Have it basically where you take Argentine if you want to go directly to the farther back parts of the mountain or just upper Dercum Mountain, while you can take the Peru Express if you want to take the scenic route or you’re headed for A-51.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s