Black – Magic Mountain, VT

This 1961 Pohlig has had many upgrades over time including conversion to a triple and then back to a double.
View up the lift line with some very unique towers.
Drive bullwheel.
The first three towers.
Middle section of the line.
Lower part of the line.
Counterweight at the top of the mountain.
Tower 25 and the top station.
Unloading at tower 24.

15 thoughts on “Black – Magic Mountain, VT

  1. Max Hart December 10, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    I spy the old snowbowl quad in pic No. 6

    Liked by 2 people

  2. somebody January 28, 2019 / 9:11 pm

    Just eyeing magic’s website, don’t think black has spun once this season. Wonder why they left it standing this season if they don’t plan on running it. Maybe they kept it as backup for red?

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    • skitheeast January 29, 2019 / 11:01 am

      The Black Lift has so many mechanical and operational issues that it makes no sense to run it as it will more likely than not break down. They would probably only run it if Red went down. That is the reason they are replacing it with the old Snowbowl Quad. However, Magic doesn’t quite have the cash that other resorts do and it therefore takes them a bit of time to complete major projects (see Green Lift installation). I imagine they will slowly remove this lift over the spring/summer and begin the process of installing the Snowbowl Quad in its place, with an opening either mid-next season or the year after. The new lift will have the same alignment except it will unload slightly higher next to the Red Lift.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Collin Parsons January 29, 2019 / 11:12 am

        They can’t renege on it again as the Red Chair has been having massive lines on sell out days (and there have been many this season). The Green Chair got delayed under the current ownership when the original contractor got sick and died. There were further delays this summer/fall due to how old the lift is and how long it’s been since it operated.

        They already have a contractor lined up for Black but they have made no recent updates on the permit process.

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  3. Mason Schade October 27, 2019 / 6:02 pm

    I was one of the lucky ones to purchase one of the chairs, #111, very nice piece of history! Where did the used chairs come from?

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    • Collin Parsons October 27, 2019 / 6:48 pm

      The Yan triple chairs came from Killington. They were used on the Bear Mountain Triple from 1979 to 1984 when it was converted to a quad.

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  4. sullivanq March 3, 2020 / 5:00 pm

    I believe this chair had a chair slide back on the rope sometime after 2006. When Hans Thorner sold the ski area, the new owners replaced the double chairs with triple chairs without filing it with the state, and it was technically only certified as a double. That is why when they still ran it on rare occasions they only loaded 2 a chair. There was a theory that a discouraged worker may have intentionally sabotaged the lift, as they found other chairs on the line with broken grips. Also only known pohlig install in the east, maybe in the USA

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  5. BB17 April 28, 2021 / 12:00 pm

    A few thoughts/observations about this lift:

    Despite the note on the spreadsheet, I don’t think this lift had any Poma towers, or any Poma parts at all for that matter. All the towers appear to be Pohlig except the one Hall half tower.

    This lift’s line gauge seems to be wider in the middle of the line than at the terminals. Is it possible that some sheave assemblies were modified to be canted when the triple chairs were installed to widen the line gauge in the middle of the line but not around the terminals where modifications would have been more expensive?

    Lastly, I’ve heard some people refer to this lift as “sketchy” or “dangerous”. While this lift definitely had some issues, I think the “sketchiest chairlift” awards should go to the lifts at a Kyrgyzstan ski area seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmTLCfB44NA At least with Black, you get the luxuries of safety bars, footrests, good ground clearance, and safety systems on all the towers!

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    • ne_skier April 28, 2021 / 2:09 pm

      Correct, there were no Poma towers on this lift, just Pohlig and the one half Hall tower. According to someone on a forum who maintained this lift, it was a Pohlig lift with Yan chairs (Of course), the sheaves were made by Mueller and Lorunser (Never heard of the latter), and the top bullwheel was a Pohlig one while the bottom one was a similar bullwheel from an unknown brand. I didn’t observe any changes in the line gauge looking at pics or riding the lift, but I won’t doubt your judgment. I also agree with you that this lift wasn’t as scary an experience as riding up a mountain on what looks like an elementary school cafeteria tray, although Black had its quirks for sure (Although not particularly dangerous). When they cobbled the lift back together in 2017, they didn’t bother putting the chairs back on in order, so the chair numbers were all scrambled up. Additionally, some chairs were roped off and based on a testimonial from someone on AlpineZone this could have been due to the safety bars rusting in place. Good times.

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    • sullivanq April 29, 2021 / 7:06 am

      This was indeed a sketchy chairlift. It wasn’t designed to be a triple. After Hans sold the ski area, the new owners took all the double chairs off and put triples on, without filing it with the state or redoing the engineering. They were only allowed to load 2 people a chair after the incident because that’s what it was filed as, a double. This was originally a pohlig centerpole, I believe the only Pohlig in NE, maybe even the country

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      • ne_skier April 29, 2021 / 7:25 am

        This was the only Pohlig lift in the Americas. Hans Thorner chose them after touring their facilities in Koln while he was there for a ski instructor convention (He was a very talented instructor himself). If I’m correct, they loaded 3 people until it’s reopening in 2017, what incident are you referring to?

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  6. BB17 April 29, 2021 / 7:07 pm

    While Pohlig’s only fixed-grip lift installed in the Americas was of course Black, the company may have contributed to some of the lifts built by PHB (Pohlig-Heckel-Bleichert) such as the old gondola at Sugarloaf, ME, before PHB started using Hall components on their lifts. Apparently, PHB was at one point was the world’s largest lift manufacturer according to https://www.remontees-mecaniques.net/bdd/liste-6-77-pohlig.html

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    • Utah Powder Skier April 29, 2021 / 7:31 pm

      Did the PHB/Constam lifts (Park City’s and Squaw Valley’s gondolas) have any Constam parts?

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    • ne_skier June 22, 2021 / 6:28 am

      Definitely looks like a more built-up version of Black’s terminal. I always wondered what a PHB chairlift looks like, being an American I’ve only seen their gondolas. Black is one of the last Pohlig lifts built before the merger, it was completed in 1962, the same year the PHB merger took place

      Like

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