Boyne Mountain, MI

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19 thoughts on “Boyne Mountain, MI

  1. afski722 February 1, 2020 / 12:22 am

    Lots of relocated lifts here over the years.

    Alpine 2 – relocated early 2000s, no idea where it came from
    Boyneland 3 – relocated 1995, originally installed as a double Express 2 in 1982
    Disciples Ridge 3 – relocated 1995, originally installed elsewhere
    Disciples Ridge II 3 – relocated late 90s/early 2000s, this was originally the Thunder 3
    Hemlock 2 – mostly Riblet but some upper /lower station components from the original Sun Valley lift
    Meadows 4
    Mountain Express 6
    Ramshead 4
    Superbowl 4
    Victor 4 – relocated late 80s / early 90s; originally was a Heron 2 with lattice towers. This may have originally been the McClouth 4

    Express 2 – this was modified into a triple and became the Boyneland lift
    McClouth 4 – this may have been moved to replace the Victor 2 in the early 90s
    Meadows 4 – was originally the world’s first quad chair, replaced in 2008
    North Boyne 2 – no idea where this lift went
    Superbowl 2 – this lift was removed when they added the FIS race hill on Superbowl in 1995. This may have been repurposed as the Alpine 2?
    Top Notch 2 – this lift was removed in 2005, it was a Heron with lattice towers.
    Victor 2 – this lift was a Heron 2 that was removed by a Ribet 4 in the early 90s.


    • reaperskier February 1, 2020 / 5:39 am

      Alpine was relocated from Alpine Ski Club in Ontario and (most likely) ran where the millennium chair (a quad) is located now.


  2. SpartySki February 18, 2020 / 9:58 pm

    North Boyne was a Heron.

    Express 2 was also a Heron. It ran along the tree line at the South side of South McClouth.

    Super Bowl 2 was the Borvig. This lift had the strange alteration into a triple when moved to the Boyneland terrain.

    McClouth 4 was moved to Victor and was given a new tension terminal.

    Meadows 4 was reworked by Riblet at some point. Had Riblet center pole chairs. Heard a story once that the Heron sheave train and grips had a lot of issues with Derailing. Don’t know if that story is true but it would explain the Riblet overhaul.

    Super Bowl 4 came from Thunder Mountain. When Boyne closed it they brought this chair to Boyne Mountain.

    Thunder/Disciples 2. As Thunder all the tower heads had extensions on them allowing double Riblet tower heads to be used for a triple. These towers were also used when the lift was moved to become Disciples 2. I believe this lift was the other Thunder Mountain lift converted to a triple when moved to Boyne Mountain.

    All the Herons are long gone. Top Notch was the last to go.

    Boyne Mountain is a collection of used, relocated and unwanted junk as far as lifts go. This place is always super crowded on weekends and the lifts here are old slow and inadequate. Boyne seems to be starting to put money into their resorts recently. Hopefully Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands will get some upgrades. Most the lifts at those resorts were originally installed in the mid 60’s to early 70’s.


    • Mountaineer April 7, 2021 / 2:35 pm

      Perhaps the lift was later equipped with Heron chairs? I got the confirmation from a contractor of American Cableways that they made the lift in 1964.


      • Mountaineer April 22, 2021 / 12:10 pm

        Heron is correct for North Boyne. The American Cableways actually was at Barn Mountain.


  3. afski722 February 18, 2020 / 10:26 pm

    Thanks for helping fill in the gaps. Like said at the Highlands so many relocations hard to keep memory straight.
    I haven’t skied Boyne Mountain on the weekend in probably ten years, the weekend crowds were obnoxious and I assume still are.

    The Meadows replacement took care of that part of the hill. Rumors of a Disciples replacement with a HSQ coming from another resort soon.
    Superbowl will likely be due for a replacement in the next 5 years or so.


    • Skiz February 19, 2020 / 5:57 am

      Supposedly a lift from brighton going on a new liftline so it can replace disciples I and II


  4. Carson May 2, 2021 / 9:35 pm

    Anyone know why heron lifts were removed kind of fast I know it’s a stupid question to ask


    • Utah Powder Skier May 3, 2021 / 7:58 am

      It doesn’t look like they were removed that fast. 30 years is old for a lift that’s not a Riblet or a Hall.


  5. Billy B. May 13, 2021 / 11:52 am

    Found some stats and images of the original Meadows quad at Boyne Mountain recently from an old Heron catalog. Stats: 2,400 pph, 400 fpm, 21 towers, 79 chairs, 125 hp electric motor. Heron claimed 1,561 feet of length with 355 feet of vertical rise, which are both slightly different than the spreadsheet data so I’m not sure which is correct there. Definitely a very cool lift, so I figured some people on here might be interested.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John May 18, 2021 / 7:53 pm

      I remember it being fairly slow, but it wasn’t all that long of a lift, either. In any case, the newer Meadows quad is a much smoother ride.


  6. Jack L July 27, 2021 / 9:22 am

    Has it been cleared up whether the Super Bowl double chair was the Heron or the Borvig? I thought I remembered seeing Heron chairs on that lift before it was dismantled. I do not remember the towers. I guess no one has photos of the old doubles replaced by the Mountain Express either.

    Why are Borvig lifts less popular in Michigan versus Riblet? Is it cost related?


    • ne_skier July 27, 2021 / 11:03 am

      It is strange. Hall and Riblet, the top brands for the east and west respectively, have a virtual duopoly on classic lifts in the midwest and there aren’t many Borvigs to be seen. I believe Borvigs were cheaper and more low-tech than Riblets and Halls, and they’re mostly seen in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well as some other northeast states. I was thinking perhaps they didn’t install lifts outside of the east, but there are a handful of Borvig lifts in the west. I guess they just never caught on there.


      • Utah Lost Ski Area Project July 27, 2021 / 11:49 am

        I would guess that Borvig arrived at the Midwest market a little too late. Hall and Riblet had been building lifts in the Midwest since the 60s and Borvig’s first lift in the Midwest wasn’t until 1972. By the time the 80s came around, there weren’t many ski areas in the Midwest that were building new lifts. It happened to be around that time when Borvig tried to enter the Colorado market for building lifts.


    • SpartySki July 27, 2021 / 2:49 pm

      The original Super Bowl chair was the Borvig. Super Bowl opened in the early 80’s and the Borvig chair was installed new to service that area. The Victor and Top Notch Herron doubles both had lattice towers. The North Boyne Heron had tube towers. I cannot remember what towers Express 2 had but it was also a Heron. 4 Heron Doubles in addition to the modified double at Hemlock that is now mostly Riblet were the Charis that Boyne mountain had until the mid 60’s when the Heron Quad went in on Meadows replacing what I believe was a T-Bar. All The riblets went in starting in the late 1960’s as Boyne started exclusively buying only Riblets for all 4 of it’s Michigan resorts until 1982 when they purchased the Borvig for Super Bowl. The only time I have seen a photo or video of north Boyne it was in an old family video from the 80’s. Towers looked like Pomas.

      Borvig came around after the ski lift boom of the 60’s and 70’s in Michigan. I do not know what made Riblet so popular in the 60’s but I would guess that Riblet was either cheaper or could deliver and install in shorter time periods as at that time Riblet was the largest manufacturer in the US. Once smaller resorts had a Riblet I think it was easy to add more for uniformity and maintenance versus bringing in something different. Riblet made some damn tough and reliable lifts no matter how weak the tower heads looked. There are some Halls in Michigan but not nearly as many as there are Riblets. Lots of 1960’s Riblets still running as primary lifts at Michigan resorts.

      The Super Bowl Borvig was converted to a Triple using Riblet Triple chairs and is on the beginner run currently.


      • Jack L July 27, 2021 / 5:32 pm

        Agreed that the timeframes would point to the original Super Bowl lift as not being a Heron. The transition from Herons to Riblets makes sense.
        1976 trailmap:

        I do not know when Boyne opened up the Meadows for skiing. Given its proximity to Victor/Aurora, it sounds likely to me that a T-bar serviced the Meadows before the Heron quad was installed in 1964/65.

        I learned skiing in Michigan and ski return there for ski trips. As I have not done much skiing in New England, my personal experience with Borvig lifts is from Chestnut Mountain and The Homestead.


        • Jack L July 30, 2021 / 3:46 pm

          I guess before Disciples Ridge opened, there was a need during peak ski days to have two lifts running up Super Bowl, and then a Triple running up Thunder to augment the Meadows Quad? The Superbowl Quad and the Thunder Triple did extend below the Superbowl Double and the Heron Meadows Quad.

          The McLouth Quad roughly ran in the same alignment as the Mountain Express does today – is that correct? Where was the bottom terminal in relation to where the Mountain Express load is today?


  7. SpartySki August 3, 2021 / 3:06 pm

    The Borvig Double was installed prior to Boyne making the decision to close Thunder Mountain. When they closed Thunder they brought the Riblet quad over and put it on Super Bowl. I do not know for sure but my assumption would be that the Borvig did not run much after that. The Borvig was essentially obsolete except for some peak days. Superbowl 4 went further down the hill and could be skied into from the bottom of Top Notch and I believe Thunder as well. It just made a lot more sense to have things set up the way it ended up versus how it started at Superbowl.

    The Triple at Thunder, I am 99 percent sure, was made up from the towers from the Thunder Mountain Double chair. The towers had extensions put on them to allow for Triple chairs which were added when it was reconstructed at Boyne Mountain. Those towers ended up being reused yet again for Disciples 2. If you ever ride that lift you can see how a lot of the towers were narrower double towers with added extensions to make them wider for Triple chairs. The Thunder lift really only serviced 2 runs. The very top of Thunder, which was not accessible from the top of Meadows, and a small run that sent you down to Cold Springs. It was a strange arrangement and I do not recall that lift running very often. It just seems that in the 80’s, that Boyne was interested to cheap solutions. In many ways they still are.

    Superbowl 4 and Thunder went further down the hill than the Borvig and Meadows. Roughly another 50 vertical feet.

    McClouth 4 ended where the mountain express does today. It started a little more to the North. If I had to guess, 30 feet or so to the North.

    At one time Kircher had stated that he saw the future as Chairs for beginner and intermediate runs and T-Bars for expert runs. His thought was that experts would have no issue using T-Bars where as beginners would find it difficult and chairs were more expensive. He may have put this into practice at Boyne Mountain in the 1950’s but there is little history out there about this and what went on at Boyne Mountain at that time. The irony here is that when he opened Boyne Highlands in 1963, the beginner run was serviced by a T-bar and just a few years later was replaced by a Triple chair.


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