Vista Cruiser #1 – Mt. Spokane, WA

This terminal dates back to 1956.
Loading area.
View up the lift line with old-school tapered Riblet towers.
This top vault drive appears not to be the original one.
The original drive was probably located further uphill.
Looking down the lift line.
Lower section of the line.
Upper lift line.
First few towers.
Bottom bullwheel with counterweight tensioning.

22 thoughts on “Vista Cruiser #1 – Mt. Spokane, WA

  1. Ryan March 9, 2019 / 8:07 pm

    What a beautiful lift.


  2. Skier o' the Steeps June 24, 2019 / 1:00 am

    How many Riblets are left that still have that tapered tower design?


    • Donald Reif June 24, 2019 / 2:23 pm

      Segundo at Telluride has one tapered Riblet tower (the rest being Heron lattice towers).

      So does June Mountain’s J1 and J3 lifts.


    • James Ward January 13, 2021 / 5:59 pm

      Chair 6 (Canyon) at China Peak, CA has some tapered towers, along with some really early lattice towers. As noted on this site, it seems to have been assembled from parts of other riblets, probably largely the 1958 chair 1 at that resort.


      • Vintage Chairlifts January 13, 2021 / 8:44 pm

        Yup! I believe J-1 at June Mountain, California has 1 tapered tower on its line, which is weird because I was under the impression that Riblet discontinued those after 1956 and J-1 is a 1961 lift.

        As for the lattice towers, those were used for big break overs until 1956. Mt. Spokane is a pretty gentle mountain, which is why I think they weren’t needed on this lift. On post-1957 Riblets, those breakover were done using closely spaced tube towers.

        Aside from Canyon, the Upper Bowl lift at Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, Oregon has some lattice towers from the original lift. Those are the only two surviving lifts I know with Riblet lattice towers


  3. Carson June 24, 2019 / 7:47 am

    There is one at white pass


    • Skier o’ the Steeps June 27, 2019 / 12:09 pm

      Are you talking about Pigtail 2? I think that one has all straight towers.


    • Justin February 17, 2021 / 12:41 am

      …Was one at White Pass (I remember). That Riblet lift has been removed.


  4. Raj Thorp February 26, 2020 / 10:15 pm

    This is the oldest lift by Riblet still in operation correct? Seventh Heaven at Stevens Pass is also pretty old but still four years newer than this


    • Vintage Chairlifts March 7, 2020 / 12:54 am

      You might be right. As far as I’m aware, this is the last of the pre-1957 Riblet generation.

      After this, I believe it goes:

      Summit – Kelly Canyon, ID (1957)
      Pigtail II – White Pass, WA (1958)
      7th Heaven – Stevens Pass, WA (1960)
      J1 – June Mountain, CA (1960)

      Though I may be missing some in there.


      • Utah Powder Skier February 27, 2021 / 6:16 pm

        The former Majestic lift at Brighton is still operating at Big Sky and it was a 1955 Riblet.


        • Vintage Chairlifts April 12, 2021 / 12:23 pm

          Technically, but all of the discernible 1955 components are gone. New top and bottom terminals, no tapered towers, etc.

          I guess it depends on your criteria, though.

          Mt. Hood Ski Bowl’s Cascade lift uses the terminals and 1 tower from a 1949 Riblet. Some people might count that as a 1949 lift, but I count it as a 1975 lift because the rest of the components were made at that time.


  5. James Ward March 7, 2021 / 2:58 am

    Add Willow Creek at Red Lodge Mountain – 1959. Has the tapered towers too.


    • Vintage Chairlifts April 12, 2021 / 12:25 pm

      Thanks! I had missed that one!


  6. John Jensen November 23, 2021 / 12:36 pm

    In response to the comment “The original drive was probably located further uphill.” No, this was always the drive vault and bull wheel location. The unload terminal was originally located just down the hill maybe 10-15 yards. You would unload, then make a hard turn right or left so that you would not run into the vault. It was moved to the top of the vault to more easily access the chair 2 area. Also it is interesting to note that this lift had a midway unload only station in the early years, until the second Riblet double was made operational in 1961. There is one tower on this lift that isn’t tapered. That is where the midway station was, then removed Still the smoothest riding chair on the mountain.


    • Spud May 15, 2022 / 1:58 pm

      There are some images on the Wikipedia page for Mount Spokane State Park of the top terminal from what is reported to be the 1960s.


      • Johnnyej September 6, 2022 / 2:06 pm

        thanks for posting. You can clearly see the unload ramp and lift shack were just down from the drive vault. The off-load ramp is now on top of the Drive vault. Thanks for posting these great photos Spud.


  7. BB17 July 2, 2022 / 4:53 pm

    Are the chairs on this lift original or replacements?


  8. Andrew March 13, 2023 / 11:25 pm

    This lift is gona be replaced in 2024. It will be sad to see it go.


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