Chair 1 – White Pass, WA

Top drive bullwheel.
Unloading ramp.
Looking down near the summit.
Heavy side
Breakover towers.
Looking up from the base area.
Bottom tension station.

28 thoughts on “Chair 1 – White Pass, WA

    • WPSkier January 29, 2019 / 9:40 pm

      Whoops, Chair 2/Pigtail II is 1957.


  1. dhowe January 30, 2019 / 1:59 pm

    I’ve never seen this lift run since the adjacent detachable was installed.


    • Cameron Halmrast January 30, 2019 / 4:13 pm

      It serves as a back up if the Great White Express goes down. If this lift was removed, there would really be no way to access any of the terrain at White Pass with the exception of beginner / lower mountain only.


    • WPskier January 30, 2019 / 9:18 pm

      I saw them run it last month for maintenance.


      • Mark March 8, 2019 / 5:52 pm

        That’s cool! I’ve visited a few times from Oregon and that is the only lift I have never ridden at White Pass, I’ve always wanted to because it seems creepy and kind of exciting breaking over the double black diamond in a little Riblet double chair. Never have seen it run till that video!


  2. Teddy's Lift World June 3, 2019 / 9:57 am

    Many mountains have “backup” lifts that turn out to hardly, if ever run at all. They can be very useful if the mountain actually keeps them in good condition. If the Great White Express goes down this could be a great backup. It would also be useful for busy days. Top Notch at Attitash would’ve been so useful this year because of what happened with the summit triple. My point here is that mountains should take advantage of these lifts much more than they do currently.


    • Skier o’ the Steeps June 8, 2019 / 11:06 pm

      They used it on busy days before the expansion went in. I hear they stopped to save money.

      They almost fired it up on the last weekend of this year when Great White went down. Unfortunately, it was too windy to run that day. This lift is pretty exposed at the top.


  3. Steven Ashe December 27, 2019 / 8:27 pm

    I rode this once 10 years ago since it was running due to Great White being down, feel quite lucky to have caught it since it sounds like that’s the only time it runs anymore!


  4. powderforever45 December 27, 2019 / 8:37 pm

    Hey peter, in the table it says this is chair 2 but when you click on it it says chair 1 at the top of the pictures. Isn’t it supposed to be chair 2?


    • pbropetech December 3, 2020 / 10:32 am

      This is chair 2. Chair 1 ran on the rider’s left (east) side; in the photo of the motor room you can see the vault for old chair 1being used for cell tower equipment to the left of the chair 2 drive bullwheel.


  5. Sb8009 January 6, 2020 / 8:47 pm

    I hear that White is planning to remove this one in several years. Mostly playing it safe with the tower foundations.


    • Myles Svec December 3, 2020 / 1:20 pm

      It would be sad to see this lift go but I understand why. Maybe they could replace it with a double or a triple because there is no way to access the mountain when great white is down.


  6. Jeff June 26, 2020 / 4:53 pm

    I rode this chair back in 2010. It was a pretty cool ride


  7. Kacey Kelch August 22, 2020 / 7:58 am

    My Grandfather did all of the welding on chair 2. James Hays Kelch passed away late 2019 at the age of 93. He would bring my father with him on days they had no baby sitter. My father learned to ski in the mid 50s at white pass. My father still skis hard to this day, at the age 70.
    Grandpa was always proud of his work on chair 2. I attribute Grandpas hard work, dedication, and endless commitment to a job done right, for how and why chair 2 ran for so many years! Grandpa you will be missed, loved always And forever!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael August 22, 2020 / 10:30 pm

      Nice tibute to a pioneer in the industry…and your grandfather! Thanks for sharing this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joe Blake August 23, 2020 / 7:16 pm

        Seconded. Some great memories of this chair for me in the way back musheen.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. New England Chairlifts & Skiing September 23, 2020 / 3:03 pm

    I hope they run this lift this year on busy days to spread people out in a time when it’s the most necessary to do so.


    • SB8009 September 23, 2020 / 6:14 pm

      I’m thinking they probably won’t.

      But I’d be happy to be proven wrong.


  9. Vintage Chairlifts October 11, 2020 / 8:07 pm

    Hmm… let’s try that again…

    Liked by 2 people

  10. SB8009 November 13, 2020 / 12:45 am

    White Pass’ GM just confirmed that this will not be running this year on an Instagram Live Q&A.


    • pnwrider December 3, 2020 / 12:00 am

      Did he give a reason? That seems rather silly to me. I imagine the Great White Express will have a lower hourly capacity this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, and that lift not only serves a boatload of great terrain, but also provides access to the rest of the mountain alongside Chair 2. This lift would be perfect for this Covid-19 riddled season. If they are loading two people per chair on the Great White Express (Save for groups that arrived together), this double chair could effectively almost double the hourly uphill capacity in that area, as well as take some stress off of the Great White Express lift maze.


      • SB8009 December 3, 2020 / 1:33 pm

        No reason was given.

        From what I hear, they don’t have any way to ascertain the integrity of the tower foundations, so they just don’t run the lift out of precaution.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if they removed it in the next couple of years.


        • pnwrider December 3, 2020 / 7:06 pm

          Ah, that’s a bummer. Safety first, understandably. This lift is over sixty years old at this point!


        • pbropetech July 18, 2021 / 8:07 am

          One could do a pull test- basically attach a winch and dynamometer to the tower and pull until one reaches the original engineering specs- but these towerbases are so old I doubt they’d pass anyway. That’s no doubt been discussed in the shop up there already.
          It’ll be a sad day when they pull this out. My family and I put in a lot of spring laps on this and its long-gone sibling back in the day.


  11. Vintage Chairlifts July 26, 2021 / 12:45 pm

    I have some short videos of this one running a couple years ago. I posted these previously on here, but I moved the videos to a new YouTube account, so I’m reposting them here so you all can still see them.


  12. Henri Smith March 6, 2023 / 8:36 pm

    It should be noted that this lift has definitely fallen into some state of disrepair. Multiple seat bottoms are missing and junk has been piled up on the bottom terminal, no doubt this lift is most likely on its last few legs. Talking with a mechanic the other day he mentioned it hadn’t run since last year.

    A real shame, because this is a truly unique and old lift.


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