Chairlift – Mt. Eyak, AK

This 1939 American Steel & Wire single chair came used to Alaska in 1974.
View up the lift line.
Lattice tower.
Lower terminal building with tensioning.
The top terminal.
Upper station overview.
Unload point.
Side view of the top bullwheel.
All of the towers are lettered, not numbered.
Upper unloading ramp.
Upper terminal and patrol shack.
Breakover towers.
View down to the midway unloading station.
Lift line above the midstation.
Lower unload ramp.
A tower.
View down the line from the mid.
Lattice towers.
Lower part of the line.
View up.
A tall tower.
These chairs are not original from 1939.
Loading area.

21 thoughts on “Chairlift – Mt. Eyak, AK

  1. Vintage Chairlifts July 22, 2021 / 12:31 pm

    Glad to see this one on here!

    Amazing piece of history.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Ryan October 21, 2022 / 11:50 pm

      I also spotted some Riblet sheaves mixed in there.


  2. Myles Svec July 22, 2021 / 1:47 pm

    What chairlift was this at Sun Valley?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Will July 22, 2021 / 7:17 pm

    Such a cool lift. Anyone know the current length of it?


  4. pnwrider July 23, 2021 / 2:39 am

    I’m so excited this lift is finally here on Liftblog!

    I’m thoroughly amazed this lift is still operating after all these years. Cordova Alaska gets a ton of rain, plenty of snow, and is right up on the coastline, which doesn’t seem like a climate very easy on machinery. The lift is 82 years old… I honestly wonder how many more years they could squeeze out of it, and see if they can keep it running until it turns 100 years old!


  5. pnwrider July 23, 2021 / 2:52 am

    From Mt. Eyak’s website:

    “Mt. Eyak operates a 1939 vintage American Steel and Wire single chairlift. This lift was brought to Cordova, Alaska from Sun Valley, Idaho. First installed in Sun Valley, on Mt. Baldy’s Christmas Ridge, it was decommissioned in 1969. In 1974 this lift was moved to Cordova, Alaska and installed above town on the southern flanks of Mt. Eyak. with a length of 1800 feet and a vertical rise of 966 feet it was operated in its original configuration until 1986 when the original haul rope was replaced and new Riblet grips were installed. in 1988 an upgrade was started, with the drive beiing reconfigured from the top to the bottom. A new hydraulic drive, new diesel auxiliary, new caliper brakes, and new control wiring were installed. In 1998 a new handle tow was installed to replace the home built rope tow, which had served beginners in Cordova since the early sixties.”


  6. Vintage Chairlifts July 23, 2021 / 5:52 pm

    So, to my knowledge, these are the chairlifts that were operational in the 30s. Am I missing any?

    – Proctor Mountain – Sun Valley, ID (American Steel & Wire)
    – Dollar Mountain – Sun Valley, ID (American Steel & Wire)

    – Mt. Ruud – Sun Valley, ID (American Steel & Wire)
    – Mt Rowe – Gunstock, NH (Unknown Builder)

    – River Run – Sun Valley, ID (American Steel & Wire)
    – Exhibition – Sun Valley, ID (American Steel & Wire)
    – Christmas – Sun Valley, ID (American Steel & Wire)
    – Magic Mile – Timberline Lodge (Riblet)
    – Mt. Disney – Sugar Bowl (Moore Dry Dock/Riblet)


    • Utah Powder Skier July 23, 2021 / 6:40 pm

      Collins single at Alta was installed in 1939.


      • Vintage Chairlifts July 24, 2021 / 12:12 am

        Good call. I missed that one!


  7. Randy July 23, 2021 / 7:29 pm

    Sure is a scenic ski area. I’ve asked them for a trail map and they claim not to have 1 but I see lots of trail signs posted in the pictures. Seems the lift is well cared for but I’d be more worried about the rust on the towers.


    • skier72 July 23, 2021 / 8:22 pm

      Trail map:


  8. Peter Pitcher July 24, 2021 / 2:04 pm

    The original Cold Springs lift was an American Steel and Wire single chair that I believe was built after the war. Might have been the last one built. It ended up in Santa Fe NM but was never erected. Don Chesne came down from Cordova Alaska a few times for parts, I think he took grips and gears from the gearbox. He was a great guy, is he still alive? I have one of the single chairs at my house on the patio


  9. Lopipas July 26, 2021 / 10:55 am

    Will they have to replace the towers in the next 10 years? Those towers are looking pretty rusty.


    • V12Tommy April 4, 2022 / 6:51 pm

      I don’t think that is rust, it is too uniform. More than likely the black paint wore off, exposing the primer underneath. It looks like the original color at Sun Valley was orange-ish. I’m guessing it is iron oxide primer, which is a rust inhibitor for steel and iron. (Actually, iron oxide IS rust, but it is added rust, rather than allowing the structure itself to rust)


  10. Joshua Redman January 9, 2022 / 2:34 pm

    Very cool to see. What an amazing part of chairlift history. I love the blue color on the chairs and the lattice towers.


  11. Bob October 23, 2022 / 2:54 pm

    Are there any other single chairs still in operation in the US?


    • Ryan October 23, 2022 / 3:39 pm

      Yup. Single Chair at Mad River Glen, VT. upgraded by Doppie. A cool ride.


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