Ellis – Homewood, CA

This Thiokol triple serves much of Homewood’s terrain but is replaced by a shuttle bus on non-peak days.
Fixed bullwheel up top.
View down the extended lift line.
Middle portion of the line.
Upper section.
First portion in the flats.
Lower terminal with drive and tensioning.
Loading area and operator house.
Drive station overview.
In 2020, this lift received new tower heads from Skytrac.
Top terminal with updated final tower.
The towers were all flown off the mountain then re-flown with new tops.
A support tower.
Hold down tower.
Middle part of the lift line.
Lower lift line.
Bottom terminal with updated towers.
Upgraded lift line.

26 thoughts on “Ellis – Homewood, CA

  1. cameron December 24, 2018 / 10:50 am

    is this a diesel lift


    • SLR December 28, 2018 / 9:05 pm

      Electric primary mover. Diesel APU. Electric motor is direct into gearbox, service brake is on aux shaft.


  2. Donald Reif January 31, 2020 / 6:32 am

    With recent mechanical problems, this lift could use a detachable replacement.


    • Ryan Gardner January 31, 2020 / 10:41 pm

      Or just a new drive terminal.


      • Carson February 1, 2020 / 6:14 pm

        Or just leave the terminal alone and just replace the motor and gearbox


    • Ryan Gardner January 31, 2020 / 10:42 pm

      They only run it at 400 FPS vs normally 500 FPS for this type of lift..


      • Blu624 May 18, 2020 / 8:00 pm

        I think it runs 400 FPM because beginners lap this lift on rainbow ridge because it is the only lift beginners skiing on rainbow ridge can take.


  3. Somebody February 1, 2020 / 6:50 pm

    “We are disappointed to report the Ellis chairlift has experienced a series of mechanical issues that will prevent its operation for the remainder of the season. The terrain accessed by the Ellis chair will continue to be open as conditions permit, with lift access provided by the Old Homewood Express. For those skiers and riders who choose to explore this terrain and ski down to the resort’s South base area, we have added shuttles to our fleet that will operate continuously for the duration of the season to provide transport back to the North base area. Another option for advanced skiers / riders is to take the Coyote Road, located directly below the bottom of Ellis Chair, back to North Base by hiking or skating. This alternate route will bring skiers / riders from the bottom of Ellis Chair back to the North Base. Note that this route does require hiking or skating and is for advanced skiers / riders only.”

    Wonder if they’ll replace Ellis this summer because of this, or if they’ll try to fix it. Also this means that if Madden goes down, the whole resort is closed.


    • Carson February 1, 2020 / 7:50 pm

      I hope they fix it instead of replacement in the end it is the only 6 leged enterprise terminal in the world possibly


  4. Danny Bryant February 2, 2020 / 2:13 pm

    The Homewood Master Plan has Ellis getting upgraded either to a fixed or detachable chair. https://www.skihomewood.com/wp-content/uploads/Homewood-Mountain-Resort-Ski-Area-Master-Plan-Details-Updated-10-04-20112.pdf. Because of the mechanical issue that arose with Ellis 2019-2020 season, perhaps they will upgrade the chair now? That said, it would require TRPA approval due to the lift being located within the Tahoe Basin drain area. And, a new lift would have to be built and may not be ready until at least the 2021-2022 season. Therefore, a detachable may be out of the question for now, but an overhaul of the existing drive? All speculation on my part.


    • Anonymous January 1, 2022 / 9:30 pm

      The rumor is that suspicious circumstances surrounding the fire of the South Lodge put many aspects of the master plan on hold. Allegedly 2 other mountains with a certain manager who works at homewood have had suspicious fires.


  5. Kirk February 2, 2020 / 2:29 pm

    The Ellis chair should have been replaced 20 years ago!


  6. Collin February 2, 2020 / 6:32 pm

    HMR (current owners) is proud of the fact that they do not have to follow any current ANSI B77.1 standards.


    • Kirk February 2, 2020 / 7:43 pm

      Yep, on private land in California means the state Tramway unit is still in the 1988 ANSI. There insurance carrier should hold them to ANSI 2011, but don’t think there current insurance company does inspections in California.


  7. carson May 28, 2020 / 6:41 pm

    who here loves the six legged enterprise terminal

    Liked by 4 people

    • John May 28, 2020 / 7:01 pm

      Motor room/equipment area can not be heated as the motor deck is not enclosed. Is a unique terminal otherwise.


  8. Matt Grigaitis May 28, 2020 / 9:00 pm

    Any word on whether she will be up and running next season?


  9. julestheshiba May 29, 2020 / 9:33 am

    Chairs and towers replaced 2020 drive terminal is being replaced 2021


  10. Truckee Local October 22, 2020 / 6:28 pm

    They’re testing the new haul rope this week and expecting state approval in November. I heard today that the chairs haven’t been replaced yet and will come next year, but the motor and gearbox have been replaced.


    • julestheshiba January 15, 2021 / 8:49 pm

      how come they replaced the motor and gearbox and repainted everything if they are just going to replace the terminal, wouldn’t it be better to just replace the drive this year instead


  11. Ryan January 1, 2021 / 12:36 am

    What was wrong with the towers and chairs? These are essentially the same as what CTEC used up until the mid to late 80s so parts are readily available.. I can understand the drive needing to be replaced, but what happened to require new towers? Were they rusting out or something? We often see replacement/upgrades using existing towers.


    • Ryan January 1, 2021 / 12:42 am

      Nevermind. Built in 77 = 43 going on 44 years old.


  12. julestheshiba February 19, 2021 / 4:26 pm

    Is this chair still getting a new drive terminal next year or did they already replace the motor and gearbox.


  13. Anonymous January 1, 2022 / 9:22 pm

    The Ellis chair is down AGAIN! The rumor is that it’s a transmission problem that most likely will not be fixed for the remainder of the 2022 ski season. They should have replaced the whole lift with a High speed detachable Rather than throwing another Band-Aid on that corpse. Homewood obviously has issues with Management that just tells JMA executives what they think they want to hear. The corporate priorities are to develop condos around the base area rather than improving the mountain as a ski resort. Year after year Homewood gets worse, ask anyone who’s worked there or is local.


    • Enumclaw kid January 9, 2022 / 12:30 pm

      I just heard today from a patroller that they’re optimistic now: maybe early February


    • Chris March 3, 2022 / 12:27 pm

      It re-opened and has been operating. Word from patrol what that it was an “oiling system” failure that impacted “cooling”.


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