Looking Glass – Winter Park, CO

Top station with counterweight tensioning.
This is the last remaining Riblet at Winter Park.
Bottom station with vault drive.
View up from the loading area. Note the Poma control pedestal.
Top station downhill side.
Unloading ramp.
Top tension carriage.
View down the lift line.
Riblet tower and center pole chairs.
Vault drive seen from Olympia Express.

35 thoughts on “Looking Glass – Winter Park, CO

  1. V12Tommy October 29, 2017 / 6:36 pm

    I believe Looking Glass is the oldest lift in Colorado still operating, and as far as I know, the only remaining center bar in the state. I really hope I’m able to snag a chair when it finally comes down. So many great memories as a kid.


    • Ryan April 16, 2018 / 7:34 pm

      Primo at Sunlight dates back to 1966 install at Sunlight, and Segundo at Sunlight is a relocated lift from Aspen (probably old lift 2) which dates back to the late 50s or early 60s. It has lattice towers. Check it out. Both lifts are center pole doubles.


      • Matt December 24, 2020 / 9:41 pm

        I believe Little Hawk at Eldora was noted as the oldest running lift in the state. It came from somewhere else.


        • Randy February 11, 2021 / 12:06 pm

          Not a chairlift, however they claim to have the oldest operating lift in colorado. A Poma. “Lake City’s Ski Hill has a single Poma lift that was moved from Arapahoe Basin in 1966. It’s the oldest operation lift in the state, and when it came to Lake City,”


        • Utah Powder Skier February 11, 2021 / 1:13 pm

          I thought that the Estes Park Tramway was the oldest in the state, despite not being used for skiing.


    • Jeffrey C Morse March 20, 2021 / 6:47 am

      I rode the Looking Glass every Saturday in the early 70’s. The original lift would throw you out in a heartbeat. It was a voyage to get down there. Very fun.


  2. Kaden K September 2, 2019 / 2:20 pm

    I wonder when they’re going to replace this lift.


    • jcpierce05 November 4, 2019 / 11:28 am

      I really hope they replace this lift soon. Maybe next summer with a new triple chair? I have always wondered if Winter Park could move the bottom station back to where Wagon Train and Tin Horn meet? They would obviously do this when they built the new lift. I do think moving the lower station would really help reduce traffic on the Olympia Express.


      • Kaden K November 4, 2019 / 4:26 pm

        Yeah, and then you mitigate the problem of accidentally skiing too far down to the Olympia


        • Carson November 4, 2019 / 7:30 pm

          I hope they don’t replace this lift soon it is more historic and shows what the resort looked like back in the day

          Liked by 2 people

        • Donald Reif November 5, 2019 / 7:08 am

          The lift is 55 years old. It’s probably only got about five or so years left in its service life.


        • New England Chairlifts & Skiing November 5, 2019 / 11:02 am

          They say a lift can last forever as long as they maintain it properly and keep it in good shape. I hope they can do that.

          Liked by 1 person

        • jcpierce05 November 5, 2019 / 11:38 am

          I agree with Donald on this. Yes, a lift can last for a long time if it is properly maintained, but I would not say it can last forever. This lift is the last remaining Riblet at Winter Park and I feel as though it may become a maintenance nightmare soon because they may not have the necessary spare parts to keep it running.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Donald Reif November 5, 2019 / 1:39 pm

          Exactly. Winter Park’s Heron Poma fixed grips probably have many more years of service ahead of them, since they’re essential to supplementing the Super Gauge Express. The Yan triples are the same, with Arrow and Eagle Wind.

          Looking Glass is also a daily operating lift, so its hours are probably higher than say, Breck’s Lift C, which although 49 years old, is an auxiliary lift that only runs on weekends and holidays.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Jesse January 14, 2021 / 9:07 pm

          A lift can last forever if you pour enough resources into it (single chair at Mad River). Looking Glass isn’t exactly iconic except maybe to us lift nerds though so I’m sure at some point it won’t be worth maintaining anymore


        • Myles Svec February 11, 2021 / 1:57 pm

          doesn’t Superior Tramway still make Riblet parts though? If they do I guess they could keep looking glass running for a little longer.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Cameron Halmrast November 5, 2019 / 7:18 pm

    I’ll be honest, I have never heard of a Riblet dying. They are honestly one of the most well built lifts out there and it designed its lifts so that you can go down to your local auto part store for parts!


  4. Aidan Reilly January 12, 2020 / 7:44 pm

    Well it is getting replaced and bye what? Well the old sunnyside will be replacing it.


    • V12Tommy February 8, 2020 / 12:30 am

      I thought I had heard that the Sunnyside chairs were sold off and/or given to employees, and that the rest of the lift would be used for parts at other Alterra resorts with CTEC lifts?


  5. Aidan Reilly March 9, 2020 / 12:47 pm

    Yes you are correct that the chairs were sold except that only 60 of them were sold so that means there are 105 chairs left.


    • gettheyoyo February 28, 2023 / 9:14 am

      hey bro you stole the operating manual there aint no way they’re reusing this lift


  6. Lift Expert November 30, 2020 / 8:23 pm

    The color for this lift used to be red in the picture below…


  7. Brody November 30, 2020 / 8:39 pm

    When they relace this lift, reply to me if they plan on selling the chairs because I will definitely be taking one home with me. Please, when they sold the Sunnyside chairs and The Zephyr chairs, I never even had a chance to snag one, they were always sold out. Very sad life for me… :(

    Liked by 1 person

    • V12Tommy January 31, 2021 / 4:19 pm

      Same. I have fond memories of lapping Looking Glass as a kid. I’d love to give a good home to one of the chairs.


  8. Sam February 11, 2021 / 9:38 am

    this lift has been closed for at least a week – anyone heard what is going on with it?


    • Trail Master February 11, 2021 / 3:57 pm

      There could be may factors, here is what comes to my mind and what I read.
      1. Mechanical Issues (New Years day, Lift stuck in first gear and the other day, lift closed to mechanical)
      2. Employees have Covid-19 (I read that some a lot of employees have been testing Positive)
      3. No-Reason to Open (They close the lift if not a lot of people attend to save money)


  9. Joshua Redman January 8, 2022 / 7:44 am

    Olympia Express holds most of the traffic in that area, so this double may of just not been needed that week.


  10. Joshua Redman January 8, 2022 / 1:37 pm

    Prospector also accesses the same runs and it is a HSQ.


  11. Axewolfe17 February 27, 2022 / 7:58 am

    She’s been down for the past week do to something with the brakes. Maintenance is trying to see if they can test it at a higher braking force, and if it works it can reopen, but if it doesn’t she will most likely be closed for the rest of the season. The end of looking glass may come sooner then expected.


    • Ryan March 17, 2022 / 6:03 pm

      They got it back open.


  12. Keith June 14, 2022 / 6:23 pm

    I worked on the LG as a lift op from 2002-2004. I hope they never take it down, as it’s a piece of history and holds a special place in many people’s hearts. Even 20 years ago the fact that they’ve kept it well maintained and operable was a point of pride for the resort.

    If they do replace it, I hope I find out and can get one of the chairs shipped back to my home on the east coast, as it holds a certain sentimental value to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. chumbling December 1, 2022 / 5:40 pm

    Here’s an original watercolor painting of the LG. (Prints available from the artist) Maybe she will paint the lift shack.


  14. Chairlift World April 21, 2023 / 7:17 pm

    This may upset people, but they should do destructive testing on this lift when it gets removed like what they did with Eskimo


    • Ryan April 22, 2023 / 12:16 am

      No need to. They learned what they needed to about Riblets when they blew up poor old Eskimo. Let Looking Glass go out in style. Turning till it’s time to tear her down and sell those uncomfortable center pole chairs off.


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