Shirley Lake – Palisades Tahoe, CA

Rare Doppelmayr lift at Olympic Valley with height-adjustable Uni-GS terminals.
Bottom station with small maintenance rail.
Lift overview.
Integrated tower 1.
Look down the line.
Garaventa chairs with Doppelmayr hangers.
Breakover towers.
Arrival up top.
Top station with another maintenance rail.
Drive terminal.
Lower part of the line.
Unload ramp.
Top station above Big Blue.
Doppelmayr Worldbook entry.

15 thoughts on “Shirley Lake – Palisades Tahoe, CA

  1. John Janecek November 19, 2017 / 1:15 pm

    You’ll notice that the final break-over towers are painted white while the other towers, on the line, are painted black… The break-over towers, when black, absorb enough solar heat to slightly distort them and move the haul-rope’s location minutely. The electronics sensors for spacing of the chairs were often tripped, and the lift shut down, before the painting change was made. This was noticed after the original Shirley Lake Express (circa 1987) was installed.


  2. Duncan N. March 22, 2018 / 11:19 am

    This came to me as I was reading this, is there any efficient way to tell the drive from the return on a detachable? The phatboys are pretty obvious, and I know some LPA heritage lifts have exhaust pipes indicating backup drives, but I don’t know if say, modern UNI-G terminals have any signs. Anyone know anything?


    • Doppelmayr FTW March 22, 2018 / 11:37 am

      I know At least some UNIGs have bulges on the roof of the drive terminal. (Powder seeker comes to mind)
      Other than that I don’t know


      • Duncan N. March 22, 2018 / 11:41 am



    • pbropetech February 24, 2022 / 10:13 pm

      ‘Heritage lifts’? Pretty sure I know what you mean by this but I’ve never heard the term.

      Any drive terminal will have some sort of APU exhaust tailpipe, the exceptions being the LPOA/Leitner/Poma direct drive lifts which typically have a full-capacity generator in a separate housing. (I’m aware that Doppelmayr also has direct drive, I just don’t know what the backup options are on those lifts).


      • Chase February 25, 2022 / 8:29 am

        Doppelmayr’s Direct Drive has the option to have a full capacity generator, but also generally have a diesel driven hydrostat that drives a ring gear in the inside of the drive bullwheel. That way you protect against a drive failure as well as power failures.


        • pbropetech February 25, 2022 / 8:43 am

          LPOA/Leitner/Poma also has the ring gear on the bullwheel. The grease we have to put on it is thick and heavy (so it doesn’t sling off when the lift is running) and as a result it doesn’t come off your clothes when you inadvertently brush against the gear :)


        • Chase February 25, 2022 / 12:41 pm

          I’m well acquainted with the open gear lube. There’s seemingly no escape anywhere around it – it finds you.


  3. Maxwell Uguccioni April 20, 2019 / 10:51 am

    How can you tell the difference between the AK-400 and the Agamatic grip?


    • Somebody April 20, 2019 / 12:52 pm

      The rubber wheels are white on AG grips and black on the AK grips, and the AG grips have a slightly darker shade of blue to them. The AKs also look like they are taller than the AG grips. If you look at the grips side by side, you can tell the difference. Here:


    • themav April 20, 2019 / 1:31 pm

      Occasionally you’ll see AK-400 grips with black springs as well. The blue springs technically make them AK-460 grips.


    • pbropetech February 24, 2022 / 10:25 pm

      This is an AK grip. I get a little fuzzy on the details of the Agamatic and Doppelmayr A-series (my understanding is that Doppelmayr modeled the A series off the Agamatic, although I’ve also heard they stole Leitner’s design and pay them royalties for its use) but they are in no way related to the Garaventa AK grip which doesn’t even have coil springs. Doppelmayr makes parts for the AK since they and Garaventa have since merged, but that’s about it.

      As for the colour of the grip rollers, they change from time to time. Older LPA grips might feature white (okay, yellow after they’ve been out in the sun) lateral and compression rollers, but ours have black ones. They’re the same grip otherwise. Doppelmayr DSs had the same variations, in fact we switched colours over several years on our ’94 as the replacement parts weren’t the same as the originals.


      • pbropetech February 25, 2022 / 8:58 am

        After some more research I was mistaken- Garaventa called several different versions by the AK moniker, including the originals I referenced as well as the completely different ones Somebody describes above. Rather confusing.


  4. Henry T February 24, 2022 / 4:31 pm

    Did this lift reuse tower tubes from the poma HSQ?


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