Sublette – Jackson Hole, WY

Bottom terminal and portal tower 1.
Poma Alpha drive station.
Riding up.
Looking back down the line.
Approaching the top.
Summit bullwheel.
Drive-tension station.
Half towers.
View up the line.
jackson hole 114
Towers 18 and 19.
jackson hole 117
Top terminal in the summer.

38 thoughts on “Sublette – Jackson Hole, WY

  1. Max Hart December 11, 2018 / 6:56 pm

    Poma / LP fixed grips haven’t changed very much in 35 years (the first Alpha came out in 1983) is a real testament to their design. All that has really changed are the sheaves, probably the grips, chairs, and lifting frames. The terminals have had some visual changes, but the same basic design is still prevalent. There were even imitations of the Alpha by other lift manufacturers big and small (pre-merger Leitner, Borvig, and VonRoll). Then there’s the fact that most Alphas are still in operation. I can’t think of one that has been scrapped (unless it was part of an Alpha-Evolution detachable, but even Snowmass found a use for some of the components from the old Fanny Hill lift).

    When a 35 year old design not only lasts but is still being built 35 years later, you know you’ve found a good one.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Donald Reif January 20, 2020 / 5:31 pm

      Longevity with Leitner-Poma and with Doppelmayr differs in different departments. Doppelmayr’s EJ chair design has been around since 1985. While the Alpha terminal has been around since the 80s.


    • pbropetech September 2, 2021 / 8:33 pm

      The grips haven’t changed at all, aside from adding plastic needles in place of the original one-piece steel design.


  2. Paul Manafort December 11, 2018 / 8:41 pm

    LP fanboy over here lol

    Liked by 6 people

  3. snowbasinlocal12894 December 12, 2018 / 3:29 pm

    Have you even heard of the the term chairlift enthusiast? Not all chairlifts are the exact same thing. A fixed chairlift does require effort to load/unload. If you dont you will either get knocked over at the bottom by a chair and/or go around the top bullwheel. Yes riding a chairlift is not a sport (Obviously). All I am saying the drive terminal design can use some work. On a good note the lift has one heck of a light side flyover.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Kaden K (nedakalTNT) August 13, 2019 / 10:55 pm

    Imagine downloading this lift!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donald Reif August 14, 2019 / 4:48 pm

      The light side flyover would be a pretty hairraising experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      • snowbasinlocal12894 August 14, 2019 / 10:16 pm

        I dont really like poma fixed grips but that lightside flyover puts on one hell of a show. Same thing with snowflake at Breckinridge. All of that effort to make a fixed grip chairlift turn very sharp.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. julestheshiba January 20, 2020 / 12:17 pm

    It is also the same on Squaw Valleys Red Dog and Squaw Creek Lifts their light side is incredibly high up. Plus they are both Poma fixed grips.


    • theskiman50 September 2, 2020 / 5:30 pm

      Same with the old supreme at alta utah and jupiter at park city. very odd sight to see, but amazing too.


      • lucas G September 4, 2020 / 11:00 am

        the old pali at a basin also had a cool flyover, although the curve of the terrain flowed the sag of the lift very well so it did not go very high.


  6. Henry T February 9, 2021 / 12:11 pm

    If they were to replace this lift, would it ever get bubbles?


    • Donald Reif February 9, 2021 / 12:53 pm

      Sublette is probably way at the bottom of lifts to go detachable. Thunder’s more likely to go detachable first. And in neither case would there be bubbles. Bubbles aren’t exactly all that popular in the Mountain Time Zone, as I think the only two bubble lifts outside of Big Sky/Yellowstone Club are the American Flyer and Orange Bubble.


      • Myles Svec February 9, 2021 / 5:08 pm

        The two new lifts at Wasatch Peaks Ranch will be added to that list


      • skitheeast February 9, 2021 / 5:41 pm

        I would not say bubble chairlifts are particularly popular anywhere in the US. Between the wind problems, the scratches, and Vail refusing to build them at all of their properties (except at Okemo), there are just so few of them in the country. It is hard for me to see Jackson building a bubble either here or Thunder, and possibly anywhere on the mountain.


        • Utah Powder Skier February 9, 2021 / 5:53 pm

          Why did the old EJ bubble chairs not do well in the US. There are quite a few in Europe that are still operating with their bubbles. Did the ski resorts not build indoor facilities for the bubbles?


        • skitheeast November 16, 2021 / 10:07 pm

          Beyond bubbles, the US typically has a different philosophy on lifts than Europe. Ski resorts in Europe often use lifts as a way to market themselves and stand out among competitors, so doing things like adding bubbles, having heated seats, or using an eight-pack when you only need a capacity of 2400 pph makes sense. Boyne is currently the only operator in the US with this same philosophy, and it even is a new trend for them.


        • Chris November 17, 2021 / 2:10 am

          It’s not really marketing, the lazy tourist these days very much expect bubbles and heated seats. The only places bubbles and heated seats are missing on majors lifts are places catering to locals, which tends to ski good weather days or are power hounds (speaking as a local and powder hound who hates heated seats and is impartial to bubbles).


  7. dennis haussler September 1, 2021 / 1:14 pm

    I built this lift in 87??? POMA lift, but all construction done by Shellabarger Construction. Looking at the pics I can remember each tower. I remember that #16 was anchored uphill to another foundation with cable?? The stories of building this line are unreal.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dennis haussler September 1, 2021 / 1:15 pm

    I also did all 5 lifts at A Basin back in late 70’s with Lift Engineering since someone was mentioning pali. Winterpark, snowmass, and lots of others.


    • Henry January 3, 2022 / 7:15 pm

      Yes that is correct


    • Lucas G March 7, 2022 / 11:51 pm

      I think the flyover is somewhat protected on the trees lower down.


      • Aric Ratcliff March 26, 2022 / 4:07 pm

        Can you imagine if Sublette was a bubble what the wind would do to it. The wind in that video happens fairly often.


  9. pbropetech March 26, 2022 / 9:47 pm

    Just for clarification (as a fellow lift nerd, in addition to a professional), the unsupported part of the light side is called the flying return. A flyover is another word for an overpass on a freeway (or expressway, or motorway….) I’ve never heard nor used the term flyover regarding this configuration.


  10. MD May 16, 2022 / 9:50 am

    What factors make a flying return an optimal choice vs not? Always wondered why some lifts have enormous ones while most don’t have one


    • pbropetech May 16, 2022 / 12:20 pm

      It seemed to be a design thing in the late 70s/early 80s. From what I’ve seen it’s used primarily in areas where the terrain makes it possible, i.e. steep enough to where the rope won’t sag too much with no towers. It also reduces the amount of sheave assemblies necessary, which lowers initial cost. I’ve also noticed when lifts with that profile are replaced, the flying return is replaced with the more traditional setup.


      • MD May 16, 2022 / 1:48 pm

        Thanks :) 🤔 On a hypothetical/imaginary mountain with a slope that made a perfect catenary curve and that had skiers load every chair with the same amount of weight every time 24/7, would such a chairlift need any sheaves and towers or does the rope do all the supporting and the sheaves just shape the path to something safe/reasonable? As in, can the rope hold all the weight without any help from the towers if the height of the rope didn’t matter and that’s what makes these returns possible?


        • Michael May 16, 2022 / 2:24 pm

          Theoretically…but the diameter of the rope would be HUGE and the tensioning force off the charts.


  11. Kirk May 16, 2022 / 4:09 pm

    The large downhill span lifts built by Poma and Yan were typically Bottom Drive, Bottom Tension lifts. That style of lift would have very little carriage movement from full load to empty or on a stop. All the carriage reaction (for lack of better term) was happening in that long downhill free span.
    That span is moving higher with a loaded lift and up an down on a stop.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Somebody October 28, 2022 / 2:13 pm

    Why doesn’t this lift have the old Poma plaques?


  13. Hcovert March 10, 2023 / 9:56 am

    This is my favorite lift in Jackson. The only problem with it is that they close it so frequently these days when the winds get high. It seems like it is more prone to wind holds than it used to be. I wonder if JHMR could replace it with something that could better handle the wind and stay open.


    • ShangRei Garrett March 10, 2023 / 10:14 am

      Maybe a detach six? To decrease the ride time and handle the wind a bit better


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