Sundown Mountain, IA

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7 thoughts on “Sundown Mountain, IA

  1. Utah Powder Skier January 5, 2021 / 7:57 pm

    I’m pretty sure 5 was relocated from another mountain. Borvig closed operations in 1991 and even if this lift was shipped earlier than 1993, the chair and tower model on 5 are from the 70s.


    • ne_skier January 6, 2021 / 6:00 am

      Borvig closed in 1993 actually


      • Utah Powder Skier January 6, 2021 / 8:39 am

        Yes, but they didn’t build a lift in 1992 or 1993. It would seem strange that Borvig would revert back to 1970s designs in the 1990s unless 5 was a relocation.


    • Detroit Skier March 23, 2022 / 9:58 am

      I second this wholeheartedly. I cannot verify where this came from, but by deduction I believe I have it narrowed down to one lift. Here’s the logic:

      – The chair design has the large triangular gap between the two hanger arm pieces. Borvig went to the narrow gap/curved arm that follows the top of the bail in 1982 from looking at most of the existing Borvigs in service. So, the Lift 5 design was 1981 or before.

      – The towers use the hanging sheave trains, which was used by Borvig until around 1983 to 1985. This provides more support to 1981 or before.

      – The upper fixed return terminal uses a right-angle design with an extended horizontal arm holding the bullwheel. I found only designs from 1980 through maybe 1981 or 1982 that used this design. After that, they used a modified “forked” horizontal arm for the bullwheel, and before that, they had the diagonal one-piece support for many years. So this points to a 1980 or 1981 design.

      – The lower drive/tension terminal is overhead drive and uses a raised cross-beam for the first sheave trains. This was also used from around 1980 to 1983 or 1984, when they angled the vertical supports for that cross-beam back toward the motor room. Before 1980 or so, they used a separate portal tower.

      All this points to a 1980 or 1981 original installation. After checking the status of all Borvig installations between 1978 and 1983, identifying when any of those lifts went out of service, and cross-checking that against this lift’s length to make sure it was in the ballpark of the original lift, I came up with one lift that fit all the criteria: the Double Chair from Royal Valley / Ski World in Buchanan, MI (1980 installation). Ski World closed between 1990 and 1992 (couldn’t get an exact season) and per a Chicago Tribune article from 1993 (, a chair in the expanded beginner area was installed the previous season, which would be 1992.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SpartySki January 30, 2023 / 11:36 am

        I agree that this is most likely the Royal Valley double. The only picture I have seen from that lift had the same chair and tower design. The 93 install and the similar short length makes it a strong candidate. I believe this lift was moved at one point to another location at Royal Valley when the Quad was installed.


  2. Robb Schuldt January 21, 2021 / 3:02 pm

    Lift 3 – Meadow; was a Von Roll triple that utilized many Hall designs.


    • Detroit Skier March 23, 2022 / 10:38 am

      Was this a new installation missed in the SAM survey, or was it a relocation? For all of the Von Roll fixed triple installations from 1983 (post-Hall sale) to 1995 from the SAM survey, I don’t see how the Meadow could have been a relocation of any of those lifts. When was it installed (assuming between 1990 and 1995 per trail maps on


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