Silver Lode #4 – 49° North, WA

Lift overview.
Riblet bottom tension return station.
Loading area.
Side view of the bottom station next to Angel Peak.
View up at tower 12.
Lower lift line.
Enclosed top bullwheel with unload below.
Breakover towers.
View down from the summit.
Riblet vault drive station.
View riding up the line.

21 thoughts on “Silver Lode #4 – 49° North, WA

  1. Patrick March 22, 2020 / 8:29 pm

    All the other Riblet doubles I’m familiar with have a center pole, which I think of as a defining feature of a Riblet double. Why are the chairs different here?


    • pbropetech January 5, 2021 / 8:40 am

      Both bail-type and centre-pole were available. Centre-pole seems to have been more popular, although once Riblet changed their carrier style in the 80s centre-pole went away.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Raidy (raidify) March 8, 2022 / 12:37 am

        Actually, In the early 90’s a brand new riblet center pole quad went in at devils head Wisconsin. So they weren’t completely phased out yet


        • Utah Lost Ski Area Project March 8, 2022 / 9:42 am

          I believe Superior Tramway still makes Riblet center pole quad chairs. Welch Village received new center pole chairs just this last year. I’m not sure if they were surplus of the design after Riblet phased it out but there are quite a few Riblet center pole quads in operation.


  2. Enumclaw kid March 23, 2020 / 12:04 am

    I’ll leave the “why” to people who actually know. But Chairs 1, 2, 3, and 4 at Crystal Mountain were all Riblets with bail-type carriers just like these, built in 1962 through 1966 or so. Through roughly the same years Riblet was also building chairs with center-pole carriers, e.g. Barrier, 7th Heaven and Big Chief / Kehr’s at Stevens, the original chairs at Mission Ridge, Mt. Spokane, C-1 and C-2 at Mt. Baker, etc. Subjectively, it seems there were more center-pole type built, and hence surviving today.


    • Vintage Chairlifts August 12, 2020 / 1:52 pm

      The earliest bail-style I know of from Riblet was the original Green Lift at Hoodoo, Oregon. That chair was installed in 1948.


  3. Mister cheese August 12, 2020 / 6:36 pm

    What lift was this at sun valley?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carson August 12, 2020 / 6:40 pm

      The lift possibly before the now gone sunnyside triple


    • Ben Eminger August 23, 2020 / 6:46 pm

      This is the original Sunnyside double, it was very short lived from 1967-1978, it didn’t get installed here till the early 80’s I think though, not 78′. Side note, this lift is pretty speedy for a fixed grip.


      • Mountaineer January 30, 2021 / 3:01 am

        The lift was bought and installed in 1978 when Cliff Wordal was GM of 49. They didn’t know if they can arrange the financing that year, but they did it in the end. U.S. Forest Service put an operation ban on the lift on 02/24/79 after three of four brakes failed due to ice building up. About 50 skiers jumped off the chairs when it went backwards. Riblet did inspect the lift days later and the lift went back into service the following Saturday (source: Spokane Chronicle).


    • James Petersen April 26, 2021 / 5:17 pm

      The length and bottom station sure look like Sunnyside (#6) from Sun Valley but that lift had center-pole chairs…


      • Ben Eminger April 26, 2021 / 5:43 pm

        It is Sunnyside, the CP chairs were swapped for brand new (at the time) bail chairs from Riblet during the relocation. We still have the original spec sheet from Sun Valley in the shop filed away

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Tyler Baroody December 21, 2020 / 4:10 pm

    What retrofit was done on it that was recently completed on Chair 1?


    • Usk January 1, 2021 / 8:22 pm

      A new type of pin that has a fail safe iirc.


  5. Myles Svec January 4, 2021 / 8:02 pm

    Yesterday 2 trees fell on the cable of this lift. Is it back up and running yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Usk January 4, 2021 / 9:10 pm

      Nope. If it doesn’t run tomorrow, it should be running on Friday.


  6. theincsupport April 21, 2021 / 12:24 pm

    I can see in the next few years them replacing this lift. Of course, it will be a while due to the new HSQ at chair 1, but this is really showing its age.


    • Ben Eminger June 11, 2021 / 8:25 pm

      Showing it’s age but it’s in super good shape (albeit not the best aesthetically) and it goes about as fast as fixed grip can safely go with or without a loading carpet. I’ve skied all of the US and this still remains the fastest fixed grip I’ve ever ridden.


      • theincsupport June 15, 2021 / 4:41 pm

        I’m very surprised on just how fast this thing goes, especially because most of the skiers are at chairs 5 or 1.

        Liked by 1 person

        • pnwrider July 5, 2021 / 12:11 pm

          This is for sure the fastest fixed grip chairlift I have ever personally ridden on! I think it does work though because the terrain this lift services is primarily more difficult, so it has less crowds and more skilled skiers and snowboarders using it. I personally don’t remember any misloads any of the times I visited 49N last season.


  7. Donald Reif January 23, 2022 / 7:18 am



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