The Mystery of the Missing Chairlift

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on February 4, 2009 5:00 pm

The sheer scale and size of a chairlift does not allow for surprise get-aways.  A chairlift would not make a good hider in hide-and-seek, nor bank robber, or a counter intelligence spy.  Chairlifts stand out from the crowd.  But, somehow Chair 26 at Mammoth Mountain made a night time escape.  Disappeared!   Most recent interviews with the lift gave the impression that 26 felt under-appreciated.  Chair 26′s functionality had been marginalized over the years.  Its terrain was best serviced by the high-speed, detachable Chair 1.  Only occasionally did it operate, serving ski racers training on Fascination.

Rumors circulated saying Chair 26 had split and headed east, searching for a place to retire, far from the glare of the big leagues of Mammoth Mountain.  Even though not a remnant of Chair 26 remains, its memories still reverberate for skiers passing by on the way to the gondola.   It’s true that Chair 26 no longer served a purpose, its presence superfluous.  However, any chairlift lucky enough to make it to Mammoth is to be respectfully remembered.  But, how to pay due respect when Chair 26′s where-abouts remained unknown?

Confirmation of Chair 26′s new residence came yesterday.  A journey of a thousand miles and Chair 26 has found a new home at the Sleeping Giant Ski Area, just outside of Cody, Wyoming.  The resort had closed in 2004, but should re-open for operation next winter.  This is great news for locals and ski historians, as Sleeping Giant is one of the country’s oldest ski areas, opening in 1936.  Mammoth’s Chair 26 is part of a $1.3 million upgrade for the resort.  The Ski Channel spoke with Chair 26 via telephone to pay respects, but got no response as chairlifts don’t have mouths.

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