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August 31, 2021

No Safety Bars Needed, These Vintage Photographs of Snow King Chairlifts Will Give You the Anxiety!

Many people freaked out by these vintage photographs of Snow King chairlifts from between the 1950s and 1970s. The biggest issue is the lack of safety bars over the front, and people detailed how the images made them feel sick, anxious, or worried. It also might have to do with the perspective of the photos, which show the entire town of Jackson in the background and might be a forced perspective that makes the lift look much higher than it actually is.

Safety bars are sometimes used on chairlifts, but not always. Their presence arguably interferes with the primary application of chairlifts in their contexts — enabling riders to enter them and, a few minutes later, disembark onto ski slopes with ease.

In 1936, the Civilian Conservation Corps created a switch-back horse and hiking trail to the top of the mountain and the trail became one of Snow King’s first skiing race courses. The Jackson Hole Ski Club was established in 1937, and two years later lift-served skiing began on Wyoming's first ski area with the addition of a 4,000-foot (1,220 m) rope tow.

The first chairlift was installed in 1946, a converted ore tram from Colorado. It had four stations, with the first starting where 1 town hill apartments are located. Stations 2 and 3, which were up the hill, were for beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The lift to the top originally began as a single chair lift in the 1940s, but by the late 1950s, the single chair was replaced with a double. In 1981 the entire lift was replaced with the Summit Lift there now.


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