Last Ride on the Sky Chair

One of the beauties of living in Vancouver is that we have three ski resorts on our doorstep – Seymour Mountain, Grouse Mountain, and Cypress Mountain.

Cypress Mountain, though the furthest away (28km), has been my go-to for years, being the largest of the three mountain resorts.

The Cypress season just closed this past weekend, and with it the Sky Chair, the clunky double-seater chairlift which has been trundling up and down Mt Strachan since 1987.

The chairlift to the top of the mountain is being upgraded to a newer, bigger four-seater chairlift, the SkyQuad.

Getting on and off the old Mueller Sky Chair was always a rite of passage for new skiers/snowboarders. The lift would seem to rush at you as you got ready to board it. My kids were terrified of climbing on it for the first time. Then once onboard they complained about how slow it was.

The Sixties-era chairlift may have been a laggard compared to the newer Eagle Express and Lions Express but, on a good day, it offered some of the best views on the mountain, in particular down to Howe Sound.

The new Doppelymayer QuadChair (this chairlift here, I think) should be easier on and off and roughly a minute faster to climb from the Sky Chair base at 1,246 metres (4088 ft) to the lift top at 1,426 metres (4678 ft). With an 1800 persons per hour capacity, there should be less waiting as well.

I made the short video below of my last Sky Chair ride, on Friday, to mark the occasion.

Sky Chair will disappear into the fog of history when it’s replaced by the bigger, better SkyQuad