The Chairs of Kimberley
Tamarack (or Larch) Double Chair
A chair is a chair by any other name...and the same damn chair it turns out!
As a good hockey playing, prairie boy from Red Deer, my family ski trips were often to Lake Louise. These day trips had us in the truck by 600am enroute to the mountains west of Calgary. Many of those trips found my brother and I skiing the Rock Garden accessed off the steady old double chair - the Larch Chair. So, when I learned that the Tamarack Chair in Kimberley was the old Larch chair from Lake Louise - it seemed my ski life went full circle!
And, to tie it all together, Tamarack is another widely used name for Larch trees (deciduous & coniferous softwood tree) that many visitors think are dead trees as they lose their needles after a vibrant fall of a colour pilgrimage).
Easter Triple Chair
The Easter Chair is an oldie but a goodie, adding charm and character to the backside of Kimberley Alpine Resort. Like all old gals she needs care and attention, a process which started back in 2010, the year a new diesel engine and transmission were installed. In 2011, the Easter saw a freshening of her seats with a whole "new to her" set of chairs as a result of the retiring of Nakiska’s Gold Chair to its new home in Fernie on the Polar Peak.
This year the love comes in the form of a complete service and rebuild of the gear box. Unlike a modern lift where you can pop the gear box out of the drive station by undoing a few bolts, for the Easter this meant taking the haul rope off, dropping the bull wheel, then craning out the gear box. Good thing this is expected to be a one in twenty-five year event!