Monday, June 21, 2010

Antique Ski Lift Chairs from Butternut Basin

Antique chairlift chairs now available for collectors from Ski Butternut
Retired 48 to 50+ year old chairlift’s double chairs now available to
skiing enthusiasts and collectors alike.

For those interested in having a unique piece of skiing nostalgia to adorn their
home or garden, Ski Butternut is offering three different styles of antique chairlift
chairs for sale. Price is $200 per chair. Guests can pickup their chairs at Ski
Butternut - 380State Road, Great Barrington, Massachusetts 01230.

There are three chairlift style chairs to choose from (use link to view picture).
Borvig or Carlavaro or maybe a Mueller.

There are a total of 85 chairs; 2 Mueller, 23 Borvig and 60 Carlavaro. These
chairs vary in design and construction. Some used wooden slats for seats and
backs, while others used metal or a more durable composite. These old double
chairlift chairs are all truly remarkable pieces of skiing history. Antique chairlift
chairs are quickly disappearing. Each lift chair is being sold as is. Chairs must be
picked up at Ski Butternut. To secure a chair one must first call the Ski Butternut
main office 413.528.2000 x111. Please have your credit card ready. Full
payment will reserve a chair for pickup. Pickup can be accommodated from 10
a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, or at the same times over the weekend
of August 1st and 2nd. Cash sales will also be accepted, but we are unable to
hold a chair in your name until payment has been secured. Personal checks will
not be accepted. All chairs are sold on a first-come first-served basis.

All Lift chairs can fit in a standard truck bed. Customers have also strapped
chairs down onto the top of their vehicles for transport. Please bring
appropriate tie down cords, or other means so you can firmly attach the chair
to your vehicle. Chairs measure approximately 42” wide by 98” tall by 28” deep
and weigh 35 to 45 pounds. The Carlavaro chairs have been disassembled into
three pieces (a hanger, hoop and basket) making them easier to transport for
those without access to a truck. These chairs can be reassembled using a
screwdriver and wrench.

There are only 2 Mueller center pole style chairlift double chairs remaining. This
lift was manufactured in 1961 by Mueller (a Swiss company that still
manufactures chairlifts today). The lift was powered by a 65 HP motor and was
originally installed at Mount Cathalia in Ellenville, NY, before being purchased
and relocated to Ski Butternut (known then as Butternut Basin). Channing
Murdock and the Butternut Basin Lift Maintenance crew sweated through all
aspects of the installation of the foreign made lift components to get it ready for
the coming winters’ guests. This Mueller lift carried many an aspiring novice to
the top of the Cruiser ski slope at Ski Butternut until it was decommissioned in
2004. Ski Butternut replaced this aging lift with a quad chairlift prior to the winter
of 2005.

There are 60 Carlavaro chairlift chairs available which were originally installed on
the ski slopes at the Dartmouth Ski Way in NH. Channing purchased these chairs
from them in 1992. These Italian made chairs served as backup chairs for the
original summit double chair and for our beloved Paddy’s beginner chairlift, also
a Carlavaro, which through great care is still in operation at the resort today.

Channing Murdock also purchased 23 Borvig chairs along with the other lift
components and a 15 horsepower drive unit from another mountain. These
components were installed at the mountain as the Scooter lift in 1969. The
Scooter lift, in tandem with the Paddy’s chairlift, serviced the areas numerous
beginner clients. Today a series of four Sun Kid carpet lifts in conjunction with the
Paddy’s chairlift better serve the continual mix of beginners, of which a high
percentage of these are children through young teens. Guests, just learning to
ski today, desire a less intimidating, confidence building, yet fun transportation
link to the various starting points for lessons on the Scooter learning slope. This
series of new carpets deliver the right mix for our guests today.

Keen interest has been expressed in acquiring a chair by many Ski Butternut
loyal guests, instructors, patrollers as well as a number of the local ski shops.
Purchasers have told me they desire to incorporate these unique and limited
pieces of skiing history into their backyard, garden, game room or storefront.
Many want to restore these historical treasures so as to preserve the memories
they have had on the slopes of our beloved mountain. 

Have some fun, be creative and once you are done please send me pictures of your new special treasure. Email your pictures to: along with a description telling us what
makes it special for you.


  1. one of the finest blog ever and thanks for sharing such a useful information.
    - great barrington ma hotels

  2. Lift chairs are the special chairs used by people who have difficulty rising to a standing position from sitting.