An article fromSki Area Management.
Lift Designer Bob Heron Dead SAM magazine--Denver, Colo., March 1--Bob Heron, a pioneer in the design
of all types of ski lifts, died February 26 at the age of 85. Heron designed and built lifts over an
extraordinarily productive career from the mid-1940s well into the late 1970s. Heron's association with
the ski world starts in 1945. When the 10th Mountain Division assaulted the German position on Riva Ridge
in the final stages of World War II, the portable tram that carried supplies and ammunition had been designed
by Heron and tested at Camp Hale in Colorado two years previously. In that same year he cobbled together some
old mining equipment that Friedl Pfeiffer had bought and it became Aspen's Chair #2, a single, which started
operating in January 1946. His double chair at Berthoud Pass, Colo., is tied as one of the first two doubles
ever built; he was also the first with a triple chair and first with a quad--both at Boyne Mt., Mich. Later,
whether operating as Heron Engineering or Heron-Hopkins or Heron-Poma, Bob Heron was involved in the design
of more than 120 chairlifts, several tramways, including the first Squaw Valley jigback and the Agudio tram
at Cannon Mountain. Another of Heron's legacies was his long and seminal work on the Colorado Passenger Tramway
Safety Board. A conservative engineer despite his record of innovations, Heron's lift designs were noted for
their strength and high safety margins. In 1982, in recognition of his distinguished career, Heron was given a
Lifetime Achievement Award by OITAF/NACS and in 1985 was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame.