Dennis Jones was the father of commerical Skiing in California - see our February, 09 Heirloom for the Story, "The Remarkable Dennis Jones."
Jones also built the first ski lift on Donner Summit, called an "Up Ski." Skiers had to remove their skis to use the sled shaped vessels and sit facing downhill (so they wouldn't fall over). One sled went up while another went down. Since the Up Ski was inconvenient and didn't ever work well it was replaced by a rope tow in the mid - 1930's. This picture is from the Norm Sayler collection and may be the Up Ski noted above.