For the ongoing discussion of the earliest detachable lifts, even before the first gondola in Whistler, there was a detachable chairlift in Scotland in the Cairngorms. Like Whistler, the chair was pushed into position manually after it had been loaded. A curious difference: the chairs faced to the side rather than uphill.
I first rode this lift in 1962. Skiing in Scotland, prior to snowmaking, was created by the wind blowing what snow there was into gullies. Tough if the wind blew in the wrong direction. I drove to the Cairngorms early June one year when there was no snow anywhere except a sliver beside the aforementioned detachable chairlift.