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Worst Lift to be on when it fails

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sledhaulingmedic
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Posted: Feb 01, 2007 - 4:27 PM GMT
Edited: Feb 01, 2007 - 4:30 PM GMT

To help keep Joshua's thread on track, If started this one.

My perspective is a little different than most members here, so I may have to qualify some of mine. I guess for the other patrollers on the forum, I should subtitle it: Worst lifts to evacuate.

Gondolas and other enclosed cabins (not including trams with attendents) pose an additional challenge to the evacuation personnel as they require cable riding to access the cabins. This makes them much harder to evac, but more comfortable for the evacuee.

Although a "ski lift" in the broadest term, I think the thought of being lowered out of the Sandia Peak Tram above TWA canyon, 1000+' down (and then being 2 miles from the road!) likely take most of us out of our comfort zone.

Magic's Red Chair, above Witch, is a long drop to hostile terrain.

I recall a few spots at Alta that were rather high above the snow.

Whiteface had a couple spots that struck me as sucking like a vacuum (having only been there once, I'll leave it to those who know better to describe them.)

Ditto for Smuggs

The tram at Jay or cannon, for that matter, both depending on where the car stopped.

A couple of very specific spots on the MRG Single

Others?

Edit: Appologies, I didn't see This thread

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igneousodc
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Posted: Feb 01, 2007 - 4:29 PM GMT
Edited: Feb 01, 2007 - 4:35 PM GMT

The Millie lift at Brighton, it is one of the highest and scariest lifts as it crosses over a ravine. I wouldn't want to evac off that.

MRG I don't know every inch, but I've always thought of that lift as running fairly close to the ground.
MissDaEast
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Posted: Feb 01, 2007 - 4:39 PM GMT

OOOOO...let's stop this conversation here! Denial...I choose Denial!
If I think about this too much longer, I'm going to have to give up skiing enitrely.
Brian
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Posted: Feb 01, 2007 - 5:56 PM GMT

hi----are we talking only in the usa or europe/canada/etc?

my worst fear would be in canada.....
Mt.Norquays dbl chair to the top.................right outside the city of Banff. that lift would take the cake as far as the scariest THING I'VE BEEN ON!!!!!!!!! the drop down and general feeling of solitary scariness is/was beyond belief.TO EVACUATE WOULD TAKE A PATRIOTT MISSLE.

#2-Would be the tramway to the piz gloria/schilthorn at 2971 metres height.from the tram station at BIRG ..ELEV.2145 metres...to the SCHILTHORN..................(where the james bond movie-"on her majesties secret service" was partially filmed........my family and i rode this to the top.unreal! my DAD skied down,but i didn't cause i was still a beginner! if it had to be evacuated....egadds!...scan of map enclosed here> this was 1973.MURREN is the name of the actual ski area. i'm lucky i never lost the map! it's 34 yrs old! regards...brian o
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downdraft's last tree
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Posted: Feb 01, 2007 - 6:32 PM GMT

Now THIS is getting fun - though I think there's a duplicate thread here that should be combined with this one.

Whoever said the Jay tram in this thread - oh my....that spot between the top of the Bonaventure Chair and the Summit.... it's got to be at least 300+ feet off the ground with howling wind - the good news is the other bodies would keep you warm, and that the terrain on arrival below is not hostile...but an evac there is just beyond contemplation

As for pure cold, the HSQ at Jay is the std. against which all others must be judged.

...Jeez - this thread is enough to make folks on this board even MORE fond of those good 'ol surface lifts.....
Bill29
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Posted: Feb 01, 2007 - 7:02 PM GMT

I havn't been in Aspen in years, so this might notstill hold true. The chair to the summit of Aspen Highlands crossed over a big drop just before the summit. I would imagine that trying to evacuate skiers from chairs above that dropoff would be a tough job and not all that pleasant for the skiers. As I recall, that dropoff came as a surprise when I was riding the chair. It might have been 100 feet or maybe more to the snow.
jimk
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Posted: Feb 01, 2007 - 8:11 PM GMT

Quote:
I havn't been in Aspen in years, so this might notstill hold true. The chair to the summit of Aspen Highlands crossed over a big drop just before the summit. I would imagine that trying to evacuate skiers from chairs above that dropoff would be a tough job and not all that pleasant for the skiers. As I recall, that dropoff came as a surprise when I was riding the chair. It might have been 100 feet or maybe more to the snow.



Not only was there a pretty good drop to the ground, but when you hit it would be on steep terrain and you'd keep rolling down the giant ravine off to the right (looking up) for a long, long way. I've only been on the old double chair too, they replaced it with a high speed quad 5 or 10 years ago. Not sure how hairy it still is.
There are a lot of hairy cable cars in the alps. I rode one that climbed about 6000' vertical on Germany's highest peak, the Zugspitze. It had parts where if the car fell, you'd drop about 500', hit the side of a cliff and roll for another mile to the bottom of the mountain.

jgreco
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Posted: Feb 01, 2007 - 8:23 PM GMT

always hated getting stuck on a rope tow.

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ciscokid
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Posted: Feb 01, 2007 - 8:25 PM GMT

Your right downdraft,we have lift failure threads all over the place,little did I know bringing up the topic of a 375' vertical hill like Crystal mtn Mi.'s quad failure spinoff into such a hot subject.
Bill,I too was thinking of that lift at Aspen Highlands earlier today and although it's been 10 years since I've been there I would say that lift is well over 100 feet above the ravine.But the view of the Maroon Bells is well worth the suspense of riding that lift!
The other lift that "was"suspended at least that high was the iconic Tram at Jackson Hole.I rode that "old girl" in a 30-40mph whiteout swayin' big time and was only too glad to dismount!

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rickbolger
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Posted: Feb 01, 2007 - 8:27 PM GMT

wasn't scary, but it was the "worst" for me. I was on the steepest part of the summit t-bar at Breckenridge a few years ago, and it stopped for about 20 minutes. My legs were screaming!
MissDaEast
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Posted: Feb 01, 2007 - 9:45 PM GMT

C'mon, you guys...Cut It OUT!!!!!!! EEEEEEEK!!!
Rick
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Posted: Feb 01, 2007 - 9:46 PM GMT
Edited: Feb 01, 2007 - 9:46 PM GMT

Any lift that you are sharing with a stranger who won't stop talking about their kids.
dangelone
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Posted: Feb 01, 2007 - 11:08 PM GMT

The old Gore gondola after midstation would be pretty hairy during a malfunction. Thank god it's gone.
joshua segal
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Posted: Feb 02, 2007 - 3:44 AM GMT

I participated in a lift evac exercise at the beginning of this season and it's not a fun job even when the lift is close to the ground.

I was impressed with the variety of contraptions that ski patrol had assembled to get the rope with its pulley-guard over the places where the haul rope is high above ground and Ragged's worst pales by comparison with the suggestions someof you have made. Some of the aerial tramways you described, I was of the impression they had a cart that connected to the haul rope and passengers were ferried to the end terminal.

I would be interested in hearing directly from patrollers iunvolved with the one that is 1000 feet above the canyon. I assume an evac plan must be in place to get approval to run the lift. Not so Sled?

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Joshua Segal
sledhaulingmedic
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Posted: Feb 02, 2007 - 11:28 AM GMT

In most states (at least that I'm aware of), the evac plan is part of the lift inspection. No plan, no inspection certificate.

Most chairs are evac'd by ground based techniques. A rope is brought (by various means) up and over the haul rope, protected by a purpose-made device called a line saver to make, in essense, a change of direction pulley out of the haul rope. Either a sling or "Chair" is used to lower the passenger down.

Gondolas require a rescuer to ride the cable to each car, open the car and lower the passengers from a point inside the car. (Note the eyelet just above the door in most gondola cars.

Trams have the advantage of having an operator in the car. Sandia (and I believe Cannon and Jay) have a spool of cable in the floor that's rigged to a high point in the ceilling of the car and the passengers are lowered down through a trap door.

I don't know how they handle a tram stalled over "inhospitable" terrain.

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mtsnow100
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Posted: Feb 02, 2007 - 11:58 AM GMT

Any lift made by Yan.....

I do not trust them, and I try to avoid them but at most ASC area's it is hard......... Especially Snow......
photogf128
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Posted: Feb 02, 2007 - 12:39 PM GMT

Here is a pic of the JH tram when it is furthest from the ground. I did witness it being evacuated once but lower on the mountain at about 75 ft, it was an amazing thing to watch.





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skipatrol40s
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Posted: Feb 02, 2007 - 1:46 PM GMT

Nice pic of the JH tram. I understand when the patrol slides down the tram cable, pops the door on the tram roof, jumps inside the cabin and says I am going to open the door in the middle of the floor in the tram, everyone squeezes back to clear a big open space even though the tram was already packed like sardines.
teighs
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Posted: Feb 02, 2007 - 2:32 PM GMT

MI at Smug's isn't so bad now that it's been lowered an average of 13' from mid station to the top. Although getting people off the trail afterwards can be fun.

My 5 year old was present at lift evac training a year ago, and thinks its the most fun, in fact now when a lift stops she eagerly asks "can we evac?"
ciscokid
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Posted: Feb 02, 2007 - 5:30 PM GMT

Photog,how many feet are we looking at from the ground in your pic?I know the first time I got into the "cattle stall" I was so psyched out after reading the warning getting on the lift that by the time I completed the Rendevous Bowl and the Hobacks I thought I was a pretty decent skier.
Skipatrol40,being on that tram is one of the few times I enjoy being 6'8",being able to look "over" the "cattle"and looking into the mouth of Corbets,it's too bad I also had to absorb the "stench"!Glad I didn't know anything about that hole in the floor!



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