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How to ride a rope tow

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
This just came up on my FB feed from Craigieburn Valley ski area showing how to ride one of our infamous rope tows and thought it was worth sharing so you can see what we sometimes have to do to get those turns in.
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Yesss this is the method they taught me when I went to Craigieburn!! I still failed a few times on one of the ropes :laughter: I think it's easier when the snow level is higher, for the second tow the rope was nearly level with my shoulder and it was awkward to try to drop the nutcracker onto it so it bounced off into my elbow a few times. My main problems with the top tow were that the nutcracker grip would loosen (as its grip on the rope became more and more askew) every time it went through the pulleys/sheaves and I ended up falling off partway up because I wasn't attached to the rope well enough anymore...

GOOD TIMES!!!!
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Yesss this is the method they taught me when I went to Craigieburn!! I still failed a few times on one of the ropes :laughter: I think it's easier when the snow level is higher, for the second tow the rope was nearly level with my shoulder and it was awkward to try to drop the nutcracker onto it so it bounced off into my elbow a few times. My main problems with the top tow were that the nutcracker grip would loosen (as its grip on the rope became more and more askew) every time it went through the pulleys/sheaves and I ended up falling off partway up because I wasn't attached to the rope well enough anymore...

GOOD TIMES!!!!
They're a challenge esp at Craigieburn !
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Hubby ALWAYS likes to remind me of the time it took me 20 tries to get on the ridge tow at Mt O ! I ended up just dropping the damn thing onto the rope instead of flicking it and to hell with safety :laughter:
 

badger

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My rope tow experiences ( 2 ) have been nothing short of humiliating, unsuccessful, and greatly entertaining for anyone in the vicinity. Dont' even ask me about similar POMA tow attempts:rolleyes:
 
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racetiger

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Never seen that kimd before.
I'm used to just hanging onto a bare rope. I've had my share of embarrassing moments.
I had a heck of a time with the tbar on the glacier at Blackcomb this summer it took awhile to get used to it.
 
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Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
Yeah, we just went through mitts and jackets. I can't remember the T-bar at Blackcomb....not a solid bar to the cable, but a cable/rope that you wind up when you get to the top?
 
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AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My rope tow method is to put my outside hand behind my back and grab the rope. Otherwise I can’t hang on. The nutcracker looks effective!
The nutcrackers are really effective, hold the nutcracker with your outside hand and just make sure your inside hand is behind your back so it dosen't accidently go through the pulleys, sometimes I just rest my inside hand on the rope for a bit of stability then lift it off when a pulley is coming up but generally I just let it hang behind me. Kinco gloves are the best for riding our rope tows as regular gloves get trashed within minutes and never wear your best jacket as it will more than likely get covered in grease :eek:
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I do the flick mostly! I think I tried dropping it on when I first learned at Olympus but for Roundhill you have heaps of time to get the nutcracker on so it's easier. I haven't been to the clubbies since 2018 though!
 
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AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I do the flick mostly! I think I tried dropping it on when I first learned at Olympus but for Roundhill you have heaps of time to get the nutcracker on so it's easier. I haven't been to the clubbies since 2018 though!
I'm a flicker as well but sometimes, ok after 20 attempts to get on the easiest tow at Mt O, I just give up and drop !! This from a girl who's been riding rope tows since she was 10 :laughter:
 

racetiger

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Yeah, we just went through mitts and jackets. I can't remember the T-bar at Blackcomb....not a solid bar to the cable, but a cable/rope that you wind up when you get to the top?
It had the solid Tbar that was attached to a cable which was part of some retractable system that was part of the main thing up top.
While in line the operator had to pull it down and hand it to you. Then proceed to struggle and look like a fool in front of everyone else behind you. Ride up. At the top let go and it would retract up and out of the way on its own.
 
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Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
Guess, because I grew up with that type I really didn't notice it.
I also grew up with rope tows. There was some type of clamp a couple of people had. Our family just had 2 jackets. 1 with a big patch on the left side that was used at that hill. Then another one for anywhere else.
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Yeah, these nutcrackers are essential because if you just hold onto the rope with your hands, they will go through some of the pulleys along the way which is probably not very good for ones hands :laughter:

Google actually found me a rather decent image:

1661743844790.png


Yeah, I have a spare jacket that I picked up kinda cheap which I don't use at the resort, it's reserved for club field/ropetow use :wink: I like my resort jackets too much!!
 
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AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Yeah, these nutcrackers are essential because if you just hold onto the rope with your hands, they will go through some of the pulleys along the way which is probably not very good for ones hands :laughter:

Google actually found me a rather decent image:

View attachment 19051


Yeah, I have a spare jacket that I picked up kinda cheap which I don't use at the resort, it's reserved for club field/ropetow use :wink: I like my resort jackets too much!!
Great pic !!! Separate "rope tow " jackets are a must. A friend totally ruined her brand spankin new Planks jacket at the beginning of the season :eek:
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Oh and I just found today that another friends son got caught up in one the pulleys at Temple Basin a few weeks ago, a terrifying experience for poor child:eek:
 

racetiger

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I had no idea people have a rope tow jacket and a regular jacket .
The pulleys on the ropes I've been on are up above and away from the parts you hold onto So you hold on with your hands the whole time.. I have seen kids gloves get pulled off because the rope sometimes twists. The glove goes up and over the pulley and falls down back behind the shed. So the operator has to go back there and retrieve it I have seen some people with leather covers that go over their regular gloves. Most will just buy specific rope tow gloves.
 
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AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I had no idea people have a rope tow jacket and a regular jacket .
The pulleys on the ropes I've been on are up above and away from the parts you hold onto So you hold on with your hands the whole time.. I have seen kids gloves get pulled off because the rope sometimes twists. The glove goes up and over the pulley and falls down back behind the shed. So the operator has to go back there and retrieve it I have seen some people with leather covers that go over their regular gloves. Most will just buy specific rope tow gloves.
Most people I know have an old jacket they use for the ski areas that have rope tows as they dont want to ruin their good jacket with oil and grease. We use the suede glove protectors as well but most people use Kinco gloves or something similar, the key is to write your name on the Kinco's so they dont get picked up by mistake.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
We didn't have any extra pulleys. One at each end and that was it. So they weren't very long. I know at one hill, you transferred to a second line. So you needed enough speed to get to it. I'm talking back in the 60's by the way!!
 
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racetiger

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
There's one of those still at Trollhaugen in WI! I believe they will be replacing it soon. I hate it when you don't have enough speed and get "stuck in-between" or end up behind someone who doesn't know and you're " stuck" waiting for them.
 
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