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Scariest lifts?

Shannon D

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#41
I like to let me legs swing, so I rarely put the bar down if I have the option. When I'm riding on a chair with strangers it's about 50/50. I find that it often depends on the age of the others on the chair whether the bar is down or not. Older skiers and families always put it down while 20 and 30 somethings usually don't.

Sunlight doesn't have them at all, so growing up I got used to letting my legs hang. I guess I still prefer it.
 
#42
Well I just saw that big thread on epicski about safety bars so that answers my own question. I wonder why I rarely see them here? I don't think I'm riding old lifts but maybe I am!
 

Pandita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#43
Oh I just remembered another scary ish type lift. At Blue Knob in PA you come to this midstation area, if you get off, the only option is black diamonds to ski down. Now I was going up last year and my husband had to get on the chair in front of me. He accidently got off, and then had to scamble to think how to get back on. He was a very beginner at 7 springs and had not yet tasted the ways of Utah skiing. He was pretty scared for a while but then figured out how to get back on and meet me at the top.
 

Perty

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#45
There's a lift in Alpe d'Huez (the official name of which I don't recall). But we were told the english speakers call it the "Scare Chair"-you jump on, go under an innocuous concrete bridge and then......eeeeeeeek!..plunge down the side of the mountain to the bottom and then up the other side. There was no way to avoid it in either direction as it was the only way to this particular part of the ski area. So...on the way back....same process..

I just have to close my eyes. Why is it that going down the mountainside facing away from the hill is so scarey???
 

Kiragirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#46
I was just looking at the trail map for Alpe d'huez (couldn't find that lift) but it looks SO COOL, huge, all over the place and you can see how the little villages are connected by lifts.
 

Perty

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#47
The lift is called Alpauris...:eek:

Only been to Alpe D'Huez once. It's a great resort for beginners, and there is some good expert skiing if all the lifts are open-but when I was there the wind was too strong to get to the top for at least half of the week. V frustrating!

However later in the week the weather did clear and that was when we all spotted the (nearly) naked snowboarder. Fully waxed chest, teeny trunks, tan and posing like mad!

The town itself isn't the prettiest. The most famous thing about it is its history with the Tour de France. 21 hairpin bends from bottom to top, and a regular on the Tour itinerary. Each bend is marked and you can count em off as you go up...torture!! (Not that I would dream of even trying on a bike!).
 

Liquid Yellow

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#48
There's a lift in Alpe d'Huez (the official name of which I don't recall). But we were told the english speakers call it the "Scare Chair"-you jump on, go under an innocuous concrete bridge and then......eeeeeeeek!..plunge down the side of the mountain to the bottom and then up the other side. There was no way to avoid it in either direction as it was the only way to this particular part of the ski area. So...on the way back....same process..

I just have to close my eyes. Why is it that going down the mountainside facing away from the hill is so scarey???
I know the one, it takes you down into the Sarenne gorge and up the other side to Signal De L'Homme - pretty hairy! I love Alpe D'Huez, it's a brilliant resort, and so huge. Lots of long, long runs. I'd like to go back again one day but my favourite tour operator doesn't go there anymore..

There's a YouTube vid of the chair here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9UG4rRdmkg

I know it's been mentioned in another thread, but the 'up and over' Leissieres lift in Val D'Isere always makes your stomach flip!
 

whitewater girl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#49
A VERY old lift out of the back area of Taos (I think it's chair 7 or something!) WAYYYYYY Scary for me! (It had wooden slat seats and backs and had a pole coming up the middle between us and no side railings and the towers were made out of some metal AND wood!) :eek:
I think all of the lifts around here are old, with wooden slat seats/backs and towers made out of some metal & wood, mostly 2 seaters (occassionally 3)...there is one at Song Mountain still with no side railing - I've been warned that I don't want to ride that one! (not so high, but high enough to get hurt if you fall)...btw, Song is just replacing their 1961 "J"-bar, and has 2 "T"-bars (don't know how often - if at all - they still run)
 

Bayla

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#50
My first big mountain ski trip out of Pennsylvania was to Telluride. My instructor took me on Gold Hill Express to get me over to a blue trail called See Forever. We were at about 12,000 feet, OMG!!!! Everything below was double diamonds, I swore he took a wrong turn.

Here's a pic after getting off. I was so scared I'd ski off the edge I wiped out on the flat.

 

Magnatude

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#51
Just reading through the old posts here, I note that safety bars are not ubiquitous in Utah (maybe that's changed now -- I HOPE SO:eek:). Big fan of safety bars.

The lifts I hate most (apart from those with no safety bars) are those that pass over a valley, or some other high drop. I remember in the past fearing the Sugar Bowl lift at the Remarkables for this reason, just around the Frog Rock area. And whenever I was on it, it always seemed to stop right at the worst part. But either they have since put in an extra, lower pylon, or it just doesn't freak me out as much now.

But the worst lift I have ever seen is the Vallugabahn (tram type thing) at St Anton in Austria. It crosses a valley and there is a massive drop in the middle. Just a void. I spent a whole season there and refused to ride it, even once. If I ever go there again, I will try to summon up the courage, because it accesses a good back-country route down to Zurs. The lift from Whistler to Blackcomb looks similarly unappealing.
 

TeleChica

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#52
Second here for the "Freezer" aka Green Mountain Flyer at Jay. Freeking COLD and WINDY. I was stuck on it for 10 minutes just below the ridge (thank Ullr) and was literally shaking in my boots by the time I got off.

I was pretty uncomfortable on the lifts at Magic mountain in So. Vt. (remember the old Sugarloaf lift failure last year?) but it sounds like they have upgraded Magic's lifts for this year.

And yeah, what is up with the lack of safety bars in Utah? Geebus! :eek:
 

Perty

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#53
Am with you on the Peak to Peak in Whistler. I was there the first season it opened. The rest of the gang decided that we should take one of the glass bottomed cabins over. I scrunched myself up in a corner and tried to look at the sky, mountain tops...anywhere but down!
It was also fairly hair-raising when it was windy.

I'll try and chill out at bit more when we are there in January as, now it's been running for over 2 seasons, I'll feel a bit more confident!
 

SkiRunYoga

Certified Ski Diva
#54
I seem to remember posting this previously, but I think it was in a different thread....:noidea:

#1 Whitewater, Nelson BC - the 2 seater lifts that swing like a monkey on a tree when they stop. Caused me to have a panic attack because they ride up a sideways slope face and you can see everything!

#2 Peak Chair - Whistler. only part that freaks me out is the last little climb up the cliff to get to the top. Yipes!
 

linum

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#55
Second here for the "Freezer" aka Green Mountain Flyer at Jay. Freeking COLD and WINDY. I was stuck on it for 10 minutes just below the ridge (thank Ullr) and was literally shaking in my boots by the time I got off.
Agree with you TeleChica, the Flyer is freezing and can be quite scary too if you're not prepared for the wind gusts that comes when you get over the ridge.

Though, my scariest lift ride, if that was a lift, was the speed train going up and down to the Kaprun ski area in Austria. For some reason it felt like the train was free falling the 3000 meter down and the pressure change in the ears was crazy. Later on hearing about the horrible fire in the tunnel there makes my memory of this train even scarier.
 

litterbug

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#56
And yeah, what is up with the lack of safety bars in Utah? Geebus! :eek:
I learned without 'em at Alta in the 80s, I don't think Purgatory had 'em either (worked there in 89-90), so I just never thought about it. :noidea: I know I was startled the first time someone pulled a safety bar down at Alta and found it a little confining. But I can see how parents would want them for kids, especially wriggly ones.

OTOH, I'm an acrophile. I love sitting around with my heels dangling off the edge of an abyss. :cool: Still, going off the edge on the Alpauris lift would make even my stomach lurch a little.
 
#58
There was this lift at Mont Orford that scared the hell out of me. First there was moving/magic carpet to get on the lift which I'd never seen before so that was weird but you got used to it fast. The chair went to the top was over all fine it was just this one part. Took it to the top but probably about 1/2 or 3/4 of the way up the chair is heading right towards the face of this cliff and you literally went towards this and up, up, up until you were on top of that cliff and kept moving up. Hard to describe but as someone who's terrified of heights I needed to close my eyes and zone out when going over this part.
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#59
https://www.nsaa.org/media/68048/NSAA-Ski-Lift-Safety-Fact-Sheet-10-1-2012.pdf
http://www.onthesnow.com/news/a/165...--safer-than-cars--escalators--or-elevators--

While I always use the bar with kids on the chair, the articles I found make a case for both sides of the story in terms of safety bars. The first article shows that there are more fatalities from chairs with bars. Not sure if they were in use, but one has to assume so if the case made it into the statistics table. The second article is especially interesting as it mentions that the majority of falls are kids in the process of raising the safety bar. The bars are getting heavier and harder to use at most ski areas as maps and marketing photos are added, and the metal becomes beefier and the chairs wider to accomodate more riders.

I think the big take away is to not be complacent simply because there is a safety bar, and help kids and watch them closely (including the kid like adults in your group).
 

Sheena

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#60
I never remember seeing this thread the first time around, but at the time, there was nothing really. The first chair that every scared the bajeezus out of me was the challenger lift at Big Sky - getting off it especially terrified me at the time - to the point I was feeling nauseated.
 

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