Unpopular Opinion: Any more than 4 people on a lift is too many.

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  1. #1

    Unpopular Opinion: Any more than 4 people on a lift is too many.

    The ski industry has recently been obsessed over replacing already functioning high speed quads with six person (or 8 person lifts).



    Now, with the 8 person lift coming to Loon (to replace Kanc), I would like to reopen my argument that high speed quads are still the most efficient

    1. Any lift is only as good as the line-management. On busy days, the seats on the lift aren't the limiting factor, but rather the RFID scanners/checking tickets, and making sure that all passengers are lined up correctly
      • Most places are terrible at managing lines. Loon for example simply just calls "Front Row!". And then just fills the rest with singles. That's not line management. It really take one person (like at Waterville Valley, or Wildcat) that groups people together and does the math for people, because it can be hard to look across and count to 4 (let alone 6 or 8 as you are approaching the lift loading area.

    2. 6 person lifts often have 90 degree loading, which confuses people, and causes lift stoppages.
      • While a 90 degree load is often ok for a high speed quad (see wildcat), once you get into the bigger chair sizes, things start to get worse. This seems to be because if you are on the inner side of the chair (closest to the center of the lift terminal), your part of the chair actually goes backwards for a brief second, as you turn the corner. This can be tricky if you try to sit down while the chair goes backwards.


    Really I see these 6 or 8 person lifts as mostly marketing gimmicks. At what point is it worth to have a 6 person lift if you have to run it slower than a high speed quad (see killington's snowdon 6, where on busy days it sometimes maxes out at 550ft/min), or if you have to decrease chair spacing to reduce overwhelming the trails? Just have a quad with tight chair spacing.

    #end rant

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by gregnye View Post
    The ski industry has recently been obsessed over replacing already functioning high speed quads with six person (or 8 person lifts).

    Now, with the 8 person lift coming to Loon (to replace Kanc), I would like to reopen my argument that high speed quads are still the most efficient

    1. Any lift is only as good as the line-management. On busy days, the seats on the lift aren't the limiting factor, but rather the RFID scanners/checking tickets, and making sure that all passengers are lined up correctly
      • Most places are terrible at managing lines. Loon for example simply just calls "Front Row!". And then just fills the rest with singles. That's not line management. It really take one person (like at Waterville Valley, or Wildcat) that groups people together and does the math for people, because it can be hard to look across and count to 4 (let alone 6 or 8 as you are approaching the lift loading area.

    2. 6 person lifts often have 90 degree loading, which confuses people, and causes lift stoppages.
      • While a 90 degree load is often ok for a high speed quad (see wildcat), once you get into the bigger chair sizes, things start to get worse. This seems to be because if you are on the inner side of the chair (closest to the center of the lift terminal), your part of the chair actually goes backwards for a brief second, as you turn the corner. This can be tricky if you try to sit down while the chair goes backwards.


    Really I see these 6 or 8 person lifts as mostly marketing gimmicks. At what point is it worth to have a 6 person lift if you have to run it slower than a high speed quad (see killington's snowdon 6, where on busy days it sometimes maxes out at 550ft/min), or if you have to decrease chair spacing to reduce overwhelming the trails? Just have a quad with tight chair spacing.

    #end rant
    I love our six. Itís really nice when you can get the whole family on there or group up with friends.

  3. #3
    I've seen a six at Breck that was often inefficiently loaded and agree with your theory. But I was at Big Sky last year and rode their eight a few times and it seemed to load pretty well?? Maybe it depends if the lift serves easy or advanced terrain and therefor draws unskilled or skilled riders? The inefficient six I'm thinking about at Breck (Colorado Super) draws a lot of novice/intermediate skiers.

  4. #4
    The best # of people on a lift is one.
    2019/2020 season [*powder day]

    Berkshire East [12/20, 1/7, 1/10, 1/22, 1/24] Bretton Woods [1/3] Gunstock [1/2] Mount Snow [11/14, 11/21, 12/2*] Wachusett [12/16]

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by bdfreetuna View Post
    The best # of people on a lift is one.
    I really enjoy our community on our home hill here. It’s fun to say hi to different ski friends throughout the day. Riding solo all day sounds pretty lonely to me but to each his own.

  6. #6
    kingslug's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    Watching people try to get off the hunter 6 when the ramp is iced up...
    The Hunter 6..get off it if you can.....
    Lets go!
    I'll drive.

  7. #7
    Yes exponential problems I agree 4 is enough . Even had people try so slide in making 5 ..... Liftys should get a raise for the aggravation!
    The bar is heavy enough with 6. When your single on an 8 pack the bar will be even heavier unless it's counterbalance properly.
    Groundhog day lets go skiing !

  8. #8
    machski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siliconebobsquarepants View Post
    Yes exponential problems I agree 4 is enough . Even had people try so slide in making 5 ..... Liftys should get a raise for the aggravation!
    The bar is heavy enough with 6. When your single on an 8 pack the bar will be even heavier unless it's counterbalance properly.
    Loon's 8 will automatically close and lock in place when down, then auto raise at the top. It also will have a height adjustable loading carpet, just like Big Sky's Ramcharger 8. 6's to me have always seemed to load OK and it is often better with a load carpet (most of these just sequence you out to the load point at the correct time, you don't keep moving while you load the chair). I do not know what the Snowdon 6's issue is. I have only ridden it on weekdays and it works fine then and seems to move fast.

    Sent from my SM-T830 using AlpineZone mobile app

  9. #9
    I agree. Even with quad lifts I still get taken out by other people.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Siliconebobsquarepants View Post
    Yes exponential problems I agree 4 is enough . Even had people try so slide in making 5 ..... Liftys should get a raise for the aggravation!
    The bar is heavy enough with 6. When your single on an 8 pack the bar will be even heavier unless it's counterbalance properly.
    I think a big part of the equation is a well trained lift ops staff that is on top of loading management.

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