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Bubble lift opinions

zoomzoom

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no love for bubbles for the guys/girls that have to maintain and operate them. lots of articulating parts and cables that need adjustment to keep them open / closed at the right position, maintenance checks / repairs on these components, maintenance / repairs / timing on the auto-closers and openers. dealing with graffiti and vandalism on the bubbles. due to the effective area of bubbles when in the "up" position, the lift is down even in a little puff of wind due to carrier swing if the unload station auto closer is fubar. rope evac techniques must be modified and presented/demonstrated for the lift inspector, how many patrollers are qualified for this task are on-hand every day? especially summer ops, with both uphill and downhill loaded. not a fan from the ops perspective.
 

bigbob

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If the Loon Kanc 8 has to be evacuated someone has to slide down the haul rope amd release the lock on the saftey bar in order for it to open.
 

Rogman

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I like that they automatically close on the ride down. Don‘t have to sit in a rainy puddle on the ride up. Goretex has its limits. Helps keep the lift running in high winds too. The rest is just posing.
 

kbroderick

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I'm not calling you anything but an 800 ft vert 3 minute lift doesn't need a bubble
If adding the bubble buys you an additional five days a season where wind would otherwise close the lift, does that change your thinking?

What if that number was higher?

I don't love riding with a bubble down in most conditions, but I'm happy to have lifts with higher wind tolerances.
 

SkiingInABlueDream

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I'd hate to be trapped inside a bubble when a rollback occurs. OTOH you could say the same thing about gondolas. 🤔 I generally would rather ride a fast chair than a gondola but I don't hate gondolas. I absolutely do hate bubble chairs.
 

drjeff

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If the Loon Kanc 8 has to be evacuated someone has to slide down the haul rope amd release the lock on the saftey bar in order for it to open.

Guessing the Dopps have a similar manual release mechanism, that can be reached while riding inside the chair with the bubble down if it locks like the L-P bubbles do. (Actually just learned this past weekend after 11 seasons riding the Bluebird at Mount Snow that there is such a thing)
 

Yo VT Raps

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I have ridden very few but found it ok when I have used them. There are some tradeoffs. If I had to choose 1 or the other forever, everywhere... no bubble.
 

bigbob

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Guessing the Dopps have a similar manual release mechanism, that can be reached while riding inside the chair with the bubble down if it locks like the L-P bubbles do. (Actually just learned this past weekend after 11 seasons riding the Bluebird at Mount Snow that there is such a thing)
From what I was told by patrol the release can only be preformed up at the haul rope. One would think that Dopp would of made a saftey release that was accesable while sitting in the chair.
 

machski

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From what I was told by patrol the release can only be preformed up at the haul rope. One would think that Dopp would of made a saftey release that was accesable while sitting in the chair.
The difference between L-P's and Dopp's is that Dopp's bubbles do not lock down, it is the safety bar that locks on the Dopp. As such, this is a safety feature and probably why they don't have a release for the bar near riding positions.
 

bigbob

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The difference between L-P's and Dopp's is that Dopp's bubbles do not lock down, it is the safety bar that locks on the Dopp. As such, this is a safety feature and probably why they don't have a release for the bar near riding positions.
I did refer to the safety bar in my first post. Once you put the safety bar down it is locked, bubble can be lifted if you decide to lower it.
 

Ski2LiveLive2Ski

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Surprised to see folks saying Bubble has higher wind tolerance. Seems clear they would catch a lot more wind based on increased surface area - more like a sail.

I like them - both for the option of warming between runs on a colder day without the hassle of a gondola, and for being a magnet for crowds away from other lifts.

Agree putting one in Camelback has questionable value for riders as that lift is so quick going up under 700'. But get that it goes with on site indoor Waterpark hotel in enhancing their image as the luxury ski vacation option within 2 hrs of NYC & Philly.
 

skiur

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The difference between L-P's and Dopp's is that Dopp's bubbles do not lock down, it is the safety bar that locks on the Dopp. As such, this is a safety feature and probably why they don't have a release for the bar near riding positions.
The Snowdon 6 at K is a L-P and neither the bubble or the bar locks down.
 

zoomzoom

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re: wind tolerance. it all depends on prevailing wind direction. imo, "bubbled" carriers have less wind tolerance but only slightly less and only when wind is from the front or sides. the effective area on a bubble chair is a bit larger overall, but wind affect is less due to the curved shape. effective area of bubbled carriers is a bit greater on the rear also, but presents a flat surface. so a bit worse in this case. however, the carriers are heavier, which is in the bubble chair's favor. if you run into dennis bills at mt snow, ask his opinion. he has studied this, and after quite a few seasons maintaining/operating their bubble am sure he has thoughts on this topic.
 

Zand

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Rode the Snowdon Bubble ~7 times today. My observations:

4 out of 7 times no one pulled down the bubble despite temps in the 10s and a stiff wind blowing down the fall line.

The thing is a total dipshit magnet. One guy managed to fall off the chair a solid 30 feet past the loading station then just stood there for almost a minute before the lifty was like "alright come back and get on the next chair!". But otherwise sooo many people who just couldn't get on the damn thing 6 at a time without losing half the group at the entry gates, trying to go on with 7, whatever...

I do appreciate the shorter ride time to access some of Killington's best natural runs and glades though. The old lift did suck, and even though this thing brings more people to Snowdon than there was before, most of them are just going down Frolic or Great Northern anyway. Killington is better with the new lift for sure.
 

jimk

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Bubble chairs: I could sort of take 'em or leave 'em. But I won't turn down a ride on one in foul conditions;)

First time I ever rode one was in Flachau, Austria at the beginning of a ski-week visiting multiple ski areas in the province of Salzburg, Austria in Feb 2003. There were already quite a few of them over in Europe. The lift infrastructure was very modern wherever we turned, not only in Flachau, but throughout SalzburgerLand. Almost all of the high speed quads and six packs had bubble tops, a sort of giant sun visor and footrest combination pulled down for use on cold days. They were not so common in the US back then. My ski buddy and I went to pull the bubble top down on a six-pack at Flachau just to see how it worked. You would have thought we were caught in the act of stealing a pair of skis from the ruckus raised by our fellow passengers. We quickly learned it was very bad form in Austria to interfere with the Sun on nice days. Given the blue bird weather we had all week, no further tests were conducted on bubble tops.

In recent years I haven't had too many rides on bubble chairs. Probably the one I can remember riding the most is the Orange Bubble Express out of the Canyons base at Park City. That lift does a funny thing near the top, it crosses over a snowmaking lake for about 100 yards IIRC, where there is actually a risk of a rambunctious rider/child falling out of the chair and possibly drowning in that lake went it isn't frozen. In that case the bubble might have some value by preventing children from falling off.

Last time I remember riding the Orange Bubble at Park City was on Feb 17, 2020. Good ski day!
park city orange bubble chair feb 2020.jpg
Normally I ski Snowbird when in Utah, but because of a morning road closure in LCC until about 930 AM that day I decided to go over to Park City. Started skiing about 11:15 AM. I spent most of the day in the Super Condor and Sun Peaks areas. Crowds weren't bad on that part of the mtn. Beautiful sunny, coolish day. I think Park City had received 15" in the last 36 hrs. Skiing was good and crowds were moderate, might have been a blackout day for Epic Local passes?


Here's a photo I took in 2019 with seven friends on the new-at-the-time Big Sky 8 passenger bubble chair, hella-good and snowy week:
bubble chair big sky 2019.jpg
 

drjeff

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Heard a stat about Bubble 8 Packs on the recent Storm Skiing Podcast where Stephen Kircher from Boyne Resorts was interviewed. When asked why they chose a few years ago to install the Ramcharger 8 at Big Sky vs a 6, he said that at that time, in Austria alone, there were over 40 BUBBLE 8's already in operation and that the US as a whole has been lagging behind Europe in terms of lift technology.

Guessing that Bubble lifts are here to stay, and will get more numerous in the US in the coming years
 

oldfartrider

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I visited Okemo this past Sunday to enjoy their big dump. Seems moving the quantum 4 bubble over to where the evergreen triple was has also moved the lines away from the Jackson Gore peak to the main peak. This works for me. For the first time I got to experience some decent terrain at the Jackson gore peak and had no lines for the new six pack there.

It seems some skiers actually ski where bubble lifts are rather where the good terrain is. Works for me.
 

ceo

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I haven't ridden a bubble lift since we went to Onset (now Crotched) a few times when I was a little kid. What's the ventilation like with the bubble down? I'm thinking about COVID risk.
 
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