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Lift holds for Cold

Mainer

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I rented a condo at Burke one year. It was definitely below zero. Go take our first run and a single joins us, it’s a snowboarder and the guy is wearing shorts. Couldn’t believe it.
 

jaytrem

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One of the most dangerous factors is getting stuck on a lift that breaks down. Especially If your up high exposed to the wind. It could take an hour or more to get you down. You could die from hyperthermia by then.
Indeed! The last super cold day I skied was at Grand-Fonds. They have a chair and a t-bar that both go to the top. Pretty much everybody out used the t-bar all day. Not wanting to get stuck was a big reason for me (also nice to be out of the wind). Of course I had to ride the chair one time just for the heck of it.
 

drjeff

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I got stuck for about 90 minutes on a COLD MLK day about a decade or so ago on the Ego Alley Triple at Mount Snow. Air temp was just below zero, and the wind was blowing enough to have wind holds on the summit access lifts.

Glad that I had dressed adequately with multiple layers and a couple of pairs of hand warmers in my mittens. Couldn't wait for the various staffers who were doing the lift evac that day to get to me, so I could get off the chair (I was probably 30-35 feet up in the air when the lift stopped due to the haul rope derailing off of one of the sheaves a couple of towers below where I was) and down into the lodge to warm up.

I won't say that that experience has me shying away from skiing in really cold conditions, however I do tend to think more about what lifts I take when it's really cold out (shorter length lifts and/or lifts with some type of cover on them) and I also put a couple of extra unopened packets of handwarmers in my pockets just in case I need them and can't get inside quickly
 

Domeskier

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One of the most dangerous factors is getting stuck on a lift that breaks down. Especially If your up high exposed to the wind. It could take an hour or more to get you down. You could die from hyperthermia by then.
Has anyone actually ever died from exposure on a stalled lift? I sometimes worry about that. Also dehydration. And heart failure from over exertion. But I've been told I'm a hypochondriac. I would carry my own evac kit if I wasn't afraid I'd accidentally hang myself with it.
 
  • Haha
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Tonyr

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I got stuck for about 90 minutes on a COLD MLK day about a decade or so ago on the Ego Alley Triple at Mount Snow. Air temp was just below zero, and the wind was blowing enough to have wind holds on the summit access lifts.

Glad that I had dressed adequately with multiple layers and a couple of pairs of hand warmers in my mittens. Couldn't wait for the various staffers who were doing the lift evac that day to get to me, so I could get off the chair (I was probably 30-35 feet up in the air when the lift stopped due to the haul rope derailing off of one of the sheaves a couple of towers below where I was) and down into the lodge to warm up.

I won't say that that experience has me shying away from skiing in really cold conditions, however I do tend to think more about what lifts I take when it's really cold out (shorter length lifts and/or lifts with some type of cover on them) and I also put a couple of extra unopened packets of handwarmers in my pockets just in case I need them and can't get inside quickly
That story will definitely have me thinking twice about riding a lift on a very cold day.
 

Teleskier

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I'll also be curious how many out-of-state electric cars we'll see in ski resort parking lots this cold weekend, the same percentage or less?

If I see one, I'd be curious to ask if they had to forgo any heat in order to survive the lower range.

To be fair, so far every driver I have asked so far this warmer-than-usual season, has SAID they were fine. I'm on the fence, for exactly weekends like this. Being stuck by the fire since family is too cold is one thing, but being stuck there since your car "won't go" is another.
 

FBGM

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I’m more curious to see snowmaking production at these temps. There’s something I always loved about making snow below 0°. The production is so fun to watch. Sucks when shit goes wrong. But it also sucks at 26° when shit goes wrong.
 

Ski2LiveLive2Ski

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I’m more curious to see snowmaking production at these temps. There’s something I always loved about making snow below 0°. The production is so fun to watch. Sucks when shit goes wrong. But it also sucks at 26° when shit goes wrong.
I imagine that when it gets too cold it is a challenge because the pipes/hoses get frozen, unless well insulated - and nozzles could freeze up
 

drjeff

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I’m more curious to see snowmaking production at these temps. There’s something I always loved about making snow below 0°. The production is so fun to watch. Sucks when shit goes wrong. But it also sucks at 26° when shit goes wrong.

Always fun to see in the COLD temps some snowmaking pics where the oldschool, total air hog equipment comes out, since they can run with little to no air and just a bunch of water making some big whales in a hurry.... if it all goes as planned!
 

FBGM

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I imagine that when it gets too cold it is a challenge because the pipes/hoses get frozen, unless well insulated - and nozzles could freeze up
Eh, if water is flowing, all usually good. Air hoses will freeze, but you can run air less at these temps. Split hose will make snow at these temps is what we used to say.

But if you have to shut something down, move something, overflows back up - you’re toast.
 

kendo

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Always fun to see in the COLD temps some snowmaking pics where the oldschool, total air hog equipment comes out, since they can run with little to no air and just a bunch of water making some big whales in a hurry.... if it all goes as planned!

Screenshot_20220111-174447_Gallery.jpg

Liftline at Stowe last Jan, with -13 temp & -33 chill. Guns blazing on both sides for 24+ hrs absolutely buried Liftline, the adjacent trails and everything in between! Tops of the whales were about even with the footrests on the chairs.
 

Juntaclause

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View attachment 56366

Liftline at Stowe last Jan, with -13 temp & -33 chill. Guns blazing on both sides for 24+ hrs absolutely buried Liftline, the adjacent trails and everything in between! Tops of the whales were about even with the footrests on the chairs.
Did chair spin on that day?


I was there the season right before Vail bought the resort. On MLK day it was around -30 with the windchill, the only lift they had open on the entire mountain was the Meadows quad over on Spruce. We skied 3 runs just to do it but it wasn't fun. After each run we would have to go inside to warm up before the next one. If it's windy it really gets you especially on the lift rides. Friday looks like it will be the coldest day and the one to skip. Sunday the temperatures will be back in the 20's. Are you able to ski on Sunday?
Unfortunately Sunday is out. We’re all dads flying solo for Friday and Saturday with families to get home to on Sunday. That’s life, hopefully we’ll get some turns in, but we’ll have fun either way.
 

KustyTheKlown

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my poor brother in law. i convinced him to get a pass because he tends to go to windham and killington with his buddies at least once and he also came to sugarbush for the family trip. he and his buddies scheduled this weekend in killington quite a while ago, arriving thursday PM leaving sunday AM. their two full ski days are basically ruined.
 

x10003q

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They need to break out the wool ponchos like in the old days. Stowe, Killington and Gore (among others) had ponchoes for their long doubles and the Stowe single. When it was sub zero we would put 2 or 3 ponchos over our bodies and another poncho wrapped around your head.
 

kendo

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Did chair spin on that day?

They had the FourRunner closed that day. . . no chairs are on the line, in the pic. They'll close the lift some weekdays, if they're using the guns under the lift.

Checking their twitter feed, they also had Sensation on Spruce closed that day. Don't remember if it was because of the cold.
 

drjeff

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my poor brother in law. i convinced him to get a pass because he tends to go to windham and killington with his buddies at least once and he also came to sugarbush for the family trip. he and his buddies scheduled this weekend in killington quite a while ago, arriving thursday PM leaving sunday AM. their two full ski days are basically ruined.

Atleast he could salvage some runs on Friday using either of their Gondolas or the Snowdon Bubble 6 to get some time out of the cold on the way up. Saturday there, those lifts, if they aren't on wind hold, are likely to have some BIG lines, even with a probably much smaller than usual mid Winter Saturday crowd
 

SLyardsale

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One of the most dangerous factors is getting stuck on a lift that breaks down. Especially If your up high exposed to the wind. It could take an hour or more to get you down. You could die from hyperthermia by then.
In March 2008 at Sugarloaf -25. They would not run chairs, but offered cat rides to 3T which they ran all day. I took the cat and made myself do 2 runs. We were renting at snowbrook which was well down the access road so my second run was "long" . They also offered everyone a voucher whether you skied or not. The voucher was transferrable so I gave it to a friend.
 

djd66

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Back in the 80's, it was 35 below at Killington (without wind chill) The Killington Peak Double was running that day (i was on it)
 
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