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Send them up or hold them at the bottom?

Cheese

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Another thread about improving resorts got me thinking about high speed lifts. I'm a big fan but there are others that complain that high speed lifts crowd the slopes or force resorts to widen trails.

My preference for high speed lifts may be from my daily ski pattern. I arrive early to take runs while others are sleeping in or getting their own crowd ready to ski. I'll stagger my lunch break so that I can ski while others are packed into the lodge. Later in the season when daylight lasts I'll ski till the closing bell when others are either in the bar or driving home. So, the 3 "uncrowded" times during the day when I get the most out of skiing, I'd like a fast lift to allow me to cycle runs quickly.

It's also a gamble as crowded slopes are only a problem if I pick a popular trail. If I pick somewhere less popular I merely have to slip my way through a few congested areas and then I'm free of the crowds for a good number of turns.

It probably comes down to either waiting at the bottom of the mountain in a crowded lift line or waiting on a knoll for the crowd to disperse before descending.

So, do you prefer high speed lifts that risk too many people on the slopes or slower lifts so that a crowd rarely happens?
 
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Cornhead

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I'm not sure I understand your question, but I'm with you on taking lunch at anytime but noon. Noon seems to be the magic time for everyone to get off the slopes and head for the lodge. I take a coffee break at 11, as soon as the bar opens, then head back out before the lunch crowd arrives.
 

wa-loaf

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Think they should design lift capacity to match what the trails can hold ... then you don't have to deal with stuff like Wachusett loading every other chair to keep the crowding on the trails down.
 

Cheese

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What would be a good solution?

Revert to slow single or double chairs? I skied before high speed lifts when lines snaked back and forth across the bottom of a trail before entering the maze. I honestly don't remember being happier then.

I guess there's a range between hiking up and skiing alone vs. riding a HSQ and having to share the trail. Where do you draw the line?
 

drjeff

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Just because the lift is a high speed lift doesn't always mean that the capacity is that much greater all the time also. Not every ski area will max out the number of chairs on the haul rope of that new high speed and/or run the lift at maximum allowable speed. Sometimes the high speed lift is installed as a way to have the time up in the air be less, but not necessarily put too many more people up in the air on that lift per hour vs. a fixed grip lift.

For some reasons if the "masses" spend 10 minutes in line for a 5 minute high speed lift ride they seem to think that they're better off that way than the likely old 2 minute wait for that 10 minute fixed grip lift ride over that same distance :rolleyes:
 

Cheese

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For some reasons if the "masses" spend 10 minutes in line for a 5 minute high speed lift ride they seem to think that they're better off that way than the likely old 2 minute wait for that 10 minute fixed grip lift ride over that same distance :rolleyes:

I seem to remember summit lines north of 30 minutes before uphill capacity started advancing.
 

skifree

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i also remember those long ass lines. nothing better than mid-week skiing and a couple HSQ's.
 

Nick

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lift design seems like it would be a lot like traffic design on the street.

Seriously, in Germany they plan out the street lights ... called the "Green wave" .. if you drive the speed limit the lights will turn green just as you are getting to them if you are on the main routes.

What is more annoying than getting a green light, driving 25 yards, and then the next light turns yellow? It's like ... who the F designed this.
 

ss20

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It all depends on how many trails are from the top and their difficulty. Should Castlerock be a HSQ? No, because there aren't enough trails at the top. Should Mt. Snow have nearly all their lifts unload at the top? Yes, because there are about 15 trails that guests can spread out on.
 

bdfreetuna

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Yeah what SS20 said.

I'd rather have plenty of uphill capacity than wait in long lines. I don't usually ski the "crowded trails" anyway unless I need to get from one place to another. There is a limited number of people who want to ski natural snow, steep trails and woods.

I can't remember the last time I've skied woods and thought, it's too crowded in here! Does this actually ever happen?
 
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