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

gregnye

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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
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
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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. It’s really nice when you can get the whole family on there or group up with friends.
 

jimk

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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.
 

Siliconebobsquarepants

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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.
 

machski

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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.

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danimals

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


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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.
 

Siliconebobsquarepants

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I think a big part of the equation is a well trained lift ops staff that is on top of loading management.

Absolutely !! Last year I had a Chinese guy slide up next to me I was lookers far right side . Everyone was in position for a Quad and he decided to go ??? I was ready to give him a shove for his own safety as the bar would have hit in in the middle of the back/head but fortunately the Lifty was on the ball ..it was close .
 

BenedictGomez

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

I agree; and apparently your opinion isn't unpopular as many here seem to be on-board.

And I also agree with the "marketing gimmick" comment as well given at XYZ resort it's highly likely not required for capacity issues. Wasted deployment of capital from a skiing perspective.
 

tnt1234

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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.

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I was just at BS and didn't notice the carpet adjusted for height. How does that work? Each idiniveidual skier, or the whole 8 together?
 

dblskifanatic

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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.

At Breck? That is surprising. They are all about loading up the chairs and line management. I find the chairs at Breck and Keystone to be quite fast.

Colorado SuperChair Quad at the time before replacement and went to 6 increased the lift's uphill capacity from 2,800 people per hour to 3,600 people



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gregnye

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Wasted deployment of capital from a skiing perspective.

Yeah I'm sure the people of Sunday River or Sugarloaf are thrilled to see another new lift at loon while they get nothing, unless their lift catastrophically fails to the point that components fall off of it.
 

gregnye

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Also while we are on the topic of lift-line management, can I take a brief moment to rant about when it's a quad lift and the lifties try to alternate 4 singles into the mix onto one chair (another thing I see all the time at Loon).

Like I'd understand that if there weren't groups of 4 waiting, but there are. The singles line is primarily for making those groups of 2 or 3 into 4, not to just to load 4 singles. When one picks the singles line, they need to understand that it may go slow or fast depending on how many groups of 2 or 3 there are. No need to load 4 singles at once.
 

Edd

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No need to load 4 singles at once.

I agree to a point. The singles line needs to be managed, too. If there’s a bunch of blocks of 4 and a few minutes go by without loading singles, I get loading 4 at once.
 

Edd

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At Steamboat last week, I saw a move that was new to me. A group of 3 was ahead of my group of 4. A single joins them and, when they get to the line, he doesn’t load with them. He waited and took his own chair and it appeared fully deliberate. The volume of skiers called for fully loading the chairs, too. Doucheiest move I’ve seen in awhile.


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