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"World's highest, scariest chair lifts"

ss20

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As a chairlift enthusiast, that list made me shudder.
 

SKI-3PO

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Agree - that's a terrible list. Altitude should have no relation to scariest. Extremely high off the ground + no bar + wind would be the scariest scenario I could think of.

Maybe it was the one windy day I was there, but the Squaw Creek chair at Squaw was memorably a bit uncomfortable for me.
 

skiNEwhere

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There's a chair at big bear that's a good 80 feet off the ground, with no safety bar. But seeing as no one who lives outside of Southern California would have heard of big bear, and southern california isn't really known for it's awesome skiing, there was no chance it would make the list
 

canobie#1

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If I recall, Jordan Double chair at Sunday River is really high. I would put that on my personal list.
 

Hawkshot99

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The only lift that has made me nervous as the Jay tram. I have only been to Jay once, so not much experience with it.

It had been down all morning for repairs of some sort. As we were finishing lunch they opened it up so we were able to get the first ride of the day. The tram was crammed to full capacity. I was wedged to the center, had nothing to hold onto, and some of those people has some BO going on. As the tram crested the center support it stopped suddenly, and swung in the heavy wind for a few mins. After it having been broken all morning, I was thinking "o great, now I am stranded here". it continued to swing in the wind all the way to the top.
Heights do not bother me. Maybe it was the standing part, or how crowded that thing was. But I hated that thing and have no real desire to ride it again.
 

BushMogulMaster

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jiFfM.jpg

Utterly absurd article, poorly researched, and poorly presented. Some of their choices and explanations would qualify as non sequitor with relation to their topic, and some of the pictures don't even match the lifts they describe. Then, out of some strange desire to inspire fear with sensationalism, they make it sound like ski lifts are inherently dangerous. But the statistic they cite, namely 13 deaths since 1973, makes ski lifts the statistically safest form of transportation in operation. Divide those 13 deaths into the number of uphill passengers transported since 1973, and you'll get what I mean.

Ugh.
 

4aprice

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2 chairs I can think of that give (used to give) people fits. Both have been modified and probably are not bad anymore. The upper chair on the main face of Buttermilk used to be pretty high as it cleared the 1st rise on its way to the top. The old Loges Peak chair at Highlands scared the bejesus out of a lot of people. Oh yeah a 3rd would be the Millicent lift at Brighton. The old double didn't have a safety bar and I'm not sure the new HSQ does either.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

Smellytele

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If we include trams/gondolas I would go with the tram up Aiguille du Midi on Mont Blanc and although I never rode it - the one from the top of that to Italy is even scarier looking.
 

Domeskier

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The Slide Brook Express where it crosses the ravine is awful. I'm almost opted for the hayride back to LP.
 

dmw

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The only lift that has made me nervous as the Jay tram. I have only been to Jay once, so not much experience with it.

I've wondered what happens if the Jay Tram gets stuck up there...
 

jimk

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After skiing at a lot of different places there a handful of lift rides that scared me enough in one way or another to remain in my memory all these years later:
'60s: surface platter lift at Blue Knob, PA. Scary part was that on cold days the springs would freeze and if you went over a rut in the lift line the platter would sometimes lift you quite high in the air solely by the mcnuggets :)
'70s: the aforementioned final chair up Aspen Highlands (Loges Peak?). Fantastic scenery up there at close to 12k feet, but if you fell off there was a concern that you'd never stop tumbling down a steep drop off to the chair-rider's right.
'70s: Only scary in retrospect, I rode Vail's Lionshead gondola about a week and a half before four people died when a couple of its cars fell off the cable,
'80s: ...maybe that's why the first time I rode the old gondola at Gore Mtn it caught my attention for how high off the ground it got.
'80s: Took a summertime ride up the cable car to Germany's highest peak, the Zugspitze (el ~10k). It still ranks as the scariest single lift I've ever been on - by far. Has a vertical rise of over 6k feet and climbs an incredibly huge and steep rock face near the summit. Can only imagine what Aiguille du Midi is like with 3k more vertical rise.
'90s: Aspen/Ajax gondola. The only scary part is how much vertical you can rack up riding this lift all day at 3200' vert a pop :)
'00s: first day I rode triple chair #2 at Loveland, CO. Scary part was the squirming six year old sitting in the middle between me and her mom. No safety bar, 100' off the ground. These two were tourists from Japan and the kid was oblivious to the heights and bravely turning and looking all around. I finally laid my ski pole across her lap to relieve my own fear that she might slip out.
'00s: Even though I'd skied for over 40 years by the time I finally took that first ride up the MRG single chair, it was a very interesting solitary experience.
'10s: The Snowbasin tram is similar round-can design as the one at Big Sky mentioned in the linked article. It climbs tamer, but still interesting terrain. It was packed full the first time I ever rode it and halfway up it abruptly stopped for 10 minutes due to some kind of issue. Everyone started telling jokes to relax and when the subject arose of who came the farthest that day my son and I got a round of applause when we told them we'd driven his 20 year old beater Accord from the East Coast to ski Snowbasin.
'10s: Red Dog chair at Squaw Valley. The fact that two other chairs from Squaw are mentioned in this thread speaks volumes about the steeps at this place.
 

skiberg

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Aiguille du Midi, Mont Blanc, Chamonix. I have skied all over the world nothing else is even close.
 

darent

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Taos has a chair that goes over a gully and you are really off the ground, no safety bar and I was on it when it was blowing the chair sideways!! only chair that had me worried.
 

C-Rex

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IMO, the Imperial Quad at Breck is no scarier than any other lift I've been on. If anything, I was just nervous about the run I was about to take. What an incredibly lame article.

I've always found lifts to be a little scarier in the summer for some reason. Maybe because in the winter, I'm thinking I'd just land on snow (not that it would feel any better) whereas in the summer you can see all the rocks and whatnot below you. Plus you don't have the X feet of snow to take up some of the height.

Looking out the back window of the Jay tram can be a little unnerving during that last stretch over the face chutes.
 
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