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Ski Lifts






Skiing has become popular as a winter sport across the globe. Ski areas and resorts have been established in many countries around the world. The areas are generally on the top of mountains, on snow covered slopes.

To reach the ski resorts and the starting point of the activity, ski lifts are used by people. Ski lift is a system, which is highly useful in transportation of people and various equipments to a higher position on mountain. The system is often considered to be an integral part of uphill transport .

Ski lifts are generally classified in three categories. These categories are aerial lifts, cable railways and surface lifts. The ski lift system is arranged on the mountain slopes according to the feature of the mountain and its surrounding region. There can be one base, form where several lifts are set up for different peaks. On the other hand lifts from various bases can also meet at a main summit point. In both the cases, aerial tramways or cable cars are mostly used to reach the upper slopes of the mountains. In all the ski resorts , ski lift system of some kind is installed to carry people to the summit. In most popular ski destinations, ski lift network is set up to make the summits easily accessible.

Aerial Tramway

Aerial Tramway is one of the most commonly used ski lifts in ski resorts all over the world. These ski lifts are used for uphill transportation of skiers from the ski resort. Ski lifts can vary in their arrangement pattern depending upon the size of the ski resort. Small ski areas are bestowed with lesser number of ski lifts and are usually simply arranged. Larger ski areas usually have tiered system of ski lifts.

Aerial Tramway is known to the common man by various other names also. It is often called as a cable car or a ropeway . An aerial tramway runs on one or two fixed cables that provide support for the cabins, a loose loop of cable and two cabins. The haulage rope in the cable car is driven by an electric motor. This helps in the upward and downward movement of the cable car in the mountain slopes.

There are also two-car tramways. They use a jig-back system where one cabin pulls the other cabin down. One cable car goes down while the other goes up meeting each other in the midway.

There is also an escape aerial tramway that helps to escape instantly from a dangerous location. The highest aerial tramway is found in Venezuela, namely Merida cable car. The longest ropeway is Norsjo aerial ropeway in Sweden.

Chairlift

Chairlift is a form of aerial ski lift that helps in carrying skiers to the main ski area. It is technically an elevated passenger ropeway that consists of a cable fixed between two end terminals carrying a number of chairs. Chairlifts are not only found in ski resorts, but they are quite common in various amusement parks, places of tourist attractions and also as modern transportation system.

There are different types of chairs with varying capacities and loading efficiency. There are chairlifts that are quite fast and move rapidly over the cables. They range from two persons to eight persons. Some of the ski lifts are very efficient and can carry around 4,000 people per hour. Fastest ski lifts and specially chairlifts operate at amazingly high speeds of up to 12 meters per second. There are detachable chairlifts also.

Chairlifts consist of various components and when all the parts are coupled together efficiently, they provide safe and efficient transport. Some of the vital terms that are associated with chairlifts are rope speed, capacity, efficiency, fixed grip, detachable grip and rope. Various safety mechanisms have also been installed in the chairlifts to ensure maximum security of skiers and tourists while traveling to the ski area. New chairlifts are being constantly designed to ensure maximum safety along with providing optimum pleasure while traveling to the ski area.

Funicular

A Funicular is a type of ski lift system popular in the mountainous region. The other names, by which a Funicular is also known, are inclined railway , funicular railway , inclined plane or cliff railway . A Funicular consists of two tram-like vehicles connected to each other by a cable wire. There is a pulley attached at the top of the machine which balances the vehicles to move up and down steep slopes without much effort. This type of transportation can be considered as a gift of modern science, which helps in reducing time and making human lives fast, smooth and comfortable. Funiculars are mostly favorable for the elderly and handicapped persons.

Some of the world's Funiculars are Katoomba Scenic Railway , which moves down the wall of the Jamison Valley near Katoomba, New South Wales of Australia. The Great Incline of the Mount Lowe Railway has various types of gradations. The longest cable Funicular in Europe is at the Swiss Kandertal . Some Funiculars are water driven. They are the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway i n North Devon, England, the Nerobergbahn in Wiesbaden Germany, Bom Jesus Funicular in Braga Portugal. The last one is the oldest in the world and is still in fairly good condition.

Funiculars are responsible for making the passengers avoid dangers in the steep snow covered mountains. It can be said that these vehicles are useful in the hilly areas for moving from one place to another quickly.

Magic Carpet

The Magic Carpet is one type of ski lift system popularly used to move from one place to another in the snow covered mountainous areas. It is like a conveyor belt placed on snow level with the machineries and return belt lying below the snow cover. Boarders stand on the belt with their skies or snowboards. The moving belt pulls the passengers upward and at the top. There the belt gives a push to the passengers from where they come down sliding away. They are mostly useful for the beginners and the children because of slow speed and safety mechanism.

The mechanism of Magic Carpet is user friendly and suitable for all types of riders like tubers, skiers and snow boarders. This type of instrument is made keeping in mind the elevation increase of three meters. The passengers can make maximum use of this Magic Carpet while traveling. It is easy to install. Negligible maintenance is required for this device. The Magic Carpets can be easily adjusted according to the situation.

To avail the Magic Carpet service one must pay a visit to the Blue Mountain's new South Base area . Another one is the 350 feet Magic Carpet Lift , which is found at the New Beginner's area in New England. The third one is the 200 feet Magic Carpet lift found at the Ollie's Beginner area .


Ski Lifts

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