dbostedo

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Maybe it's an adjustment thing, with the carpet speed poorly matched to the chair speed.
I'd guess that's the case. I can't remember a chair conveyor where I thought I was hit with any noticeable force. Of course, it could be a matter of sitting and taking the weight off your skis as it hits you as well, rather than letting it smack you, the way a poorly bumped fixed-grip might.
 

milkman

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Why would you need a carpet on a modern detachable lift? I understand how carpets allow you to speed up a fixed grip because you can unload at a faster speed than you can comfortably load so you put a moving carpet at the bottom. Seems that a detachable could control the chair loading speed without a carpet.
 

dbostedo

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Why would you need a carpet on a modern detachable lift? I understand how carpets allow you to speed up a fixed grip because you can unload at a faster speed than you can comfortably load so you put a moving carpet at the bottom. Seems that a detachable could control the chair loading speed without a carpet.
The conveyor (usually combined with gates) is there to move people forward and try to prevent lift stoppages or empty seats by keeping people moving up in a timely fashion - particularly when there are larger chairs, and more chance for something to go awry.

I don't particularly like or dislike them, but personally I think I've only seen them on detachables - at least that's all I can think of. I'd guess that's because on detachables the chairs are slower and can be better synced with the covneyor. On some, the chair reaches you while you're on the conveyor still, and just kind of picks you up... some dump you off the end of the conveyor, then pick you up.

I don't know how much it reduces loading issues, but given that they're getting more and more common, I'd guess they work.
 

Jacob

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Hmmm, they are off the carpet by the time the chair picks them up. That is different from what I've experienced, and would address my major complaint about carpets. On a traditional chair the chair bumps you and you slide forward a bit as you sit down, mitigating the impact. On a carpet, your skis are glued to the carpet and you get the impact full force. Maybe it's an adjustment thing, with the carpet speed poorly matched to the chair speed.
Yeah, in Europe the only lifts I've seen where you're picked up from a moving carpet are fixed grip chairs. The carpet allows the lift to run faster without smacking people hard. I've been on one or two where the speed of the carpet isn't ideal, and the chair hits you a bit hard, but nothing too bad.
 

Jacob

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The conveyor (usually combined with gates) is there to move people forward and try to prevent lift stoppages or empty seats by keeping people moving up in a timely fashion - particularly when there are larger chairs, and more chance for something to go awry.
From what I've seen on bigger lifts in Europe, the carpet isn't even there to get people to the loading zone faster. It's mainly there to ensure that everyone is lined up properly for the chair. That way, you don't have people finding out at the last moment that they're not where they should be and then trying to shuffle around as they're sitting down.

I've ridden quite a few chairs with a loading carpet like in the video I posted earlier, and they tend to stop pretty rarely. When they do, it's usually because of a major pile-up as people are unloading at the top.
 
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Tony S

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This conversation about the belts is like the story of the blind men and the elephant.

FWIW, I have only seen them on fixed-grip lifts. I can think of two that I ride frequently. In one case there is a parallel fixed grip quad that does NOT use the belt. You can see the chairs on one lift from the other. The lift with the belt does not run significantly faster - maybe one or two chairs ahead by the off-ramp. I've asked the ops guys about it and they say that the advantage is that the more predictable and structured loading allows the chairs to be closer together and increase hourly capacity. That's not the same thing as saying that a given rider has a faster trip.
 

Jacob

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Wait until they install a hybrid gondola/eight-seat chair in the US


I've actually ridden that gondola a few times, but I can't remember if I've ever sat on that chair.
 
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Jim McDonald

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I've done both the gondola and chair on the Lech-Warth lift, pretty nice scenery on the ride!
 

Sibhusky

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Wait until they install a hybrid gondola/eight-seat chair in the US


I've actually ridden that gondola a few times, but I can't remember if I've ever sat on that chair.
I'm confused. I see the gondola hanging there. But are they loading it? Do they alternate them and have two different loading areas? Then they end up on the same cable? Because I'm not catching your drift with that little snip of video.
 

dbostedo

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FWIW, I have only seen them on fixed-grip lifts....
You know, I thought about this some more, and I was incorrect above about seeing them only on detachables... Whitetail here locally has a conveyor on one of their 2 main fixed grips, and not on their high-speed detachable. I definitely remember conveyors at Vail on detachables... I guess mostly I don't remember conveyors too well, which makes sense, because I don't find them a problem or a help really... they're just there.
 

Sibhusky

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Doesn't this just cause confusion? Are there separate lines for

  1. I don't give a shit.
  2. I wanna ride inside
  3. I like fresh air.
They have this choice issue in the summer here and it's a mess if there's any back up.
 

dbostedo

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You know, I thought about this some more, and I was incorrect above about seeing them only on detachables... Whitetail here locally has a conveyor on one of their 2 main fixed grips, and not on their high-speed detachable. I definitely remember conveyors at Vail on detachables... I guess mostly I don't remember conveyors too well, which makes sense, because I don't find them a problem or a help really... they're just there.
Quoting myself with a little more data, from LiftBlog in 2016 :

"The vast majority (84 percent) of carpets in North America are the longer type designed for fixed-grip lifts. They stretch about 30 feet from the wait here board to well past the load point and move slightly slower than the lift’s rope speed. Eight high speed quads and six-packs in the United States now have shorter carpets designed for detachables. Vail Resorts operates five of these on its newest six packs at Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Park City and Vail."
 

skidrew

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I'm confused. I see the gondola hanging there. But are they loading it? Do they alternate them and have two different loading areas? Then they end up on the same cable? Because I'm not catching your drift with that little snip of video.
Looks like there are people in the gondola in front of the person filming, and the person filming is in one. They must load sort of behind and to the right of where the person is filming.

Actually might make sense at Big Sky as an explorer replacement (rumor is that will be a Chondola). Allow access to gondola from inside hotel they're planning while letting skiers load directly from slopes.
 

Jacob

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I'm confused. I see the gondola hanging there. But are they loading it? Do they alternate them and have two different loading areas? Then they end up on the same cable? Because I'm not catching your drift with that little snip of video.
Yeah, it’s definitely hard to get a good picture of what’s going on there from that video.

The gondola is actually coming from another area at the other end of a long valley (behind the cameraman). That station is at the base of that particular face; hence, the chair. Since there’s nothing at that base that’s worth getting out for, the gondola joins onto the same cable as the chair and takes you to the top when it’s going that direction. When your going the other direction, there’s a loading area for the gondola just out of shot to the right in that base station.

So if you ski down the face and want to go right back up, you get on the chair. When you want to go to Warth-Schroecken, you get on the gondola a little to the right from the cameraman’s POV. When you’re coming back to Lech from Warth-Schroecken, the gondola mixes in with the chairs at that station and takes you up the face, rather than dumping people at the bottom and making them go right over to the chair. So that face has a mix of chairs and cabins going up it.
 

milkman

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The estimated time from loading to unloading is a 2 minute ride give or take a few seconds, anytime of day or night during normal operating hours. Not running at 2 am, definitely not 2 am. May however run slowly at 2pm and occasionally on Tuesdays
Two minutes is Quick. The days of outrunning the lift are coming to an end for me.
 
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