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Stationary Carpet Lift!? Anyone have any insight on these?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I am running the ski school at a very small resort and we don't quite yet have the funds to put in a magic carpet lift in our very beginner area. For the past month I have been mulling over the prospect of just getting some indoor out door carpet, cutting it to 2 or 3 foot wide strips, and perhaps splicing it together and reeling it up at nights for grooming. The metal frame and reel will probably cost a couple hundred bucks and I had a quote on indoor/outdoor carpet to cast $270. Our millwright suggested that we should be getting carpet with a rubber bottom, but when I called the carpet place back this would cost me over $600 (kanga backed carpet) and the guy also said it was more susceptible to fraying and wearing. Anyone ever done a similar thing with carpet, the idea is that kids can walk up it with their skis on, much easier then walking up snow. Just looking for insight and other opinions. Thank you for reading!

post #2 of 21

Any savings on going with a cheap DIY magic carpet would very quickly be massively offset by the huge lawsuit brought about should someone get injured on your workaround.  Aren't there inspections required for ski area lifts before they can be deemed safe for public use?  Pretty sure your home made remnants patchwork would fail any such inspection.  If you're just talking about a non snow option for hiking up astro turf is probably the best option for that.  Regular carpet would be solid ice after thaw and refreeze cycles.  Turf is non friction and the ice won't stick to it so easily.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

i agree, we are certainly not attempting to make a home made magic carpet. The metal reel I spoke of is just to roll and unroll it at the beginning and end of operating hours and is completely irrelevant to my question. Once the carpet is set up it is disconnected from the reel and they are no moving parts. Just a mat to walk up instead of either sidestepping/ duck-walking with your skis on (really little kids really struggle with this), or taking off the skis, carrying them up then fumbling around with snowy boots and bindings putting the skis back on each time. This is how I have done it for a couple years until they are experienced enough to ride our handle tow which accesses a steeper slope. Freezing of the carpet and having it become solid is one of my main concerns. Looking for a carpet that has strong water resistant properties. Again, I have been told by some older ski instructors that this has been done before, before the popularity of magic carpets. We are hoping to purchase a magic carpet in the next few years. I am looking into any legal issues that may arise as well...

post #4 of 21

Ask where your resort gets their floor mats inside the entrances of the lodge.  They may have a service such as Cintas that handles all their linens and could get you a price on heavy duty stuff that would probably hold up better than carpet. 

post #5 of 21

Where I work the beginners area has a magic carpet (I think the politically correct name is Wonder Carpet).  We do however have an area for our "Radical Kids" program that has the green indoor/outdoor carpet about 20' long that they roll out so the kids (usually 3-5 year olds) can start learning how to walk uphill and slide downhill.


Here's a picture of what we have.  



In my simple head, there shouldn't be any legal issues.  One, it isn't a lift.  You are giving them the option to walk up the carpet instead of the hill.  You can fall on either though with the carpet it is less likely.  Using the carpet is more physically demanding than the wonder carpet but I would say the wonder carpet is more dangerous because people do fall and it is a moving piece of machinery.  Once you get past the legalities of skiing "down" hill.  Anything you do on snow to go uphill (not counting lifts) should be included.


I do think you might have an issue with heavy usage and it getting covered with snow and ice after a while if they have their skis on.  This could end up being high maintenance if it is a long run.  You might want to focus on your thoughts around putting the carpet down but having them carry their skis while walking up it.  Less physically demanding and will keep the carpet cleaner longer.  This will also allow for people to pass others that are moving slower like an adult beginner behind a 5 y/o beginner.


If you want, I can try to get hold of the guy that runs this area to find out more about it, but I don't know if I'll see him for another week.  



post #6 of 21
At my hill we use these carpets for the ski wee program. They look like they're made of heavy duty felt. They work great, the downside is that they accumulate ice clumps, so we have to flip them over and shake the clumps off from time to time. Also they only seem to last a season or less before they get worn out. And they get wadded up and don't stick to the ground that well.

The upside is they're light and easy to move. But seems like something textured with a bit more mass might be better.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the Insight Ken, yes for our area I was looking at making a mat that is closer to 100' long. A bit of a maintenance challenge in itself for sure. We have already assumed it will be to heavy to move by hand which is why we our planning on having it connect to some type of reel. The real challenge here is just finding the ideal piece of carpet or mat. Durable, water resistant, not too heavy. Traffic isn't a huge concern as we only get 20-30,000 skier visits a season (majority experienced season pass holders) and aside from school group days we rarely have more then three instructors teaching at the same time. The green indoor/outdoor you talk of, would that be astro-turf?


Flying Fish if you happen to be able to find out what type of matting you are using and where it is ordered from I would be curious. I am also in Canada (Alberta) 

post #8 of 21
Hi Jeff,

I'll ask around when our season starts up and I have a chance to ask someone. I hope your hill has been benefiting from the inclement weather in Albert! It's been clear and dry around here...
post #9 of 21

Jeff, why not use the reel to reel in and out a tarp each day/night and leave the carpet in place. We have a Wonder carpet at our area that was installed 2 years ago, nice piece of equipment but the thing has to be covered. We took 2' diameter PVC culverts and cut them in half longitudinally and place over the Wonder carpet each night. They are about 15" long and pretty heavy I wish we just devised something like a tarp like ones that are rolled out for a baseball game when the rain starts. Good for you for trying to help the make it easier for the little ones.

post #10 of 21

How is "magic carpet" not PC?

post #11 of 21
Originally Posted by PaSucks View Post

How is "magic carpet" not PC?

We're trying to suck up to the Persians these days.

post #12 of 21
th_dunno-1[1].gif. Was told it wasn't. I Usually don't get all the pc crap.
post #13 of 21

I bet it's because "magic carpet" is a trademarked term by the Denver company that makes them:



I think other companies make them now too, so maybe your ski area is just being careful about using the term where it's not appropriate?

post #14 of 21
Pieces of carpet maybe four feet wide and six feet long will be easier to roll up at the end of the day and transport to some place warm for overnight drying. Use a sled for transport. I think your 100-foot carpet idea will be unmanageable. I've worked at a couple places where the short pieces were used and dried in doors over night.
post #15 of 21
What are the green mats on the traverse at Alta made of? Might be a candidate.
post #16 of 21

we use three pieces of an open weave green stuff, each about 10-12 feet long. Anymore than that is a waste can't see students taking very many hundred foot slogs. same material shown in the photo up at post 5. does not have to be very wide, three feet is more than wide enough. The stuff does get really heavy after a day of hard use and can freeze up depending on conditions making it even heavier.


I have seen one area that used the fence that is shown in post 5, laid it out and staked in the corners and along side. actually worked well and on a snowy day you just un-staked it and shook it now and then. Not as positive friction as the astro turf type stuff but easier to handle and it did seem to work.

post #17 of 21

When I was supervising a ski wee program 25 years ago we put down 3'x12' rubber backed runners with a carpet top like get put down to keep winter tainted boots off marble or wood floors. Worked great for the kids to walk up on as even dry they weigh a ton and when wet they were totally immobile. I think we got ours used from a uniform/banquet supply rental place.


The inevitable did happen sometime after I switched to weekdays. One of the mats got "tuckerized" when it got left out at the end of a snowy day. We were finding bits of rubber and carpet shrapnel for the rest of the season.   

post #18 of 21

More info from my resort. Using black "open" mats worked better than carpet. They seemed to stay in place in on the snow better, perhaps because the sun melted the mats into the snow. They also dried off better.

post #19 of 21
Originally Posted by tball View Post

I bet it's because "magic carpet" is a trademarked term by the Denver company that makes them:

I think other companies make them now too, so maybe your ski area is just being careful about using the term where it's not appropriate?
Could be like "Heimlich Maneuver". The term used is now "abdominal thrusts". I was told this was due to objections by the family to use of the name. It's a bit of a mess. Appears to be a long dispute between Dr. Heimlich amd the Red Cross over treatment technique for choking victims, not the maneuver.
post #20 of 21

Here's a pic from last weekend of the carpet that Copper uses to get up to the Magic Carpet lift, or whatever it's called.  It's kinda like a brillo pad and works really well.  They must pick it up every night as the areas gets groomed.



I think having a strip of that to walk up on would be WAY better than nothing.  No way she could get up to the lift otherwise without some not so fun instruction and practice in duck walking/side stepping.   


One other thought about the benefit of adding a magic carpet lift: riding up the thing is really, really fun for little kiddos, probably even more fun that sliding down when first learning.  Anything that makes skiing more fun is a huge benefit at that age!

post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the info and positive responses. I certainly don't want to attempt something that is more hassle then it's worth. Perhaps 100' is a little unimaginable, but that is the length of our little beginner area. I really like what I see in the post above, perhaps I will contact copper and see where they got that stuff form. maybe I could settle for 2 20' strips. And we could definitely bring that inside at night to dry out. I completely agree, magic carpets are a huge advancement from the old rope tows we used to use as kids, hope to get one here in 2-3 year's. 

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Stationary Carpet Lift!? Anyone have any insight on these?