or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Safety bars on lifts -- none at Alta -- why?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Safety bars on lifts -- none at Alta -- why?

post #1 of 140
Thread Starter 
I skied Alta last week and it was terrific. Its fame is well-deserved.

But one thing I noticed was the absence of safety bars on any lift. Why? (The lifts also lack of footrests, too, but that's not as big a deal).

I think that when you are seated in the middle on a quad, it is a bit uncomfortable not to have a bar...at least for me....while the Alta lifts are not as high as some, they are high enough and chairs do stop very suddenly etc etc...It seems like an odd omission.

Anyone have any idea of the rationale? For not having a safety bar? It's certainly not cost.
post #2 of 140
Good Q, I mean they must have lawyers in UT, no?

I generally don't mind the lack of one, but you do make a point about being in the middle of a quad, that can feel awkward.
post #3 of 140
My kids on a lift without a safety bar???? Crossing Alta off the list of possible ski destinations, at least until they are older....
post #4 of 140
There have been lots of previous threads regarding safety bars on lifts, but I think in Alta's case it's simply a matter of Alta being Alta and doing their own thing.
post #5 of 140
This has been hashed to death in another post. Do a search and you will find it. My feeling is that I hate the things. You have to understand that people who grew up skiing in the West have not been exposed to them like you get in the East. Yes, the newer high speed lifts generally have them, but most Westerners never bother to lower them, and in fact often find it rude to have someone lower it without at least asking. I don't ever use them, and most of my friend nver do either. Just a different point of view.

Powdr
post #6 of 140

Alta

Quote:
Originally Posted by sphrrt
There have been lots of previous threads regarding safety bars on lifts, but I think in Alta's case it's simply a matter of Alta being Alta and doing their own thing.
Alta is really archaic when it comes to modernizing. It is one of my FAVORITE places to ski, but let's face it, they didn't even have a high speed quad until this year!
post #7 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiFox
Alta is really archaic when it comes to modernizing. It is one of my FAVORITE places to ski, but let's face it, they didn't even have a high speed quad until this year!
Uh...you must not have skiied Alta much in the last 5 years. Sugarloaf and Sunnyside have been High Speed lifts for quite some time.

Powdr
post #8 of 140
Why do you need them? Sit back against the seatback and enjoy the view. My son (he is now 5) and I have been skiing Alta (and other Utah areas) for 3 years with no bars. he has been taught to sit back when riding the lift. When we ski here in NC, he says "Daddy, why do all these people have to put that bar thing down?"

If having no bars on the lifts at Alta keeps some people away, better for me when I am there. (not to mention the snowboard ban keeps some families away. Hope they never lift that ban!)
post #9 of 140
cbg, it has been argued to death many times in many threads before.
In Europe it is the custom to use them.
I like using the foot rests.
post #10 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr
Uh...you must not have skiied Alta much in the last 5 years. Sugarloaf and Sunnyside have been High Speed lifts for quite some time.

Powdr
I've skied Alta every year for the last five years. The new Collins Lift has really made a difference in moving people up the hill from the main lodge
post #11 of 140
Thread Starter 
So the absence of safety bars is just a macho thing? To prove that one is very cool : and immune to heights?

And/or to somehow keep away beginners?

I can't imagine any other reason -- though I guess I should write to the Alta management and ask them.

Btw, Alta doesn't seem to be alone; I got the impression that a number of Utah areas dispense with safety gear. (And just to forestall any claim that there is a correlation between lack of safety bars and hairiness of slopes, I'd suggest consideration of Blackcomb/Whistler which has plenty of serious double black terrain and also has safety bars on every chair lift.)
post #12 of 140
I like safety bars. I'm a girlie man.
post #13 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by seaskier
So the absence of safety bars is just a macho thing? To prove that one is very cool : and immune to heights?

And/or to somehow keep away beginners?

I can't imagine any other reason -- though I guess I should write to the Alta management and ask them.

Btw, Alta doesn't seem to be alone; I got the impression that a number of Utah areas dispense with safety gear. (And just to forestall any claim that there is a correlation between lack of safety bars and hairiness of slopes, I'd suggest consideration of Blackcomb/Whistler which has plenty of serious double black terrain and also has safety bars on every chair lift.)
No, it's not a macho thing. Some of us just didn't ever grow up with them. I don't feel secured or scared with or without them. I just don't care.

No, its not about keeping away beginners, they are the lifeblood of this sport.

I can image the biggest reason of all: Lifts are very expensive. At $1 million and up for a lift, the lift companies will bid a lift with the basic features (no bars/footrests). The extras, just like a car, add up tremendously. Utah has no laws requiring bars, and therefore they are not installed. CO doesn't either, Neither does WY, CA and many other Western States. Whistler has bars not because they are in touch with their sensitive side, they do because they have a local ordinance for it. It's that simple. It is not a feindish plot. Go write your congressman (actually OUR congressman) if that bothers you. One final note, is that if its not legislated in every state, is it really that much safer? Probably not.

Powdr
post #14 of 140
I was pretty shocked at the lack of safety bars out West....not that it bothers me much...except I do get a few heart palpitations here and there since I'm afraid of heights!!

I do like foot rests though because the weight of my skis pulling down gives me a good amount of knee pain....that's been the worst part....I deal though!!
post #15 of 140
No. I don't view it as a macho thing. I just don't need them. If you like them, then fine. And to say that Alta dispenses with safety gear, that is both wrong and idiotic. I would bet they have never had anyone fall off a lift (unintentionally) because of lack of safety bars.

No offense to anyone who feels the need to use them, but I just grew up not using them.
post #16 of 140
Great Thread Seaskier, you're a dope because you didn't do a search, I don't think so, because if you did either a search under "lift bar" or "safety bar" you wouldn't come up with that much, certainly you have good reason to start a thread on this subject, esp since alot of feel the same way about the regular Alta lifts are interested very much in how this quad doesn't have bars either.

It's a pity, because most of the skiers i have met are the coolest people going and i have enjoyed sharing private emails with people on this forum.
post #17 of 140

Why?

Alta is my #1, but I've got really young skiers that I won't take there until they're ready for it.

Once there safety bars are of my least concern.
post #18 of 140
Safty bars are not req. in Utah per the tramway rules. And yes it is the cost. It's not a free option for a resort to add safty bar/foort rests on to a lift. They are a added exspense. At least they were 5 years ago when i worked on a installation crew for a summer.
Personaly i think if you need a safty bar, you shouldnt be riding a lift. Wrap your arms around the bar, and hold on, you'll be fine.
I dont use them. And i hate it when a stranger sits on the chair i'am , and lowers it with out saying anything. Makes me want to 'push them off my chair
Also safty bars and kids , not really a good mix, unless there is someone older who can raise them up. thats why you never see them on begginener lifts, cause when a kids class loads the lift, whos going to raise/lower the bar. If the instructor is any good, he/ she will tell the kids to wrap thier arms around the ut side/ inside bar.
post #19 of 140
I'm glad to hear Alta remains its own quirky odd place, When I last skiied there (70's), many of the chairlifts were constructed using telephone poles for lift towers. I had never seen that before. As for the lack of safety bars, here in the East, even the 1930's era single chair I rode as a kid had footrests and safety bars. It seemed strange to find that few chairlifts in the West had safety bars. Alta wasn't unique in that respect. I remember also being amused by the nets western areas often had below their unload platforms. Hadn't seen that before either.

As for the safety aspect, I can't imagine putting young children on a lift w/o bars. They tend to be on the edge of the seat anyway becuse of their short legs and are apt to be turning this way and that, unconscious of the danger. Its pretty hard to blame a little kid for an accident which could have been prevented with reasonable precautions. Even with bars, children sometimes fall off and are severely injured or killed.
post #20 of 140
Ah yes safty nets.
if your ever at Grand Targhee,Wyoming, The Blackfoot Double, has exactly that, a net at the bottom, ans a bigger net at the top ramp. God help you if should ever have to use it. The top ramp net, must be 25 feet off the ground.
post #21 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoetr
Safty bars are not req. in Utah per the tramway rules. And yes it is the cost.
I could care less, but IMO it's a stupid thing for these resorts to gamble with, given the litigious nature of our society. Just wait until someone gets hurt & sues... Then the cost of bars will seem cheap.

Also, I was at Winter Park the week that a little girl fell of a lift that did not have a safety bar. Here's one of the stories on it...

http://9news.com/acm_news.aspx?OSGNA...3-43c764e23ae7

WINTER PARK - 11/22/2004

An 8-year-old girl fell about 20 feet from a chair lift at Winter Park Monday morning. Luckily she was uninjured, and reportedly walked away from the medical center.


She fell from the Arrow lift, after apparently having not quite sat down right. For about ten minutes she dangled from the lift as her father held on to her, in the meantime members of the ski patrol managed to place a large tower pad below her that broke her fall.

Most of the chair lifts at Winter Park have a restraining bar to stop accidents like this, but the arrow lift does not have such a bar.

The girl and her father are from Shreveport, Louisiana.

A spokesperson for Winter Park says they usually have at least one incident like this every year and fortunately, most people get down okay.
post #22 of 140
Alta's cheap like that. The low lift ticket price reflects their bare bones philopsophy. I find the footrest more beneficial than the safety bar, but i will have an arm wrapped around the back or side of the lift if I'm feeling a little high.
post #23 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15
... if I'm feeling a little high.
:
I think that skiing in general is about managing levels of acceptable risk. Lift riding included.

You weigh the risk of skiing there knowing there aren’t safety bars, Alta weighs their risks and don’t put on safety bars. Pure Alta.

If you’re not willing to accept the responsibility of chairs without bars then don’t go there – they don’t have bars on their lifts.
post #24 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by 74Skier
I could care less, but IMO it's a stupid thing for these resorts to gamble with, given the litigious nature of our society. Just wait until someone gets hurt & sues... Then the cost of bars will seem cheap.

Also, I was at Winter Park the week that a little girl fell of a lift that did not have a safety bar. Here's one of the stories on it...
Kids do tend to drop off chairlifts usually after not getting fully on, lift attendants watch these little guys carefully and will stop the lift if one dangles. Usually skiers can get under and catch the child. The parent can gently shove the child all the way on to prevent this but better just stay away from Alta. Boycott Alta, they discriminate against snowboarders. That place ain't right.
post #25 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodee
:
I think that skiing in general is about managing levels of acceptable risk. Lift riding included.

You weigh the risk of skiing there knowing there aren’t safety bars, Alta weighs their risks and don’t put on safety bars. Pure Alta.

If you’re not willing to accept the responsibility of chairs without bars then don’t go there – they don’t have bars on their lifts.
I went there and don't really remember the absence of safety bars. I also rode countless times on detach quads with bar left up. I forget to lower it. I did get gripped on lifts at Solitude and big mountain, but if I put my arm over the back of the chair I always feel very safe no matter how high I am. Not a problem for me but I understand the fear, I have felt it, and I don't think it is wholly irrational. I don't fear heights, I fear hitting the ground after falling from a high place.
post #26 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15
Not a problem for me but I understand the fear, I have felt it, and I don't think it is wholly irrational. I don't fear heights, I fear hitting the ground after falling from a high place.
Not the falling that gets ya... just the sudden STOP.
post #27 of 140
This has been rehashed quite a bit this year.

With regard to Alta, I think the reason they don't have bars is because people don't fall off the lifts there.
post #28 of 140
Very well put Vinn. You do find the better skier at Alta.
Or
they keep it so damnd quiet if someone does fall off, not counting on loading or unloading.
Lift riding is including in the disclaimer of ski resorts. You chose to ride it as part of skiing, which has a inhereant risk. if you cannot accept the risk, then do not ski there.
I doubt you can get Alta to be req to put safty bars on, with out passesing the cost onto the skier.
post #29 of 140
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have an idea what it would cost to add a safety bar (assume no footrest) to a quad? (when it is being installed?)

I suspect it is trivial...several hundred dollars per chair at most.

"Doing the math" is a good way to get at these issues.

And as to putting your arm around a post etc...isn't that kind of tough to do if you are sitting in the middle two seats of a quad?

No, I don't like the their chairs but I will be back next week to ski Alta anyway as the skiing is so good.
post #30 of 140
Paula's Ski Lovers.com is where you need to go. this discussion is probably a love-fest over there.

I'm afraid that DEDICATED SKIERS for the most part don't give a flying fork about safety bars -- whether they're there, or not, it doesn't matter because the lift is a mere inconvenience that must be suffered to be back atop the mountain again.

if you fear falling off a lift, quit skiing. it's that simple.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Safety bars on lifts -- none at Alta -- why?