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Are you going to give us a lift with that ski lift of yours?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
At a major ski area in the Tahoe region, lifts often remain static on the best mornings of the best days of the year. Snow safety: accomplished. Lift mechanicals (cable, shivs, seats, electrics) good to go. So what is the problem? What is the hold up? Does a ski area have the prerogative to place a money hold on any lift at any time whenever they feel like it? Are they holding openings so that the snow can be skied on a later date? (Snow degradation in wind and sun negates the advantages of that supposed snow conservation tactic). What can skiers do to convince a mountain operations manager to get the lift open? As tacitly promised? Once, not opening a lift almost caused a major disaster at a major area. Snow safety was done by 8:30. Lift was good to go (details if you want them). But the lift sat there, unmoving, not loading. the SW wind blew and the slope loaded up. By the time operations saw fit to load the lift, 11:30, the snow safety work had been nullified by the wind and the lack of skiers to stabilize the hill. rumble! large slide, 12"+crown. no one buried. sheer luck. So, operations, open the lift when the patrol are finished. If the public knew that operations could bury them instead of giving them a lift, they just might get pissed.
post #2 of 22
I am confused. You are threatening to expose something? I think your point is confusing.

I assume you are saying a major area in Tahoe does not open certain lifts for financial reasons, but this is typical industry practice. Especially at Squaw since they have many redundant older lifts which are only necessary during busier days.
post #3 of 22
Okay, I have a lot of questions for you.

Are you certain that both patrol and maintenance cleared the lift for opening, or are you assuming that?

Was wind an issue, or are you talking calm days? Was the lift scheduled to operate, or are you just assuming it was? Consistent, or random closings (non-openings)? Detachable, or fixed grip? Capacity? Age of lift? If wind was an issue: Chair spacing? Carrier to lift tower spacing? Operating speed?

There are many legitimate factors that may keep a lift from opening. If the terrain is accessible from another lift and projected numbers are low, it's pointless to operate the lift. If it's windy, there are so many things that could keep it from opening. If they're having a day where x number of employees didn't show, maybe they're trying to put together another crew to operate the lift.

To directly answer your question, yes... a ski area does have the authority to close a lift for financial reasons. However, if they list the lift as "open" and just decide on a whim not to operate it, that's a little bit shady. But they can still do it if they want.
post #4 of 22
Are the trails accessable from another lift?
post #5 of 22
Money, money, money; it's the root of all evil.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Are the trails accessable from another lift?
the traverse into the area was not open (this could occur do to snow instability on the slopes above the traverse). Or the lift that serviced the traverse into the area may have been closed. the hill didn't get skied earlier, and the patrol had cleared it for snow safety early in the am. I'm just saying, power of the almighty dollar or not, lift openings must take into consideration more than the convenience of lifties or the budget of the mountain manager, or even, yes, the powder lust of skiers, or stuff is going to go down. just to be clear, as patrol are good people, the patrol were on this from start to finish, did their work well, and then had to spend their afternoon in a debris field.
post #7 of 22
The problem is that they're having to take a lot of time trying to read posts that have a lot of sentences raising numerous issues in a long paragraph without white space or breaks, even if the poster does raise some interesting issues from time to time and seems very passionate about skiing, which is the very core of this website and which most people here can agree on and appreciate, but which most people find difficult to follow due to the density in the writing, he said, sardonically.
post #8 of 22
This is insane!

The resort he is obviously talking about is Squaw. Alpine/Heavenly/Kirkwood/Sugar open all their major lifts all the time.

Squaw has very staggered openings as they control the mountain. I trust them. I think patrol, lifties and mountain operations do a good job coordinating snow safety issues.
post #9 of 22
DAV:

Your posts continue to perplex me.

What are you fishing for?

First lift line cutting now the lack of lifts operating in a timely fashion.

What gives?



At any rate, I've been at AM when the lifts haven't opened on a powder day for hours. Mostly it was because they were still doing avy work due to a serious dump that began very early in the morning a few hours prior to opening. Sure, it was a bummer to not get up on the peaks during the dump, but my buddy and i rode the other lift with less crowds (everybody was lined up to get first tracks off Wolverine, etc) and more snow to ourselves.

If it's safety, shouldn't that come first.

I mean even though by purchasing a ticket you accept the liability waiver on the back, a resort can still incur lawsuits for negligent safety.

Second of all, if it's a private operation don't they have the right to run it as they see fit. Opening and closing lifts at their whim?

The logical option is that if Resort X routinely practises unfair closure of lifts, then don't ski at Resort X. We're lucky in that Tahoe has more than one resort to offer skiers, all within easy driving distance of one another. If Resort X isn't to your liking then you can easily go to Y, Z, A, B, or C.

And Sardonicism?

I prefer sarcasm.



I say enough of the ballyhoo...bring on the snow!!!
post #10 of 22
Squaw? Fine by me if some lifts aren't running; the area doesn't get skied out as quickly and you can get there anyway. For instance, how nice is it to do reverse traverse when Headwall isn't running so you can have slightly less of that well-traveled terrain tracked out?

Here's a story about lift closure at Squaw:

Monday, 2/12/07, was day 4 of a 4 day dump of ~30" on the upper mountain, and I was fortunate enough to be there with all the yahoos on their spats. Granite Chief, and some other, didn't open on 2/11, when it dumped 14-16".

Why didn't the upper mountain open? A patroller told me that Squaw had laid off some of the ski patrollers mid-season due to the crummy snow year, and therefore, there wasn't enough manpower to do the avy work on Granite Chief, etc. Seemed like a reasonable explanation to me at the time.

Business/personnel wise? Bad call by Squaw to lay off patrollers? You can look at the snowfall totals below & see that a great deal of the snow didn't fall until the latter part of February/early March. http://www.squaw.com/winter/snowfall07.html
post #11 of 22
^ a lot of the Tahoe resorts were laying people off last season (I recall Heavenly laid a lot of snowmakers off mid-season, when they really needed to be blowing snow).
post #12 of 22
How do you know snow safety/avy work was done by 8:30 as you say. Perhaps they knew/know more than you regarding the slope..and wanted to let it sit for a while? Before giving it the one last go. It did slide as you said, luckily when it was closed...(albeit, almost opening as you say).
post #13 of 22
Well, I don't know about Squaw. But I have to say Killington has been doing the same a lot last season! I'm talking about ESSENTIAL lifts, without which a whole part of the mountain can not be accessed. And I was pissed.

I doubt there's much avy danger on the slope of big K. It could have been the issue with shortage of lifty. But then, that's the resort's planning problem. As a result, some skiers were pissed off.

But I didn't buy a season pass, so I had the option to ski elsewhere. After the n'th time they did that, I left. Like Squaw, Killington is next to MANY other resorts. So it's an easy call to just go elsewhere.

And next season, I'm going to avoid it like a plague. I, as many other skiers, vote with our wallet. No lift, no ticket.
post #14 of 22
Killington has pulled all sorts of lift BS for years. One hand never knowing what the other hand was doing and all.

One time after some pretty serious freezing rain overnight I called the snow report phone in the morning to check how they were going to be operating. The message that some marketing goon had just left on this line was all flowery and went so far as to quote how many lifts would be turning at opening.

Got there, and of course they had gotten the rain I'd expected they had, and of course they weren't going to open anything...at all...until the grooming staff had a few hours on the hill. Of course I would have preferred to just ski the place as is, but no dice on that. Can't groom and open some terrain at the same time. I think Bear opened at 10am or something. What a waste of a morning and a couple hours of gas. Worst part was leaving too early to stop by Long Trail for a pint and lunch. Also I had gone with a girl who does not take this kind of thing in stride, so I had an hour car ride home with Ms. POed. Thanks Killington!
post #15 of 22
Mr. Burns runs ski resorts now.

Absurd.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
guys, I'm not fishing, not suing, not being obtuse, not dis-ing a ski area. I'm trying to load up on potential energy, wind up some gravity, and get up on top.

the one thing we want from a lift is for it to move up the hill, and if a skier skis on a pass, that skier can't go somewhere else unless she has dough to burn.

don't you think that if the main slope at a huge ski area slid, that the information regarding snow safety that day would be out there? skiers are capable of listening and discerning facts.

Marc, the slope slid right after the slope opened. I said that. The only lucky thing was that no one was under the debris field, though a lot of equiptment was lost. the ski patrol know way more than I do. I said that. that's why they had the slope good to go at 8:30, and that's why they could not suggest that the slope sit there for three hours and wind load. I said that too. I'm going step by step here. are you with me?

If snow safety is done at 8:30 and the lift doesn't open, and skiers are not stabilizing the face by cutting and packing it, and it's blowing hard, that initial snow safety is negated by wind load, a phenom that can happen really fast. If you are going to open at 11:30, you will have to cut and blast again, and the patrol are pushed hard as it is.

Laying off the patrol and subsequently being short on running the mountain properly is poor behavior, greed? or prudent financial management, and prudent for whom?

related to above point: passholders are not provided a financial statement for the ski area they have put their buck and their trust on, so when an area doesn't accomplish lift openings as some would hope, and snow safety or lift mechanicals are not the reason (by sound objective info), one has to guess whether financial hardship is the reason, or is it payments on a yacht or new mercedes, can the ownership absorb the hardship along with the skiers, or do they get the new mercedes regardless of the the conditions present during a season? (I am in total ignorance of what the financial base line is for the owners/operators, so this is wanton speculation).

this slide offers a chance to learn something. If there is a point to this thread, that may be it. Intelligence is required. Expending assets may be required when that is not financially advantageous. And if the postings on this thread encourage mountain operations management to run a lift when the main elements are in place: snow safety, lift mechanicals, money in the vault, lifties to grab from somewhere then I have done my job (increasing access to epic powder without hurting anyone or anything, or ruffling any feathers out there).

Of course this is all BS, as I am not in a position to demand anything from Resort ownership, but I keep hoping they have their ear to the ground (snow). One day I rode the chair with one of the highest mountain managers and he and I had a long, earnest talk. I said that the single most important thing to me at a ski area was that it open as many of the main lifts as possible. I believe that our talk had some positive effect. And though I do not claim to speak for anyone, I doubt that the points I bring up come out of a void either.

And this is a forum, right, talk it up, take a few chances, hang your opinion out there, get bombed.
post #17 of 22
If you would just make your points more coherently, people could respond in more constructive ways. Try to make your point in 2-3 sentences.

“I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisc View Post
If you would just make your points more coherently, people could respond in more constructive ways. Try to make your point in 2-3 sentences.

“I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
going back over your previous post, I have come to a conclusion. I'll dumb it down for you in the future. concise enough?
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post
going back over your previous post, I have come to a conclusion. I'll dumb it down for you in the future. concise enough?
Better to dumb it down than dumb it up.
post #20 of 22
as someone who works on the Internet (I write for an online magazine owned by Fox) and who comes from a strong newspaper/magazine/print background, if I've learned anything, it's that most folks reading on the Net want stuff quick and concise and sorta sound bytey.

For example I used to post 2000 word interviews with actors and musicians on the site and nobody would read past the first page. You quickly learn that anything over 500 words becomes excess (and dead) weight.

Short, sharp, and succinct, baby! That's the way of the Net, for better or worse.



But Dav, i totally dug this line:

" I'm trying to load up on potential energy, wind up some gravity, and get up on top."

That was damn near sweet poetry, even taken out of context!
post #21 of 22
Kton is taking it to the next level this upcoming season..Lodges will be closed...not just little mid mountain ones..We are talking the the K1 lodge.

I have no problem with areas closing secondary lifts as long as there aren''t lines at the mains ones or that you can access where ever you want to go.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post

Short, sharp, and succinct, baby! That's the way of the Net, for better or worse.



But Dav, i totally dug this line:

" I'm trying to load up on potential energy, wind up some gravity, and get up on top."

That was damn near sweet poetry, even taken out of context!
You are definitely correct about form. The point could have been concise. Patrol is done. Open the f'ing lift!

It was a bear said "turn up the gravity" and I got it: go steeper! It was myself once thought while sitting on the chair: every foot of vertical gained on this lift is potential energy collected. It all gets released on the run down, as gravity takes it back.
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