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Nutcrackers Towbelts and ropetows

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
These are devices found at many of New Zealand’s Club field ski areas. Whilst not a kiwi invention or the only place they are found it is where they are best known. The origins of these devices dates back to the early 1900, they were used in many alpine resorts , mainly Switzerland and Austria, prior to the invention and widespread use of the T-bar and more sophisticated Pomma style lifts.

The rope tow itself is not the simple two pulleys and loop of rope many of us know as beginner’s lifts or those found at dry slopes across Britain. These are a little more complex. The rope can be many hundreds of meters long, being carried on a series of pulleys to stop it dragging in the snow, with the return rope usually high above the ground. There is normally a thin wire running along the lift line, a bit like the old stop cord in buses and trains and provides an emergency stop.

Many of these tows are now powered by electric motors. But until recently this was not the case, they were driven by a car motor driving a homemade winch system. Some a little more than a tractor with its wheels removed, a look in the top tow shed at Craigieburn would confirm this!

The Towbelt, either a purpose built or made from old fire hose is warn around you waist. To this attached by a short piece of cord is a Nutcracker. This is device for gripping the rope. The technique for using one of these tows involves first gripping the tow by hand (like a traditional rope tow) and putting the nutcracker over the rope and closing it. The Nutcracker if then held shut at the cord end, keeping your hands away from the rope to stop them getting hit by the pulleys. To get off you just let go of the nutcracker and it opens and drops off the rope.

These tows take some getting used to, remembering to wear a glove protector to begin with, or the palm will be ripped out on the first tow. Keeping your hips away from the pulleys and just hanging on the nutcracker. The bonus of being able to use these lifts are skiing in uncrowded areas and using one of the fastest ways up the mountain, much faster than a chair or pomma.









[ July 14, 2002, 11:23 PM: Message edited by: tom@cham ]
post #2 of 28
Good work educating the skiing world to the ways of club skiing in NZ!

You didn't mention other benefits:

-development of unfeasibly large shoulder and forearm muscles
-increased sales of woolen or heavy duty leather working gloves
-recycling use for 1950's tractor engines
post #3 of 28
Oh, and Tom, if the snowfalls continue the way they are looking at Whakapapa up north (210cm and counting), make sure you have at least a week or so up there in September/early October. Best spring skiing in NZ by far.
post #4 of 28
Tom,

Excellent post. But Hey, what kind of terrain are you accessing from these tows? Show us some pictures of that!

Ed
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by PowDigger:
Tom,

Excellent post. But Hey, what kind of terrain are you accessing from these tows? Show us some pictures of that!

Ed
ok if you can't be botherd to look back through my other threads



post #6 of 28
In the 1960's I had a bar of cast aluminum, much like an ice cream scoop. It had a deep notch the size of the rope. Thick suede mittens were used and when you were up to speed you clipped on the the bar and then held on to it.
post #7 of 28
Sorry Tom I thought that the area you were posting about the ropetows was different from your other posts. :

Ed
post #8 of 28
Ah! I thought by Nutcracker you meant a Poma lift.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by Frances:
Ah! I thought by Nutcracker you meant a Poma lift.
Pomas are a BAD lift system - NEVER put ovulating female on POMA - especially if she has to ski with CUTE instructor! :
post #10 of 28
Hits the spot, eh?
post #11 of 28
I take it this is the system invented when people discovered that even harnessing up several sheep didn't quite work.... I'm trying to decide whether to look fwd to using these things or not...
post #12 of 28
I've never skied with a cute instructor.

T-bars are more friendly though less fun in other respects.
post #13 of 28
Miles - yeah - very distracting from the 'ski learning' part....

Frances - cute instructors are a very good aid to skiing (of course it does help when they are terrific teachers & really nice people as well)
post #14 of 28
[quote]Originally posted by disski:
Quote:
Pomas are a BAD lift system - NEVER put ovulating female on POMA - especially if she has to ski with CUTE instructor! :
WTF is this? :
post #15 of 28
Sugar - just what it said...

Bad.. bad... bad.. - T-bars are much nicer - less distracting - you can concentrate on skiing
post #16 of 28
Now I'm curious, please anyone, explain what a Poma lift is.
Possibly provide an image.
TIA, Matt.
post #17 of 28
M@tteo

A poma is a bit like a T-bar - but they don't retract. They have a big spring loaded pole with a disc at the end. Disc & Pole go between the legs. It then drags you up the hill - while jumping& shaking all the time(especially going past towers)
post #18 of 28
Ahhh I see.
I "used" one of those at La Rosiere, in France, many years ago...(the pole was telescopic too)
Thanks, disski

Since we're at it:
What's the name for the device which has the disc instead of the T-bar (and retracts like the T-bar)?
In Italian, funnily 'nuff, it is called SKILIFT
(I think the German for it is Tellerlift, TELLER as in dish/disc/plate)
post #19 of 28
A J-Bar???? :

Help some-one please
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by M@tteo:
Ahhh I see.
I "used" one of those at La Rosiere, in France, many years ago...(the pole was telescopic too)
Thanks, disski

Since we're at it:
What's the name for the device which has the disc instead of the T-bar (and retracts like the T-bar)?
In Italian, funnily 'nuff, it is called SKILIFT
(I think the German for it is Tellerlift, TELLER as in dish/disc/plate)
SKILIFT it's what everyone uses to indicate that, the correct Italian name should be SCIOVIA.
CHAIRLIFT= SEGGIOVIA (S. A QUATTRO = QUADLIFT )
CABLE CAR (OR GONDOLA) = FUNIVIA/TELEFERICA (if there are only two big cars alternatively going up and down)
Or CABINOVIA/OVOVIA (if the cars are many and holds up to 12-15 ppl each)
T-BAR = ANCORA (ANCHOR)
MAGIC CARPET (?) = TAPIS ROULANT

Not that anyone is interested, but since I was writing...
post #21 of 28
I'm interested

then again - I'm a bit strange - used to have fencing lessons in French.... :
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by disski:
Sugar - just what it said...

Bad.. bad... bad.. - T-bars are much nicer - less distracting - you can concentrate on skiing
You know - that's just TMI.
post #23 of 28
TMI? :
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by disski:
TMI? :
Too much information! :
post #25 of 28
[img]tongue.gif[/img]

(Thanks Tom)
post #26 of 28
Yeah telling everyone on a public forum how you get yourself off on a poma lift? Thats just wrong! :
post #27 of 28
Like the Italian in French any drag lift (T-bar or Poma) seems to be called a 'teleski' translated as 'ski lift'. Chair lift = telesiege, cable car = telepherique (add appropriate accents).
post #28 of 28
I think the French name for the whole of the lifts of a resort is "remontée mecaniques"...
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