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lift density monitor

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Some days it seems like I am just following the crowd from one lift line to the next. There can’t be that many people on the mountain to crowd every lift! With today’s technology it would seem a simple solution to have a web page or frequency to monitor people density at each lift line and thereby choose a different direction to avoid the heaviest use areas and play where every one else is not. There I go dreaming again.
post #2 of 9
You're not dreaming, I've seen something similar in a few resorts, e.g. Whistler.
At the main uplifts, i.e. at the base, Roundhouse, Rendezvous, and Jersey Cream, there are boards up showing the approximate queuing time at other lifts, as far as I remember it is 0-5 minutes, 5-10, 10-15 and 15+, so when you get to one of the signs you can decide to go somewhere with a shorter line.

post #3 of 9
Or you could do what people have been doing for 50 years and just ask a local how to beat the crowds. I think the longest line I've ever had is maybe 15 minutes, and that's here in super crowded New England, at disgustingly overcrowded Loon Mountain. With years of amassed local knowledge I'm usually able to ski right onto some lift or other.
post #4 of 9
Avoiding crowds is pretty easy. Simply sit down with the trail map and plan out exactly where & when you'd like to ski/eat for the day. Then modify your plan to do the exact opposite, because most people will have a similar plan to you.

Lots of people ask me how to avoid crowds at Whistler. Easy. Avoid the high alpine, the Emerald chair, the wide open cruisers, and do all you can to avoid the high speed quads and the village gondola in the morning. People then look at me and say, "yeah, but that's why we came to Whistler!". Exactly, so did everyone else.

As a general rule anywhere, I've found that you should get up early and ski your brains out for the first hour or so, then hit the lodge for a snack (if you don't pack your own). Ski until mid afternoon, then have another snack in the lodge before finishing the day with your last runs up top. If it's a pow day, head for the trees. Avoid lifts serving copious intermediate terrain. Ski in areas that have long ski outs back to the lift. Settle for terrain with less than ideal conditions. You get the idea.
post #5 of 9
I saw something like that,I think Breck.I wonder if they are accurate, if so they just send droves of skiers to the shortest wait and by the time you get there it has the 20 min wait!
post #6 of 9
Vail has a light system board. Green for no waitng, yellow for some and red for your going to wait a loooong time. Works well, although when people complain that Vail is crowded I wonder if they have checked the boards? We rarely wait in a line at Vail.
post #7 of 9
Originally posted by Kima:
Vail has a light system board. Green for no waitng, yellow for some and red for your going to wait a loooong time. Works well, although when people complain that Vail is crowded I wonder if they have checked the boards? We rarely wait in a line at Vail.
If people are worried about crowds then the major commercial areas, the "destination resorts" are just places to avoid in general. There will always be crowdless days at every area, but when planning a vacation you have to think about averages. You've got a better chance at avoiding crowds at areas like Loveland, Winter Park and A-basin, than places like Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge or Steamboat. Vail's got great skiing just like most major areas out west, but so does winter park and every other local hill. Winter Park will always have less crowds than Vail because it's a more locally centered area. That also makes for fewer low level skiers. When a hill caters to locals the lower level skiers tend to be the kids of the local experts, so all you have to do to avoid lines is avoid the little people. You can't do that at places like Vail. The lifts at the Big resorts are designed to serve all levels of terrain with a focus on intermediates and novices. The lifts at Locally centered areas tend to be more compartmentalized into a novice area, and intermediate area, and an expert area. This makes it easier to tailor you skiing experience to the way you ski, and easier to avoid crowds.
post #8 of 9
Funny, I've found the smaller areas are usually among the most crowded with the highest density of lower level skiers. This is mostly because of less expensive lift tickets and services, and the school programs. It is most refreshing though to see real local people skiing with vintage equipment wearing jeans. No one is counting vertical here, and not a single FRS radio to be seen. After all, what do you REALLY need to have fun for a day's skiing? Twenty bucks, some warm clothes, some garage sale gear, and a smile!
post #9 of 9
The light board at Tremblant was quite useful today. Two of the lifts hit 15+ minutes, then they stopped updating it. Most of the rest of the day line averaged about 5 or less minutes at both lifts. I guess equipment is only part of the solution , just like skiing.
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