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This must have been terrifying

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
https://news.sky.com/story/skiers-swing-wildly-on-lift-during-storm-at-austria-resort-11195850
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yes it must have been. What would folks do if they were in that chair. I would think I'd detach my skis asap? The last thing I'd want is my lower legs effectively trapped under it because of the planks. If they did manage to mount a rescue then I'd have thought thats the first thing they do or ask me to do anyway?
Given that its not too high then if the worst happened and the clamp or cable broke then I'd want to be able to either try to throw myself clear or get my whole body inside the chair structure and let it take the impact? Whatever way its gonna hurt and do damage but what would be the best option of a bad lot?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

f the worst happened and the clamp or cable broke then I'd want to be able to either try to throw myself clear or get my whole body inside the chair

suspect it would all happen to fast for you to be able to react
I think you just have to hold tight.
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A few years ago I was sitting, some ungodly number of metres above the ground, right in the centre of a span on the Index lift in Flégère, when the gearbox seized.

We stopped dead.

We could then see a huge wave travelling down the cable which dropped our chair a significant distance, threw it up (to the point that had we all not had hands on bar we'd have been ejected - and that I had bruising across my legs from the bar), dropped us forcefully, then dissipated, with us bouncing up and down for some minutes.

Very nearly very nasty. I was nervous on stopped chairs for a couple of seasons and won't open the bar until it's safe to do so now.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@robboj, I very much doubt detaching your skis would be possible in that situation. With both legs dangling could you exert enough force to release the bindings? Maybe if you had a foot rest to help but with that violent swaying I suspect you'd be too focused on just clinging on. It's also possible that if the swaying got significantly worse then you might be grateful to end up hanging by your skis instead of plummeting head first. I think I'd sit tight until told to do something different or the situation changes.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Things like this make me wonder why you still see chairs with no bar in the US. Absolutely crazy for so many reasons IMO.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@under a new name, Can safely say I would have pooed myself in that situation
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Bennisboy, we'de got on first lift so it was pretty early. Once they'd slowly run us to the top, it was straight home for a stiff drink, despite the early hour.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@jedster, Probably if it was that instantaneous. My thinking behind getting skis off was that I could then (space permitting) bring my legs up beside me and thus at least have the second option. Jumping clear would really be and wing and a prayer type of option?

@foxtrotzulu, You're probably right about waiting until being told what to do and also about just concentrating on hanging on but if I had the chance I would still think I'd be able to get the skis off, first one by using the other ski and then a combination of boot and pole and foot bar for the second one?

Let just hope that none of us ever have to work it out...
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@robboj, A few years back my 12 yr old son used to amuse himself by gently knocking the snow off his skis by clacking them together while on chairlifts in the hope that he might just give people on the piste below their own mini avalanche - all unbeknownst to me, I might add. He did this one day above the (unoccupied) slalom course in La Plagne when he inevitably managed to knock his ski off too. He got an almighty bollocking for what might have happened, but I confess I was surprised by how easily he had shed a ski.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Just after this video came out, whilst skiing in Val D'isere, my friends and I would amuse ourselves on chairlifts by discussing at what points during the ascent we would jump if something went wrong (particularly in those moments when the chair stops for a while!).

This was after the huge snowfalls in early Jan and we reasoned that we would get a very soft landing - so it was a case of judging the heights at different points on the ride and considering how we would jump!!!

Actually, being a bit scared of heights and having bottled out of a bungee jump many years ago, I am not sure I'd even jump the height of a step ladder in reality!!!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@tonyswift, I often have that discussion with my mates too, but it's usually along the lines of "I'll give you a fiver to jump off here?"

Usually followed by the height getting lower and lower until someone fakes to jump off, nobody ever has done it for real yet.... but it has led to conversations of what heights could you jump from, would you kick skis off first, do you think ski boots would help protect your bones/ankles from breaking/spraining.

I'm personally of the opinion that ski boots should help (especially if you land on uneven ground)
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Bennisboy, our feelings were you needed to dangle, swing and try to land in a rolling position - so probably better without ski boots.

Although there was always a bit of me that felt I could just jump off and ski gracefully away James Bond-style!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
On my first school trip lack of snow meant a chair ride up the hill first thing. A mate dropped his pole part way up, at the next rise in the ground below the chairs he dropped off to go and get it. iirc about 8feet or so onto a bit of a drift, so not too high.
He ended up with a 20min walk down though the trees and a bit of a bollocking but did retrieve the pole.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@tonyswift, ah yeah we also mentioned dangling and rolling. Another reason for ski boots was getting soaking & cold feet if you jump without them.

We'll have to do a scientific test
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thirty years ago when I was young and stupid I was on a chair lift in Les crosetts which kept on breaking down. Sure enough it did leaving me above a flat part of a piste. After about five minutes I was bored, so looking down I thought it'd not that far I could land that...
So I lifted the bar and slipped off the seat. I didn't lower myself or take anything off. Unfortunately what looked like only a small drop was about 8m onto a flat hard piste. My knees hit me hard in the chest and chin... Luckily I didn't damage myself but I was very lucky I wouldn't want to try that again as judging the distance that you are above the snow is very difficult without doing a drop test or similar.
The lift was still stopped an hour later so it wasn't all bad.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
pieman666 wrote:
Thirty years ago when I was young and stupid I was on a chair lift in Les crosetts which kept on breaking down. Sure enough it did leaving me above a flat part of a piste. After about five minutes I was bored, so looking down I thought it'd not that far I could land that...
So I lifted the bar and slipped off the seat. I didn't lower myself or take anything off. Unfortunately what looked like only a small drop was about 8m onto a flat hard piste. My knees hit me hard in the chest and chin... Luckily I didn't damage myself but I was very lucky I wouldn't want to try that again as judging the distance that you are above the snow is very difficult without doing a drop test or similar.
The lift was still stopped an hour later so it wasn't all bad.


Crikey Shocked That could have had a very different ending!!!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Bennisboy, ski boots might protect ankles a tiny bit but transfer a bit of the shock up your leg to knees. I'd definitely leave them on though, it'd be better to stay sitting on the lift than be running around on snow with no boots on.

Like pieman suggests, throwing something off the lift to gauge distance would be a good idea.
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pieman666 wrote:
Thirty years ago when I was young and stupid I was on a chair lift in Les crosetts which kept on breaking down. Sure enough it did leaving me above a flat part of a piste. After about five minutes I was bored, so looking down I thought it'd not that far I could land that...
So I lifted the bar and slipped off the seat. I didn't lower myself or take anything off. Unfortunately what looked like only a small drop was about 8m onto a flat hard piste. My knees hit me hard in the chest and chin... Luckily I didn't damage myself but I was very lucky I wouldn't want to try that again as judging the distance that you are above the snow is very difficult without doing a drop test or similar.
The lift was still stopped an hour later so it wasn't all bad.


Did the lady enjoy her Milk Tray? Laughing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
foxtrotzulu wrote:
@robboj, A few years back my 12 yr old son used to amuse himself by gently knocking the snow off his skis by clacking them together while on chairlifts in the hope that he might just give people on the piste below their own mini avalanche - all unbeknownst to me, I might add. He did this one day above the (unoccupied) slalom course in La Plagne when he inevitably managed to knock his ski off too. He got an almighty bollocking for what might have happened, but I confess I was surprised by how easily he had shed a ski.


With my dynafit bindings I'm a little nervous that someone next to me clumsley knocks the toe release with their ski or snowboard as we get on - valid worry?

Like most others I've often thought about how I'd get off a chairlift (there was a story about someone being left on one at night and they died). Had the idea that I'd hang my poles off the foot rest and lower myself down and hang off them before dropping.
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I've never had the misfortune to be stuck on one, but like many others have had the theoretical conversation about how to get off. One thing that has struck me is the cold. If it's bitterly cold with a strong wind and a chairlift going nowhere, a form of panic may take over - a desperate feeling of needing to get off the chairlift. In those circumstance all reason will dissipate and I can imagine some less-than-sensible decisions being taken by lots of people (okay, me).
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Not overly clear from footage but the weight on the chair is not evenly spread - one skier sitting on far end. Appreciate might have been tossed there by the wind/momentum but perhaps shows importance of balancing chairs when not fully occupied. Terrifying though.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Here's a 'broken chairlift' question...

Unlike other skiers, you wore a spring outfit, and so after 50 mins on a stuck chair lift with very cold weather closing in, you're figuring hypothermia is going to get you sooner than the offloading crew. Your well dressed companions are happy to sit tight, but are quite willing to raise the bar for you to slip off, hang off the foot rest, and then risk the 10m fall to the firm, but virgin snow below. With your recently purchased £800 skis, you have a choice:

1) Sit tight and hope your inexorable hypothermia isn't terminal.
2) Detach your skis, and hope the snow is soft enough that your legs & back can withstand the landing - recover skis and ski home.
3) Land on the rear ends of your skis, probably snapping them, in order to avoid snapping bones, and then trudge up slope 100 metres to shelter.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
4) Get everyone to take off their clothes and tie them together into a rope to get you even closer - and use your skis to extend the rope even further. They can then put their clothes back on and drop your skis down to you so you don't lose them. Then ski home and have a brandy.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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@crosbie, I'll take option 3, because there's no way that I'll have bought my own pair of £800 skis.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
A 10m fall has you hitting the deck at just over 31mph. That's about twice the descent rate with a parachute. I wouldn't fancy it!

5) Remove the length of rope that you keep in your backpack and lower yourself down with it wink
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
crosbie wrote:
Here's a 'broken chairlift' question...

Unlike other skiers, you wore a spring outfit, and so after 50 mins on a stuck chair lift with very cold weather closing in, you're figuring hypothermia is going to get you sooner than the offloading crew. Your well dressed companions are happy to sit tight, but are quite willing to raise the bar for you to slip off, hang off the foot rest, and then risk the 10m fall to the firm, but virgin snow below. With your recently purchased £800 skis, you have a choice:

1) Sit tight and hope your inexorable hypothermia isn't terminal.
2) Detach your skis, and hope the snow is soft enough that your legs & back can withstand the landing - recover skis and ski home.
3) Land on the rear ends of your skis, probably snapping them, in order to avoid snapping bones, and then trudge up slope 100 metres to shelter.


I'll lie down and have them all sit on me to shelter me from the elements and keep me warm/crushed
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Brownpack, with conditions getting rather chilly, there's no way your companions are going to remove even a pair of goggles. And as they are all snowboarders they don't even have ski poles to lend you. Twisted Evil

@SnoodlesMcFlude, perhaps you won a 'yard of Edelweiss' drinking competition two days before and the prize was "Any pair of skis in Intersport" - which after auditioning, you intended to sell...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I know someone who has jumped off a lift into deep snow with skis on and the advice was to land side angled and falling onto one shoulder. Even in soft snow if you land with flat skis you will subject yourself to considerable shock Shocked
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