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Safety Bars on Chair Lifts

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I am sorry to hear of the death of a British Skier in Meribel. It seems he fell from a chair lift, before or after death, other details are unclear, my thoughts are with his family and friends but I hope he went doing something he loved!

The thread discussing it though did raise some points I had not considered as I can`t recall ever being on a chair lift without a safety bar. How can it be safer not to have a safety bar? Why didn`t/don`t American chair lifts have them? And why in this modern day and age are safety features not, at least partially, automatic?

Frankly if I stop and think about the majority of ski lifts they are scary, rolling eyes Laughing and I would include a few drag lifts that I`ve experienced in that too Laughing

I`m guessing there are many snowheads with more knowledge than me!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
When I lived in Japan people only really pulled the bar down when it was windy or there were children riding. The seats are broadly designed to keep you in place if you sit back in them. That said bringing the bar down seems pretty obvious as long as you don’t jam it down on someone’s head.
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Horrible story from Meribel- RIP to the guy.
The top chairlift at Niseko is a one person 'pizza box' seat with no saftey bar, scary as f**k!
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alasdair.graham@hotmail.c wrote:
The top chairlift at Niseko is a one person 'pizza box' seat with no saftey bar, scary as f**k!


It was nice when you got off it though.

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Personally, i wiuld prefer not to pull the bar down. Pain in the Be Nice please! on a board trying to move your feet for the foot rest, then thoughtless skiers lifting them up when your not ready.
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I know very little about snowboarding and lifts, beyond the fact that many snowboarders seem to struggle on all sorts of lifts more than skiers do? I`m guessing the original design of ski lifts did not factor in snowboarding?
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rob@rar wrote:
alasdair.graham@hotmail.c wrote:
The top chairlift at Niseko is a one person 'pizza box' seat with no saftey bar, scary as f**k!


It was nice when you got off it though.



I like that meathook! Madeye-Smiley
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Mr.Egg wrote:
Personally, i wiuld prefer not to pull the bar down. Pain in the on a board trying to move your feet for the foot rest, then thoughtless skiers lifting them up when your not ready.

No, when strapped to one foot, the board runs parallel with you & you can support the underside with your other foot. With the bar & foot rest down, then you need to wist to an awkward position. Easier if the seat next you is free, tricky if not as you dont want to hit other peoples gear
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Hyst wrote:
I like that meathook! Madeye-Smiley
Meathook with a view:

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CaravanSkier wrote:
I know very little about snowboarding and lifts, beyond the fact that many snowboarders seem to struggle on all sorts of lifts more than skiers do? I`m guessing the original design of ski lifts did not factor in snowboarding?


Your point is?
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A general comment on the design of ski lifts in response to Mr Eggs comment.

On the other thread there seemed to be differing opinions about safety bars and their desirability. I am genuinely surprised that everyone does not think they should be in place on every chair lift and interested in why not.

It seemed better to start a new thread for such a discussion rather than raise the issue on that other thread.
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Anyone who thinks safety bars are a bad idea is seriously tapped in the head
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Frosty the Snowman wrote:
Anyone who thinks safety bars are a bad idea is seriously tapped in the head


That's snowboarders for you, I hear they talk to themselves a lot -

Mr.Egg wrote:
Mr.Egg wrote:
Personally, i wiuld prefer not to pull the bar down. Pain in the on a board trying to move your feet for the foot rest, then thoughtless skiers lifting them up when your not ready.

No, when strapped to one foot, the board runs parallel with you & you can support the underside with your other foot. With the bar & foot rest down, then you need to wist to an awkward position. Easier if the seat next you is free, tricky if not as you dont want to hit other peoples gear
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
Anyone who thinks safety bars are a bad idea is seriously tapped in the head


I've never been on a lift without a bar and I can't say I would want to. Where do you rest your feet?
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Alastair wrote:
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
Anyone who thinks safety bars are a bad idea is seriously tapped in the head


I've never been on a lift without a bar and I can't say I would want to. Where do you rest your feet?


I'm with you. And I think you just dangle on those lifts.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
CaravanSkier wrote:
I know very little about snowboarding and lifts, beyond the fact that many snowboarders seem to struggle on all sorts of lifts more than skiers do? I`m guessing the original design of ski lifts did not factor in snowboarding?

<shrug> Good snowboarders have no issue with lifts.
I'd guess any perception you have there could be based on the fact that bad snowboarders find it easier to get around at a resort than bad skiers, who are quite rightly mostly still in class wink

Personally, if I'm riding a chair without a bar I already worked out how I'm going to stay in it should they hit the emergency brake.
You don't have a foot rest, which as a snowboarder I find annoying as you have to support your board on one leg.

You will find many macho types who don't like putting the bar down (oh, I'm so impressed). Probably not this demographic.

I knew I'd looked at this before:
https://www.nsaa.org/media/310500/Lift_Safety_Fact_Sheet_2017.pdf
Knowledge is power.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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philwig wrote:

I knew I'd looked at this before:
https://www.nsaa.org/media/310500/Lift_Safety_Fact_Sheet_2017.pdf
Knowledge is power.


Quite interesting overall, but the level of risk from travelling in elevators in the US is eye-opening.
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Why isn’t anyone suggest car drivers and passengers wear helmets?

Sure, car is a built-in safety cocoon. But laws had been passed to mandate seat belt and air bags. So it’s quite beyond me why helmets are not even encouraged when in a car!

In the mean time, so many are up in arms about safety bars on chair lifts. Why be so risk averse in one area while so cavalier in other?

I have no problem if people want to use safety bars. I just don’t understand why they think it’s such a big deal Puzzled Puzzled
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I ski and mtb with a backpack. Unless you hook it over the backrest (and remember to unhook it at the top, before exit!) that pushes you further forward in the seat. I’d be v uncomfortable riding without the bar down.

Coordination and cooperation of when to pull the bar down on 3-8 pack lifts at recent week in PDS seemed to work perfectly.
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When I used to snowboard (I know...) I had no problem with any lifts, I don't understand what the fuss is about. Clunking equipment is par for the course around lifts, even a chair full of skiers won't keep their skis to themselves. The bar is a must for me, it's there for a reason - a pretty good reason - and I'll pull it down as soon as possible. I'll raise it at the last minute too, as I did when I boarded. You've just got to be on it a bit more with boards and lifts.
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Riding lifts without a bar is no issue to me .
I have a fear of heights yet have no problem on no bar lifts. I said in the other thread due to learning and only skiing in the USA I only first encountered bars in 2011.
I have never felt unsafe , have never fallen off and not had an issue.
I have been wacked on the head more than one by inconsiderate people pulling down the bar seconds after the lift scoops them up and it's bloody annoying and downright rude not to at least look before grabbing the bar

As for a footrest it does not matter if there is one or not and often it's the cause of tangled skis and last minute lift panic
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abc wrote:
Why isn’t anyone suggest car drivers and passengers wear helmets?

Sure, car is a built-in safety cocoon. But laws had been passed to mandate seat belt and air bags. So it’s quite beyond me why helmets are not even encouraged when in a car!

In the mean time, so many are up in arms about safety bars on chair lifts. Why be so risk averse in one area while so cavalier in other?

I have no problem if people want to use safety bars. I just don’t understand why they think it’s such a big deal Puzzled Puzzled
When motoring is done as a sport, helmets are compulsory.

I'd be ok on a single seat chair without a safety bar, but what happens on a larger chair if the person next to you starts dicking about, or has an accident or medical condition, or if there is a bad lift malfunction?
At least on a single chair I can hang onto the hanger pole and only have myself to blame. I have fallen off a chairlift and taken 2 people with me as our skis became entangled. Admittedly the chair was still in the base station, but I was still heavily under the influence from the night before and the seat had snow on it....but that is the type of fcukwittery that one should allow for.
Europe is a lot more advanced that the US in lift terms. A high speed 4 seater is not that common over the ponds whereas it is quite common to expect 8 numpties to ride without issue over this side.
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philwig wrote:

I knew I'd looked at this before:
https://www.nsaa.org/media/310500/Lift_Safety_Fact_Sheet_2017.pdf
Knowledge is power.




Thank you for link.
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There used to be a lift with no footrest at Mt Chery in Les Gets - though it did have a safety bar. It's probably been replaced with something more modern. "Dangling" the legs was a pain.
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There used to be a lift with no footrest at Mt Chery in Les Gets - though it did have a safety bar. It's probably been replaced with something more modern. "Dangling" the legs was a pain. That "up and over" chair lift in Val d'Isere would be scary with no bar.
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Thank you philwig (and CaravanSkier).

Interesting last paragraph:
Q. Do some states require restraint bars on chairlifts?

A. Most states do not require chairlifts to have restraint bars installed. All seven states in the
Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and
Rhode Island) require that chairlifts have a restraint bar installed. Vermont is the only state
that requires chairlift users to ride the lift with the restraint bar lowered. While most states do
not require restraint bars, both major manufacturers of chairlifts in the United States offer
restraint bars as standard equipment. Furthermore, the ANSI B77 Committee is likely to pass
a provision in 2017 to add a regulation to the ANSI B77 standard that will require all ski areas
with newly installed chairlifts—including relocated chairlifts bought from other ski areas—to
include restraint bars on these lifts.

Completely opposite to France where now there are restraint bars that lock, and magnets to keep the kids in place.
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Jonpim wrote:


Completely opposite to France where now there are restraint bars that lock, and magnets to keep the kids in place.


Presumably that only works if your kids are made from ferrous metal?
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MHskier wrote:
I ski ... with a backpack. Unless you hook it over the backrest (and remember to unhook it at the top, before exit!) that pushes you further forward in the seat. I’d be v uncomfortable riding without the bar down.


Something which I find too. Easy enough if you have to take the sac off on a modern 4 or 6 man chair (as long as not crowded with another 3-5 people) but on an old tiny 2 or 1 man chair not at all so easy - and either way a hassle/danger when getting off trying to hold it in 1 hand whilst negotiating every other hassle and hinderance often around (or, on a board, just staying upright for me).
Mind you, modern chairs seem a lot deeper and easier to fit on anyway.

Thomasski wrote:
The bar is a must for me, it's there for a reason - a pretty good reason - and I'll pull it down as soon as possible. I'll raise it at the last minute too.


Frankly, I feel quite terrified on some chairs (a couple at Glenshee and Glencoe spring to mind, for different reasons). Some are just tiny and rickety (and not all the bars work at all on them by any means), some just induce a fear of heights in me and some (many, everywhere) have a real drop below them just before the get off area; and the latter's exactly where I hate people opening the bar too early, especially when they shuffle around too (and that's a lot worse when you're on a board as well and having to adjust your sitting angle in preparation to get off sideways). And that's before they start swaying in the wind...

I cannot possibly see why you wouldn't want to put a safety bar in front of you (as long as it will lift when needed).
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 You know it makes sense.
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Yeah... I don't think I could do those pizzabox/meathook lifts. I'm scared enough as it is on a chairlift (literally, shake from fear - I can't control it).

I'm even worse in a bubblecar/gondola - I've been on the verge of tears before now, it's like being a kite in the sky.. Last year getting the Peclet I think it was up to the glacier in VT practically finished me off. That and all the scottish blokes we were sharing a chalet with taking the p*ss out of me NehNeh
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abc wrote:
Why isn’t anyone suggest car drivers and passengers wear helmets?


Pedestrians, I once read, are the group most likely to die from head injuries and most in need of a helmet.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@abc, maybe it’s because cars are already built with a large number of safety features and designed to protect the occupants.

In regard to skiing with a bag, I always remove mine on lifts since a kid fairly local to me got hung up on one at La Plagne and they didn’t get to him in time. Holding the bag probably means it’s more likely to get caught, but at least I could just let go.

Personally I prefer the bar to be down and can’t really see what you gain from not putting it down. To carry on abc’s car analogy, it’s like not wearing a seatbelt....and it lets you rest your feet’s on it.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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The footrest is essential for me, some chairs in the Alps have no footrest on the bar and my legs are quite quickly painful without the footrest.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Mon 14-01-19 15:11; edited 1 time in total
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I really don't understand some Americans aversion to the use of safety bars. Spent 5 1/2 months in Steamboat Springs and some people would really object to me lowering the bar. Complete idiots when you look at the figures for death from falls from chairlifts. USA 30+ in 20 years---Europe NIL. Guess the yanks like to be top in everything? Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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Having been on a chairlift when the emergency brake was applied, I think not using a safety bar if it's there is crazy. We were flung forward with significant force and speed.
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Not great if the lift is stopped due to high winds and starts swing around either.....
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Look at that ski lift accident last year where people was flung in all places
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I've no experience of emergency brakes but can imagine it's scary. I have been on a chairlift stopped by high winds - whanging up and down on the wire. Was glad of a bar!
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pam w wrote:
There used to be a lift with no footrest at Mt Chery in Les Gets - though it did have a safety bar. It's probably been replaced with something more modern. "Dangling" the legs was a pain. ...

I think there is a brand new chair somewhere in the 3V that has no footrest; the extra stain on the knees was noticeable. (Possibly Combes in Mottaret, in which case it may be something to do with the unusual design that lets you get off at halfway).

An increasing number of new chairs seem have safety bars that lower, at least partially, and release automatically
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Interestingly Whistler has just put a 6 man chair in with the support for you feet coming down between the legs.
This makes it nearly impossible for a snowboarder to use at all so they just down use the bar any more.
Progress ?

Interestingly in Italy where we go too there is a 6 chair and if it is not busy I do deliberately sit with the feet bar in the middle as a skier it is more comfortable - as long as you get you bum into the back of the seat and avoid a crown jewels issue, if one of the people whips the bar down before you have shuffled back enough Shocked
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Jake43 wrote:
Interestingly Whistler has just put a 6 man chair in with the support for you feet coming down between the legs.
This makes it nearly impossible for a snowboarder to use at all so they just down use the bar any more.
Progress ?
:


I've never been on a chair lift where the foot support doesnt come down between your legs, they all do, possibly some lifts somewhere that don't?
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