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Death from chairlift fall

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
pam w wrote:
On some of the most recent chairs the bar's raised automatically - at the last minute.


Yep, and always fun to intentionally NOT tell your friends about it when you get on so you get a giggle at them going mental trying to lift it before you point out the big "automatic" sticker.

kettonskimum wrote:
Though, with the locking ones, you do need to be sure you're set before pulling the bar down. Imagine getting nipped by the bar which then doesn't release until the top.....


Reminds me of the PdS where they replaced the, from memory Pierre Longue chair, adding an atomatic safety bar as part of it to make iit safer...and within a few weeks of it opening a child had to be treated at the top after getting her head squashed between the end of the chair and bar for the whole ride. Though worth noting that the fault there didn't lie with the safety bar as such, more the inattentive people on that chair who pulled the bar down without making sure everyone else was correctly seated and safe.
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@rambotion, have you been on a chair midway between pylons when it's done an emergency stop? I have and was surprised how violent the motion was.
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Yes, I have too, and it's quite scary, especially as it's sometimes in high winds and the whole cable starts dancing.
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It was the bit about ‘riding at the highest point with no bar down’ I was surprised about. I suspect I may have misinterpreted what was meant Puzzled

I’m not at all surprised at the premature evacuation types, who seem intent on shooting off before anyone else on the chair is anywhere near ready.

I always aim for an outside seat on 4 pack or upwards chairs. Size up the others in the queue for the obvious idiots. Grab and control the speed of the bar coming down (at a reasonable pace) when everyone seems ready. Keep feet on the bar to make it difficult for early risers.

Should probably be a compulsory standard lesson, test, licence and penalty point/ban system for chairlifts. Very Happy
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@sugarmoma666, I was on the up and over chair towards La Fornet once when it jolted to a halt with our chair just above the ridge.

Bitterly cold, high wind, snow blowing up into face. Took about 15 minutes to get going again and 3 seasons before I stopped using the bus up from Laisinant up the valley instead.

Nobody lifted the safety bar, which had finger shapes imprinted into the metal.
Happy days though.
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I've seen enough empty chairs blown severely sideways and had enough had stops to know I always try to bring the bar down sensibly. On occasion in the US I won't force the point but usually do. I don't really understand the (N?) American psyche when it comes to deliberate personal avoidance of a safety device, one US friend has speculated that the school bullying culture goes so deep that even as adults people would rather fall to their death in an admittedly unlikely event than be considered uncool or a "pussy".
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Quote:

I was on the up and over chair towards La Fornet once when it jolted to a halt with our chair just above the ridge

Shocked Not a nice 15 minutes. I'm really OK on chair lifts, but that one.....
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I don't mind if someone wants to open up the bar early, but I do not like it when people rush to bring the bar down immidiately and fast.
I got a right old bang on the back of the helmet on the lift near the top of Orelle.
Enough to be seeing stars.
I don't exactly know how it happened, good job I had a helmet on.

I had a rolliking from some guy on a lift at "Heavenly"
"Don't you ask permission before you bring that bar down?" rolling eyes
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Not so much permission as notification. I might say anyone mind if I bring the bar down but if I'm asking it is coming. On the contrary the French habit of first one seated slams the bar no matter the status of other riders is fecking annoying. You're really not in any danger while your skis are still on the ground.
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At 6ft 4, with a helmet to add, i must get whacked 2-3 times a day by folks that yank the bar down the instant your bum hits the seat.
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Surely all the people who have been hit on the noggin by the bar coming down have worked out how to tip your head backwards and look up whilst getting on. Also be the first to grab a handhold of the bar before anyone else to slow it down. If you're still being hit regularly after the first couple of hits I think there may be be something wrong in your learning curves ! Preventative measures always needed when dealing with the great unwashed !
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PeakyB wrote:
@countryman,
Quote:

Half the skiers in Europe raise the bar way before the end station ie then ride often at the highest point above ground without a bar



I've hardly ever seen that happen...yet you reckon 50% do it? Where do you usually ski?


Where do you ski where it doesn't happen? Do you have any statistics to substantiate it being less than 50%?
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In order of most visits:
EK; 3V; St Ant; SR; Paradiski; Porte de Sol; + about 30 others less often.

I didn’t assert it didn’t happen but that it was fewer than 50% of occasions.

I don’t gather data when I’m skiing I rely on heuristics and skills if a highly trained observer wink

Now where do you ski where over half are naughty, because I want to keep away from there?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
In my utterly fallible memory, well over half of chair journeys involve someone attempting to lift the bar before the chair is over the netting (and well before reaching the pylon with the 'lift bar' sign on it). To be fair, I still find it easy to underestimate just how long you have, particularly on those that offload perpendicular to the direction of travel (i.e. as the seat is actually rounding the apex).

It may be a reflection of where I've done most of my skiing, but I've never had a head-bump from the bar. I'm used to someone grabbing it, politely checking whether everyone's ready, and bringing it down after any adjustments have been made.
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PeakyB wrote:
@sugarmoma666, I was on the up and over chair towards La Fornet once when it jolted to a halt with our chair just above the ridge.

Bitterly cold, high wind, snow blowing up into face. Took about 15 minutes to get going again and 3 seasons before I stopped using the bus up from Laisinant up the valley instead.

Nobody lifted the safety bar, which had finger shapes imprinted into the metal.
Happy days though.


This is not helping my aversion to chairlifts!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
PeakyB wrote:
In order of most visits:
EK; 3V; St Ant; SR; Paradiski; Porte de Sol; + about 30 others less often.

I didn’t assert it didn’t happen but that it was fewer than 50% of occasions.

I don’t gather data when I’m skiing I rely on heuristics and skills if a highly trained observer wink

Now where do you ski where over half are naughty, because I want to keep away from there?


I'm just responding to what appeared to be typical SH pedantry but youve come across a bit more friendly on your response Smile.

I've fewer trips under my belt bit a few seasons in 3V.

The whole opinion on whether the bar is lifted too early will of course depend on the opinion of the individual.

But it's been interesting to read people's experience of this and, again, tragic to read about some of the horror stories!
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If it's just our ski group on the chair then the bar may get lifted just before the netting but not much before. Lots of chair lift bars in Dolomiti ski area had automatic bars this year, more than I've previously experienced.

Not bringing the bar down would give me the willies and is another thing to worry about when son goes off to Whistler for the next winter season.
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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?
I hate it when people lift the bar before the green light strip - there is no need to do it and it frightens me! So far, I've never been challenged about keeping the bar down for longer but I'm often tempted to ask the culprits whether they were planning to get off at the point they wish to raise the bar, and then help them on their way Twisted Evil

This season it was Brits who seemed most keen on getting the bar up ages before the platform, often over a big drop. "Nearly locals" - weekend visitors from Germany and Austria were far more laid back, chatting away until the chair was up to the safe zone.

I wonder whether anxiety over the whole getting off the lift process is a factor?


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Fri 24-03-23 18:07; edited 1 time in total
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Scamper wrote:
I wonder whether anxiety over the whole getting off the lift process is a factor?


I suspect so. Many more people have experience of difficulty getting off chairlifts than have experience of falling off them, unsurprisingly enough.
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Scamper wrote:
...before the green light strip...


Puzzled what's that.
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I have jumped off a chairlift on several consecutive circuits, having thrown my snowboard off first, for health and safety reasons.

My defence is that it was doing nobody any harm and was preferable to the dangers that awaited me had I continued to the top, which I’d done just the once and regretted bitterly.

I stopped immediately when it was pointed out I was jumping into someone’s very long front garden.
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@adithorp, in Austria...as the chair approaches there is a strip of lights...too far away to lift the bar you see red lights...lift the bar now you see green lights
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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adithorp wrote:
Scamper wrote:
...before the green light strip...


Puzzled what's that.

Many of our chairlifts have a strip of LEDs on the ground, they show red when you are looking at them from a shallow angle and change to green as you get above them. This is to signal that it is safe to open the bar. Only problem is I have never seen any signage that tell people they are there and what they are for.
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adithorp wrote:
Scamper wrote:
...before the green light strip...


Puzzled what's that.


On quite a few chairlifts as you approach the top you firstly see a horizontal row of red lights (that are highly directional) and then as you get closer the red lights disappear and you see a horizontal row of green lights, being the signal to raise the bar. Madeye-Smiley
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PeakyB wrote:
@sugarmoma666, I was on the up and over chair towards La Fornet once when it jolted to a halt with our chair just above the ridge.

Bitterly cold, high wind, snow blowing up into face. Took about 15 minutes to get going again and 3 seasons before I stopped using the bus up from Laisinant up the valley instead.

Nobody lifted the safety bar, which had finger shapes imprinted into the metal.
Happy days though.


The predecessor to that chair was somewhat lower and slower and the brave used to jump off at the highest point to ski down the steep faces. Would Probably be frowned upon these days Laughing
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Thanks Folks, I wasn't sure how to answer Adithorp - I'd assumed he/she was taking the xxss..
Apologies, Adithorp if it was a genuine question, seeing that you had Mancs as your location I presumed you skied in Europe.
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kettonskimum wrote:
Quote:

On some of the most recent chairs the bar's raised automatically - at the last minute.

Yes, in the Grand Massif there are a couple of chairlifts with bars that lock in place and don't unlock for you to raise it until you are literally at the point of dismount. I'm a bit of a last minute raiser...nothing wrong with that.

Though, with the locking ones, you do need to be sure you're set before pulling the bar down. Imagine getting nipped by the bar which then doesn't release until the top.....


My guess is that this goes for +20% of chairs in Austria.
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Scamper wrote:
Thanks Folks, I wasn't sure how to answer Adithorp - I'd assumed he/she was taking the xxss..
Apologies, Adithorp if it was a genuine question, seeing that you had Mancs as your location I presumed you skied in Europe.


It was a genuine question. Never seen that but never skied in Austria.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Peter S,
Quote:

The predecessor to that chair was somewhat lower and slower and the brave used to jump off at the highest point to ski down the steep faces. Would Probably be frowned upon these days


You're right, I saw Gnarly Charlie types jump off the old chair at the ridge many times. I distinctly remember the first time I rode it and nobody told me it was an up and over.
I actually lifted the bar as we approached the ridge, only to have a big shock at what awaited me on the other side. I very rapidly slid backwards and lowered the bar fast. Shocked
Oh how they larfed.
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adithorp wrote:
Scamper wrote:
Thanks Folks, I wasn't sure how to answer Adithorp - I'd assumed he/she was taking the xxss..
Apologies, Adithorp if it was a genuine question, seeing that you had Mancs as your location I presumed you skied in Europe.


It was a genuine question. Never seen that but never skied in Austria.


Ah, that may be it - Austria and, last year, Italy f for the last 10 years for us.
Apologies again, yeah, as fellow Snowheads explained, as the chair approaches the dismounting area there's a horizontal strip of lights - shows red on approach and then green when it's safe to lift the bar.
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PeakyB wrote:
@Peter S,
Quote:

The predecessor to that chair was somewhat lower and slower and the brave used to jump off at the highest point to ski down the steep faces. Would Probably be frowned upon these days


You're right, I saw Gnarly Charlie types jump off the old chair at the ridge many times. I distinctly remember the first time I rode it and nobody told me it was an up and over.
I actually lifted the bar as we approached the ridge, only to have a big shock at what awaited me on the other side. I very rapidly slid backwards and lowered the bar fast. Shocked
Oh how they larfed.


Brilliant Laughing Laughing
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We saw this a lot in Breckenridge (skied there 3 times in recent years). Never understood it and makes me anxious just seeing it. One day in March 2022 we saw a young guy (teenager) fall off one of the chairs on the BeaverRun side. He seemed okay, despite the height, but an instructor who was on our chair at the time said there have been some serious injuries due to falls from chairs so it's odd the operator doesn't mandate using the bar as they seem safety conscious re speeding skiers by having patrols stopping people going too fast on family runs etc.
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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?
PeakyB wrote:
@Peter S,
Quote:

The predecessor to that chair was somewhat lower and slower and the brave used to jump off at the highest point to ski down the steep faces. Would Probably be frowned upon these days


You're right, I saw Gnarly Charlie types jump off the old chair at the ridge many times. I distinctly remember the first time I rode it and nobody told me it was an up and over.
I actually lifted the bar as we approached the ridge, only to have a big shock at what awaited me on the other side. I very rapidly slid backwards and lowered the bar fast. Shocked
Oh how they larfed.


I think it was there that Jean-Claude Killy recounted (in his book) jumping off.... except that his jacket got caught on the chair and he was carried on, over the big drop, hanging by a tiny piece of jacket.
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@snowball, Shocked Laughing

That’s great, never heard that one. Teach the great man not to show off wink
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....not related to safety bars but the most amusing chair I have experienced is the base to mid chair at Nax - an ancient non-detached chair which runs at quite a clip. You get off on a flat run out platform which means the chair can catch up with you just as you get to the short drop off the end of the platform - it can then give you a clout on the back/shoulder/head before turning sharp left and disappearing back down the mountain. What I didn't expect was that it would grab my pack (a strap with buckle just flicked into the frame of the chair and caught fast...so that the chair whipped my pack off me and nicked it....outrageous. What can happen, will happen....
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@valais2, I remember chairs like that! I had bruises! Laughing And the knocked off bobble hat Laughing
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CaravanSkier wrote:
@valais2, I remember chairs like that! I had bruises! Laughing And the knocked off bobble hat Laughing


I have surprisingly fond memories of the old 2-person TS du Grand Collet at Le Collet d’Allevard: it was a real calf-rapper (often catching you just above the top of the boot). The best approach was usually to have your poles in your outside hand and reach back with the inside hand to catch the chair as it approached. It meant you tended to swing fairly wildly for the first minute or so, but at least the backs of your knees hadn’t been caned. Get it wrong and it wasn’t much fun, though, with hand squeezed between rail and boot.
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Having seen the start of this thread on Friday, I decided to do a sampling over the weekend.

I was skiing in Big Sky, which for those who don’t know, it’s located in the United States. In the “redneck” state of Montana no less.

It was a “powder weekend”. 25” total of new snow. So a lot of “expert skiers” were out enjoying the fresh powder. There’s also a fairly aggressive atmosphere due to competition for fresh lines. All the chairs had reasonably long lines. All chairs were filled, all day long, both days.

Each time I got on a chair, I wait to see if anyone else brings the bar down. My sampling yielded approximately 30%.

When no one else brings the bar down, I announced I would bring the bar down. Then wait for any objections. What did I get over the entire weekend???

ZERO OBJECTION!!!

Theorize in anyway you want against American skiers. The reality is far far removed from your theories.
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@abc, at least four posters on this thread have not been theorising, but speaking from experience. And their experience differs from yours.
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abc wrote:
Having seen the start of this thread on Friday, I decided to do a sampling over the weekend.

I was skiing in Big Sky, which for those who don’t know, it’s located in the United States. In the “redneck” state of Montana no less.

It was a “powder weekend”. 25” total of new snow. So a lot of “expert skiers” were out enjoying the fresh powder. There’s also a fairly aggressive atmosphere due to competition for fresh lines. All the chairs had reasonably long lines. All chairs were filled, all day long, both days.

Each time I got on a chair, I wait to see if anyone else brings the bar down. My sampling yielded approximately 30%.

When no one else brings the bar down, I announced I would bring the bar down. Then wait for any objections. What did I get over the entire weekend???

ZERO OBJECTION!!!

Theorize in anyway you want against American skiers. The reality is far far removed from your theories.


We skied 2 days in Loveland, Colorado, last month and repeatedly rode Chet's Dream - one of only 2 fast chairs there. It was quiet enough for us to ride most chairs on our own (with the safety bar down) but the majority of other occupied chairs ahead of us had the bar raised. In fact it was unusual to see the bar lowered Shocked .

On the few occasions we did share chairs there, we had no objections to our use of the safety bar - nor anywhere else in the 5 other resorts we visited where the chairs had bars* (mind, we were surprised to see frequent non-bar users ahead of us on The Outback chair at Keystone).

*Silverton Mountain's one and only lift has no safety bar.
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