Idea Files :: March 2018

Written by Sam Geise

Liftie chair, emergency lights, and a portable lift control station.


mar18 idea files 01Ski Sawmill, Pa., had a problem with its top lift attendant’s building. If the operator was standing, he or she could see everything. But if the operator sat in a normal chair, he or she could barely see out the window at the lift line and unload ramp. So, mountain manager Keith Seiler and his crew came up with the idea to build an elevated chair, similar to a lifeguard perch. This was accomplished by constructing a chair frame with leftover 2X4 lumber from another project, and including a piece of plywood for the seat base. A leftover ski-lift chair seat pad was added as the finishing touch. Now, the top attendant’s building is “a room with a view,” with the lift line and unload ramp clearly visible from the liftguard chair.


mar18 idea files 02If a ski area has night skiing, the top unload ramps of lifts are required to have emergency lighting, per ANSI B77. Winterplace, W. Va., discovered that mounting emergency lights outside in the cold shortened their life. The solution? Mount the lights inside the lift shack, and position them so they shine onto the unload ramps outside. The lighting fixture is mounted on plywood just above the window, with the bulbs facing out. Now, the lights are protected from the elements—and from vandalism—and ready to work whenever needed. This is great idea on a couple of levels: it saves money, and increases the reliability of the emergency lights.


mar18 idea files 03There was a time when many portable stop/start stations were held standing upright by a large concrete weight at the base—some of them the size of a car tire. They were steady, but not easy to move. So, long before the current lift crew at Camelback, Pa., arrived on the scene, someone, or a few someones, had the bright idea to make a stand that didn’t require brute strength to move. Their solution was just a little out of the box, or concrete block in this instance: a center pole secured with the station mounted at the top, supported by pronged legs. The design has two advantages: the station is far lighter, so it’s easier to move, and it is more versatile, as it can stand on bare ground or be stabbed into the snow. Either way, the liftie’s life is easier. Kudos to the old guard for this one.

Read 7 times Last modified on Monday, 05 March 2018 01:41
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