Local Warming: First Heated Chairlift Starts Operations

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SAM Magazine-Trysil, Norway, Mar. 6, 2007-It sounds like something you'd expect one of those private "members only" ski resorts to install: a heated chairlift so the moneyed set doesn't have to endure the indignity of a cold bum. And it's certainly not the kind of "improvement" you'd find at most major North American resorts, as they review their energy efficiency standards and become ever greener. And don't hold your breath when it comes to smaller resorts installing one either: it's not really something you'd ever expect to find at Mad River Glen or Taos.

But the management at Trysil has set a new standard of comfort-or, depending upon who you talk to, excess-for chairlifts. Trysil's new 5,500-foot-long Toppekspresssen six-pack has heated seats. Ironically, the warmest winter in Norway in many years kept the lift from starting operations until last week. It had been scheduled to open Dec. 9, 2006. No word yet on how late the lift, as well as the rest of the resort, will be able to operate this year, or whether anyone has needed the heated seats.