How does a ski chairlift slow down for the people getting on/off, but the rest of the chairs in the middle of the ride up don’t feel it?

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How does a ski chairlift slow down for the people getting on/off, but the rest of the chairs in the middle of the ride up don’t feel it?

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Because on modern chair lifts the chair is actually lifted off the cable and slowed down. The cable continues to move at the same speed but the chair moves slower. After you get on the chair is then accelerated back to cable speed and dropped back on the cable. Since all chairs are slowed down the same in the turn, spacing is kept uniform along the cable.

The chairs disconnect from the main drive cable as they enter the stations at each end. They proceed on a slower drive system in the stations then reconnect to the main cable as they leave.

See: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detachable_chairlift

I have experience operating the type that aren’t detachable. When getting on the chairlift there is an attendant who stand in the center of where the chair comes around. As the skiers come up the attendant grabs on the side of the chair and pulls back. At the same time they sit down and it’s all a smooth transition, or should be. When you exit the chair comes up/down towards a ramp of snow. You stand up as the speed of the chair along with slope of the ramp guides you down.

Yes, people do fall down getting both on and off, and yeah it’s funny sometimes

Well at blue mountain (Poconos) they just stop if for every chair. You don’t feel it because it’s barely moving anyway

Detachable Chairlifts will release their grip from the haul rope while in station, allowing more time for the passengers to get on/off, while maintaining a much faster speed between stations.

Fixed Grip Chairlifts are always moving at the same speed as the haul rope, so they are run at a much lower speed to allow for passengers to get on/off safely. These chairlifts often require a lift operator to physically hold the chair with their hand, to give passengers an extra second or two find their place when getting on.


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