Lift systems and networks
The network of lifts at a ski resort can be arranged in several patterns depending on the size and topography of the area. Several lifts may be arranged radially outward from a common base area, with top stations along surrounding peaks and ridges. Lifts may also run radially inward from several base stations to a common summit area. Ski areas located along the face of a long ridge may simply have numerous lifts running roughly parallel. High-traffic areas may have two or more lifts in parallel for increased capacity. A small percentage of ski areas have lifts which cross one another, usually with an aerial lift crossing above a surface lift and more rarely with two aerial lifts crossing at different heights above the ground.
Small ski areas with only a handful of lifts typically follow one of these simple arrangements. Larger ski areas have combinations of these basic patterns, often in a tiered arrangement by elevation. Lifts run from one or more base areas to various mid-stations, from which other lifts connect to higher terrain. Very large ski areas with dozens of lifts may have upwards of three or more tiers of lifts between the valley and the highest summits. In such cases, lengthy aerial tramways or gondolas are often used to span across several tiers at once, to allow rapid access to the upper slopes from the base.
Information about ski lifts:
- How lifts work, plus specifications and photos of many North American ski lifts
- Lift-World: Worldwide database of ski lifts, plus information on construction and operation
- News about ski lifts worldwide
- Italian web site. (also //ropeways.eu)
- Informative website with great pictures of all sorts of lifts
Numerous examples illustrating various types of ski lift networks can be found on the trail maps of most individual ski area websites, see list of ski areas and resorts. Several sites also store ski resort maps for many areas, including:
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