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The photo captioned "A chairlift in Bad Hofgastein, Austria" is actually of a detachable chairlift; maybe it should be changed. -- 20:37, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

The carriers (chairs) in this picture are actually known as a "bubble chair" because they have a Plexiglas cover attached to the safety restraining bar that, when lowered by the passenger, will shield the passenger from the elements. This is a specific style which is not found on most lifts. Maybe the photo caption should be modified to reflect this, since this photo is clearly not of a generic type of carrier. You are correct however, that this is indeed a detachable chairlift. Parcanman (talk) 21:12, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

This article claims that chairlift normally refers specificaelly to a fixed-grip chair, but in actuality, the term chairlift is used generically for both fixed and detachable lifts. Pimlottc 21:06, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Brittle Bar[edit]

The "Brittle Bar" should actually be referred to as a "Deropement Switch", as this is what it truly is, and is called in industry standard employee training manuals. The "brittle bar" is a specific style of deropement switch, but not all chairlifts use this particular style of switch. Parcanman (talk) 02:20, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

I haven't seen any sources to that effect. Do you know of any? I added that to the article based on what I could find published and also on my experience as a ski instructor for many years. —EncMstr (talk) 04:25, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
I've been a lift operator for the past 6 winters. At the area I work at, our newest lift (installed 1994) does not use brittle bars on the tensioning and depression sheave trains, instead it has these little metal rods that fit into a rubber sleeve and hold down a momentary button switch. When one is hit, the rod pops out of the sleeve but hangs from a short length of cord that prevents it from falling from the tower (and on to the heads of skiers passing underneath), however it can be reset by just putting the rod back in the sleeve since nothing is broken.
Another lift we have just got a new bottom depression train made by Poma, it has spring loaded lever switches that automatically reset and also are not broken. Also, most of our lifts as well as many lifts I have seen at other areas use brittle bars for other functions aside from cable detection, such as tension carriage limit switches.
Any training material I have ever seen refers to any switch used to detect a deropement as a "deropement switch". I am not aware of any material available online for free, but the most recent material that we have used for employee training is a book called "Learning About Lifts" by "Mountain Management Services LLC". Parcanman (talk) 03:55, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Wow! $375 for the course! Or maybe it is the slide show only. I'll take your word for it that is says that, but deropement switch has only 30 Google hits, pretty low for an industry standard term. Brittle bar has 2650 (after eliminating peanut brittle bar). —EncMstr (talk) 06:15, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
It was probably the first type of switch used for that purpose and thus the term became the most widely used term, but just because it's the most widely used doesn't mean it's the proper term for an encyclopedia. You'll probably find more people that say "Kleenex" than those who say "facial tissue", but that doesn't mean that the title of the wiki article for facial tissue should say Kleenex. The point is that although the brittle bar is historically the most widely used type of deropement switch, it is not the only type in use for this purpose, and it is only a type. Check the service manuals for any chairlift, or ask any chairlift maintenance technician, brittle bar is really just a nickname. Next winter I'll try to remember to take some photos of the different types in use.Parcanman (talk) 07:15, 27 July 2010 (UTC)


This section says that both loading and unloading is supervised by an operator, however many European chairlifts do not have an operator or attendant at the unloading area, so this could be misleading. Parcanman (talk) 21:40, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

I have only been to a handful of European ski areas and they all had unload operators. In the U.S. and Canada, virtually every area has an operator at the unload. The exceptions are those monitored by video at some very small areas. —EncMstr (talk) 04:25, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

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fixed grip limitations[edit]

There seems to be some dispute whether to include this text

Fixed-grip lifts are usually shorter than detachable-grip lifts due to rope load; the maximum vertical rise for a fixed grip chairlift is 300–400 m (984.3–1,312 ft) and a length of about 1,200 m (3,937 ft), while detachable quads and "six-packs" can service a vertical rise of over 600 m (1,969 ft) and a line length of 2,000 m (6,562 ft).

It seems reasonable to include it to me as every long chairlift I know of is detachable. It could be that some economic bias is a factor, but I have heard from ski area operators (all in Oregon) that a high speed chair costs three times the price of an equivalent fixed grip, so I would expect that if there were any need for low lift capacity, a long fixed grip would be installed. But I don't know of any.

It makes sense to me that the denser chair spacing of a fixed grip would load the rope more and impose a more restrictive overall limitation. But I haven't been able to find any sources to that effect. At least that aren't mirrors of the this article's long-standing content. —EncMstr (talk) 00:25, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I live in an area (Dolomiti Superski) with 460 lifts, and I can assure you, that the length is not a reason for fixed-grip or not. Once upon a time detachable lifts did not exist. Several fixed-grip chair-lifts here are or were over 2 km long. Nowadays more fixed-grip chairlifts get substituted by detachable gondolas than detachable chairs, but the main reasons are comfort, speed and (less relevant) capacity per hour; length or altitude of the lift is not an issue. We even have detachable chairlifts with less than 100 m. The chair-spacing is determined only by the speed of the lift: the faster the rope goes, the bigger the gap between chairs.--Sajoch (talk) 08:44, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

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