Is Autonomous Ropeway Operation The Future of Skiing?


Well-known member
This seems like a bad idea to me. I'm not sure how much labor costs you are saving, but you still need one employee watching the chair.

Sometimes, skiers need help ducking a chair or getting up.

Been there and done that with Liz and James Jan. 26 at Courchevel:

That Petit Moriond tram is short but with no human attendant. You push a button to call it, similar to an elevator.

Anybody who has ever watched a Warren Miller movie would be highly skeptical of leaving the top of a chairlift unattended. Yes the chair could be stopped by the camera attendant, but who would clean up the carnage so the lift could restart without excessive delay, especially if someone was injured?

I recall the expression "Nothing is foolproof because fools are so ingenious." This season Mammoth replaced chair 16 at Canyon Lodge with a Dopplemayr high speed lift including a belt loader to deposit skiers in line where they sit down. Liz and I have been on tons of these in Europe. Evidently it turned out to be a big cluster at Mammoth. I heard that this summer's similar upgrade to chair 1 at Main Lodge will not include the loading belt.
Last edited:
I think Val Thorens has a relatively new automated tram. (?) I think it just ran on a schedule.

I could see a gondola and/or tram fully automated. But a chairlift is just a trainwreck waiting to happen. Stick a webcam on the topstation. People do go around the bullwheel even on detachable lifts.