Rope Tows as Beginner Lifts

edited February 4 in NELSAP Forum Posts: 1,670
I know more and more places have been replacing rope tows with carpets as beginner lifts, but which areas still have at least one dedicated novice rope tow? Handle tows don't count.


Abenaki and King Pine have modern rope tows with a black piece around the rope at regular intervals to help with grip.

Here at Bradford we have two regular rope tows in the novice area. They are sometimes tricky for beginners to get the hang of at first, but when they do it is a great mode of uphill transportation because it's fast and it allows them to get off at any point, which is not possible on a carpet.
- Sam
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Comments

  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing advanced
    Posts: 469
    NE Slopes
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,403
    Local hills with zero budget and zero profit motives do whatever they can.  Ski schools that are committed to getting people skiing rather than teaching them how to ride an obsolete lift, is absurd.  It's like insisting on handing someone a TRS-80 as a pre-requisite to learning to use an IPhone.
  • edited February 4 Posts: 1,670

    Local hills with zero budget and zero profit motives do whatever they can.  Ski schools that are committed to getting people skiing rather than teaching them how to ride an obsolete lift, is absurd.  It's like insisting on handing someone a TRS-80 as a pre-requisite to learning to use an IPhone.

    We teach more lessons here than most larger ski areas do, usually over 60,000 per season. We still have the rope tows because they work and they are efficient at moving people uphill quickly, while also allowing the rider to get off at any point. In our novice area we have three carpets and two ropes which gives novice skiers options if they aren't comfortable on the rope.
    - Sam
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,403

    Local hills with zero budget and zero profit motives do whatever they can.  Ski schools that are committed to getting people skiing rather than teaching them how to ride an obsolete lift, is absurd.  It's like insisting on handing someone a TRS-80 as a pre-requisite to learning to use an IPhone.

    We teach more lessons here than most larger ski areas do, usually over 60,000 per season. We still have the rope tows because they work and they are efficient at moving people uphill quickly, while also allowing the rider to get off at any point. In our novice area we have three carpets and two ropes which gives novice skiers options if they aren't comfortable on the rope.
    I suspect that the market will give you the answer, Sam, if you're still not convinced: The area to which you are referring has had Ropes and has chosen not to retire them.  I suspect there hasn't been a new rope tow installed in New England in at least a decade.  The last new one I remember at a major area was for the Superpipe at Killilngton in the 90s and I think that's been removed.
  • ski_itski_it expert
    Posts: 1,368
    Nashoba has at least two. Campton has one. Mt. Snow has one and it's running right now. I rode it two weeks ago too. Of course Powderhouse, Abenaki, Kanc, Prospect, Eustis etc only have a rope
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • Posts: 1,670

    Local hills with zero budget and zero profit motives do whatever they can.  Ski schools that are committed to getting people skiing rather than teaching them how to ride an obsolete lift, is absurd.  It's like insisting on handing someone a TRS-80 as a pre-requisite to learning to use an IPhone.

    We teach more lessons here than most larger ski areas do, usually over 60,000 per season. We still have the rope tows because they work and they are efficient at moving people uphill quickly, while also allowing the rider to get off at any point. In our novice area we have three carpets and two ropes which gives novice skiers options if they aren't comfortable on the rope.
    I suspect that the market will give you the answer, Sam, if you're still not convinced: The area to which you are referring has had Ropes and has chosen not to retire them.  I suspect there hasn't been a new rope tow installed in New England in at least a decade.  The last new one I remember at a major area was for the Superpipe at Killilngton in the 90s and I think that's been removed.
    Ascutney installed a rope tow last season and so did Mount Eustis.
    - Sam
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,403
    To NES13 and ski_it:  Please note my comment above:
    "I suspect there hasn't been a new rope tow installed in New England in at least a decade."

    There are lots of extant rope tows (as per your list ski_it) - just not (m)any new ones.  

    And Ascutney and Mount Eustis are both marginal operations and neither of those rope tows was new.  Both were from areas that no longer use them.
  • shprideshpride intermediate
    Posts: 41
    Black Mountain's beginner area is serviced by a rope tow.
  • MrMagicMrMagic advanced
    Posts: 105
    Yagoo valley in RI Woodbury in CT both also have carpets
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,403
    shpride said:Black Mountain's beginner area is serviced by a rope tow.

    You're missing the point.  Plenty of areas have rope tows.  None of these areas has a
    new rope tow.  
  • edited February 5 Posts: 1,670
    shpride said:

    Black Mountain's beginner area is serviced by a rope tow.


    You're missing the point.  Plenty of areas have rope tows.  None of these areas has a
    new rope tow.  


    This thread isn't about new rope tows. This thread is about dedicated beginner rope tows and Black's fits the bill.
    - Sam
  • ski_itski_it expert
    Posts: 1,368
    Oh yeah Yagoo, rode that one but Woodbury I don't recall that one
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,403


    shpride said:

    Black Mountain's beginner area is serviced by a rope tow.


    You're missing the point.  Plenty of areas have rope tows.  None of these areas has a
    new rope tow.  


    This thread isn't about new rope tows. This thread is about dedicated beginner rope tows and Black's fits the bill.
    Sorry about that.  My mistake.
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 710
    What part of the Ascutney tow was from another area? It was brand new.

    That said, I'm not defending traditional tows. There's a reason places have/are dropped/dropping traditional tows at launch a fast pace: they ruin gloves. The industry already has massive barriers to get in and already struggles to get first timers to return.

    Although Nashoba has remained at 3 rows for a while, they have greatly expanded the teaching area by adding a carpet every other year or so. My sister teaches there and has the opposite opinion: it is far easier to teach kids to ride a carpet than a tow.

    And IMHO your philosophy of "you can get off wherever" is moot for where the feiw tows remain: they are generally short serving more or less equal terrain at the top vs bottom
  • Posts: 1,670
    obienick said:

    What part of the Ascutney tow was from another area? It was brand new.

    That said, I'm not defending traditional tows. There's a reason places have/are dropped/dropping traditional tows at launch a fast pace: they ruin gloves. The industry already has massive barriers to get in and already struggles to get first timers to return.

    Although Nashoba has remained at 3 rows for a while, they have greatly expanded the teaching area by adding a carpet every other year or so. My sister teaches there and has the opposite opinion: it is far easier to teach kids to ride a carpet than a tow.

    And IMHO your philosophy of "you can get off wherever" is moot for where the feiw tows remain: they are generally short serving more or less equal terrain at the top vs bottom

    Here is why I made that point: At Bradford the two rope tows serve slopes that get gradually steeper as they go up. Each tow pole has a different colored paint stripe on it. Because of this you can tell a skier who has graduated from the small carpet but isn't quite ready for the big carpet to go to the red pole for example. This system of getting off at various points allows for a much more gradual progression.
    - Sam
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,403

    obienick said:

    What part of the Ascutney tow was from another area? It was brand new.

    That said, I'm not defending traditional tows. There's a reason places have/are dropped/dropping traditional tows at launch a fast pace: they ruin gloves. The industry already has massive barriers to get in and already struggles to get first timers to return.

    Although Nashoba has remained at 3 rows for a while, they have greatly expanded the teaching area by adding a carpet every other year or so. My sister teaches there and has the opposite opinion: it is far easier to teach kids to ride a carpet than a tow.

    And IMHO your philosophy of "you can get off wherever" is moot for where the feiw tows remain: they are generally short serving more or less equal terrain at the top vs bottom

    Here is why I made that point: At Bradford the two rope tows serve slopes that get gradually steeper as they go up. Each tow pole has a different colored paint stripe on it. Because of this you can tell a skier who has graduated from the small carpet but isn't quite ready for the big carpet to go to the red pole for example. This system of getting off at various points allows for a much more gradual progression.
    Again, I am sure Bradford would not install a new rope tow.  They have old ones that their budget is not allowing them to replace.  

    Question: Do rope tows need one attendant or two?  Most of the carpets I've seen are sufficiently simple, safe and short that they only need one operator.  (Notable exception: Buck Hill, MN which is T2B and very long by Magic Carpet standards.)
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 137
    One attendant on a rope, handle tow or carpet. At the top or bottom, depending where the drive is.
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 137
    On slow days I've seen ski instructors used as attendants instead of a liftie.
  • mapnutmapnut expert
    Posts: 675

    obienick said:


    Here is why I made that point: At Bradford the two rope tows serve slopes that get gradually steeper as they go up. Each tow pole has a different colored paint stripe on it. Because of this you can tell a skier who has graduated from the small carpet but isn't quite ready for the big carpet to go to the red pole for example. This system of getting off at various points allows for a much more gradual progression.
    That worked great for me at Eaton Mountain way back in 1968.
  • Posts: 1,670

    obienick said:

    What part of the Ascutney tow was from another area? It was brand new.

    That said, I'm not defending traditional tows. There's a reason places have/are dropped/dropping traditional tows at launch a fast pace: they ruin gloves. The industry already has massive barriers to get in and already struggles to get first timers to return.

    Although Nashoba has remained at 3 rows for a while, they have greatly expanded the teaching area by adding a carpet every other year or so. My sister teaches there and has the opposite opinion: it is far easier to teach kids to ride a carpet than a tow.

    And IMHO your philosophy of "you can get off wherever" is moot for where the feiw tows remain: they are generally short serving more or less equal terrain at the top vs bottom

    Here is why I made that point: At Bradford the two rope tows serve slopes that get gradually steeper as they go up. Each tow pole has a different colored paint stripe on it. Because of this you can tell a skier who has graduated from the small carpet but isn't quite ready for the big carpet to go to the red pole for example. This system of getting off at various points allows for a much more gradual progression.
    Again, I am sure Bradford would not install a new rope tow.  They have old ones that their budget is not allowing them to replace.  

    Question: Do rope tows need one attendant or two?  Most of the carpets I've seen are sufficiently simple, safe and short that they only need one operator.  (Notable exception: Buck Hill, MN which is T2B and very long by Magic Carpet standards.)
    Usually one attendant operates each rope. Instructors will help load the ropes and carpets.
    - Sam
  • Posts: 1,670
    Summary So Far:
    - Bradford (2)
    - King Pine
    - Abenaki
    - Mount Snow
    - Nashoba Valley (3)
    - Campton
    - Black Moutain, NH
    - Northeast Slopes
    - Yawgoo Valley
    - Woodbury

    Question: Is the shorter lift at Eaton Mountain now a handle tow or is it a rope tow? I thought I remembered that the shorter one is a handle tow.
    - Sam
  • MrMagicMrMagic advanced
    Posts: 105
    Mohawk installed a new rope tow 3 seasons ago I belive it was made by sun kids almost like a portable rope tow. Real rope though
  • MrMagicMrMagic advanced
    Posts: 105
    Add lyndon outting club they have a tow for beginners
  • teighsteighs intermediate
    Posts: 58
    Hard'ack
  • Posts: 1,670
    teighs said:

    Hard'ack

    Do they have one specifically for beginners?
    - Sam
  • ski_itski_it expert
    edited February 6 Posts: 1,368

    teighs said:

    Hard'ack

    Do they have one specifically for beginners?



    It's a beginner hill and that's the only lift they have.

    Also, Mt Greylock ski club. Tow #2 is a rope. Did anyone say Veteran's yet?

    Also, Pinnacle & RedHill OC, although Pinnacle's smaller one might be a handle, same with Abenaki, I'll have to look at my pics.

    Eaton - they were both handle tows. Likewise, Mt Jefferson's is a handle as is Lonesome Pine's & Proctor's. 

    Powderhouse, Ascutney, Kanc, Prospect, & Eustis didn't make the cut, why again?

    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • Posts: 1,670
    ski_it said:

    teighs said:

    Hard'ack

    Do they have one specifically for beginners?



    It's a beginner hill and that's the only lift they have.

    Also, Mt Greylock ski club. Tow #2 is a rope. Did anyone say Veteran's yet?

    Also, Pinnacle & RedHill OC, although Pinnacle's smaller one might be a handle, same with Abenaki, I'll have to look at my pics.

    Eaton - they were both handle tows. Likewise, Mt Jefferson's is a handle as is Lonesome Pine's & Proctor's. 

    Powderhouse, Ascutney, Kanc, Prospect, & Eustis didn't make the cut, why again?

    Abenaki's shorter lift is a rope.

    Places like Hard'ack, Powderhouse, & Ascutney don't count because their primary lift is a rope tow and there isn't a separate one specifically for novices.
    - Sam
  • teighsteighs intermediate
    Posts: 58

    teighs said:

    Hard'ack

    Do they have one specifically for beginners?
    It's the only lift
  • MrMagicMrMagic advanced
    Posts: 105
    ski_it said:

    teighs said:

    Hard'ack

    Do they have one specifically for beginners?



    It's a beginner hill and that's the only lift they have.

    Also, Mt Greylock ski club. Tow #2 is a rope. Did anyone say Veteran's yet?

    Also, Pinnacle & RedHill OC, although Pinnacle's smaller one might be a handle, same with Abenaki, I'll have to look at my pics.

    Eaton - they were both handle tows. Likewise, Mt Jefferson's is a handle as is Lonesome Pine's & Proctor's. 

    Powderhouse, Ascutney, Kanc, Prospect, & Eustis didn't make the cut, why again?



    Abenaki small tow is a rope
  • ski_itski_it expert
    edited February 6 Posts: 1,368

    Ok Sam I think I get your criteria now.

    So Veterans, Greylock & maybe Pinnacle are still on the table.

    IIRC Hard'Ack only had one tow. I rode both at Abenaki, but couldn't remember what the little guy was. Now I'm 2nd guessing my Eaton answer. I'm pretty sure both were handles. I'll check pics. Edit: NES says 2 handles.

     I second Lyndon as I've ridden that one.

     How about Cochran's? Don't they have ropes and handle tows?

    What about Spruce, 3 tows?

    Whaleback.

    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
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