Not all chairlifts are created equal, from horse drawn in Italy to pizza box in Japan, some of the world’s best ski resorts offer some of the coolest transport to the top of the hill.
Forget t-bars, how about a double decker tram in France? Not good enough? Try a rotating gondola for a 360 degree in Switzerland
Here’s our pick of six.
Pizza Chair, Madarao Japan
Affectionately known as the pizza box chairlift, this one-person-only lift in Madarao Japan drops you near some of the best advanced and gladed runs in the resort including Adventure Aisle, Crystal Bowl and Powder Theatre. Just the run names alone make you want to brave this dainty chair that hosts no safety bar or footrest.
Titlis Rotair, Engelberg Switzerland
Three words. Rotating. Cable. Car. Head to Titlis Resort in Engelberg Switzerland where you’ll be whisked 3020m above sea level. This world-first ski lift revolves 360 degrees as a part of its 5-minute ride. Be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding mountain peaks boasting some of the best (and gnarliest) freeride terrain in the world.
The Tram, Jackson Hole Ski Resort USA
It’s hard to go past Jackson Hole’s Tram, or Big Red, when listing the coolest chairlifts in ski towns. In just 12 minutes, Big Red can fly 100 people 1260m skyward. Here, revellers enjoy 360-degree views of the famous Teton Mountains and Jackson Hole Valley plus access to a plethora of advanced freeride runs, including the infamous Corbet’s Couloir. Time it right and you could catch a #tramjam, where famous musicians akin to Michael Franti, bust a live tune during the ascent.
Armentarola Ski Lift, Dolomites Italy
Located in the centre of the Dolomites is Armentarola and one of the most unique ski lifts on our list. As you make your way down the slope towards the skiable area of Alta Badia, you’ll be met with a flat area, and this is where the excitement begins. Rather than riding a simple rope tow, you’ll instead enjoy the unforgettable experience of being towed by a horse-drawn carriage. Does it get much cooler than that?
Ramcharger, Big Sky USA
Big Sky’s famous high-speed, high-tech, eight-person Ramcharger 8 chairlift is the chair for the pampered you. It features ergonomically-shaped, extra-wide heated seats, head rests, foot rests and a weather-proof bubble for those bad weather days. Better yet, forget waiting in slow lift queues. The Ramcharger can take on 3,200 riders every hour, dropping them up Andesite Mountain ready to cruise along some of the best intermediate trails Big Sky has on offer.
Vanoise Express double decker, Paradiski, France
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