Whitelines.com brings us their list of what they consider to be the “5 Scariest Lifts In The World“.
Being on a chairlift or a gondola is fundamentally a very unnatural position to be in. Think about it, you’re sitting in an exposed chair or a flimsy cabin, often hundreds of feet above the ground, the only thing separating you from plunging to your certain doom is a thin metal cable.
Add in the often shitty visibility and the buffeting by mountain winds and it’s a miracle that anyone reaches the top of a lift without being reduced to a gibbering nervous wreck – let alone is able to actually snowboard down afterwards. It’s amazing what the human mind starts to consider ‘normal’ after a while eh?
But while most lifts feel pretty safe, there are still some out there capable of making even the most acclimatised rider shit their pants.
We reckon these are the five scariest lifts in the world…
1. The Penkenbahn, Mayrhofen, Austria
Dangers: High winds – a regular occurrence in the Zillertal valley – can make the gondolas swing violently.
2. The Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France
Danger: High winds, rocks falling off the cliff, temperature differences in the cables, avalanches and cornice falls, plus classic French overcrowding that pushes the car beyond its weight limit. What more do you need?
3. The whole lift system Karakol, Kyrgyzstan.
4. The Vanoise Express, La Plagne-Les Acrs, France
Dangers: In 2003, before the lift opened to the public, one of the test drivers (no doubt several vin chaud’s to the good) apparently managed to crash the cable car into the station on the Peisey-Vallandry side. He was supposedly travelling at about 20kmh at the time – 10 times the normal docking speed! And who said the French were bad drivers? Thankfully, they’ve since put a computer in charge of the controls…
5. The Freccia, Cortina, Italy
Dangers: Old cables, sketchy doors that are hand-bolted, fragile aluminium from four decades ago, rock falls, avalanches, vertigo, sphincter over-tightening, claustrophobia, fur coats suffocating you with their musty stench…. the list is endless.