Fixed-grip chairlifts are slowly dying out across the country, but plenty still remain at small ski areas.
That’s sad to see, in my opinion, but that’s just the way it goes. Highspeed detachable lifts are the way of the future. It just makes more sense.
Six-pack chairs are great as detachable lifts that slow down for loading, but a fixed-grip six-pack is pretty much unheard of. Turns out that Snow Valley Barrie, located in Minesing, ON, still uses a six-pack fixed-grip chairlift. It’s called the ‘Wideload Express’. Great name, I know.
Here’s a video of Julian Hudson riding the lift:
Thankfully it has a moving carpet to help with loading. Trying to bump a six-pack chair without any assistance would be brutal.
Calling it an ‘express’ lift might be a bit of a stretch, but it serves its purpose for the ski area, and that’s all that matters. Does it take a rather long time to ascend the sub-300′ vertical, sure, but who cares?
I love weird chairlifts, and Wideload is certainly one of them. I hope they keep it forever. #fixedgripsforever
Wideload Chair Stats/Facts
*Information obtained from skiresort.info
Year of Construction: 1997
Length: 381m (1250ft)
Vertical: 79m (259ft)
Transit Time: 3 minutes and 30 seconds