Surface lift
A surface lift is a type of cable transport
Cable transport
Cable transport refers to the broad class of transport modes that rely on vehicles pulled by cables, rather than having an internal power source...

ation system used to transport skiers and snowboarders where riders remain on the ground as they are pulled uphill.

Types of surface lifts include the Poma lift, J-bar
J-bar lift
A J-bar is a type of surface lift invented in the 1940sfor ski area passenger transport. They are now rarely in operation having been superseded by T-bars, which have twice the capacity at basically the same price, and chairlifts which have many advantages...

, T-bar
T-bar lift
A T-bar lift, also called T-bar, is a mechanised system for transporting skiers and snowboarders uphill, along the surface of the slope...

, rope tow, and magic carpet
Magic carpet (ski lift)
A magic carpet is a type of surface lift installed at ski areas to transport skiers and snowboarders up the hill...


Although these types of lifts were once prevalent, they have since been overtaken in popularity by higher capacity aerial lifts like chairlift
An elevated passenger ropeway, or chairlift, is a type of aerial lift, which consists of a continuously circulating steel cable loop strung between two end terminals and usually over intermediate towers, carrying a series of chairs...

s and the gondola lift
Gondola lift
A gondola lift is a type of aerial lift, normally called a cable car, which is supported and propelled by cables from above. It consists of a loop of steel cable that is strung between two stations, sometimes over intermediate supporting towers. The cable is driven by a bullwheel in a terminal,...

. Today, surface lifts are most often found on beginner slopes and very small ski areas.

Surface lifts have the advantage of being less intimidating, especially for beginners: the speed is slow (relative to aerial lift
Aerial lift
An aerial lift is a means of transportation in which cabins, cars, gondolas or open chairs are hauled above the ground by means of one or more cables.Types of aerial lifts include:...

s), they are usually situated on beginner terrain, the passenger's safe loading window is wider than most types of lift, and remaining on the ground is perceived to be more controlled than off the ground. They are also generally less expensive to construct and maintain than an equivalent length aerial lift.

The disadvantages of a surface lift include less passenger capacity (in terms of passengers per hour). They add a larger terrain obstacle and collision hazard. Surface lifts are restricted to smooth, gradual terrain, and require more new passenger skills than most types of aerial lift to safely ride.

During the summer of 2010, Vail Ski Resort in Colorado constructed an "elevated" surface lift, which provides transportation from to the top of the tubing activity, just off of Eagle's Nest. The degree of the slope is too great for a conventional surface lift, so the resort built the lift into the air.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.