VPM

What do you want from a ski lift? One thing I want is for it to give me the greatest height gain as quickly as possible. So I want to maximize VPM (Vert per Minute). Amazingly the excellent folks at http://seilbahntechnik.net don't explicitly compute that, so here are the stats for some resorts I've visited recently…

NorAm

Europe

Note that we are definitely in pinch of salt territory here. The line length and vertical gain figures are pretty solid, but the ride time is generally not very accurate. Lift operators run the lift slower or faster depending on conditions, possibly varying the ride time by a factor of two or more from these estimates. The entries marked [*] have had ride time computed from the line speed, which is again pretty nominal, and for some lifts you can see entries for both the estimated and supplied ride times, which typically differ by about 15%.

Lift type also plays a rôle. Most of the high-VPM lifts are cable cars or trains, which don't run continuously, so when you factor in a wait time that's typically the same as the ride time, they can be less attractive (although still pretty good, especially if you know one is coming soon). Similarly, the next class is high-speed gondolas, where wait time (ignoring queueing) is much smaller, but you still need to take your skis off and trudge through some infrastructure. Perhaps add a minute to the ride time for these, discounting vpm by 10-30%. For me, the kings of the mountain are the high-speed detachable chairs (CLDs below). There's no faff time, and you're skiing the moment you get to the top.

Of course I'm ignoring queueing here — I am assuming that if you've read this far you already ski at off-peak times, in whiteouts, using the singles line, and generally manage queueing efficiently yourself.

The abbreviations for lift type are described in types.

The code is here.

Jungfrau (Wengen, Grindelwald, Mürren)

Full list

Lift Type Vertical Rise Ride Time
(min)
Vert Per Minute
(m/min)
Line Speed
(m/sec)
Line length
(m)
Link
Wengen-Männlichen [*] 80-PB 947 3.18 297.5 10.0 1,910 link
Lauterbrunnen - Grütschalp [*] 100-PB 686 2.51 273.0 9.5 1,432 link
Allmendhubel [*] 65-SSB 258 1.15 224.8 8.0 551 link
Mürren-Birg [*] 75-PB 1,039 4.63 224.2 10.0 2,780 link
Stechelberg-Gimmelwald [*] 100-PB 496 2.48 200.4 8.0 1,188 link
Wengen-Männlichen 80-PB 947 5.00 189.4 10.0 1,910 link
Lauterbrunnen - Grütschalp 100-PB 686 4.00 171.4 9.5 1,432 link
Mürren-Birg 75-PB 1,039 6.50 159.8 10.0 2,780 link
Grindelwald-Pfingstegg 35-PB 360 2.88 125.2 6.0 1,035 link
Stechelberg-Gimmelwald 100-PB 496 4.00 124.0 8.0 1,188 link
Innerwengen 4-CLD 233 2.03 114.8 5.0 608 link
Gimmelwald-Mürren [*] 100-PB 275 2.50 110.2 8.0 1,198 link
Allmendhubel 65-SSB 258 2.50 103.2 8.0 551 link
Birg-Schilthorn (Piz Gloria) [*] 100-PB 293 2.94 99.5 10.0 1,766 link
Schiltgrat 4-CLD 507 5.50 92.2 4.5 1,522 link
Wixi 6-CLD/B 495 5.38 92.0 5.0 1,614 link
Riggli 4-CLD/B 309 3.50 88.3 5.0 1,001 link
Gummi 4-CLD 220 2.50 88.0 5.0 688 link
Eigernordwand [*] 6-CLD/B 494 5.80 85.2 5.0 1,739 link
Grindel 4-CLD 290 3.55 81.7 5.0 1,065 link
Honegg [*] 6-CLD/B 464 5.79 80.2 5.0 1,736 link
Eigernordwand 6-CLD/B 494 6.50 76.0 5.0 1,739 link
Honegg 6-CLD/B 464 6.30 73.7 5.0 1,736 link
Grindel-First 6-MGD 213 3.00 71.0 5.0 919 link
Winteregg 4-CLD/B 354 5.00 70.8 ? 1,370 link
Gimmelwald-Mürren 100-PB 275 4.00 68.8 8.0 1,198 link
Allmiboden - Allmendhubel 2-CLF 121 1.77 68.4 2.8 297 link
Bort-Grindel [*] 6-MGD 385 5.65 68.2 5.0 1,694 link
Männlichen 4-CLD/B 434 6.50 66.8 5.0 1,863 link
Birg-Schilthorn (Piz Gloria) 100-PB 293 4.50 65.1 10.0 1,766 link
Läger 4-CLD/B 446 6.90 64.6 5.0 2,083 link
Oberjoch 4-CLD 335 5.22 64.2 4.8 1,503 link
Grindelwald-Oberhaus-Bort [*] 6-MGD 505 8.71 58.0 5.0 2,614 link
Schilt 4-CLD/B 310 5.40 57.4 5.0 1,623 link
Gimmeln 2-SL 343 6.00 57.2 ? 1,109 link
Arven 4-CLD 224 4.00 56.0 ? 985 link

Espace Killy (Tignes, Val d'Isere)

This is the top few… See the Full list

Lift Type Vertical Rise Ride Time
(min)
Vert Per Minute
(m/min)
Line Speed
(m/sec)
Line length
(m)
Link
Funival 220-SSB 892 3.19 279.2 12.0 2,300 link
L'Olympique 30-BGD 854 4.00 213.5 7.5 2,147 link
L'Olympique [*] 30-BGD 854 4.77 179.0 7.5 2,147 link
Grande Motte [*] 115-PB 422 2.73 154.4 10.0 1,640 link
Grande Motte Funiculaire 335-SSB 932 6.50 143.4 12.0 3,484 link
Laisinant Express 6-CLD 727 6.17 117.8 5.0 1,851 link
Tufs [*] 6-CLD 562 5.08 110.7 5.3 1,599 link
Solaise Express 4-CLD/B 708 6.56 108.0 5.0 1,967 link
Manchet Express 4-CLD 700 6.48 108.0 5.0 1,945 link
Palafour [*] 6-CLD 471 4.40 107.1 5.0 1,319 link
Boisses 8-MGD 410 3.87 105.9 5.0 1,161 link
Chaudannes 6-CLD 388 3.97 97.7 5.0 1,191 link
Aéroski 10-MGD 603 6.19 97.5 5.0 1,856 link
Pyramides 4-CLD 410 4.25 96.5 5.0 1,284 link
Palafour 6-CLD 471 5.00 94.2 5.0 1,319 link
Tufs 6-CLD 562 6.00 93.7 5.3 1,599 link
Loyes Express 4-CLD 529 5.69 93.0 4.3 1,450 link
Tichots 6-CLD 361 3.90 92.5 5.0 1,171 link
Les Lanches 4-CLD/B 748 8.52 87.8 5.0 2,555 link
Bellevarde Express 4-CLD 381 4.36 87.3 4.0 1,047 link
Grande Motte 115-PB 422 5.00 84.4 10.0 1,640 link
Marmottes Express 6-CLD 305 3.68 82.8 5.5 1,215 link
Paquis 6-CLD 442 5.37 82.4 5.0 1,610 link
Fresse 6-CLD/B 480 6.16 77.9 5.0 1,849 link
Sache 6-MGD 622 8.00 77.8 4.0 1,986 link
3000 1-SL 173 2.39 72.3 3.0 431 link
Grattalu 6-CLD 321 4.50 71.3 5.0 1,422 link
De la Vanoise 4-CLD/B 309 4.39 70.3 4.5 1,186 link
Tommeuses 8-CLD 457 6.50 70.3 4.4 1,716 link
Balme D 1-SL 344 4.95 69.5 3.9 1,164 link
Balmes G 1-SL 344 4.95 69.5 3.9 1,164 link
Almes 1-SL 194 2.83 68.6 3.5 594 link
Semanmille 1-SL 132 1.99 66.3 3.5 418 link
Merles [*] 6-CLD 286 4.38 65.3 5.0 1,314 link
Cascade Express 4-CLD 415 6.38 65.1 4.6 1,741 link
Chardonnet 1-SL 290 4.61 62.8 3.5 969 link
La Daille 4-MGD 482 7.93 60.8 3.5 1,665 link
3500 Nr. 2 2-SL 241 4.13 58.4 3.5 867 link
Bollin 6-CLD/B 107 1.84 58.0 4.6 509 link
Combe Folle 1-SL 238 4.37 54.5 3.5 917 link
Borsat Express 4-CLD 380 6.99 54.4 5.0 2,097 link
Glacier Express 6-CLD 324 6.00 54.0 5.0 1,780 link
Double Plan D 2-SL 304 5.73 53.1 3.2 1,100 link
Double Plan G 2-SL 304 5.73 53.1 3.2 1,100 link
Madeleine Express 6-CLD 167 3.19 52.4 5.0 956 link
3500 Nr. 1 2-SL 215 4.22 50.9 3.1 790 link
Merles 6-CLD 286 5.90 48.5 5.0 1,314 link
Leisse 4-CLF 263 5.75 45.7 2.3 794 link
Champagny 2-SL 196 4.29 45.7 3.2 811 link
Rosolin 2 2-SL 168 4.69 35.8 3.2 900 link
Rosolin 1 2-SL 168 5.44 30.9 3.0 980 link

Discussion

Andrew Fitzgibbon, 2013/09/30 21:16

Some discussion over on snowheads

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