We've spent the last few days in the frigid cold at Sugarbush Resort in Vermont participating in the Winter Driving Experience (more on this in a later post). While there, we couldn't help but notice the ordinary chairlifts taking the few skiers dedicated enough (or dumb enough) to brave the -35 degree Fahrenheit windchill up the icy mountain. So earlier today it seemed serendipitous to come across a story about a solar powered and heated chair lift from the Porsche Design Group.
It would seem that our favorite design firm was tasked with helping the Swiss ski resort of Laax to develop something above and beyond the ordinary conveyances we're all so used to riding when we hit the slopes. Porsche Design did not disappoint. Their new six passenger lift not only looks like something you would expect from Porsche, it performs like it too.
The new lift at Laax runs from the Treis Palas to Crap Masegn (between 2000m and 3000m in altitude) and does so a full 20% faster than other lifts (6 meters per second instead of 5 meters per second). In addition to faster speeds, the Porsche designed lift has a pull down weather protection hood and each seat is equipped with a solar powered heater to keep the occupant warm and toasty on the ride up.
Last but not least, each chair in the system has the ability to switch into "panorama" mode allowing it to swing 45 degrees off center. This gives riders the ability to for easier loading and offloading as well as the ability to take in the scenery to either side on the ride up.
Surprisingly this is not the Porsche Design Group's first foray into winter sports (don't forget that Porsche won an Olympic medal) or even ski-lifts. Visitors to the valley station of the Schmittenhöhebahn can take a Porsche Design Gondola directly up the Schmittenhöhe (a local mountain of Zell am See Austria).
Other Porsche Blog Posts You Will Enjoy
This is the Porsche of RVs
Is This Boat the “White Elephant” of Porsche Design?
What is the Porsche Design AMPV?
[Source: Powder Byrne Blog via ]