today is May 24, 2022

Fixed-grip chairlifts are slowly dying out across the country, but plenty still remain, and at small ski areas especially.

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.

Anyways, I was scrolling through Twitter when I saw a mention of North America’s only fixed grip 6-pack, and I had to look more into it. 6-pack chairs are great for detachable lifts that slow down for loading, but a fixed-grip 6-pack is pretty much unheard of.

Turns out that Snow Valley Barrie, located in Minesing, ON, still uses a 6-pack fixed-grip chairlift. It’s called the ‘Wideload Express’. Great name, I know.

It runs really slow, and has a loading carpet to help with getting on the chair. You gotta check this baby out.

Here’s a video of Julian Hudson riding the lift:

Pretty sweet that they’re still using this beast of a chairlift. It probably 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)

Speed: 2m/second

Transit Time: 3 minutes and 30 seconds