Magnetic chairlifts for kids
This season the French resort of Courchevel is fitting all 18 of its chairlifts with special magnets to help prevent children from sliding off.
Although children very seldom fall from chairlifts, it does occasionally happen – most frequently when the safety bar is lifted too early and the child falls off before the chairlift reaches its destination.
It has also been known for little children, wriggling excessively, to slip under the safety bar. Some resorts have added a secondary lower safety bar on some lifts to prevent this from happening.
This magnetic system, known as the Magnestick, was pioneered by Courcheval several years ago to improve child-safety and minimise these risks.
It is easy to use: A child simply needs to wear a special, small, light backpack with a metal plate over their ski clothing. Each chairlift has an electromagnet which automatically activates when the child sits on the seat and then deactivates at the top of the chairlift ride. The child is literally attached to the seat for the duration of ride. The vest also has a built-in back protector for extra support when skiing.
The system is already used in the States at Alpine Meadows and on one lift inAndorra, used mainly by the local ski school, but Courchevel is the first resort to equip all their chairlifts with the Magnestick technology.
So far it has proven to be popular and successful. The team at FamilySkiNews.com will be trying the system out in mid-December and will report back then. In the meantime, here’s how it works: