You are NOT Logged in.
Chat about all aspects of snowsports, backcountry, climbing and mountaineering.
Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
PeterS


Posts: 970
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 13:47
23rd Nov 2020
What's this?What's this?
Portable skiing
Date Posted: 19.09hrs on Sat 14 Nov 20
Is there a halfway house between back country and lift served skiing ?
Might there be a modern spin on the Scottish ski club endeavours on Ben Lawers?

I could imagine a group of back country skiers walking up to their favoured snow field and operating a portable tow (or tows). Their ski day would consist of the Ďmeet upí, the Ďwalk-iní, setting up the tow, running it and then skiing or walking back out.

Permission to use the land would be needed from the landowner but no other consents would be necessary as long as the use is less than 28 days a year.

If a hut were desirable then I could imagine planning permission to be possible given a reversible structure and evidence of low intensity use.

The attraction would be flexibility to follow the ephemeral snow, the freedom of operating your own uplift and a sense of adventure.

Of course DIY skiing will only ever be a niche activity but various improvements have made it a bit easier than it used to be. Good quality touring gear has become mainstream, access rights have improved and modern forecasting, communications and social media have made planning easier and outcomes less uncertain.

I know about Lowther Hills in the south of Scotland (not just a portable tow) but are there other groups of skiers that operate portable tows elsewhere in Scotland.





Edited 1 times. Last edit at 19.10hrs Sat 14 Nov 20 by PeterS.
ropetow


Posts: 196
Joined: Sep 2006
Last Visited: 16:44
16th Nov 2020
Re: Portable skiing
Date Posted: 16.33hrs on Mon 16 Nov 20
The Britonlift is quite a heavy bit of kit - you cant carry the motor part or main cable drum. It would need to be somewhere with road access or with some sort of way to get the kit to the slope. Also with todays litigious society you may need some sort of insurance cover or indemnity.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 16.35hrs Mon 16 Nov 20 by ropetow.
Andy28


Posts: 887
Joined: Mar 2007
Last Visited: 20:31
18th Nov 2020
What's this?
Re: Portable skiing
Date Posted: 08.09hrs on Wed 18 Nov 20
Would imagine a skidoo would be better for this, like North America back country style. Anyone know the law on snowmobile usage in Scotland?
paraffin


Posts: 576
Joined: Mar 2007
Re: Portable skiing
Date Posted: 09.51hrs on Wed 18 Nov 20
Hi Peter,
That is a great discussion starter. Looks like a lot of piste skiers will be looking for alternatives to lift served riding this season.

In 2010 in the Lakes a few snowboarders clubbed together to buy a quad bike to quest about on the Fells. I have done the snow machine (skidoo) access in North America.

Even if a rope tow was temporary would it not need to address the issues of access, parking, pollution, noise, flora, fauna, and sanitation? After all it would be a temporary event venue of sorts.

Having seen first hand the mess created by vanners and weekend cowboys in the Lakes and Highlands, I would rather go for low impact touring as and when conditions suit.

PeterS


Posts: 970
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 13:47
23rd Nov 2020
What's this?What's this?
Re: Portable skiing
Date Posted: 13.45hrs on Wed 18 Nov 20
Iím thinking that the portable tow (or tows) could be left in a discreet container near the skiable drift. Portable tows can have ropes up to 200m long so two in series would enable a decent run of more than 400m. Other than your skiing and day gear it would normally only require petrol to be carried up.

In terms of permissions required it would just need the landowners consent. The 28 day rule allows the use of land for most uses without planning permission. There could be issues around parking but the more remote the site the more niche the activity would be. Iím thinking it would mainly appeal to those used to back country and the long walk in. Most skiers I know are very unlikely to want to use a portable tow anyway and plenty complain if the lift is not a fast chairlift !

Skidoos arenít reliable enough on the rough terrain in Scotland. The ski centres use them to move staff around quickly but their runs are pisted. Beyond the prepared runs they wont get far in typical Scottish conditions. I donít think there are access rights in Scotland for motorised vehicles away from the highway and I imagine landowners (and others) would be less than supportive ! A responsible small group operating a portable tow on a remote site on the other handÖ.

The advantage of a portable tow would be skiing on many more days when there isnít sufficient cover for touring.




Edited 2 times. Last edit at 13.48hrs Wed 18 Nov 20 by PeterS.
paraffin


Posts: 576
Joined: Mar 2007
Re: Portable skiing
Date Posted: 18.42hrs on Wed 18 Nov 20
Hi Peter,
all good points.
Definitely needs to be discrete otherwise you'll have every family with a £5 plastic sled wanting a ride.

All over the West Coast of Scotland there are items concealed at strategic locations; cans of beer, bottles of sherry, coal, firewood, paraffin, climbing ropes, cans of stew, fishing nets and even worse! Wink wink

Now where did I leave that gallon of petrol?


PeterS


Posts: 970
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 13:47
23rd Nov 2020
What's this?What's this?
Re: Portable skiing
Date Posted: 19.36hrs on Wed 18 Nov 20
Having a secret stash of portable tows up in the hills would be so cool!
growwild


Posts: 3517
Joined: Oct 2005
Re: Portable skiing
Date Posted: 01.22hrs on Fri 20 Nov 20
Probably as portable as it gets if it makes market - [www.zoaeng.com]

A decent honda work quad or utv with a conversion to turn a rope could work or use the quad to take in a petrol rope tow, there is an electric rope tow out there that needs a decent generator to power it, could get a diesel genny converted tae run on hippy ass bio gas to keep the man made deserted wilderness pristine if that floats yer boat.

I wouldn't bother with asking for permission either unless there's been a community buy oot.


PeterS


Posts: 970
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 13:47
23rd Nov 2020
What's this?What's this?
Re: Portable skiing
Date Posted: 08.42hrs on Fri 20 Nov 20
Wow thatís lateral thinking! A stationary rope and powered clip.
paraffin


Posts: 576
Joined: Mar 2007
Re: Portable skiing
Date Posted: 14.13hrs on Fri 20 Nov 20
Mmmh
[www.zoaeng.com] 4kg, 44.4v, 800m vertical
I wonder what the Ah of the batteries are.
Got me thinking of adapting my old 24v cordless.
growwild


Posts: 3517
Joined: Oct 2005
Re: Portable skiing
Date Posted: 23.43hrs on Fri 20 Nov 20
If anyone makes something it'd be cool tae see a diary of progress, recharging something like that on site would be a cool challenge too, we have plenty of wind and running water..
Your Name: 
Your Email: 
Subject: