Basic Procedures to learn WITHOUT ski instructor !

Basic Procedures to learn WITHOUT ski instructor !
Started by Pavelski in Beginning Skiing - 118 Replies
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Come to Switzerland, we have lots of Poma's Come to think of it, so has France. They are useful for keeping certain slopes free of folks who would not enjoy being there

Seriously the Poma lift is a low costing, fast and effective system.

Just that many beginner skiers are "shocked" at the launch phase.

Also in avalanche zones these lifts are best since it takes less time to rebuild.

Yes great to keep "others" away since they like the luxury of the heated, soft easy chairlifts or now the music surround sound modern lifts for 60 .

I am trying to cover all types "lifts"

PS ,,wait till I get to the pack Lamas ( in South America ). Very special. Just watch out for their spit!
I'm waiting for your talkthrough covering being towed by a piste basher in 2 lines of 20, and also how to ride the Va et Vient
The rope lift is still very popular in small ski areas. There are two types, ones with wire ropes and fixed handles and ones with man made fibre ropes without handles. Make sure you get off in good time when you reach the top. One of my friends didn't, she triggered the emergency stop mechanism, but it failed to stop the lift and had the top of her middle finger chopped off when it got between the rope and the pulley, she was in the US at the time and was awarded $10,000 in compensation.

Poma lifts are mainly found in French speaking ski resorts here in Europe. They have a several advantages compared to other types of drag lift, they're faster 4 m/s / 14.4 kph, a T bar runs at about 2.5 m/s. They can make three changes of direction whereas a T bar can only do two, unfortunately as you ride alone there's nobody else to blame if you fall off! Amazingly the basic design has remained unchanged since the 1940s, Jean Pomagalski must have been a very good engineer. I don't think the telescopic towhangers are pneumatic, they probably use compression springs. They can be a bit tricky to get onto, but Swiss skiers usually manage perfectly well without the aid of an attendant.

Instructions on how to get into a moving basket lift would also be very useful.
Edited 1 time. Last update at 23-Jun-2012
Swingbeep,hmmm, the view of the mountains surrounding the Poma above, look very similar to those around the top lift in Grimentz.

Love watching small kids use these lifts, when the elastic takes up on the pole after launch....
Thank you for that great picture since it will help me explain how to "take off" on this launcher.

First,,,,, view the picture again and you will note all the J Pomas that are in static position in a holding row. They are off the steel cable.

They are all waiting for the skiers/flight projectiles.

The attendant has a lever which activates a clamp mechanism at the top of the top J pole . You will see him/her activate this with a handle just above his waist.

Here is the step by step procedure for the launch.

1. You step up to line ( or where attendant tells to you go )

2. You will be given the J Poma. Insert the lower J section near crotch area
- do not try to force it between legs
- do not try to squeeze it between legs
- do not sit ON it
Just stand,,,, with pole in upright position. skis apart and plastic piece between legs. ( yes I know it feels unique )

**************Here is the key item
3. Watch that control lever attendant is hold. When attendant pulls it. It is like pulling a parachute release chord. Instantly the J Pole clamp well set on steel cable and you will be off in 1-2 seconds ( notice the 1-2 seconds).

This 1-2 second phase is critical since every unit around the world varies based on wear, adjustment, speed of cable turn, air density, wind velocity, torture level desired by attendant, etc,,,,

You must gauge this period by having watched other skiers take off.

4. At end of this pre-take off period, I do a small hop ( taking my weight off skis) and my hop is also forward so I am in effect helping J pole project me forwards. Rather than fight or resist pull,,,,,go with the flow. Help the J pole by being off snow, thus less resistance to pull. If you are afraid to do a full air hop, then just put pressure on tip area of skis thus taking weigh off ski tails.

Now if you were really observant ( most skiers are not since they are frozen in fear from the screams, shouts and noise ) you would have noticed that there is a landing zone just 1 meter above the attendant where most skiers who survival the launch land. Usually there is a small depression there.
The better skiers,,,wait till the very last milli-second, when the spring is at its maximum compression and they literally take off with a great glee and land much farther than the others and have a longer flight trajectory.
The "show offs" might do a ski spread while in flight.

In some ski resorts where the attendants are more "entertaining" there might be a take off ramp built up. This is for the British ski tourists who have never taken such a J Poma and the locals who have a bet who will witness the best fall.

IF you notice such a take off ramp,,,,just use your skis to tap down the snow ramp. It will tell the attendant that you might look like a British ski tourist,,but in fact you are an old pro at the J Pomas and you know what to do. While doing this ,,look at him/her in the eye ( in silence ).

Enjoy the flight.
On a second look at picture, I noticed no attendant, thus a self controlling lever must be used on this Poma.

That means ,,the skier initiates the clamping sequence.

The skier initiates "take off" !

Seems better but it means more stress for skier since now you must position yourself well,,then pull lever system. If you lean too much to left or right, problems will happen.

I now understand Bandit's comment about few skiers using these types of Pomas.
You have to know how to inflict your own launch sequence.

Just follow my steps and enjoy flight.
Pavelski, the lift in the photo is the Lona 2 drag in Grimentz (I'm pretty certain). There is an a liftie who always says hi, he sits in a deckchair watching folks ski the cliffs in case they set off a slide. He has to cover the arrival of Lona 1 drag lift, maintain the running of Lona 2 and run the Pisteurs emergency post from his cabin.
This drag lift travels on steep terrain, and users are cautioned. Several years ago, a slide took out a couple of pylons, we watched the new pylons arriving and being lowered by a double rotor helicopter.

Occasionally the poles become tangled and won't release onto the cable. At that point the liftie intervenes, occasionally climbing onto the top in his ski boots to do the necessary

Topic last updated on 21-September-2012 at 11:59

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