Vail proposes alpine coaster for year-round use

Posted Friday, April 6, 2007 12:02 AM | Contributed by coaster kevin

Even as homeowners challenge plans for an “alpine slide” at Beaver Creek, Vail Resorts is moving forward with a plan to build an “alpine coaster” on Vail Mountain. The coaster would be part of Adventure Ridge, which is at the top of the gondola at Eagle’s Nest on Vail Mountain. The gravity-powered coaster would have steel rails that would carry two-person sleds on a 3,000-foot-long track down 300 vertical feet.

Read more from Summit Daily News.

Friday, April 6, 2007 8:21 AM
Man, I wish I still lived near mountains. I love Alpine Slides, but if I could experience the same thing without having to break the whole way down, wow that would be really fun.
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Friday, April 6, 2007 1:28 PM
lifthill.net has some great POV's of some of these coasters in the Alps. Some of them have to be 10 minute or longer rides. They're incredible.

The MTB Funpark looks the best to me...

http://www.lifthill.net/videos_eng.php

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Friday, April 6, 2007 5:13 PM
Not having been on one of these before, how does this ride maintain blocking? I didn't see any semblance of brakes at all along the course (not that I complain about that), but the start of the video showed 3 cars in very close promity to each other.

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Friday, April 6, 2007 5:49 PM
There are rider operated brakes on each car. "Brakes? We don't need no stinkin' brakes." ;)
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Friday, April 6, 2007 6:05 PM
I remember that one video that floated around showing a *horrendous* blocking violation...

Emeril says "Bam!"... ;)

Crazy fun these things are... :)

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Saturday, April 7, 2007 3:05 AM
I loved my one ride on the Gelnwood Caverns Alpine Coaster. I would have ridden it a few more times had I not got sick from the altitude. :( Alpine slides are fun too, but I prefer the coaster. It's much more comfortable for my ginormousness. :)
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Saturday, April 7, 2007 4:36 PM
We did them before at Ober Gatlinburg, (not this past week though). But when we were there this past week and watch other people do it, the only real concern I had was the spacing of each rider at Ober. Each rider was no more than 20-25 feet apart from the car in front of them. Seemed like a disaster waiting to happen.

The other thing that kept me and my daughter away was the price...$6 per person, (Emilee and me would have ride together), and that seemed to get very pricey, very quick!

There was one guy while we were watching that waited until the last minute to nail the brakes, and purposely slammed into the tires/padding at the end. He cracked me up, but not the same could be said for the employees...they seemed less than entertained by him.

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Saturday, April 7, 2007 11:00 PM
Hmmmm, the one at Glenwood had no such stopping mechanism. At the end of the ride downhill, a lift-mechanism took you (and your cart) back to the top of the hill...well, mountain... ;)

Also, based on all accounts, the Alpine SLIDES have an infinitely higher incidence of injuries...mostly scrapes from coming in contact with the troughs...

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Saturday, April 7, 2007 11:13 PM
I'm pretty sure Floorless Fan was talking about a slide, not a coaster.
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Monday, April 9, 2007 4:55 PM
considering that there are only 3 alpine coasters currently operating in the U.S., floorless fan has to be talking about an alpine slide. With an alpine coaster, there is no blocking, however each sled that a passenger is on has a brake built into it so that it cannot exceed a certain speed.

forgot to mention, but the three coasters are: glenwood springs, co, park city, ut, & somewhere in mass, iirc, jiminy peak ski area*** This post was edited by coaster kevin 4/9/2007 4:58:32 PM ***

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