WHEN WE WERE STILL TOWED

A look back to the times when the lifts were slower and the lift attendants still had a very special responsibility.

The memory is a vivid one: T-bar lifts could be pretty nasty. They begin by flattering you into thinking that you’re very slowly getting on track, then there’s a jolt and you end up falling on your bottom.

Edeweiß lift, Anton Brecher
Bodenalm lift in 1975
Madlein lift

These pictures show just how many T-bar lifts were in operation in and around Ischgl in the past. T-bar lifts are, remember, “a form of cable lift, but not in the same category as aerial lifts.” They are “a system designed to transport passengers on their skis or other sports equipment (snowboard, short skis, snow glider or skibob) over the ground and pull them up the mountain by means of towing equipment. That’s according to our friends at Wikipedia say, anyway.

We also remember, of course, the times back in the late sixties and early seventies when the lift attendant’s job helping passengers onto the T-bar was still highly attractive – above all when it came to making sure the lift’s cross bar was in the right place for young ladies.

Clever engineers have made this task redundant. Most of the T-bar lifts have been replaced by aerial cableways on the long distances from the valley up to the heights. Nowadays there are only a couple of practice T-bar lifts left in the Silvretta Arena with baskets for individual use – and the last of the dinosaurs, the curve T-bar lift up to the Greitspitz.