We’ve all had a scary experience on a chairlift, tram, or gondola. Some lifts are scarier than others, and that should be recognized. Whitelines.com put together a list of the 5 scariest lifts in the world, along with some details as to why each lift is great at raising the hairs on the back of your neck. We personally get freaked out every time we ride Red Dog at Squaw Valley…
The 5 Scariest Lifts in the World
#1. The Penkenbahn, Mayrhofen, Austria
Dangers: High winds – a regular occurrence in the Zillertal valley – can make the gondolas swing violently.
#2. The Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France
Danger: High winds, rocks falling off the cliff, temperature differences in the cables, avalanches, and cornice falls, plus classic French overcrowding that pushes the car beyond its weight limit. What more do you need?
#3. The whole lift system Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
Danger: Karakol is probably the sketchiest resort in this article because while it would be hideous to experience a cable accident anywhere (and there are certainly higher lifts out there), it’s a long way from Karakol to the nearest hospital – down a frozen dirt road.
#4. The Vanoise Express, La Plagne-Les Acrs, France
Dangers: In 2003, before the lift opened to the public, one of the test drivers (no doubt several Vin Chauds to the good) apparently managed to crash the cable car into the station on the Peisey-Vallandry side. He was supposedly traveling at about twenty-km/h at the time – ten times the normal docking speed! And who said the French were bad drivers? Thankfully, they’ve since put a computer in charge of the controls…
#5. The Freccia, Cortina, Italy
Dangers: Old cables, sketchy doors that are hand-bolted, fragile aluminum from four decades ago, rock falls, avalanches, vertigo, sphincter over-tightening, claustrophobia, fur coats suffocating you with their musty stench…. the list is endless.