Have you ever imagined having your own personal ski lift? As prices and lineups continue to grow at major resorts, the thought is more appealing than ever. A Canadian company will soon introduce an innovation that brings that dream to life and promises to shake up the ski industry.
The PL1, developed by Zoa Engineering, is a rope tow that goes wherever you go. Designed for backcountry skiing and snowboarding, the PL1 will get you more turns in your favorite spots without the need to hike or transition for every lap.
The device and 300m (1000 ft) of rope will fit in a typical day pack and get you up to 800m (2600ft) of vertical on a single charge. The lithium-ion battery is rated down to -40° Celsius and can be replaced without tools for those that want even more turns.
The PL1 is designed to work with lightweight and packable 550 Paracord but is compatible with various other small cords. 550 Paracord has a 2.4 kN (550 lbf ) breaking strength and weighs only 6.6 grams/meter (0.07 ounces/foot).
Zoa Engineering provides a rope bag and frame to make it easy to layout your rope and put it away at the end of the day. They also make a unique snow picket to anchor the line when setting up in the alpine.
The concept for the PL1 started with the goal of having more fun in the backcountry. Zoa Engineering was founded by brothers Robert and Eric Button, who share a passion for skiing and to bring a truly portable rope tow to the market.
This product has been in development for over three years, undergoing hundreds of iterations. The company has been sharing its progress through social media and updates on its website. The PL1 design is currently being tested by a small group of beta testers to ensure the product meets the rigorous standards of backcountry skiers and snowboarders before production.
Zoa Engineering will launch its unique portable rope tow system with a crowdfunding campaign in January 2022.