Magic Carpet

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Magic Carpet

If you are keen on winter sports, you’ve probably come across one of these before, but it was certainly new to me – a ‘magic carpet’ travellator just like the ones you see at the airport, but going up the ski slopes instead.

For anyone, beginner or not, who has struggled with rope tows or the horror of needing to ski off the end of the chair lift, this really is the easy option. And when they are protected by a ‘tunnel’ of plastic covering, they give you some temporary respite from the weather, too.

OK, they are also very slow, and have an annoying habit of stopping suddenly when overloaded, but they certainly beat hauling a sledge or a tube through calf deep powder to the top of the playground slopes. I had a lot of fun trying them out in Hanazono, and think that if they’d been around when I first learned to ski, I might have enjoyed the experience a lot more…