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# Trebuchet ski lift

Cut down the queues
 (+8) [vote for, against]

An object launched from a trebuchet follows a parabolic trajectory.

At the top of the trajectory, the vertical velocity of the object is zero. Then it accelerates downwards under gravity.

If the object is launched on a near-vertical path, the horizontal velocity over the whole arc is small, and the object will land very close to its point of launch (if its path is not intercepted).

Behold the new BorgCo Trebuchet Ski-lift ! No cable cars, no clinging on to hoists, no chairlifts. Simply sit yourself in the seat. Strain gauges measure your mass, and lasers scan your surface, determining your density and air resistance to decimal places. Then the arm is released and you are gently yet effectively accelerated to the exact velocity such that when you descend into the landing net, positioned hundreds of metres above you on the mountainside, you're barely falling at all.

Then you can enjoy the breathtaking mountain views, before skiing down to do it all over again.

 — 8th of 7, Nov 08 2018

 Great idea [+]

The text beyond the title is superfluous [-]
 — Voice, Nov 10 2018

+
 — theircompetitor, Nov 10 2018

 And if the computations are off by a hair...?

[+]
 — whatrock, Nov 10 2018

 //air resistance to decimal places.

I thought any resistance was futile?
 — AusCan531, Nov 10 2018

Beautiful visual, whheeee, flying through the air with my skis in front of me and landing ever-so-lightly on my padded ass. Yes.
 — blissmiss, Nov 11 2018

 //If the object is launched on a near-vertical path, the horizontal velocity over the whole arc is small//

 I think I see the problem here, [8th]. What you have forgotten to take into account, in trying to deliver a skier to the top of the mountain, is that there's a mountain.

 I can't claim to be much of a mountain expert (we only have a few - mostly presents), but I'm pretty sure that one of the commonest features of mountains is that they are pointy at the top, but quite wide at the bottom. Between those two, there is normally some sort of sloping arrangement, of exactly the sort favoured by skiers.

 As a resulting consequence, your trebuchet will have to be situated quite a considerable distance from the apex of the mountain, which in turn means that your trebuchant will have considerable (indeed, alarming) horizontal speed as they whizz past the summit.

 You could, of course, use your trebuchet to trebuche someone to the top of a cliff, but then they'll just be grumpy about not being able to ski back down again.

In other words, you have invented a device which works perfectly, but not for its intended purpose or location.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 11 2018

 And this is a problem because ... ?

 A substantial platform jutting out from the mountain, supporting the catching net, might be necessary.

Then again, some locations favoured by skiers do have cliffs associated with them, so it might just be a question of careful siteing.
 — 8th of 7, Nov 11 2018

So, a 19km platform for Everest, then.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 11 2018

Were you to setup on the _far_ side of the mountain and launch skiers such that they barely skim the summit, your skiers would land at the start of the trail on the near side, already with some helpful forward momentum, to quickly achieve terminal velocity for a memorable descent.
 — whatrock, Nov 11 2018

 Good idea, but if you don't mind, we'll omit the phrase "terminal velocity" from the publicity campaign. It might be misunderstood.

Then again, it might be understood correctly, which would be rather worse.
 — 8th of 7, Nov 11 2018

 Hmm, I think that either A) You don't actually fire the organ dono...passengers at the peak itself, but project them above it, and they parachute down to platform or B) drill a vertical shaft inside the mountain and railgun them upwards.

Plan B has the good points of not having treacherous winds on the way up and on slack days it could be used to launch huge metal bipods to Mars annihilating those pesky Martians with a coolth ray and/or sneezing on them. So who's laughing now Johnny Alien eh,tell me that?
 — not_morrison_rm, Nov 11 2018

 //drill a vertical shaft inside the mountain and railgun them upwards//

"You did remember to open the lid, didn't you, Franz?"
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 11 2018

"Ja, mein Führer, der neu "skilift" ist nearly ready ... ve are chust vaiting fur der panzers to cross der border into Poland ..."
 — 8th of 7, Nov 11 2018

^Why is it that Germans always talk to each other in English with a bad accent? Have they never heard of subtitles?
 — not_morrison_rm, Nov 12 2018

Yes, but they think subtitles are beneath them.
 — 8th of 7, Nov 12 2018

Seems quite sensible, but have this crumb of approval anyway. [+]
 — xenzag, Nov 12 2018

//...determining your density and air resistance to decimal places// - yes, zero decimal places...
 — hippo, Nov 12 2018

Depends. Have you paid for First, Business, Tourist or AAAAAaaaaAAAAAA aaaaaaieeeeeeTHUD class ?
 — 8th of 7, Nov 12 2018

I'm not quite certain that your biological bits would hold up to the accelerations required--inducing a self-imposed concussion shortly before accelerating again downhill trying to avoid trees doesn't sound healthy.
 — RayfordSteele, Nov 12 2018

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