Strong winds are often a problem for ski lift operations at resorts the world over, but some are more prone to it than others.

There are many techniques in ski area design to try to ensure that lifts can run as many days of the season as possible, with one of the simplest options being choosing a surface tow rather than an aerial lift, if possible, in an exposed location.

Now Scandinavia’s leading ski resort of Åre has announced plans to make its lift network more  “wind and weather safe”.

One of the first parts of the plan is a new structure designed to “steer” the wind away from a major lift, the Sadelexpressen 6-seater.  The new ‘wind rack’ or ‘wind shield’ on Sadelberg that will be in place this winter, is a reinforced wooden structure that is located next to the lift’s top station.

“The purpose of this is to steer the wind away and reduce the force of it sufficiently to remove the worst peaks from gusts, which in other cases have been so strong that they have resulted in the lift stopping due to unstable lift chairs,” a statement from Åre’s operators SkiStar explains, adding, “This is especially a challenge with winds from the west or north-west.”