Canadian mechanical engineer Robert Button is an avid backcountry skier. Taking to the slopes where there are no chairlifts means you must hike back up the mountain after each run. Growing tired of this, Button spent three years developing his own portable rope lift. He came up with is a 10.5-lb device that fits in a backpack and uses 550 paracord as the line.
Here's how you use it:
At first it sounded ridiculous to me, but on video, it looks pretty wicked:
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The device can also be used to neatly gather the paracord into the included rope bag, ready for the next deployment:
As for how many times it can pull you back up on a single charge, that of course depends on the distance, your weight and the angle of the slope. Button put together a chart laying out the permutations:
Button and his brother Eric formed a company called Zoa Engineering to commercialize the product. The PL1, as the device is called, isn't cheap at CAD $1,450 (USD $1,151). Despite that, it's been successfully Kickstarted, and at press time there was still 28 days left to pledge.