PL1: Portable Rope Tow for the Backcountry
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. And then let PL1 tow, let it tow, let it tow. ZOA Engineering's PL1 is a portable rope tow system created for backcountry skiing and snowboarding. The device is small enough to fit in a backpack, and weighs around 10.5 pounds*. With its tow line connected to a tree or other stable point at the top of your run, the PL1 can pull a 200-pound skier or snowboarder back up a 15-degree slope 2,450' per charge.
Because, sure, you're a big, strong athlete, but what a buzzkill to spend 90% of the time you have to ride powder in the backcountry killing your legs and lungs getting to the top of the mountain. Or being able to do only one run, because your legs and lungs are like, "F. That."
To use the PL1, you'll need to make your initial ascent on touring skis, a splitboard, or snowshoes. Then tie the PL1 paracord line - ZOA's package comes with 1,000' of it - to a tree, snow bollard, or snow anchor, and use a rope bag to lay the length of it along your desired path. Attach the PL1 to the end of the line, or anywhere along the paracord, and let it tow you back to your anchor point. Finally, detach and stow the PL1 and take off to the end of your run, repeating the attach-and-tow steps as many times as you've got battery for.
Backcountry skiers and snowboarders interested in the ZOA PL1 can learn more about the product, and pledge for one of their own here on Kickstarter through February 25, 2022.
*Anticipated PL1 weight during development, and prior to the 1,000' of paracord ZOA recommends spooling through.