One Hill of a Ride: Sled Lift Hauls Sledders Back to Top

As kids, nothing could quell the enthusiasm over finding a huge hill to sled down right after a big snowfall. Nothing, that is, until you realized that you would have to hike back up the hill hauling a sled. To solve this grave injustice of childhood playtime, a group of DIYers created The Winch Project: a homemade winch that does all of the heavy work, dragging sledders back up their hill rather quickly and without the huffing and puffing.

The contraption can drag three adults up a 30 percent incline at a decent pace, dramatically cutting down the time needed to climb a sledding hill. According to the builders of this awesome gadget, the hill in the above video normally takes 35-45 minutes to climb, but the winch gets riders to the top in about five minutes.

The winch assembly is fun, but it’s also surprisingly safe for a backyard fun project. There are a series of kill switches which prevent riders from getting caught up in the motor assembly and being hurt. Which is a good thing, because nothing ruins a day of sledding faster than getting that fresh snow all bloodied up.

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See more in Do It Yourself or under Technology. March, 2011.