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How To: Use The Chairlift

by Powderhound Cat January 8 2012 3 Comments

It is time to go ski. You are super excited. I totally get that.

The life lesson here though, is never let that excitement cause you to forget proper ski etiquette. You managed to drive to the resort; the lift is one more mode of transportation helping you get on the way to the schussing.

Let me tell you this: I am writing this installment of my "How To" series at the request of a very nice lifty I met over the holidays. Through his desperate attempts to corral you all properly, he asked me if Ski Utah would send out a friendly reminder to help his job, well, work. I looked around. I know what you're thinking, and you are wrong. I wasn't surrounded by "tourists" or "gapers", oh no. There were locals messing up the rules too. Season pass holders. So this is a refresher for all of you!

Rule #1

This should be simple. You are a patron, not an employee. If there is a lifty directing traffic, HE IS THE BOSS OF YOU. All the resorts are different, many of the chairlifts are too. Lines may have different orders on different days. Go with the flow.

Rule #2

No cheating. Get in line behind people that were there first. Especially for first chair on a powder day. Get up earlier if you want dibs.

Rule #3

If you are waiting on someone else, don't do it in the way. Move to the side and let others get going.

Rule #4

Turn down your music, get off the phone, pay attention. Doesn't matter how amazing you are - you might need to hear.

Rule #5

Don't lose stuff. Secure your gear. If you do lose something, the lifty knows what to do - often they can send your glove, pole, even phone up behind you. Such nice gals and guys.

Rule #6

Golden Rule. Be nice. Lifties get up way before you, get crazy machinery going, swing those chairs just right to make you comfy, and will even broom whack the crap out of the thing on a powder day trying to keep your tush dry. If they say "How's your day?" you owe them at least a "FANTASTIC!".

Rule #7

If you have properly merged like a zipper, picked up a single skier, and made it on to a moving lift: ask before you lower the bar, smoke, or do anything that might disrupt the trip for anyone else.

Rule #8

Get off carefully, attentively, and get out of the way. If your friends can't find you mere feet away you need new friends.

Rule #9

Watch the people and gear around you. Just because I'm 5"2' doesn't mean my skis are under me, they're pretty long these days. Don't try to run me over. 

In closing, just pay attention. Spacing out and not following the crowd slows everyone down, and makes you "that guy". You don't want to be that guy.

The more I think about it...it'd be great if you didn't have bad breath, act crazy, swear in front of my friends' little kids...

Any tips you'd like to add? Share in the comments!

*Let it snow*

Powderhound Cat

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Powderhound Cat

About the Author

Powderhound Cat

Catherine Killfoil

Catherine Killfoil has spent the last four seasons going from rookie to expert on and off the slopes. Resorts! Park City Living! Ski Culture! Smirnoff Ice! Why they call it the White Room! Follow her to learn from her experiences (the good, the bad, and the powdery) and to see what Utah can offer every level of skier. Check out her "How To" series for the tips and tricks that everyone needs to crush winter in style.

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