Teaching manners is an important part of parenting, since manners are not something most children intuitively understand.
Today, a quick review of lift line and chairlift etiquette and safety tips.
While you may already know most of this, it’s worth a review, especially if you’re a parent with young skiers and riders. For more chairlift safety tips, specifically for children, visit this post.
The Lift Line
1. Go Slow. Enter the maze at a controlled speed. Mazes often necessitate tight turns and there can be bottlenecks. Don’t be the person who starts the domino effect. Likewise, don’t cut off other skiers and snowboarders. If you’re skiing with kids, or others who may need your assistance, let them get in line in front of you.
2. Wait For Your Crew. Wait outside the maze for your friends and family. When you see them coming, begin moving into line so they can easily join you. Never clog up the line by waiting inside the maze.
3. Keep Your Skis to Yourself. Skiing onto the back of someone’s skis or snowboard will get you nothing but dirty looks. Allow the skiers and riders in front of you plenty of room and respect their personal space and expensive equipment.
4. Take Your Turn. We’ve all seen people charging ahead, refusing to alternate, in the lift line. As with skiing onto the back of someone’s board, this behavior will get you nothing but dirty looks. Pay attention to your place in line. When it’s your turn to go, move quickly and keep the line moving. If you’re with a small child, this may mean holding hands and pulling them forward.
5. Keep Your Stoke in Check. On any given ski day, you can pretty much bet that everyone in line is burning endorphins and having a good time. This stoke is a good thing as long as you keep it to yourself. The lift line is a public space. Be respectful of those around you, try not to bump into others and think before your speak. You don’t want to teach the little rippers in front of you any new words.
6. Know How to Use Your Ticket. RF tickets are easy to use but they need to be kept isolated in a pocket all by themselves. Likewise, if you have more than one RF ticket on you, even if it’s from a different resort, it can jam up the gate. While any empty pocket will do, chest and arm pockets seem to work best for kids. If you’re using a ticket or pass attached externally, help the lifty scan it by making it easy to see. If you’re not sure how to use your ski ticket, ask at the ticket window or guest services.
1. Look Before You Line Up. The first time on a chairlift can be daunting. Before you get in line, stand to one side and watch people getting on. If you’re with a child, explain what you’re going to do when it’s your turn to board. This works well with magic carpets, surface lifts and rope tows. (Wondering why resorts still install fixed-grip chairlifts? Find out here.)
2. Ask the Lifties. If you have questions about how a lift works, ask the lifties. If you need the lift slowed, ask the lifties. If you’re riding with young children and you need them pulled back into the chair, ask the lifties. No matter what you need, ask the lifties.
3. Careful with the Bar. While different states (and countries) have different rules about using the safety or comfort bar, there is one hard, fast rule that doesn’t vary: Never bring down the bar without asking everyone on the lift if they are ready. This includes children. If you bring down the bar too quickly, you might bash someone in the head, or worse. Give it just a couple of seconds, make sure everyone is safely seated and ask, “Can I bring the bar down?”
4. Keep the Conversation Light. It’s socially acceptable to talk to strangers on chairlifts as long as you stick to friendly, appropriate topics like “How’s your day going?” “Where is the good snow?” or “Having fun?” Avoid religion, politics and anything you wouldn’t say in front of your grandmother. If you don’t want to talk, use your ear buds or turn away to look at the view.
5. What’s on the Lift, Stays on the Lift. Dropping a pole, glove or a phone off the lift is no fun. Inevitably, your possessions will fall over closed terrain and you’ll never see them again. If you need to take your gloves or helmet off, ask a seat mate to hold your stuff. Also, teach your kids that testing gravity by dropping anything (including spit) from the lift is dangerous and rude. The same goes for yelling and jeering from the lift. Cheering, yes. Jeering, no.
6. Get Off the Lift Safely. Before you get to the top of the lift, ask your lift mates which way they plan to go. Ask before your raise the bar, to give everyone time to remove their skis and boards from the footrest. As you get off, hang back a bit to let weaker skiers go first, or ski off fast to get out of the way. If you’re with a child, help him or her ski off and out of the way.
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