Board-Slapping, Bar Pushing, Premature Sitting & Off-Ramp Loitering

A few people have e-mailed in about getting "yelled" at by lift operators.  Let me expand on the safety rules they enforce:



When you come into the chairlift loading area hot and fast, and grab the safety bar of the chair in front of you to slow down, you’re likely to tip it down so the foot rests hit the people sitting down in the seat in front of you, in the back of the head! 

Since this ranges from unpleasant and embarrassing to painful and medically hazardous for them, the lift ops will instruct you to not do that.  If you’d like, I guess we could have them stop the chair, walk over and have a pleasant conversation with you about it.  But most people feel like they’ve paid to have the chair keep spinning, so instead, the Lift Operators will just holler "don’t grab the bar, please" or something like that.   

If you DO accidently come in to the terminal too fast and need to stop yourself, grab the back of the heavy seat, which is much less likely to disrupt others.  But better yet, try your best to stay in control!



Yes, slam-slam-slamming your board or skis on the loading ramp to remove built-up snow DOES draw attention to what a badass powdahound you are!  But is it really necessary?  The lift operators have plenty to do trying to keep the ramp as smooth and even as possible.  Adding large piles of snow, then stomping to compact it between the plastic sliding-surface slats creates more work than they can keep up with between chairs.  So then they have to STOP the chair to make the ramp right again.  Most people prefer that the lift ops keep the chairs spinning as much as possible, so we ask that you kick the snow off your equipment before or after you’re in the terminal.  Easy!



There’s a designated place to sit down when loading chairlifts.  There are little vertical signs just outboard of the edges of the chair, and down on the ramp there are little green plastic inserts.  Both read "LOAD HERE". 

Uneven weight going through the terminal machinery isn’t going to help the detachable chairs operate any more smoothly.  But the real problem occurs–especially on the longer 6-person chairs–when somebody sits down early on one side which tips the opposite side WAAAAY up in the air.  When that happens, adults misload and get embarrassed, little kids get pushed off the ramp and frightened, the chair stops and everybody waits.  If you’re so exhausted you can’t wait for the chair to reach the load line before you collapse into it, you probably shouldn’t be going up for another run anyway!



There is SO much to do after you get off a chairlift.  You gotta buckle your boots, clip your back foot into your binding, put your pole straps on your wrists, talk with your companions about where you’re gonna ski down………

When you stop too soon after getting off a chairlift, you create a roadblock across the ramp.  This starts a chain reaction which ultimately causes a collision back behind you somewhere.  It’s like stopping on the freeway.  The actual CRASH happens back behind you somewhere, but really, it’s YOUR fault it occurs. 

If you fall on the ramp or in the unload area, scoot out of the way ASAP!  Trying to scoot all the way down the length of the ramp can be quite a distance to cover.  Usually, just a few quick scoots to THE SIDE gets you out of harm’s way.  Hence the "Scoot to the side" instruction you may hear from above!

Please pay attention to those behind you!  SKIERS ESPECIALLY!!  Snowboarders getting off the chairs need some "glide path" to get away from the lift while their back foot is unbuckled.  The sign says: "PLEASE CLEAR THE UNLOAD AREA".  So when you stop abruptly to discuss lunch plans and get biffed in the back by a beginning snowboarder, the correct thing to do is apologize to them politely, and then scoot out of the way quickly. 


So those are things you can do to avoid "reminders" from Lift Operators.  Please tell Guest Services if you think employees are being rude to you.  But keep in mind that it’s always going to feel pretty embarrassing when some kid has to point out you’re being a spaz because you’re not paying attention.  At least it is for me! 

Please don’t hold it against them….they’re just trying to keep everyone safe & happy!

3 thoughts on “Board-Slapping, Bar Pushing, Premature Sitting & Off-Ramp Loitering

  1. ddk

    Cory, Sorry you’ve been so sick, glad your back. Good comments, hope the “right” folks read it…especially about clearing the unload area.


  2. Lift Op #6

    Thanks for the support Corey. As a Lift Operator, I see many rude and uncalled for actions on the loading ramp. Here are a few. Burping, farting, spitting tobacco juice on loading ramp, coming in hot and sliding into the Lift Op, rude comments, smart a.. comments, intentionally doing something rude, and then staring at the Lift Op for a reaction, alcohol induced comments etc, etc, etc. It’s a wonder more Lift Ops don’t quit with all of the crap they have to tolerate, working loading and unloading the public.
    It is worse on the weekends. Most of the midweek skiiers are a more polite crowd.
    It’s too bad skiiers can’t leave their bad habits in the city , instead of bringing them to the mountains.


  3. Lift Op #6

    Thanks for the kind words in passing Ch 6. I wish the rest of the public would follow your example.
    Maybe some of the regulars should teach a class on “Chair Lift Loading & Unloading Etiquette”.


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