We got asked to put something on this here ski patrol blog to spread the word about babies in backpacks on chairlifts.
I figgered "Well that’s easy."
"Ya’ can’t take babies in backpacks on chairlifts."
Pretty concise article, huh?
OK, here’s a little more:
Apparently it’s a long-standing company-wide policy at all Boyne Resorts, just like it is at many other resorts. In fact, according to Beaver Creek’s website, taking babies in backpacks on chairlifts violates Colorado’s State Tramway Law. (I bet you didn’t even know Colorado HAD a Tramway Law, did you?)
And my ski buddy Laura who works in Switzerland a lot, says it’s illegal in that ENTIRE COUNTRY!
So backpackin’ babies are welcome to lap the gondola all they want–they just can’t go on the open CHAIR lifts. If you’ve ever paid attention to how often people bullwheel their packs and drop stuff off chairlifts, you’ll understand why–at least from a safety standpoint–it’s something a company might not be excited to be in-the-business of facilitating. I assume that’s the reason behind the rule.
Safety Point #2: If you choose to ski with a baby in a backpack, make sure they’re secured so they don’t go shooting out the top if you fall. I read on the internet that that happened someplace. Also, if you fall, try to avoid squishing ’em! Babies make a lot of loud unpleasant noises when squished.
Safety Point #3: If you choose to ski with a baby in a backpack, keep ’em warm. I read of a tragic case of parents who took their baby cross country skiing. The parents were kept warm by all their exercise…but not the baby. Even though they had it bundled up, it died of hypothermia. They thought it had just fallen asleep. And apparently Switzerland’s law comes partially from amputated baby-limbs caused by both frostbite and the constriction of blood flow from the way the babies hang in packs.
If what I read elsewhere on the internet holds true here, some of you reading this will say "how dare you threaten the welfare of babies by allowing parents to take them into the harsh mountain environment", and others will say "how dare you threaten my freedom by limiting what adventures I choose to expose my family to".
Either way, please be nice to the Lift Operators who have to enforce the rules.