Okay. I’m just going to throw this question out there, because sometimes when I see a bee’s nest, I just have to poke a stick into it to see what happens. I’m like that. Is it okay to let your skis save your place in line before the lifts open?
A few weeks ago I arrived at work at 6:30am for avalanche control and followed a skier up from the parking lot. He dropped his skis at the gondola and went up the stairs for what I imagined was his morning cuppa.
Later, after my control route on Exterminator, I boarded the gondola at 8:30am a few minutes before it opened. The same guy stood at the front of the line, waiting for the first cabin. He’d gotten here 2 hours early, but his skis had done the heavy lifting.
Is this okay with you guys? I mean is this even fair? I’ve been to many other ski areas all over the world and have never seen this kind of line-saving. Maybe we’re just a kinder, gentler crowd around here. And I don’t want to mess up a good system. But I do want to know why this works? Why don’t other skiers just move the early bird’s skis aside and snake his spot in line? And what happens if he doesn’t make it back in time for the lifts to start?
I remember a few years back watching a very angry crowd shove skis aside at the wait-here flappers on the Chinook on a powder morning when the patrol finished routes early and made the call to open the lifts. Seems as though some of the early birds were still sipping coffee in the lodge, and when I arrived at the bottom of the lift I saw an abandoned ski get thrown from the line.
I couldn’t say I disagreed. The offending skis impeded progress. And when the lifts open on a powder day, all hell essentially breaks loose. A line of abandoned skis at the gates made getting on the chair impossible.
One thing I can say about Crystal is that the “locals” (whether they hail from Greenwater or Seattle) have an unspoken system for maximizing their days that often works. Maybe this leaving-your-skis-in-line program is working, and if that’s the case, I say let it be. But I’ve heard as many jeers as I have heard cheers. So I wanted to open the forum and hear a little more. Does this system work, and if so, why? If not, I want to hear from you too. Don’t worry, we’re not trying to stop anyone from saving their space in line with their skis. I’m just interested in stirring the pot.