How To Properly Ride A Ski Lift
Learning how to properly ride a ski lift can be one of the most intimidating hurdles for a new skier. You have to navigate a moving chair that lifts you far above the earth, manage to ride to the top without falling off, then dismount the same moving chair at the top of the mountain - all while wearing skis. While all this may seem daunting at first, you can learn to properly ride a ski lift and arrive safely at the top with your person and dignity intact.
- Approach the end of the lift line. You should be wearing your skis. You can use your poles to help you maneuver into line, but don't loop the straps around your wrists.
- Stop at the entrance to the loading platform and wait for the chair ahead of you to load.
- Move to the loading line as soon as the chair that just loaded clears the line. The empty chair will be coming up behind you and you want to be standing at the loading line, waiting for it.
- Hold both ski poles in the hand toward the center of the chair. Look over your outside shoulder behind you toward the approaching chair.
- Allow the chair to come up behind you. As soon as you feel the chair against the back of your thighs, sit down. You can grasp the pole on the side of the chair to steady yourself if you like.
- Face forward and sit back in the chair. If your chair is equipped with a footrest and safety bar, you may lower it as soon as the chair clears the loading area.
- Relax and enjoy the ride to the top.
- As you approach the top of the mountain, remove your feet from the footrest and raise the restraining bar. Most ski areas have signs to remind you to do this.
- With your poles in one hand, face forward and prepare to unload. Keep your ski tips up. When your skis make contact with the ground, stand up and ski forward.
- Watch for a sign that says "Unload Here". When you're even with the sign, that's your cue to stand up.
- Keep your skis pointed forward as you stand and glide easily down the slope away from the chair.
- Clear the unloading area as quickly as possible.
Pay attention to signs in the lift line. These will give you additional instructions for riding the ski lift. For instance, some styles of lift chairs have a single center pole. These chairs will have signs posted instructing you to "Look to the Center".