Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ski Chair Lift Safety

Chair lift safety should be a prime concern for every skier, snowboarder, skibiker, or parent. Ski resorts have lift loading policies posted near their lifts and on trail maps for a reason - safety.

According to the Responsibility Code printed on almost every paper napkin found inside ski resort restaurant, "Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely."

The Competition Center at Winter Park Resort in Colorado printed the following Chair Lift Policy in its recent newsletter. It's a good reminder of how dangerous chair lifts can be when not used properly.

"Riding a chair lift is serious business. Please review the following tips for safe lift riding.

  • Always sit still with no horseplay.
  • If you choose to lower the bar, it should be done by the people on the side where they can reach to the side to raise and lower it. Shorter people can arch their way off of the lift when lowering if they aren't tall enough to reach it easily in the center.
  • The bar is not a "safety bar" and you should never lean forward onto the bar as you can still slide out where there is a gap between the bar and chair seat.
  • Never lean forward to look below or to mess with your skis or boots. Optimally, all riders should sit back so their entire back is against the back of the lift chair. This may make short legs stick straight out rather than hanging down. A good way to remember this is "back to back and seat to seat".
  • If someone does not load properly, yell out loudly "stop" so the operator can stop the lift. They may not be able to see that a person is not seated properly.
  • Ask your coach if you have questions about chairlift riding and tell your coach if someone is goofing off while riding and endangering themselves or others. Remember that the consequences of falling out of a chairlift can be severe. "
If you don't know how to use a chair lift, please take a lesson and learn.

© 2012 G. Kunkel and Snowboard Instructor World. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to G. Kunkel and Snowboard Instructor World with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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