It may be a silly question to some, but it’s no different than someone riding an escalator for the first time. When you reach the point where it’s time to step off, all you can think about is getting sucked down into the escalator. It’s both funny and terrifying at the same time. Getting off a ski lift is similar, and you don’t want to embarrass yourself.
How to get off a ski lift is merely a method rather than some sort of weird gymnastic performance you have to do to get off. You simply stand up, after you pull the safety bar up, of course. Point your skis forward, one foot a little behind the other, and stand up.
You know how it goes. It always sounds much easier than it is in practice. We would say that if you’re an experienced skier, getting off a ski lift shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you are an experienced skier, then the odds are good you already know how to get off a ski lift.
How to get off a ski lift: step-by-step
Getting on a ski lift is pretty simple, but as you watch your car come around to the point where you have to disembark, and you’ve never done it before, it’s easy to get a sense of anxiety as you get closer and closer.
That’s where the key to a successful departure from the ski lift starts. You have to keep your cool. Don’t freak out. If you try to get off and you end up face-planting in the snow, you won’t be the first, and you won’t be the last.
In fact, the odds are pretty good that someone will get a video of it, and you can become famous on Tik Tok. As you approach, you will see the top of the chair rise up. That’s your queue that you’re nearing the departure point, and it’s time to get ready.
- Check your clothes and gear to make sure you aren’t hooked on anything
- Lift up the safety bar when you are pretty close
- Keep your hands on your ski poles, holding them like you would when skiing
- Look for the sign that says “stand here” as you approach
- Don’t stand up immediately when you see it, just get ready
- Get your feet ready, with one ski boot slightly behind the other
- Adjust your center of gravity so you can easily slide off the lip of the chair
- When you are lined up with the “stand here” sign, gently slide forward and stand at the same time
At the drop-off points for ski lifts, you’ll always face a slight decline. It’s designed to accommodate skiers so they can immediately move away from the ski lift, taking advantage of the gravity.
Don’t worry, the ski lift won’t drop you off the side of a mountain with an 80° decline, though some skiers might actually like that. You’re going to be worried and a little anxious. You can always grab ahold of your partner so that if you go down, you’re both going down.
It’s a good way to spread the embarrassment around a little. The truth is, even if you fall the first time, you’re not likely to be hurt. Ski resorts design their ski lifts to minimize that possibility. Otherwise, the owners of these resorts would spend a lot of time in civil court.
What to do if you Fall
There should always be an operator nearby to stop the lift if you happen to fall and hold up the line a little. As we said above, it will be a little embarrassing. There will be people behind you, and they will see every angle of your flailing, screaming fall from grace.
But, honestly, you’re going to fall from no farther up than a standing position, and you’ll land in soft, albeit cold, snow. As long as you can stand and slide your backside off the rim of the chair, the slope and the chair will do the rest of the work for you.
The only thing you have to worry about is standing and maintaining your balance.
Getting off a ski lift the right way just takes a little bit of practice—that’s all. After a few times of doing it, you’ll get so comfortable you will forget the simple things, like checking to see that none of your clothing is hung up.
Skiing is supposed to be a lot of fun, and you don’t have to ruin it by rolling down the side of a mountain the first time you jump off the ski lift. Just remember to take it easy the first time—don’t panic and get ahead of yourself. Ease off the bench, stand up, and let the downslope and lift do the rest.
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