Lift Safety

Chairlifts make all the magic happen. From first timers learning to ride chairlifts to longtime locals learning about the intricacies of lift safety, we’re here to help.

Riding the Chairlift

Pay Attention. 

  • Stay in tune with your surroundings to make for a more enjoyable ride.
  • If you’re new to riding chairlifts, watch how others around you load and unload the chair—then mirror what works for them!
  • If you haven’t used a chairlift before ask a uniformed employee for directions and assistance.

Look for Signs. Read them. 

Our signage has lots of tips, information about the terrain the lift serves, and warnings about the skill level for the terrain served by the lift. 

Keep Calm and Ride On

  • Do not lean forward while riding the lift. If the lift stops, don’t worry, it happens! Instead, enjoy the extra time to plan out your next run.
  • Lower and use the chair bar, but ask your chairmates before you do so.

Unloading

Ask Away: Ask your chairmates which way they plan to go when they unload (so you can plan).
 
Tips Up: Keep the tips (or nose) of your skis/snowboard up as you approach the unloading zone. When you see the "Raise Here" sign, raise the chairlift bar.
 
Stand Up:  Stand up when your sliding device(or your feet) hit the snow (or the unload deck, if it's summer).
 
Keep Up (the Pace):  
  • Do not try to slow down or stop as you push away from the chair.
  • Keeping your skis/snowboard pointed downhill to help you glide away from the chair. If you ride a snowboard, keep your back foot on the board (but don't try to skate away from the chair).
  • Clear the unloading zone quickly. Do not strap into your snowboard in the unloading zone.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The avalanche rescue dogs that Ski Patrol uses are rigorously trained search-and-rescue dogs and avalanche dogs. Outside of their rescue training, they undergo specific instruction for chairlift riding, socialization, and obedience. “Chairlift socialization,” or the training that rescue dogs undergo to be able to ride chairlifts, even begins as early as 8 weeks old!

Moreover, they are certified after training by credentialing organizations. As such, our rescue dogs aren’t just highly qualified work partners—they’re also highly qualified to ride chairlifts!

First, a note:  all the information we’ve shared on this page pertains to riding chairlifts in the winter, since they are the primary means of guest transportation to skiable/rideable terrain within resort boundaries. 

That said, we’ve listed a few more distinctions below:

Transportation Type:  gondolas are closed cabin lifts that can transport between 4 and 15 people, while chairlifts provide open-air transportation seating for up to 6 people. 

Terrain Served:  our gondolas primarily provide guest access to key base, mid-mountain, and summit areas, while chairlifts tend to serve skiable/rideable terrain in a wider range of areas within resort boundaries. Gondola-served terrain may include areas accessible to foot traffic.

Activities Supported:  chairlifts enable many winter activities (i.e. skiing and snowboarding) as well as summer fun (i.e. mountain biking and hiking). Gondolas also support winter and summer activities, while also enabling guests to sightsee around our mountain without additional gear or equipment.  Certain strollers, wheelchairs, or other mobility devices may also be used on gondolas.

Loading and Unloading Skills: Both chairlifts and gondolas require passengers to heed posted signage and instructions from the lift operator. Chairlifts tend to require more loading and unloading knowledge and skill than gondolas, regardless of the season.

If you’d like to explore on-mountain areas accessible to foot traffic—like The 10th Restaurant or Bistro Fourteen —you’ll need to take a gondola to visit these zones. (Note:  Scenic Tickets are a perfect for a relaxed gondola view of the mountain!)

Please consult your trail map to find more options you can visit via gondola.

There is no minimum height or age requirement, but your child must be able to load and unload the lift under their own power.

Lift closure varies on a case-by-case basis.  Generally chairlifts may close temporarily due to safety precautions related to weather or maintenance.  The decision to shut down a lift is determined by ski area management, which may include the managers of lift operations and lift maintenance departments, as well as the Director of Mountain Operations.

In the morning, lift open times may be delayed if snow safety and lift safety operations are underway.

 

"Everyone Riding the chairlift must be able to load, ride, and unload properly-using their own individual ability and knowledge."

That means 3 things:

  • Your may not ski or snowboard with your baby in a backpack.
  • You may not load chairlifts with a baby in a backpack (even in the summer).
  • If you want to carry your baby in a backpack, use the gondola.
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