Why I like double chairlifts
Over Christmas break I got to ski Mount Abrams in Maine, and boy am I glad I did. From the moment I pulled up into the parking lot I knew I was home, why? Because there were no parking lot attendants!
I simply pulled up moved a cone and parked my car. Old school, no one yelled, no one waved and n tied to tell me to move the car. The time was around 11:30, the place was buzzing and the guy in the truck next to me actually apologized for not making me get out and move the cone, he said, “I should have yanked that thing out of your way, why waste the space!” “Right on mate”, I stated,
“There is always room for one more!”
As I looked towards the base lodge and beyond to the slopes, I was amazed, the place was hopping, the sun was out and there was a vive I hadn’t felt in a while. The line on the main chair lift stretched out in what looked to be a 20 minute wait, the music was pumping from the base lodge, the T-bar line was a single file with no coral and the deck on the lodge was full of parents, kids, and on lookers.
Popping up to the “admin” I found the marketing director staring out the window with a huge smile on his face. “Perfect day” he said, “just like we like’em up here in Maine!” He ran off to get my ticket which he tore from a roll of blue and white tickets, the type that you peel and stick, wrote the date on it and handed to me. “Wow, it’s that simple I said, why doesn’t every one adopt this system?” I said, he laughed and just said, “why complicate it, suppose to be fun right?”
And I couldn’t agree more. I sat on the deck for a bit just to soak it all in, there was a high school single pole slalom race happening and the kids were having a blast, the terrain park had two jumps in it, and the was a line of riders waiting to blast off of it. And the deck had so much life, it was a people watching dream come true.
Standing in lift line I realized that I could actually do something I hadn’t done in years, I could yell “SINGLE”, and that felt good, so I did it again, “SINGLE” and this time I waved my pole for effect. The line which I thought was 20 minutes was closer to 30 but the time flew by as my new chair mate made his way up and slid in next to me. We started chatting about this and that and before I knew we were swinging on the double chair laughing and telling stories all the way to the top.
I met some amazing people that day, an iron worker from the coast, a contractor working on the “freedom towers” in New York, a instructor named Ed who had retire to teach skiing and was cruising around with his grand kids. I met a family from Rhode Island and their four kids, the mother said I looked like I might know a thing or two about the mountain so she stopped to talk to me about trail selection. In the terrain park I rode with a couple of snowboarding cousins who were working on their spins. At the start of the High School Race I saw friends from competing high schools gather and cheer which reminded me of my single pole slalom race days in Massachusetts .
I stood in that double chairlift line and each time with anticipation yelled “Single” and waved my pole excited about the stories and tales I would hear on the ride up. And all the time I heard the marketing guy’s voice saying “Why complicate it, its suppose to be fun, right?”
Find a double chair lift this weekend and dare to yell single and if your at one of those fancy resorts with ticket scanners reaching for your privates as they scan your ticket take the time to look them in the eye and say “hey, having any fun?”
Skiing and snowboarding is simple, look at the faces on the kids at the Xgames in the crowd. They understand the magic is in the air. Go find some this weekend and report in!
I’ll be riding the new double at Cannon mountain that leads to the terrain with no snowmaking and no grooming, if your around let’s take a run!