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Pushy Lift Lines - where and why

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
The question was raised in the teaching forum, but is more appropriate here. It's well known that people are "pushy" in lift lines at European resorts, but not in the United States. In my trips I've found that pushiness was very common in Switzerland and Austria, but less common in France. How widespread is the pushy lift line culture?

Is this something that is culture specific? In Europe I noticed that people were not pushy in the train stations. In the States, I've been to concerts (long ago) where lines were "pushy", but my esperience is that sporting events are not pushy. I've read stories of pushiness at soccer matches in Europe and human stampedes at religious events worldwide. One thing I've noticed about Europe versus the US is the amount of personal space given between people is generally less in Europe. In general conversation between people Europeans will stand closer than Americans will. That "accepted" distance is generally less than a ski length distance (even with short skis). Could this have something to do with the phenomena?

How much does lift maze design factor in? At many resorts in the States, a lift line attendant will regulate the line flow (in addition to checking tickets) when it's busy. In Europe a common line maze strategy involves successive merges. In the US, a common line maze strategy involves only one merge.
post #2 of 12
You know, I've never skied in europe. And I get ticked off here when people cut in line. Is it really alot worse over there, cause I always catch people tring to cut, and if I can I always say "You guys mind if we alternate" if they keep going, pole on ski! A real pet peave for me.
post #3 of 12
the mind can 'grasp' the 'merge'
the ego can not pragmatize the 'merge'
post #4 of 12
I think it is less a question of lift maze design than of culture. In most of europe the "funnel" is an accepted norm and nobody gets too wound up about or takes it personally. In some respects it is an efficient form of access as it doesn't involve additional staff to regulate lines as at most US resorts. Of course there is also the other aspect of inefficiency where some people want to push through the line and then ride a quad by themselves.! in my experience I wouldn't say that the French are any better/worse than others in this respect.

I would distinguish though between mid-mountain lifts and access lifts. The access lifts are normally pretty orderly and regulated.

once you get used to it is no big deal, just work out the best tactics for getting through the line quickly.
post #5 of 12
I've skied quite a lot in France (Alps and Pyrénées) and have never really been ticked off my the whole pushy line thing. Sure it happens at times but I find that people with $1000 pair of skis are a lot more concerned by this problem than others. I find that most europeans still ski on older skis. You still see tons of 80s skis on the slopes so people are not really concerned about getting their skis scratched. I don't think European's get as caught up in the gear frenzy that goes on in the States.
post #6 of 12
Seems cultural to me. Though I don't have enough personal experience to say this with any reliability, the most polite and orderly country is Great Britain. Obviously, it varies depending on the situation ... but in ordinary things like driving, waiting in line to get into places, etc., people are usually pretty good. If someone does cut in front of you at a London tourist attraction, they're often speaking German.

The US is probably somewhere between British norms and Continental European norms, which sort of makes sense, since it reflects the dominant cultural influence.
post #7 of 12
I got to say I'm always amazed at how orderly Canadians and especially Quebecois are... Always blows my mind.
post #8 of 12
From what I understand, the French and Italians are the worst offenders.

That said, NYC subway riders are pushier than anyone on any lift line I've ever encountered. And all that pushin' just to get to WORK! Sheesh.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
How widespread is the pushy lift line culture?
If you want to see pushy try Hunter on a busy weekend :
post #10 of 12
The latest maze design I have seen is the use of metal stands to separate lines. They look like bicycle parking racks tied together, and you cannot duck them or go through them. No more line cutting. The drawback is they have perpendicular support bars that can damage the bottom of skis if the supports are not buried. See picture below...They are assembled in the morning and taken down after 4:00 to allow grooming. comming soon to a resort near you.



These are the casters used to support the stanchions. They can be a problem:
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by xdog1
From what I understand, the French and Italians are the worst offenders.
Only the relatively young Italians. The rest are too laid back to bother (More interested in what pretty girls there are in the lift-line, bless 'em).

By far the worst are the Germans.... but that would be stereotyping wouldn't it .....
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
Though I don't have enough personal experience to say this with any reliability, the most polite and orderly country is Great Britain. Obviously, it varies depending on the situation ... but in ordinary things like driving, waiting in line to get into places, etc., people are usually pretty good. If someone does cut in front of you at a London tourist attraction, they're often speaking German.
Well that is Johnny Foreigner for you....

Germans also have an annoying habit of getting up early in the morning and nabbing spots by the hotel pool on Summer holidays.
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