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Am I the Butt Head?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I was in a relatively crowded lift line. There was no designated singles line so getting the quad fully loaded was disorganized. About every other chair had 3 and every 5th chair had 2 people on it. Some people realized the problem and were chatting about trying to group up. My daughter and I hooked up with a mother and her tot.

As we got near the chair I noticed 2 people getting ready to load so I yelled up that 2 were coming up. I don't think they heard me or I was ignored. So I tap the guy on the knee with my pole and spoke out again about my intentions. This time I know I was ignored as the guy moved wide to take up the entire load area. My daughter and I were already moving up and these people we already shoving off to get on the chair. My 11 year old moved to this guys left and I slide between him and a female passenger on his right and the chair scooped us up.

This guy was pissed off. He made some remark and I blew a fuse and yelled right in is face "IT's F&**N FOUR PERSON CHAIR". An ugly exchange ensued. It was the ugliest chair ride I have ever had. Luckily at the top we both had cooled off and we skied our separate ways without incident.

My daughter was completely traumatized and it took her a couple runs to shake it off. I regret it now after seeing how shook she was.

I wish I had just kept my cool and calmly and elegantly explained to the guy that I thought he was wrong for not trying to max out the chair.

Am I:
post #2 of 63
Nah man... I'm going to lean towards the facts on this one: It's a goddam four person chair. You did everything you could to be polite and if D-bag wants a quad to himself, then maybe he should have picked a less crowded line. Way to scream on 'em. Let him know if he wants to be a chair hog on a busy day, he's gonna get yelled at sooner or later. I may lean towards "yes" only because your daughter was there... Sucks she had to see daddy lay down the law, but hey life can't be carebears and barney all the time! Maybe next time you can just laugh it off and be the "bigger man", but I'll bet he's not going to be a tool again anytime soon.
post #3 of 63
I think so. Just how serious is the problem really?

Having an argument with a perfect stranger that your kid takes two runs to shake off is probably the worst -- makes you look really bad on many levels. I mean, if a solo rider in a chair is gonna p!ss you off that much, what level of rage will you reach when something really matters? Now that's a really scary thought when you're 11!

IMO, it's better to proclaim loudly that it's a four person chair and just not get on.

The crowd then gets an example of selfishness that should also enrage them, your kid would have no problems agreeing with you and more folks should play right. Having an argument about it is just over the top.
post #4 of 63
Where were you skiing that had crowds?

If there was a wait then by all means group up. If there was no real 'line' just a couple people getting ready to load then spread out, let people have their space.
post #5 of 63

Hot head

I speak from a similar experience. My wife is a "hot head." There was no organization at Lutsen (Bridge lift) yesterday. Singles were trying to fill the double chair (oh it sucks to be stuck with old lifts). Some were pairing up as they went essentually cutting in line. She got bent out of shape when the ski patrol did cut through to the front.

There was no calming her down on the way up. I reasoned that the ski patrol and instructors should go first, and most of all, the organization was up to Lutsen. They chose not to staff for it. That meant it was up to the disorganized crowd to get along as best they could. Getting upset only ruined OUR day. I really think she blew because of the sum experience--not because of the patrol. I'm sure you had your fill as well.

Yea it sucks that people don't see logic in taking turns; filling the chair properly. But, stop short of forcing your (resonable) will on others who might want to ride alone.

Hell, maybe he had some crop dusting to do on the way up and was politely sparing others.

Everyone lives inside their own heads. It is rare to find someone who can effect change for the greater good without pissing off others. But I am in awe of those people.

I wonder if he filled the next chair or his pants?
post #6 of 63
Skiing is supposed to be fun. If you're cursing out someone on a lift chair, you are not having fun. A more fun option would have been to explain the concept of a four-person chair to him, using small words and speaking slowly, as if he were a cognitively-challenged novice.

And then turn around and hit on his girlfriend.

Seriously, though, I agree with BigE. In that situation, it's safer to just not get on rather than risk injury loading the chair, or have an altercation on the chair.
post #7 of 63
Dude you were in the right....however, being that your kid was there, in that circumstance letting it go would have been the better thing to do.

I often have come close of verbal "exchanges" with lift seat hogs, but then I say its not worth it, there is another chair right behind...so I lost 7seconds of ski time....better than getting myself all pissed and ready to bite someone's head off and ruin my day.
post #8 of 63
I am one that gets really frustrated in a line if people aren't paying attention and refuse to try to group up. In fact, one of the people I was skiing with yesterday noticed that we got in a line between a group of guys who were having way too much fun talking about their gaper gear and finding beers in their backpack to actually merge in with the line next to us allowing about 4 groups to go by us while we stood still. My friend piped up and said "Move and merge people, move and merge." They guys were shocked while I nearly busted out laughing. We pointed out that they were missing their opening making everyone behind them stay in line longer and moved on.

I completely agree with speaking up when people are being selfish in lines but I think taking it so far as to have an out and out battle on a chair lift with your daughter where this guy was between you and your daughter was not only a butthead move but it was stupid and dangerous. You don't know what kind of reaction he might have had and it could have presented a real problem beyond just upsetting your daughter.
post #9 of 63
Something like that almost happened to me and SugarCube yesterday at Vail.

There was a single (boarder) in the main line. As we moved up to ride with him, he dropped back to ride single, but only held up a few people. Score one for UL and SC.

The last time something like the original posters issue happend to me I apologized for barging in. BUT.....After I got off the lift....and after said "gentleman" started to ski I made a series of very quick short turns RIGHT in front of him (yes....right of way was mine), and kept him to a crawl. I was looking back at him most of the time.

Finally he stopped and was a "little" PISSED. He explained he was trying to ski and I was holding him up. I explained that's exactly what he did to all the others behind him in line and that I had all day to "ski with him" if he did it again. He paired up on the next lift ride....as I was close enough to "keep an eye" on him.
post #10 of 63
Originally Posted by lingg11 View Post
I speak from a similar experience. My wife is a "hot head." There was no organization at Lutsen (Bridge lift) yesterday. Singles were trying to fill the double chair (oh it sucks to be stuck with old lifts). Some were pairing up as they went essentually cutting in line. She got bent out of shape when the ski patrol did cut through to the front.
Something like this happened to me Saturday at Loveland. Shotgun maze (all lines move forward at once, no alternating, for those of you who have not seen one)......NO Attendant....the first line kept alternating with lines 2 and 3. I moved forward (line 3) at the same time as line 2. When I got to line 1, I got cut off.......BY A PATROLER.

I asked said ski patrol if he knew what a shotgun maze was and if he was aware he was in one. I got a blank stare.
post #11 of 63
Thread Starter 


The hosed up loading had been going on all day at the lift and yes it was backed up 10 to 15 rows deep when it didn't have to be. I was already irritated.

I feel like I did the right thing by loading that chair and confronting the guy. I think maybe he might have hooked up with the girl in line and was poised for a qualifying run : as they did not speak during the ride.

But after processing what my kid went through, I am indeed, the LOSER. I just blew it for losing my cool.

My daughter and I have had the best year ever. We have laughed and skied together at least 20 days at A-basin,Loveland, Crested Butte, Monarch and Breck. I hope this incident is one small blip, on an otherwise perfect year, that she manages to forget.

If I can pass along anything to posterity here, If your with your kid, think of them first. Think of how you would want them to handle the situation before you blow your top.
post #12 of 63
There's a fine line between trying to stand up for what you believe to be right, set a positive example for your kid and picking your battles and stepping back and let a$$holes continue to be a$$holes and ignoramouses continue being ignorant or simply inconsiderate.

A few years ago after finally getting the little guy and me to the lift line, which was waiting for the stopped lift, some dude decides it's time to light up a cigarette in the middle of the group of 40 or 50 people. You could feel the discomfort and no one wanted to 'rock the boat'. Sufficiently agitated and not wanting to 'let it go', because it was affecting the air around everyone (and thinking I'm protecting my little kid), I 'think' I said (probably with a bite), "Could you wait until you get on the lift to light up?" The a$$hole proceeded to jump my case and says something like it's a free country, etc. After finally getting to the top of the lift and getting my very young son going on the run, this stand up guy slides by and flips us off. :

I know as soon as I opened my mouth in the lift line, my son felt intimidated and it was compounded at the top. I know this affected my kid at some level and I believe it had removed some of his 'desire' for skiing for a while. Subsequently, I certainly have thought of better responses that were more 'objective & positive' and less regretful, but it sure feels like you just ain't going to win these battles and need to keep your ego out of them. All you can hope is the next time, the individual(s) will do the right thing the next time......but don't hold your breath, it's inherent in our selfish society.
post #13 of 63
Originally Posted by jbuhl View Post
Yesterday I was in a relatively crowded lift line. There was no designated singles line so getting the quad fully loaded was disorganized.
Generally in this case I will take the initiative and make my own singles line, ducking under a rope and joining a small group as they line up to get the chair. If there are too many people around or uncool lifties then I will generally leapfrog my way up through the lines by joining in with smaller groups and progressively moving my forward towards the lift.

If the Lift Ops staff doesn't have their act together and are not loading the chairs in the most efficent way, I say take it into your own hands and make it happen however you can.

(I generally try to be a bit more subtle than screaming at people about the problem tho, just calmly and quietly insert yourself where ever you feel you should be in the line)
post #14 of 63
It's always seemed to me that frustration could be greatly reduced and enjoyment maximized if ski areas would have a competent attendant at every quad and six pack whenever there's a line.

This is a perfect illustration. When you've got a situation where peeps are getting pissed at each other when they came to have fun, it really reflects poorly on the management of the area.
post #15 of 63
You being with your child, i probably would have let them go.

normally, i say if there is no wait, spread out. however, i can;t stand it when people congregate at the entrance to the chair for their friends. meet at the TOP of the lift, not at the bottom.

next time, do as the European's do and cut off anyone who is not paying attention. I;d say "are you going?" first though.
post #16 of 63
It's always seemed to me that frustration could be greatly reduced and enjoyment maximized if ski areas would have a competent attendant at every quad and six pack whenever there's a line.

This is a perfect illustration. When you've got a situation where peeps are getting pissed at each other when they came to have fun, it really reflects poorly on the management of the area.
This is the best senario. Unfortunately, ski areas have a hard time finding people who will work for 7- $8.00/hr in an expensive area to live. They are always hiring throughout the season. Sign up and you can help organize those lift lines and get a season pass too. This problem is compounded at the end of the season when the visas start expiring.

During busy holiday weekends I have been pulled out of lineup to go help organize liftlines, keep people moving, and help small kids onto the lift. This helps speed things up when all the ski school classes start hitting the Gemini Lift.

I had three skiers yesterday who absolutely refused to let me on the quad with them. They just had this bizarre snowboard aversion. I just let it go. A fellow instructor had a class in the next line so I just rode up with them.
post #17 of 63
I'm of the side of just say something in line loud enough for all to hear that you are making an attempt to fill the chair, especially with your kid along. There are freaking nut jobs out there. I'd go on the possibility that forcing the issue and getting on the chair anyway was a mistake that could have lead to someone getting pushed off loading or worse, from in the air.

I ski solo more often than not and always make best efforts to pair up. I've never snubbed a request to ride up with someone else. But, if there are no takers I'm just as entitled to the next chair as anybody else. It's the liftees ultimate responsibility to keep the lines moving.

Although, jerks that refuse to share a chair are probably long overdue for some "Country Justice". They are probably the same jerks that took up three parking places with their Hummer. It will certainly catch up with tem
post #18 of 63
No, you aren't, I do that all the time, I think its incredibly rude when people think they are entitled to their own private chair when people are waiting on them. So selfish, not to mention anti social.

However, some people do get upset about this. You should have realized they were going to be nasty when instead of making room for you, they tried to not let you on the chair. Might have been smart to wait for the next one since you had your kid with you.

But on the bright side, she probably learned something.
post #19 of 63
yeah, you might have ruined this guy;s chance at hooking up!
post #20 of 63


was "the remark" the guy made? What kind of skis did he have?

I feel your pain but in the eyes of an adolescent girl - who if she is anything like her peers and find her parents BARELY tolerable and always embarassing anyway - you may in fact be a butthead.

Have you seen the text message wireless commercial with the dad knocking on car windows at lovers lane? Its like that a little.

Eh big whoop. At least it did not come to blows. If it had - win or lose -your princess would have just "died."

Easier said than done, but some more appropriate (and equally embarassing) comments might have been to your daughter (she is dying a thousand deaths at this point anyway): "Honey, do I smell. I mean am I reeaally stinky? Do you think my odor is offensive? I should not have had that burrito for breakfast." You could continue... "Sweety, how many tires on a car?" (4) How many sides to a square? What is the sqare root of 16? How many downs to you get in football? How many balls is a walk? etc etc...

That hard part is that you were sitting RIGHT next to the guy. Must have been cozy.

Allinord. Enjoy your posts but relax on the second hand smoke. You are on top of a MT for crying out loud. The flip off in front of your kid was classy tho.

Finally, Uncle Louie. This is a good way to get your @$$ kicked. Just choose your victims carefully.

"The last time something like the original posters issue happend to me I apologized for barging in. BUT.....After I got off the lift....and after said "gentleman" started to ski I made a series of very quick short turns RIGHT in front of him (yes....right of way was mine), and kept him to a crawl. I was looking back at him most of the time."

Finally, if three scruffy dudes reeking of patchouli want to ride alone - do one of 2 things... 1. Let 'em. They are prob going to have a safety meeting. 2. Glom on and if they have a safety meeting anyway including you - bogart the bowl.
post #21 of 63
Racer256, the point I had in my head, that did not evidently get communicated, was the smoking was trivial and 'my Irish' got in the way of good judgement at the time and contributed to a short lived, forgettable inconvenience and irritation, escalating into a larger long term (still remembered) negative 'incident'.
post #22 of 63
And there are the groups of six snowboarders who line up in the six loading gates...the gates open, three slide through to load on the six-pack chair, and the other three stand there for the next chair.

I'm only dumping on snowboarders here, 'cuz I've never seen skiers do this. I've seen certain snowboarders do it more than once.

When teaching, I gather my group together outside the lift line, then we enter the line, stay together as a group, and load when it's our turn. One way to help slow down line cutters is to loudly tell my students, "you load right behind the guy in the orange parka," or whatever, so the students and the other folks know that we're sticking to our rightful place in line. I've seen another instructor send the fastest student to get into the lift line, then bring the slower students up through the lift line to the one ahead. You find classless people everywhere.

Whether ski patrollers or instructors and students get line cutting privileges is up to the policy of the ski area owner. The owner can set any policy he wants. In our area patrol and private lessons can cut into the line. Group lessons usually can't, and kid's multi-week discount lesson groups can not cut.
post #23 of 63
Unfortunately yep you are. Let's look at reality:

1) As you argued with this guy, real people were trying to keep from dying, or keep their kids from dying, all over the friggin world.

2) OTOH, you and the rest of us were playing at an expensive sport involving sliding on snow. At least acknowledge this privilege by having fun at it, especially if you're skiing with your kid.

3) No chair, and no idiot who hogs same, is worth getting all hot and bothered about and losing the fun.

4) Especially if you're skiing with your kid.
post #24 of 63

As a fellow dad, I can say I've been in your situation a few times over the years. I understand your level of frustration ...especially when you are teaching your child proper ski etiquette and to stand-up for themselves.

I lost it a few times a couple of years ago only to be told by my son later that he doesn't mind the 20 second wait and it's not worth ruining the day over. Although he understands the nature of the situation when it arises, he is right in stating that once I lose it, my delivery usually sucks and doesn't resolve anything. Thats when it becomes embarassing. If the person doesn't figure it out after a subtle hint, they likely never will, especially if you lose it.

These days I find that if I politely state the obvious, people are usually understanding and quite agreeable. I do however bite my tongue and count to 100 ... if it falls on deaf ears. (It's pretty tough !!)

Enjoy the precious quality time with your daughter as she is quickly growing up and the day she moves on to other interests is right around the corner. Don't give her a reason make it happen sooner than it needs to.


Are you a Butthead ? Nah ... All of us parents on this site have been there man !
post #25 of 63
I’m must be misunderstanding the situation …

From your description I’m envisioning you in an unorganized, jammed line and next to load. You’re already paired up with a mother and tot. What were you going to accomplish by dropping mother and kid, forcing them to scramble for another pair before loading while you and daughter charged into the loading zone? Did mother and tot end up riding double because you abandoned them? No doubt, someone rode double/triple as the “mob” reorganized.

I agree with you, lift lines get a little annoying when people can’t figure things out – front line left … front line right … front line left … or whatever the set up is. Even without a lliftie. How hard is that? But unless I’m missing something, sounds like you created an issue that didn’t really benefit anyone – including yourself.
post #26 of 63
Originally Posted by RMP View Post
All of us parents on this site have been there man !
But it does'nt make it right. Try to explain this one to your wife:

You're driving with the family and you get annoyed at another drivers rudeness, and say "Wow, I can't believe that!".

Your 3 y.o. says: "Is that one of those F**King @ssholes Daddy?"

I'm that Daddy -- Mom was not impressed. I'm definately a butthead.
post #27 of 63
This confirms my belief that things can only get worse when you attempt to interact with or confront someone who is being a jerk. I think most of us instinctively get frustrated or pissed off, but there's no point. It rarely helps. In fact, I don't think it ever helps. Chances are, if someone is hogging a chair or doing something else that is unfair to other people in line, they're not going to be real understanding or aware of other people's feelings, or receptive to their comments. If they were, they wouldn't be jerks in the first place.

A couple years ago, I was skiing by myself and got waved in from the singles line to fill a chair. It was a guy and two kids. I was aiming for the outside of the chair next to the singles line, but they were such bad skiers they were all over the loading chute, and I ended up between two of the kids (it was either that or miss the chair, which I should have done in retrospect). After we loaded, the guy bitched me out and made an ass out of himself. He basically thought I cut in line and got in their way. I apologized (one of those rare cases where I try to be diplomatic) and explained to him that it was a quad chair and the liftie told me to fill the fourth spot. I was just following standard procedure. No deal, he was still pissed and wanted to stay pissed. There was no reasoning with this guy, so I stopped trying to be diplomatic (my next instinct was to act like an a-hole myself, and I'm not good at it). At the top, I skied off the chair quickly, just in time for them to crash like the Three Stooges behind me as they unloaded. Why bother trying to reason with idiots like that?

When my wife and I were flying back from SLC a few weeks ago, a lady had two screaming babies with her, and I could tell she was frazzled and probably a little embarrassed. Of course, another passenger had to get in the mom's face about it, and the argument quickly escalated and then degenerated into personal insults. A couple other smart thinking passengers offered to trade seats to separate the two parties. The worst part of it was some snowboarder with a broken leg and crutches who was sitting right next to the mom/kids and got in the middle of the brouhaha. That poor bastard went from the frying pan into the fire. Sadly, nothing was accomplished by the confrontation, and they almost delayed the takeoff (then I would have been pissed). Yet another example of a useless confrontation.

Face it, it can suck dealing with the general public. At a minimum, it can suck dealing with skiers/riders on the chairlift who are not like-minded and well-mannered. It's something you have to accept when you venture out with the masses.
post #28 of 63
jbuhl, yeah you were. You made a mistake & learned. You abandoned the mom & child you had grouped up with & left them in a lurch for the gain of getting on the lift a bit sooner. You missed out on a much more enjoyable lift ride. It's over & you'll be a more crowd effect aware father as a result. I once grumped in the lift line, w/child beside me, at a group of preteen boys who kept slamming a board against the back of my ski. Wasn't intentional, they were just excited to get to the park. My back was hurting & I could have been nicer. Maybe their reaction would have been nicer as well. Lesson learned. It was not pleasant waiting for that lift. We saw them later & I apologized. Made my son feel better after I did that. I'm sure they felt better as well.

Recently when I saw a solo boarder waiting for the chair, I passed a couple groups & loaded w/Mr. solo. He gave me a suprised look, turned & said " I was going to toke on the way up, but I won't if you don't want me to, or would you like to share ?" Holy smokes was that a funny lift ride ! No, I did not partake. But I did hear about how the various smoke houses in the woods inbounds in Colorado were constructed and why they had certain names. Never thought I'd learn about how various smoke screens were made & hidden on a lift ride.
post #29 of 63
BigE, that is sooo funny ! And precisely why my family has a specific "stop spot" on a specific freeway heading to a specific city. Dad gets out, Mom takes over the wheel for the next 60 miles. My DH is NOT allowed to drive into that city. Mom has tons more patience & doesn't swear at others bad driving.
post #30 of 63
I was waiting in line for a 2 person lift at Squaw with an instructor when a couple barged in with us in line. The instructor calmly mentioned it was a 2 person lift. The woman next to him ignored him. He mentioned it a couple of more times but they kept pushing along next to us. The instructor attempted to explain that we were in line and there was only enough room for two. The other guy said that we had cut in line (Obviously we had not and this guy didn't know what he was talking about!). So, the instructor just drove forward to the lift (as I skied along to keep up) and then he stood there and looked back at the guy...! Personally, I would have let it go. But we were in the right and the great thing is that this instructor never raised his voice, stayed totally cool but looked back at this guy with a look that clearly said, "You're wrong and I'm not backing down....so just get a clue and relax."
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