This reminds me of a couple stories:
The first time I rode a chair lift was when I was nine years old. It was the final lesson of my never-ever session, so it was my sixth time on skis, I guess. The instructor got adults to ride with all of the other kids, and i was going to ride with him, but as the chair came around, and I scuttled out into position, he stepped out of his ski somehow, and I ended up getting on the outside seat of the chair by myself.
At Ski Bowl, the lower lift off loads onto a ramp that is probably twenty feet high, and has a pretty steep pitch as off ramps go, and there was no one to explain to me how to get off of the thing; I didn't think to just stand up when my skis were on the snow, and suddenly the snow dropped away again, and was getting further and further below me. Coincidentally my parents my brother older sister waiting/talking near the top of the lift as my brother was in my lesson and had to wait for the instructor anyway/ When they saw me lifting off the ground, they all started shouting directions at the same time. I decided, about the time my skis weref ive or six feet off of the snow, that I didn't
want to go around the bullwheel, as I saw the chairs crashing against the track, and figured I'd get throw off, so I jumped off from about eight feet up, and landed on a heap. My folks commended me on how quickly I scrambled out of the way before the people two chairs behind me came down the ramp. My brother, who had ridden the lift without incident proceeded to fall and break his leg half way down the run. What a day!
Last season, on one of the many great powder days we had, I had ridden the first chair of the day, only to find that they hadn't opened the upper lift, due to the Patrol still bombing the cliffs for avy control. So myself and a couple others decided to do our own bombing, as in bombing down Grizzly at high speed to try to get back up before they opened the upper chair.
When we got back up, we found that the upper chair was opened, and in the typical powder day frenzy prepared to race over to the top lift to get to the goods but quick. I was riding the chair with a guy who is a friendly acquaintance, who I mostly know from the competition for the first chair on powder days. He is a sort of humorless sort, kind of aggressive, and has the sort of sense of entitlement that goes with having had a season pass for forty years or so.
What we found when we hit the ramp was a family of five snowboarders with their boards end to end forming a semicircular wall across the ramp about fifteen feet from the unload point. I was able to swing wide around the right side of them, and if he'd stopped, and made a right angle turn, he could have done the same on the other side, though it was further around that way.
I knew he wouldn't want to be held up and fall behind me on this powder day, as he's very competitive. There was a gap of about 15" between two of the boards, and I could feel his anger as he charged for it, grumbling some half curse about snowboarders (which he has more than a little contempt for snowborarders, as many of the old guard here do), with an "I'm gonna show them and bust their blockade" attitude.
As I was beginning to skate to get my speed up for the road across to the other lift I heard the sound of his boot getting hooked on one of the boards, and turned to see him go down, grunting and cursing, in a heap. I skated away laughing. Sorry bout the bad luck, no friends on a powder day.