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Could you do it again?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking of all those instructors out there who regularly take young kids on chairlifts. I remember Park City and the PayDay chairlift, the first main 6 seater. I would load it up with young kids, always asking for an adult in the lift queue to be an escort. When I look back it really seems a lot of responsibility. Since I've had my own kids I don't think I'd like to take responsibility for 8 young kids on a chair lift again. And even though I was always thinking of safety, it amazes me now.

post #2 of 5

Having been an instructor and lived the ski bum life for a number of years, I am not sure I would trust them to take my kids up. Having your own kids sure does put a new spin on things.

post #3 of 5

80% of our ski school students are under age 12 who take group lessons (often with up to 10 kids in a class).  While we don't have a six-pack chairlift, we do have quads, and for the most part, taking young children up these lifts hasn't been a significant issue for us, as in the last 10 years I can think of only a handful on incidents where a student has fallen off the lift, almost always due to them not behaving appropriately and following the "rules".


Not only do we train our staff in the importance of chairlift safety, we train our students as well.  For every student "bottom to bottom, back to back" becomes a mantra that they hear over and over again throughout the season.



post #4 of 5

Not mentioned but worth it...I was once one of those adults an instructor asked for help. I was on a snowboard at the time. I was on a chair with 1 little girl. I was trying to coach her about making "french fries" and leaning forward. We came to the off ramp..I leaned sideways to slide off, she stayed on the chair. I was on her left and the chair turned to the left. Her skis caught me at the upper chest/neck level and pushed me into the frame of the lift. I was more startled than hurt. The instructor was completely traumatized....

post #5 of 5

I was amazed by an addition to chairlifts I saw in Meribel last season - electromagnetic plates on the chairlift backs! Kids wear a metal plate on their backs (I guess part of a back protector, haven't actually seen that half of it) and they can't get off the lift until it's released by some mechanism at the exit point. Just astounding! I can see it being uncomfortable for little ones who can't actually sit far enough back.

I was also surprised to see my 6-year-old (who to be fair is about the size of most 9 year olds) being asked to look after even smaller kids on a local chairlift.

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