Winter is here, and you know what that means. Pack up the Subaru and hit the lifts! Mountain resorts are winter destinations for athletes of all skill levels. You can ski or snowboard your balls off, break a hip, grab a brew, and meet new people. It’s a grand time. Packing that many people into one designated area is asking for chaos, but we’re at the top of the food chain for a reason. By following proper ski etiquette, you can share the mountain, have fun, and leave without kicking someone’s ass.
We can all make the mountain a harmonious place to play. Here are some basic skiing rules to guide you before, during, and after your shredding adventure.
Ski Etiquette 101
If you follow these fundamental ski rules, you’ll be the most charming, popular person on the mountain. Who knows, maybe you’ll even get laid.
The Parking Lot
1. Pay attention to the lot attendant
Of course you’re excited. So is everyone else. Follow the lot attendant's directions so you can park as fast as possible. Don’t leave your door open while you’re getting ready; close it for the person parking next to you.
2. Don’t blast your music
Your loyalty to Hanson is admirable. But don’t expect everyone else to share your MMMBop enthusiasm. Turn your music down whenever you’re in the parking lot.
3. Check your gear
Double check your equipment and make sure you have everything before you leave the car. You may need those brakes or leashes in case something unforeseen happens. I know you’re invincible, but it’s best to play it safe.
4. Watch for traffic
Be aware of traffic. When you’re walking to the slopes, be conscious of people driving through the parking lot. You know, look both ways and all that jazz. Accidents do happen in parking lots.
The Ticket Line
5. Pick one person to stand in line
The rest of your posse can make snow angels or take sips on the flask. This helps keep the line shorter. And if you insist on continuing to MMMBop, use earbuds. Besides, rocking out to music nobody else can hear is a great conversation starter.
6. Review the responsibility code
When you get your ticket, flip it over and read the responsibility code on the back. This single most important ski rule that can save you from being “that dick on the mountain.”
7. Don’t litter
These newfangled tech jackets all have pockets that hold things. You can even put your wrappers in them. And phone numbers. People still write things down, right? Keep our mountains beautiful.
The Lift Line
8. Be mindful where you gear up
Stay out of the way of other skiers and snowboarders. This will avoid unnecessary accidents, like inadvertently clocking someone in the mouth. It also avoids awkward questions from people getting in line.
9. Be ready and alert
Don’t cut in front of others. Sometimes skiing rules double as life rules. Have your pass out, ready to show the attendant. Be aware of the terrain difficulty the lift is accessing before you get on. If you don’t know how to ski a black diamond, don’t try.
10. Pay attention to the lift attendant
Listen to what the liftie says. Don’t wait until you’re getting on to ask questions. You have six to eight seconds to ask a question (in a noisy line). You probably won’t get the answer you want. Life is hard.
11. Don’t swing or bounce the chair
Read the signs on the towers. Don’t throw anything from the chair, flail, or jump. If you’re with a stranger, be courteous. Basically, be an adult. Wait at least fifteen minutes to flirt, so you can show off your amazing skills.
Skiing / Snowboarding
12. Read all signs
ski etiquette is easier when you read the signs around you. They are there for a reason. If they confuse you, ask someone.
13. Follow the responsibility code
It’s your job to know and follow the code, to avoid accidents. This is important. Be aware of other skiers and snowboarders at all times. Stay visible, stay in control, and keep your equipment under control. Don’t don’t need to know how to ski like a pro, but you should know your limits.
14. Call attention to injured athletes
Doing this alerts other skiers or ski patrol. If it’s a snowboarder, stand their snowboard up in the snow. Whoever reports the accident should go to the nearest lift or ski patrol shack. And wins a free beer.
15. Have a good time
Have fun! You’re there to have a great time. You can practice good ski etiquette and still party like a rock star. In fact, you can master it.
What would you add to the list? Tell us in the comments.