The most common way for downhill skiers to reach the top of a snow-covered mountain is by using a chairlift. Other options include using a rope tow, T-bar, gondola, helicopter or sometimes just walking.
Chairlifts run at two basic speeds, slow and fast. They also come in different sizes with chairs (benches actually) that can seat two, three or four people. Many ski resorts feature high-speed chairlifts that can hold four skiers in each chair, and transport skiers 2,000 vertical feet in a manner of minutes.
Loading involves walking or lightly gliding with your skis on and poles in one hand to a designated spot in front of the path of the chair. As the chair approaches the skier should bend his knees and relax. Once the loading is complete the safety bar needs to be lowered.
Unloading involves raising the safety bar, lifting the tips of your skis, putting a pole in each hand and placing your skis on top of the snow and gracefully skiing away from the chair as it makes the turn at the top of the hill. Unloading from a chairlift involves using some elementary ski skills and should not be attempted by someone who has never skied before.
Riding ski lifts is really very safe, but some attention needs to be paid to exposure to the elements on the ride up and adjustment to the altitude. The latter concern applies mainly to skiers who travel long distances from low-lying cities to high-altitude ski areas in a short amount of time.
Article Written By Henri Bauholz
Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.