How To Get On And Off Ski Lifts


Novice skiers have a lot to learn. From the basics of how to ski to learning the fundamentals of stopping on skis, there are countless techniques you need to master. One of the most important is how to get on a ski lift. The idea of being on a ski lift can be intimidating for most people, but if you know how to do it right, there is no need to worry!

Getting on and off the lift the wrong way can be annoying for those next in line if you don’t do it properly. It can also result in injury. Awareness of the several types of lifts and how to use them will minimize the chances of being in an accident?

Ready to learn how to get on and off ski lifts? Read on and we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how you can do it like a pro.

How to Get On a Ski Lift

To get on a lift properly, these are the simple steps that you need to follow.

  1. Know Where To Go

The first thing that you should do is to determine the part of the ski resort where you will go. Whether you would like to go off-piste skiing, powder skiing, or parallel skiing, among others, know your spot.

In the case of most resorts, the lifts will have signs or color codes to indicate which trail it is heading. For sure, you don’t want to end up being transported in a spot that you cannot tackle as a beginner.

  1. Gear Up

Before you get on the lift, see to it that you fully gear up. Bring everything that you will need. It is frustrating to reach the end of the lift only to realize that you forgot something. Check your ski poles, ski goggles, ski helmets, and ski bindings, among others.

  1. Line Up

Be respectful of others. Do not be in a hurry, even if you are already excited to ski. Especially during peak season, the line can be long, so you need to pack a lot of patience. Make sure that you are lining up on the right platform. In most cases, there will be staff explaining safety instructions. Most of the time, there is a marker to indicate where you need to stop before you receive final instruction to move to the lift.

  1. Prepare and Get On the Lift

Now that the lift is approaching, find your position. If you will sit on the left, but both of your poles on the right side. On the other hand, if you are on the right, hold the poles in your left hand.

As you prepare to get on the lift, remove the pole straps from your wrist. This is because you need one hand free and one hand will be holding both the ski poles.

Slightly bend your knees and crouch your back. This is because most lifts tend to below, so you need to bend as you get in.

Now that the chair is approaching, use your free hand to grab the chair. Make sure that you have your ski gloves. As you feel the back part of the lift touching your knees, this is a sign that you’re ready to sit down.

After sitting on the lift, make sure to pull down the metal bar. Chances are, you will be with someone during the ride. Be mindful of your companion. Make sure that he or she is ready before you pull down the metal bar.

Sit quietly and enjoy the ride. If you have ski hats, winter gloves, and other accessories, wear them to minimize the chances that you will accidentally drop them while on the lift.

What to Do While on a Ski Lift

Stay still while you are on the lift. The more you move, the more dangerous the ride will be. Lifts are generally safe as long as you take note of the safety precautions. Sit back and enjoy the view. Do not rock the lift. It is ok to take pictures but grab your phone or camera firmly. Because you are wearing gloves or mittens, you might not have a good grip.

How to Get Off a Ski Lift


Now that you are approaching the end of the ride, think of how to get off a ski lift. Below are the things that you need to do.

  1. Lift the Bar

As soon as you approach the lift platform or station, in some resorts, there are signs to let skiers know when it is time to lift the safety bar. Before lifting the bar, it is also crucial to check on everyone, making sure that the skis have been lifted off the rest.

  1. Check Your Things

Before you get out of your seat, check your things and see to it that you do not leave anything. If you want to keep your things organized, investing in a ski backpack is a good idea. You also need to check your clothes, making sure that nothing is caught on the lift. If you are wearing a scarf, see to it that it isn’t loose. It might get tangled on the chair and cause an accident.

  1. Position Your Skis

When learning how to get off a ski lift, another important thing that you need to know is how to position your ski as you land on the platform. Point the ski’s tip upward and move forward as you get off your seat.

  1. Get Off the Chair

After reaching the unloading area, it’s now time to get off the lift. Once your skis are in complete contact with the ground, slightly lean forward. This is important to maintain the proper balance of your body. Once you find your balance on both of your skis, stand and move. Use your hand to push your body out of the chairlift when you are ready to move out.

  1. Move to the Unloading Area

Time is of the essence here, so move out as quickly as possible. Ski from the other people in the area and start your adventure!

In most cases, the unloading area has two portions. One has a flat surface, which is where you will land on your ski and work on your balance as you get off the lift. After this, there is a portion with a gentle incline wherein you will slide down to get off the lift.

After getting off the lift, their signs and colors will indicate the type of terrain, so you will know where to go. This is the time to put your knowledge to the test. You should already know how to ski steeps, kick turn skiing, or how to hop turn, among other skills that you can show off at this point.

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Other Tips and Tricks

Now that we discussed the basics of how to get on a ski lift, as well as getting off, we’ll give you some tips before we end this post.

  • As soon as the liftgate opens, this is a sign that you should move forward. You will be in a struggle if you move too late.
  • Even after you pass through the gate, do not move out of your line. There is a reason why there is a queuing system – to keep things in perfect order. The only time that you have to move out of the line is when you are ready to sit in the chairlift.
  • Hold your things while you are on the lift. We’ve heard countless stories about how people accidentally drop their stuff while they are up on the lift, including smartphones and cameras. If possible, keep your hand free and put everything in the pockets of your ski pants or ski jackets.
  • Once you get off the ski, upon standing up, point the ski directly in the direction in which you wish to travel.
  • If you fall over, get up immediately. You don’t want to be the reason to delay everyone on their ride. The presence of mind and situational awareness are important so that you will know what you need to do.

Globo Surf Overview

By now, we hope that you are ready for your skiing trip. You should already know how to get on a ski lift. You need to start by determining where to go and making sure that you are in full gear. Fall in line and sit comfortably on the ski lift. Do not rock the chair or make any unnecessary movement.

We also talked about how to get off a ski lift. The right timing is crucial, so you have to know exactly when you need to get off. Raise the bar and position your ski properly. Plant your poles on the ground to help you gain your balance and ski away from the lift.

More Snow Ski Lesson Guides:


  1. Lesson Five: Getting On and Off the Lift
  2. How To Get On and Off a Chairlift