It happens to the best of us. You’re up early, coffee in a travel mug, gear in the car, zip to the hill, boot-up quickly, excitement peaks, and then … BLAMO. The shock of an overflowing lift line slaps you in the face. Frustration and sadness washes over you.

But fear not, friends. Here are some helpful hints to navigate the lift line, get you skiing as soon as possible, and overall improve your day on the hill.

The ski lift is a great place to make new friends, even it’s just for 5 minutes. Photo: Courtesy of Emma Paillex/Unsplash

Flirt, But Don’t Be Creepy

Single, single, ready to mingle. Head for the singles line in the lift maze, even if you have pals with you. The point is to ski together, not sit side by side. You can link up with your friends at the top.

Be affable and coy with those in line next to you. No finger guns and winks, just smile and give off an approachable vibe. Remember, lift line navigation is just like dating: Desperation as a cologne is a poor choice. (So is being ‘handsy.’)

Bring Snacks

Remember that time you showed up to your friend’s house for a dinner party, ready to grub, and they informed you that the only thing being served was their friendly company? Remember how happy you were? Of course you don't. You were hungry and angry.

Five out of five scientists agree that “hanger” makes you a bad skier. Don’t be a bad skier. Don’t let the people in the lift line be bad skiers. Think of yourself as a piñata on skis. Have snacks in your pockets and get ready to share. A candy bar for a cut in line is a pretty good deal.

When the lifts get crowded, these hacks will come in handy. Photo: Courtesy of Ricardo Gomez Angel/Unsplash

Practice Maximum Enthusiasm

Writer Brendan Leonard says you should do this at all times, so why not deploy it in the lift line? Are you excited about skiing? Yell it out. Are you having the best day ever? Deploy your barbaric “yawp.” (Because if you don’t let out your stoke, it will spoil and die … And that’s how farts are made.)

Remember, being loud and happy is a-ok, but being the stinky kid is not. Nobody wants to ride a lift with a gassy skier.

Just be friendly. Plain and simple. Photo: Courtesy of Pamela Saunders/Unsplash

Don’t Be “Too Cool”

Chill on the “too-cool-for-school” attitude. Save the aloof afterbang stance for the terrain park. And remember, the only person who can wear head-to-toe black and never take their face gaiter off is Candide Thovex.

Unless you can stylishly land a quadruple backflip on a sand dune before carving turns on a forest floor and jibbing a cop’s mustache, you should reveal your face while in the lift line. No one wants to ride a lift with someone who looks like they’re about to rob a bank. Maybe think about wearing something colorful. (Unicorns are wonderful. Everyone loves unicorns. Be a unicorn.)

After all, it’s a gathering place for like-minded people. Photo: Courtesy of Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

Don’t Smoke (And Turn Your Damn Music Off)

Whether you’re jamming on headphones or a Bluetooth speaker, turn it off and chat up the people who you’re shuffling beside. They’re going to be your chair mates so starting with “Hey, how’s your day going?” is a better way to begin your brief relationship than exhaling exhaust from a cowboy killer and cranking wompy Diplo.

This is a lift line, pals, not the cool kid hang spot behind a high school.

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