Beginner’s Skiing Guide: How To Easily Get On And Off Ski Lifts

31 October, 2022
So you’re coming to Japan for your first ever ski trip! But one of the things beginner skiers may be a little worried about is how to get on and off ski lifts. It may even be what you’re most worried about. But have no fear! This guide will show you how to easily get on and off ski lifts. As long as you follow a few rules laid out here, there will be nothing to worry about! Read this guide and you will be getting on and off ski lifts like a pro.

Getting On The Ski Lift

Overall image of a ski lift
For beginner skiers who are apprehensive about getting on and off ski lifts, an easy solution would be to just use gondolas, but that means you won’t be able to enjoy as many courses as you can. For those who are a little scared of using lifts, take this opportunity to overcome those fears and ride the lifts like a pro.

Show your lift ticket to the staff at the lift gate or hold your electronic IC card up to the machine to enter. If you’re on skis, then using your poles, make your way to the spot where you mount the lift. If you’re snowboarding, undo the strap on your back boot, and kick your way up to the spot where you get on.

When Getting On The Lift, Form Up In Lines Of 2 - 3 People!

Double line for ski lift
The number of people who ride up the lift together depends on the size of the lift. For smaller lifts, that means just 1 person per car, with the biggest usually being around 4 people at a time. If you want to ride up with a group, then form up into a line to get on.

If you can’t keep up with the person in front of you, this will be troublesome for the people waiting behind you to get on, so in that case it is best to let others go ahead of you. Once you’ve formed up into a horizontal line with your group, then wait for the lift in the appointed spot to get on.

Relax And Proceed Slowly

Snowboarders moving slowly toward a lift
Lift staff will provide you with instructions on where to stop and where to get on the lift. If you’re still a little worried and can’t seem to get on, the lift operators will stop the lift for you, so don’t fret.

If you’re on skis, hold both your poles in one hand and use your other hand to sit down down on the chair lift. For snowboarders, both your hands should be free, so you can place both of them down when sitting down.

Cautionary Points While Riding Lifts

View from the ski lift
Once you’re on the lift, the first thing to do is bring down the safety bar. If it’s a small size lift, there may not be a safety bar, but lifts that travel long distances will have them for safety purposes, so it’s best to put it down once you’re on the lift.

Once the lift starts moving, you can look down over the slopes and enjoy the magnificent view. While it’s okay to take photos if you want, be sure not to drop your phone or your gloves! If you happen to drop something, it could be a very long time before you see it again. That is, if it ever comes back!

One important point is to be very careful when taking things in and out of your pockets while on the chair lift.

When Getting Off, All You Have To Do Is Stand Up Straight!

Snowboarder standing up
Once you approach the spot where you get off the lift, first be sure to put the safety bar up. Getting off the lift is the scariest part for beginners, but just be calm and stand up straight and you will move forward all on your own.

If you’re on skis, hold your poles in both hands and stand up when the lift slows down. The ski should be pointed straight towards the direction of travel. The lift will help push you forward.

Snowboarders should position their back foot slightly in front of the back foot strap and then stand up. It may be a little scary as both of your feet, unlike with skis, aren’t secured to the board, but as long as you just stand up slowly, you’ll be fine.

For both skiers and boarders, as long as you just have the board(s) pointed straight forward, the friction against the snow and the velocity of the lift will do all the work moving you forward. The number one point to keep in mind is to relax!

If You Happen To Fall

Disembarkation Point On A Ski Lift
There may be times where you stumble before you’re used to getting on and off the lift. Don’t worry if you hold up the line though. The staff members will use their best judgement and stop the chair lift should this happen. People behind you will also be patient, so just try to get out of the way quickly if you take a tumble.

Learning How To Use Lifts Helps You Get The Most Out Of The Mountain!

And there you have it! Our lesson on ski lifts. What do you think?

Most people who are scared of chair lifts simply find themselves panicking when trying to get on or off. 1. When the time to get off comes, keep your board(s) straight and stand up slowly. 2. If you can stand up straight and firm, the chair and momentum will do the rest of the work.

As long as you keep those two points in mind and practice several times, you should have it down in no time. Master the art of the chair lift, and get the most you can out of the mountain!

Pricing information and schedule may not be up to date and are subject to change without notice. Please check before your trip.