11 Ways To Make That Chairlift Ride Awkward

Ski season is here, and you’ll be spending anywhere from three to 15 minutes sharing chairlifts with people you may or may not know. It’s enough time to get to know someone a little bit, or have a brief conversation about snow conditions, or how busy or not busy the mountain is.

Or, you can make things very uncomfortable for everyone. Here are a few tips.

1. Repeatedly Touch Their Skis With Your Skis: People love this, whether you’re slightly rubbing your edges on their topsheets, gently resting your skis on top of theirs to take some weight off your legs, or delivering tiny little kicks from your edges to theirs.

2. Talk Over Everyone:
If you’re on the far left side of a four-person chair, only talk to the person on the far right side, and vice versa. This works best if you’ve never met them before the chairlift ride.

3. Pull Down The Safety Bar Without Warning Anyone First

4. Fart Loudly:
Farting, loudly, can make almost any situation awkward—first dates, elevator rides, job interviews, et cetera. It can work just as well on a chairlift. Here’s the thing, though: You’re wearing a lot of layers, so the sound will be kind of muffled. It’s a good idea to announce, “That was a fart,” immediately after you do it, lest your fellow chairlift riders think it was just the chair going over the rollers on the tower, or some friction between someone’s pants and the seat covering.

5. Talk About Your Last Relationship:
Was it your fault, was it his or her fault, who knows. Strangers you’ve just met are usually a good source of objective advice—they’ve probably been through a tough breakup or two. It’s OK to cry, but flip your goggles up before you get too many tears on the inside of the lens.

6. Tell Them Your Conspiracy Theories:
People deserve to know the truth, whether that’s 9/11, the JFK assassination, the Federal Reserve System, or why you got passed over for that promotion at work for that asswipe Gary.

7. Fall Out, But Save Yourself At The Last Second:
It’s usually good to have a hold of a part of the chairlift with at least one hand before you do this, but if that’s not possible, grab someone’s boot or pant leg on your way off.

8. Offer Them A Pickle, Pig’s Foot, Or Vienna Sausage From A Jar Inside Your Jacket

9. In The Gondola, Ask:
‘You Guys Don’t Mind If I Smoke Some Weed, Do You?’ Or just do it without asking.

10. Find A Way To Talk About Your Diet:
Are you paleo? Vegan? Vegetarian? Eating a gluten-free diet? Only eating locally grown produce? Getting all the nutrients you need from breathing air? A chairlift is a perfect chance to tell someone about it, and why. Say something like, “So where are you from?” and no matter what they answer (or before they answer), immediately begin describing your current diet. If they seem interested, or not interested, try to convince them to adopt your diet too. Not that excited about your diet? Religion and politics are two other great topics to discuss with total strangers.

11. Ask Them On A Date:
Doesn’t matter if you’re not attracted to them, or if they’re a man and you normally date women, or if they’re a woman and you normally date men, or if their spouse is very obviously sitting next to them. Works best if combined with one of, or all of, the above (time permitting).



More stories like this in my new book, Bears Don’t Care About Your Problems, out now.

25 replies on “11 Ways To Make That Chairlift Ride Awkward

      • Joe

        One early October day everyone was pumped it was snowing. Dude next to me says to chick next to him “hey it’s snowing, want to make out?” I lol’d but she was definitely discusted. Most awkward one I’ve been on in 20 years

  • MattV

    Or my personal favorite:
    Listen to your tunes as loudly as possible and when you co-chairspeople say hello ignore them. Extra points for wearing mirrored lens googles and/or getting pissy if someone tries harder to get you attention thinking maybe you didn’t hear them, thus making hiding in your tune cocoon impossible.

  • Cameron

    I once had an older woman dressed to nines in Bogner with diamond accents tell me that she took “the biggest face shot of her life” one day skiing. As soon as it came out of her mouth my buddies all leaned forward and looked at her with a sheepish grin, she then retracted her statement and quickly said “oh, I mean on the mountain” and knew exactly what we all had in our head. Classic

  • Cisco

    I ride taos primarily, and there are still many skiers from the stone ages there who hate anyone on a snowboard as a matter of principle. When I get on a lift with a skier who gives my board, and then me, the stink eye, I start acting very nervous. Then I tell the skier “it’s my first time doing this, if I’m going to fall, is it OK if I grab on to you? ” They all seem to love this. The best part is that I’m better than most of those people, I spend about 35 days a year on the mountain.

  • Ryan

    Cisco: That last sentence was funny. I’ll see that and raise you a “watch me rip the shit out of this line.”

    PS: I’ll just make a leap and assume you’re joking here. If you’re not, you might have missed the punch line for this post…

  • DM

    i’ll never forget when my two friends and I got one with a solo guy… First words of the ride were “are you guys scared of death?” he than began to preach the word of god… so creepy and weird.

  • James

    While I was working in aspen there was an employee who was sacked for riding a chairlift with a lady and he had with his wang out. He claimed he didn’t know.

  • Jenifer

    riding up the chairlift with a guy hitting on me. He asked if I minded if he smoked, I thought a cig and said I didn’t mind. He preceded to smoke a bowl then he asked if I wanted any, I declined. He then asked what I did for a living. I told him I was a cop. I thought he was going to jump.

    • Blaggard

      I did that on the ganj-ola at keystone once, the guy asked if I wanted a hit, I said
      “I can’t, we get drug tested at work”. He says “oh , lame” and continues blazing. A few minutes later he gets a very concerned look on his face, and asks ” where do you work?” To which I replied “summit county sheriffs office” hilarity ensued.

  • Caroline

    Experience tells me that messing up the shuffling forward / lining up bit so that you end up sitting in someone’s lap can be an effective icebreaker.

  • Kirk

    My personal favorite is the occasional Texan who is a touch racist, rather politically passionate, and particularly vocal.

  • Kay

    Last weekend, a guy sitting next to me asked if I could make sure we kept the bar down for as long as possible, because he was a “jumper”…

  • Dave

    When someone asks you how your day is going you say ” much better now, I just got out of prison”. When they asked why you were in prison, and they will, you answer “I pushed a guy out of a moving car for no reason”.

  • Justin

    Rode solo with a group of 5 a couple weeks ago. They had a great time recapping their orgy from the night before.

  • Laura

    Ask them how much money they make or how many times they’ve been dumped. People love sharing this information. If you are sitting next to a woman, ask her if she’s pregnant and if skiing is bad for the baby.

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