“Backpacks are every bit a part of the ski attire as a coat or hat or gloves or a helmet — it’s amazing. I think there would be a mass revolt in the ski industry especially with parents and families if you took away backpacks.” -Winter Park Spokesman Steve Hurlber
And that’s just it, backpacks have become fashionable and even a badge of localism or experience but can turn deadly if not worn responsibly. Denver 7 spoke with Winter Park Spokesman Steve Hurlber about the recent rash of backpack related chairlift incidents and he had this to say:
“When you have the straps on and you’re getting off, it can kind of catch on something. Again, easiest thing to do is keep the bag right in front of you right on your lap and enjoy the ride.”
He went on to say that Winter Park staff are actively trying to prevent dangerous backpack related incidents by reminding guests to remove their packs:
“A lot of times our lift operators will even pull people aside and say, ‘Hey, your backpack looks a little big. Would you mind holding it when you are on the lift?”
We aren’t saying that backpacks at resorts should be outlawed but we are saying that awareness needs to be raised and you should reconsider what is essential for a day of riding inbounds (does it really require a backpack). Be safe, have fun, look out for those around you.