Chairlift 101: To Bar Or Not To Bar?

Chairlift 101: To Bar Or Not To Bar?


Chairlift 101: To Bar Or Not To Bar?


Even non skiers can learn from this course in chairlift usage | Photo: Walter Lim | Cover Photo: epimetheus

After taking an extended sabbatical, Professor Poma is back in the classroom. That’s right, I– Dr. Poma wish to teach an introductory chairlift course this spring semester on the fundamentals of chairlift bar use.

Also Read: Chairlift 201- Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tram.

Seniors and freshman alike should find the course informative and in some cases (albeit few) inspirational. After covering chairlift loading and unloading in my 101 course, I’d like to build on previous techniques by incorporating the bar into the overall process.

Although the bar does not exist at some antiquated and awesome resorts, skiers and riders will find “safety bars” at the majority of ski areas who possess paid parking fees. Still, some free parking ski areas had to add “safety” bars thanks to liability claims made by Joey Bag O’ Donuts. Mr. Bag O’ Donuts filed a formal complaint some 5 years ago when his kids fell into the netting just before the top lift shack. For this reason and this reason alone, we will cover the loading process and how the bar comes into play. Here we go…

Getting On

When loading the chairlift, make sure to pull the bar down as soon as possible without telling a soul. If you don’t do it first, you’ll be the one getting clocked in the head seconds later. Also, such aggressive and quick use of the bar will let your chairlift companions know who controls when the bar goes up and when the bar comes down, albeit for a single ride.

Bar Coming Up!

After leaving the bottom lift terminal, proceed to ride to the highest point on the lift. Once you’ve reached the apex of distance between the chair and the rocky expanse below, remove the bar while loudly proclaiming, “BAR COMING UP!” Once the bar is removed, start crying. With tears running below your sunglasses, pull a pint of Jack Daniels from your jacket pocket and Jim Belushi the damn thing.

Drunk and teary-eyed, start telling your lift companions how your girlfriend just dumped you and how it might be time to call it quits. From there, grab the back of the lift and lean forward, giving the impression you’re about to jump. Alternatively, loosen your boot buckles instead. Wipe the tears away, and remark, “beautiful day to go skiing… isn’t it.” This will make everyone on the lift remember how special this life truly is and how blessed we are to have safety bars in the first place.

Getting To The Top

This is where things get tricky. As you approach the top terminal, drop the bar once more. After dropping the bar avoid the urge to ask which way your lift-mates intend to go. Instead, let your intentions be known before anyone has any ability to pipe up. If you’re sitting on the right, whisper menacingly to the rest of the chair, “going left” and don’t remove the bar till the last possible moment.

Once the magic moment arrives, fling the bar up as fast as possible and take a direct path across the tops of your neighbors skis. If you’re lucky, you’ve left a pile of entangled and bewildered skiers on the off ramp that subsequently stops the lift from running. The fallout from such an action will give you ample time to get to your stash without anyone snaking your line.

Class dismissed

*This is a work of satire

Also Read: Chairlift 221- The T-Bar Technique. Lessons on Skiing’s Crucifix

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