8 Things You Hear in The Lift Line

The lift line at any resort is a dynamic place; skiers, snowboarders, gorbies, and pros all converge in a mass of humanity that can run as smooth as a swiss watch or as chaotic as feeding time in a shark tank. Blue Mountain’s lift line is no different. And while everyone sizes each other up, jostling for position and trying to count to six over and over again, there are some conversations on repeat.

by Colin Field      From the new Mountain Life Ontario Fall Issue.

 

Illustration by Dave Barnes
Illustration by Dave Barnes

 

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“That was the best run of my life!”

Whether you’re a groomer-lover, a speed-freak or a powder-hound, it’s inevitable you’ll hear (or be saying yourself) how awesome that previous run was. Let’s face facts here: skiing and snowboarding are awesome. And sometimes, you just have to share that with everyone.

 

“When I was in Whistler”

You know the guy who keeps saying, “When I was in Whistler,” or, “One time in Whistler,” or any variation of the above? And is he saying it a little too loudly? That’s textbook name-dropping; and it doesn’t make the guy sound nearly as cool as he thinks it does. In fact it kind of works in the opposite way; it makes him sound like a jerk. If you are that guy, here’s a tip: you don’t have to yell the word “Whistler”. You’ll be surprised how much less you get snaked in line, too.

 

“Wait, how many people does this chair take?”

Perhaps one of the most misleading icons at Blue Mountain is the six-fingered hand telling you this is a six-person chairlift. Going by that logic, if there’s ever a nine person chair, you could use an octopus (with nine legs), or a seven-person chair, you could use a six-pack (with seven cans).

 

“You canʻt get these yet…”

There are a lot of industry types who ski or snowboard every day at Blue. Pros, reps, sponsored groms, ski techs, boot fitters all have varying degrees of hookups. Which means sometimes, you’ll see next year’s prototypes. And much like the guy who knows everything there is to know about Whistler, the guy (or gal) on the prototype will be sure to tell you that you can’t get them yet.

 

“I couldn’t see that whole run!”

There are days (and nights) when every single snowblower is going at Blue. Getting down the hill feels more like some kind of post-apocalyptic, science fiction battle zone than it does skiing. And for some reason, the snowblowers seem to always be aiming directly at your goggles. Hold on tight, you’re in for an exciting ride.

 

“That guy has no toque!”

You know him if you’ve seen him: long grey ponytail, a goatee and no toque. Or goggles. Even if it’s -35 out, this guy will not be wearing anything on his head. He must have some kind of antifreeze, superhero blood. Or just be immune to frostbite. Either way, it’s an impressive sight.

 

“Where are we?”

If you’re new to Blue it’s easy to get lost. Finding yourself at the North Chair right at 4:30 or accidentally skiing over to the Orchards will have the newbies lost with no hope of return. Fear not, non-local: some locals know every run name, every short cut, every liftie. Heck, they even know the groomer schedule. They’re usually friendly and can help you on your way. Failing that, find yourself a ski patroller.

 

“What the hell is that?”

Often heard in the North Chair lift line, this question refers to an endangered athlete who frequents these parts. He wears a yellow jacket, has the tightest parallel stance this side of 1988 and a worm-turn that’ll blow your mind. Yep, we’re talking about the mono-skier. He probably gets more days in than you every year (for sure he gets more turns), and he certainly gets more attention than you. Keeping the dream alive, Blue Mountain should sponsor this guy already.

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