As is true with almost everything else that we do on a daily basis, a line must be entered and waited out. Of course the lifts on a hill are no different. When you get to your favorite hill, especially on popular hills, you will encounter a line while waiting for the lifts and you must now the basic etiquette for personal and safety reasons.
The first and most important rule is that giving respect gets respect. We all learned the basics of good behavior in grade school and should apply them while snowboarding.
The first and biggest complaint of many people is line jumpers. There is no reason for having to cut the line and even if you think you are being smart by talking to a friend or whatever seems natural to you, everyone else knows what time of day it is. Many lift operators will stop the lift and ask you to return to the back of the line this time or the next time you try to ride the lift.
The second biggest complaint is being hit or stepped on by other users. While accidents do happen at times, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce problems. First off do not rush into the lines. Speed increases the chances of hitting someone else and possibly causing injuries or damaging their equipment. You must also consider the space in the lines may be cramped thus reducing your ability to slow down as fast as you could normally.
Another thing to keep in mind is personal space. This is more than just a personal thing as it is also a safety issue. Leave enough room for people to move their skis or snowboards around in. Keep in mind that people may accidentally slide backwards, yet another reason to leave a little extra room.
There are things to consider even before entering the line. Many people each day will be using the lifts and all of this traffic will cause the snow around the lifts to turn to ice. Of course it is much harder to control your snowboards direction and speed on ice. Take it easy when coming up to the lift lines and slow down well before you are in the area of the lines.
Another thing to consider if you are alone is if you need a partner for the lift. T-Bars especially is better if two people ride them. As you get close to the front of the line you may wish to call out ‘single’ so that other people may partner up with you. On some hills there will be lines specifically for single people to avoid this.
Possibly the most important thing to consider is other peoples safety around you. If you snowboard make sure you have a leash attached. Do not cut through the path of the lift line or you may end up with a nasty headache and damaging your and another person’s gear.
As you can see, etiquette on the slopes is not only common sense but also a safety issue. Giving a little respect to others on the hill around you will go a long ways for promoting good will and ensuring that everyone has a great day on the slopes. Bear in mind that the person that you just cut in front of may be the person that you need help from if you bail hard on a run down the hill. How do you want them to remember you?