Unless you want to cling to the glove-shredding, arm-yanking tow rope of the bunny hill, if you’re going downhill skiing, you’ll be riding a ski lift. While ski lifts serve a functional purpose — getting you to the top of the mountain — they can also be a great source of entertainment. From improper dismounts, to technical malfunctions, to a chairlift that masquerades as a thrill ride, here are ten of the funniest, most painful, most frightening, and most novel ski lift videos.
Unlucky Ski Lift Operator
Since skiers aren’t always alert, ski lift operators must always be on their toes. This poor ski lift operator can’t seem to get a break — as soon as he’s ushered one fallen skier out of harm’s way, another tumbling skier dismounts from the chairlift. Either that slope is really icy — or happy hour just ended.
Ski Lift Face Plant
There’s a reason chairlifts have official dismount locations. Don’t try jumping off the lift just because you feel like it, or you might end up like this poor snowboarder. Ouch!
This ski lift thinks it’s a bird of prey! Like an osprey swooping down on its next meal, this ski lift grabs its victim by the neck, carrying him off into the nether. Gives new meaning to the words “ski lift,” right?
France’s Scary Up and Over Lift
Most ski lift rides up the mountain are uneventful — a time to reflect on the run you just completed or plan your next descent. Some chair lift rides are, however, an adventure in themselves. France’s Val d’Isere resort, for example, features one of the scariest ski lift rides in the world. Affectionately known as the “Up and Over” lift, this lift takes you up to the mountain peak and over to the other side of the mountain. It’s better than a ride at Six Flags!
Ski Lift in High Winds
Although ski lifts have been around for decades, Mother Nature occasionally takes her frustration out on the this technology, in the form of high-speed winds. Severe weather makes chairlifts inoperable — and potentially deadly — as seen in this horrifying video.
The Single Chair Lift
The world’s first ski lift opened in 1936 at Sun Valley Resort in Sun Valley, Idaho. This single-chair lift brought skiers up the mountain one at a time — a far cry from today’s high-speed, multiple occupancy lifts. Operating costs made these single-chair ski lifts obsolete years ago, but at Vermont’s Mad River Glen, the single chair lift lives on!
Evacuate the ski lift!
Newbie or not, no matter how long you’ve been skiing, when you’re riding a lift, getting stuck is always at the back of your mind. If you’ve ever wondered what happens when a chairlift stops functioning and needs to be evacuated, check out this video.
Controlled Chair Lift Destruction
A ski lift evacuation is scary, but this hypothetical situation is even worse! Loaded with simulated passengers (concrete blocks), this ski lift set for destruction in Winter Park, Colorado, demonstrates what would happen should all mechanics fail and launches the lift into a high speed rollback.
Devil’s Lake Ski Lift Rollback
But what happens if a ski lift rollback occurs WITH passengers aboard? It happened at Devil’s Lake Resort in Wisconsin. Skiers in this news report video describe what happened when the ski lift they were riding started rolling back.
Chairlift Tips for Skiing
Scared of getting into a chairlift accident? If you’re a beginner, check out this helpful ski lift video for newbies.
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