The hilariously troublesome combination of kids and lifts struck again today. Four days in to this groups holiday and they are still having a great time having shockers on lifts. It began with the T bars (just like on day two) and one of the most impressive recoveries I have seen on skis. There are two boys in my group and they are everything you’d expect teenage boys to be. Loud, dismissive of instructions and think they know everything. They are good kids and have made good progress this week but sometimes you just want to leave them on the mountain. As they were going up on the T bar side by side, they suddenly started swerving across the lift line and somehow one of them ended up doubled over with his skis crossed and the bar under is armpit. His mate was furiously trying to stay on without being wiped out but also trying to hold onto to his mate so he wouldn’t fall off. Somehow, the kid who was half over with the lift bar stuck in the wrong place managed to hold this position long enough to untangle his skis and reclaim the bar to the right position. Thoroughly impressed with their achievement and comradeship they celebrated at the top and enthusiastically told me the story. However, I had a view from behind and what I saw was a shambolic few moments as one kid who was messing about on his way up lost his balance and nearly fell. He had no right not too fall and how he managed to recover from the swerving, tangled disaster I had no idea but the glimpse I got as a hunched over, flapping teen uncontrollably meandered across the snow looked like a crash waiting to happen. And that was just a warm up for the next lift.
The T bar popped the group out halfway up the hill with the options of jumping onto a chairlift to go up to a black or just going back down a nice red run. We had smashed out the black and everyone loved it the day before and it also provided the opportunity to pick up some pace before a long flat track traversing the mountain so I told the kids that was where we were heading. This was met by a few grumbles and moans from a couple of the girls. The reason for these complaints was that this particular chairlift wasn’t the nicest on the mountain. It’s old and only fits two people. It’s slow and it was cold and it tries to take you out when you sit on it. But more importantly, it feels quite small and that you could fall of it and it is made from slats with lots of gaps and edges. One girl was particularly unhappy about getting on and I reassured her that she’d be fine and that she was a sensible and mature young woman who was more than capable of sitting on a moving seat. What she apparently wasn’t capable of, was a smooth exit. All the kids have to carry bags so they can have packed lunch, water and any other supplies necessary for skiing. This girl had a nice little bag and decided to hold it like a purse to her side as she left the lift. The only problem being that the long straps and the slatted seat style weren’t a good combination. As she jumped up, her bag got caught, snapping her backwards of her skis and trapping her hand in with the straps and the seat, leaving her dangling down from the chair as it was stopped by the lift operator. She led there slumped on her backside with one arm raised in the air, caught on the lift in an amazing disco stance, helpless and waiting for her friend to unravel her. I was on the chair behind laughing at it (after I made sure I heard no crying) before I got to catch up and check she was okay.
I think she enjoyed the run down but I’m sure she didn’t think it was worth the ride up.