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Any advice for nervous mother and ski lifts!?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I am skiing in the 3 valleys next week with my two children (aged 5 and 4) and am feeling increasingly neurotic about them going on ski lifts....
They will be in ski school with ESF during the mornings and I am just worrying about them being on a lift without me (who would constantly be telling them how to sit etc etc 😂) or even without the instructor, as they obviously canít sit with every child in the class.
What if they fall off if the bar is raised too early, or are put next to someone who canít understand or help them if they get upset?! (My husband thinks Iím overreacting but I could really do with some reassurance so we all enjoy the trip!)
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@Mrsmarmite, welcome to snowheads. What if, What if, What if.... the people they are on the lift with will look after them. You would look after a child wouldn't you? They might not speak the same language but if the children are upset the adult would surely make soothing noises and hold onto them if necessary. What would you do in that situation? Why would anyone else act differently?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Maybe they'll stick them on those magnetic lifts so they can't fall off. Quite a lot of beginner slope chair lifts have child places these days too so they're less likely to slide out.

They'll be fine. It's not good PR for ski resorts to have kids falling off lifts left, right and centre.
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They will be fine. I always check the children put on my lift are ok and I have seen others do the same.

Children are remarkably obedient without mum and dad around.
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Quote:


Maybe they'll stick them on those magnetic lifts so they can't fall off. Quite a lot of beginner slope chair lifts have child places these days too so they're less likely to slide out.


Thank you, I didnít know about this (am also a ski novice myself!)
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I'm fairly certain esf in the 3valleys use those magnetic things for the young children, if they don't you can hire them, I'm sure they also send them up one at a time so they can be attached.
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If they are beginners (as I'd expect at 5 & 4) then its more than likely they'll be sticking to magic carpets and draglifts. Chairlifts are always a last resort as you cant keep an eye on all the kids, and there is always more waiting around at the top for those that get off first. You might find if the lessons are going well and the group progressing that they'll try chairlifts, but even then they'll be slower, and they'll never take lifts alone. If in doubt have a chat with the ESF instructors - despite their arrogance wink they are pretty good with kids and have these concerns from parents all the time.
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Glad it's not just me Smile
We're in Val Thorens next week with my 5 year old lad.
He'll mostly be skiing with me as I teach him on the magic carpets and I'm secretly hoping that he'll progress to 2 Lac lift fairly quickly.
Tiny kids on lifts with dangly legs with big weights on the end always worry me! Especially if said kid is my own!
I was worried last year (4), but he didn't leave the little fenced off area all week in classes.
I'm going to check the height restrictions on the lift and see if there's one of those thigh pinchers in place, then take it from there.
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@gravity-slave, they're called 'nutcrackers' from my POV Evil or Very Mad

@Mrsmarmite, It's almost certain that they won't be anywhere near a chairlift till they've got basic skills and other people on a chair will almost always when asked, look after a nipper and those that say no are not forced to. Both you and they will be fine Madeye-Smiley
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I learnt quickly to sit further back! Wink
Knowledge I'll pass on to my son to preserve the option of future generations!
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A child needing help is a universal language. Everyone looks after little ones; they just do. Wonít it be a while until theyíre on a chairlift anyway? Besides the operators are so good with kids on drag lifts. If you do a couple of lifts when you get there that will help settle them in as well. Other than that the kids will just have to listen to the instructor (which theyíre used to at school) plus they like to follow each other. It will be fine.
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@gravity-slave, wearing a backpack is the culprit Confused
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I arrived at a lift the other day just as all the tinies were going up in their ski school groups. There were two lift operators at the bottom helping the little ones on and they were asking each adult in turn to take a child up alongside them. No one said no and the kids were all fine. At the top the liftie slows the chair right down and helps the child off.
I've also seen people accompanying children sit with their ski poles across the childs lap to ensure they can't slide forward.
I didn't realise the restrainers under the bar are magnetic.
Here the signs say no child under 1.25m can go on a lift without a "minder" .
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 You know it makes sense.
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@Mrsmarmite, It is sometime since I was using chair lifts in the learner area, but there was always a separate ski school queue and the lifties would only sit one child on each chairlift provided there was 'responsible' adult and would ensure the adult sat next to the child.
At the top the lifties and/or the adult would help the child dismount.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Scamper, it's not the restrainer that's magnetic. In some resorts they give the kids a bib with magnetic pad in the back and there's an electro-magnet in the seat back that sticks them in place.

@Mrsmarmite, they're probably not going to be going on chairs and if they do it won't be many. Thousands of kids do it every day... They're probably at greater risk of tripping over your apron strings wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I agree with your husband (you're overreacting). How many reported incidents have you seen about small kids having fallen off chairs (I accept one is one too many) ? I've been on plenty of chairlifts with kids and generally keep an eye on them.
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Ah ok, thanks Adithorp.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
You don't need need to worry. Although, I must admit I did a little, when my then 4 y.o. started taking chairlifts with his class.

Most lifts have a "kiddisafe bar" (or whatever it is called) on the outside seat, from which it's impossible to escape unless the entire thing is lifted
Lift operators are very helpful and know what they are doing
Most adults will happily look after a child, simply because they want to know that someone out there will look after theirs.
Those that are not willing to, will let the instructor and/or lift operator know and move on
No one is going to lift the bar too far from the station when there is a child next to them
In a highly unlikely event that something goes wrong "HELP!!! Shocked Shocked " is a universally understood expression

If you have a chance, train them before they join the class:
Sit upright and as far back as possible
Hold their poles (if they use them) firmly between their legs
if they let go of a pole/glove/goggles/whatever, sit still and don't panic
Listen and do what grown ups tell them to

tens of thousands of primary school age kids do it every season. I'm yet to hear of single serious incident.
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http://www.planetski.eu/news/4008
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Iím in the 3V right now... and so far EVERY chairlift has had nutcrackers!
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http://www.planetski.eu/news/4008
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Hello Mrs. Marmite from another totally neurotic mum. Just wait a year a two until they start hitting the parks, that's where all the fun begins! Helmet (of course!), back protector, anything that shouldn't move protector, gps locator, spying on the ski school... welcome to the club ;P
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Ski schools often ask adults in the Q to accompany small children up a chair lift. And it is a good way of getting past the Q. As a seasoned avoider of small people, 5 mins on a lift can be quite entertaining!, even with a language difference.
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But how shall the OP avoid spending her ski days worrying about the kids possible fate??
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Quote:

They're probably at greater risk of tripping over your apron strings


🤣🤣🤣 really made me laugh! Absolutely true!

Thanks everyone for the information, it of course makes sense that there are things in place for the kids, but without having been myself I was worried about what would happen on the lifts. And yes, they are both beginners as well so maybe that will mean they donít even get to go on them this year.
Now just to make sure that I can manage to get on and off safely......!! 🤣
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Valid concerns IMO as there's usually only one instructor with about 20 children in tow and reckon they must lose half along the way.

First time skiing in Morzine a few years ago and I had a 4 year old French kid thrust onto the lift with me by the operator. Of course the little thing was wriggling around and fidgeting the whole way, dropped a ski pole and then almost jumped off after it.

As a nervous first time skier (who's not good with heights) attempting a chair lift, you really shouldn't be given the additional responsibility of accompanying children!

Got used to it by the end of the week!
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My 5 year old just started on the chair lift (this is our second ski trip and he had lessons at the indoor near us before we came) he is super safe on it. They learn to get on from their teacher and by the time I went up with him he was an old hand. Weíre lucky and they Cain raise the platform up for the littles so he can do everything himself. He sits all the way back until the bar is down and then scootches forward to sit up but has to see the dot on the seat to know heís not too far forward. BUT here the ski teacher rides with their kids, our beginner chair lift is an 8 person lift with 3 pilons...
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Chairlifts? Pah.

I was in the loo of the cafe this lunchtime, when a very agitated five year old came in, bouncing up and down and looking concerned.

He turned to me, bounced up and down, looked more concerned.

I looked at him, "Wassup?"

His eyes widened and he looked more distressed.

"Queres ayuda?" I asked.

Frantic nodding.

I lifted his jacket and unclipped the front of his trousers. I assumed he could do the rest.

There was a quick sigh of relief as he turned to the urinal, now understanding his clothes and able to cope....
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Echo all of the above. In addition, if they are on a lift, quite a few have a footrest that comes down between their legs, an extra low guard that drops from the bar above their thighs, and some bars are automatic and donít come up until they are at the top of the lift station. The lifties are good a getting little ones in place, they slow the lifts in any event, and the instructor or liftie always asks an adult if they would sit with the little ones.
IF they get onto a chairlift...they will be absolutely fine!!
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@Mrsmarmite, I am sorry to add to your nervousness but I would never trust any little ones in my family to esf. I have witnessed too many incidents that could have ended in tragedy. Including a small child dangling by its hood many feet above the ground at the end of an unrelated adults arm! In my opinion the need, on occasions, to get small children up and down mountains leads to what in other circumstances would never be allowed. When little ones are loaded onto chair lifts with any random adult going up or down no checks are ever made on the competency, or caring nature of that adult!
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Probably not much help, this is a few years old, but I stuck a gopro on my then 5 year old daughters head.

Her mother is the one in the orange pants Very Happy


http://youtube.com/v/TmkbbvxlvNo

I didn't actually hear about this until a few weeks later when I downloaded the footage.
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The lifties will make sure that an adult sits next to them. I always keep an eye on the ESF kids and offer to hold their poles or gloves. Not to worry! Our kids rode lifts age 4 and 5 w/out problems during lessons.

Now, the time that my daughter got lost...and my son just happened to note that she was wandering around halfway up the hill...for another time.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
hang11 wrote:
Probably not much help, this is a few years old, but I stuck a gopro on my then 5 year old daughters head.

Her mother is the one in the orange pants Very Happy


http://youtube.com/v/TmkbbvxlvNo

I didn't actually hear about this until a few weeks later when I downloaded the footage.


That cracked me up - brilliant
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Mrsmarmite , your not alone in your fear , irrational or not ! Iíve been gradually getting more panicked as our holiday in Hinterglemm in Austria draws closer . This year our 7 year old daughter will be in group ski school for the first time after last 2 years of semi private lessons so she will be on the lifts and not necessarily with the instructor. My husband thinks Iíve lost it but Iíve visions of her falling from lifts , getting lost at some toilet stop or falling down those dreadful steps to get to the toilet ... Iím thinking of getting a tracker to stick on her , so I can find her when the ski school lose her ! My plan is to arrive early and find an easy chair lift run and practice a few times to remind her how to sit safely and get off !
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@Paperback Writer, I am struggling to believe a liftie would put a tot on a chair with week one beginners. They usually look you in the eye. Are you a World Series of poker champ?
As I'm always skiing with just the OH, we regularly get asked to look after a single got in a class on a chair. Some of my fave moments have been chatting to a wee one, in my school level parlance. Sometimes they prefer not to talk. Doesn't matter, you take on the role of guardian. Everyone does.
It will be ok.
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@dode, Hard to believe but they didn't give us a choice, or any warning! (Would love to make the final table of the WSOP!)

Wasn't just me however, I was skiing with a friend, likewise a beginner. They split us so we could both take a kid up. As neither of us had yet mastered how to get off the chair lift you can imagine the carnage at the top. I'm an average size human, but my mate is 6'3" and around 19 stones, his little passenger was very lucky to escape being squished.

In fact this happened a few times, both while we were in the middle of a class ourselves (a group of 12 beginners with instructor) and again in the afternoon when we returned on our own to practise. I guess there is no other option when the queues are so big and they figure they can just throw everyone in at the deep end to either sink or swim.
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Mrsmarmite wrote:
Quote:

They're probably at greater risk of tripping over your apron strings


🤣🤣🤣 really made me laugh!...


Sorry, couldn't resist.

I've been on lifts with dozens of ski school kids. I've can't say the liftey always ask as such but there's always been a gesture of some kind to check I'm ok with it. I've seen plenty of people shake their head and not get a kid next to them.

I do tend to quietly get hold of their hood just in case and always wondered if it'd work. I also get ready to help push them clear at the top but 9/10 times they ski away better than me.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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The lifties often slow the lift down and help when youngsters get on. There's usually one spot where the loading ramp is raised to help little ones get on, then there's the Kids-safe to stop them falling thru the gap between the seat and the safety bar. Agree that it can be a worry, tho, when it's your own kids... Parental instinct, I guess.
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Having just got back from a week skiing in France with my slightly crazy six year old my advice is:
Dont think too much about it,
dont watch any Youtube videos about the subject (seriously),
and dont think about it.
As I am afraid of Heights lifts are a little bit of an issue for me but the instructors will only take them on the chairlift when they are ready and my daughters esf instructor stood beside the lift making sure each adult sitting beside the child was prepared to take on the responsibility, it seemed to work.
I was apprehensive in the afternoons but I would rather it was me beside her than anyone else. Most lifts have the child bars on one of the seats to stop them slipping through (but not all) I was Always ready to put my hand out if it was necessary but as it is year two on ski lifts she handles them better than me now (and she is tiny for her age).
So again dont think about it.
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You need to think long term. If you get them hooked on snow sports now they won't have enough money to spend on drugs when they are teenagers.
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