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Lift queues - acceptable wait times?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@AlpineWalker,

Yeah personal gripe was the amount of folk standing in the gates then letting it go with one person on so they could have a group of 3/4 travel together!
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
US system and organisation puts Europe to shame. If you want to hold hands with half a dozen of your nearest and dearest then back of the longest queue. If you're prepared to take your chances with strangers and even alone you can usually load straight on.
ski holidays
 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?
@Layne +1
Also wrt billies helping themselves:
Take your backpacks off and tell others too. This way lifties will not stop the chair for every person who thinks that the "No Gap Year Students" sign does not apply to them. ( some lifties I have noticed are more laissez faire than others on this ).
Get well away from the unloading area at the top, as quickly as you can, as collisions here cause stoppages too.

in summary
Backpack Off - Fill Up Chair - Move Away
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I might be a bit weird in this but I'd rather queue longer for the lifts than have crowded (sometimes dangerously so) pistes. Over the years many traditional pinch point in lift systems have been upgraded. 2 man chairs have become detachable quads, 6 packs or even 8 person chairs. Yet everyone is still sliding back down the same piste. I was in Val D'Isere last year in late January. Even in a quiet week (pre half term), with minimal queuing the pistes were in places unpleasantly and even dangerously busy.

People rave about the queuing in North America, but what I really enjoy there is the quiet pistes afterwards.

And before anyone says - I'm not good enough to ski off-piste!
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
SlipnSlide wrote:
Layne wrote:
As we go Christmas week and spring term break we generally don't suffer too much with queues.


Surely those are the busiest times? Puzzled

Nope. New Year, British half term and French school holidays are the busiest times. Christmas is average. Late March, early April, which is when the schools break up, is very quiet.
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While we're ranting.... the people who get to front of the queue then stand waiting for their mates/families blocking access to the lift. Once your ticket has been scanned you should be made to get on the next available lift. A cattle prod would do it Skullie
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
AlpineWalker wrote:
The biggest issue in Europe is no lift queue management


No, the biggest issue is over-crowded pistes. There's already in general more lift capacity than piste capacity.
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Waiting to buy a lift ticket can be worse (and certainly more frustrating) than waiting for lifts....As those in the queue:

- Faff about being shown maps of the ski area by the person on the desk - WHEN will they decide if they want a full or part area pass? And how don't they know that before they get there?

- Discuss for an eternity whether they want/need the insurance that's on offer.

- Start getting out reams of forms and paperwork - which is then taken away to be authorised/signed/photocopied by the ticket office employee. I have yet to work that one out...

- Buy 55 lift tickets for their coach party.

AAAAAAAGHHH!!!
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If people want to take lifts as a group then that's OK by me. Personally, skiing is about the whole experience and not just the sliding down a hil. I'd far rather enjoy sitting in the sun on a chairlift chatting to a friend than spend the same time sandwiched between a couple of huge, hairy builders from Bremen. By all means make more use of a singles line when things are busy, but when they're quiet I'd still suggest letting people travel how they wish and not feeling too much of an obsessive need to fill every available space. Most of the times I've skied in the last few years queues have been very short and very rare so none of this has been an issue.

As for the comments about people being forced to catch the first lift after the pass barrier, I don't think is very practical. For a start, there is usually the continuation of the queue. People can go through the barriers much faster than catching a lift. Added to which, some people do want to travel with friends/family and if you join the queue as a perfect group of four then you certainly won't be still be completely in line when you get to the pass barriers, and even if you are then you won't be by the time you get to the chair itself. A degree of waiting and shuffling is unavoidable throughout the process. I find it all resolves itself in an entirely amicable and pretty efficient process and Snowheads seem to get their virtual knickers in more of a twist about it than people in the real world do.
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@TommyJ, and @dogwatch, ... agree. The mismatch between lift and slope capacity, especially after a lift upgrade, can create dangerously over-crowded pistes. For example, that is very evident in Zürs on the piste down from Trittkopf. Was fine with the old Trittkopf cable car; not so good with the new gondola.

As an aside, in 15 years of skiing St Anton, I have never seen crowds as big as those of this week and the preceding. Cannot think of an explanation of why that has suddenly occurred this year.
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
I find it all resolves itself in an entirely amicable and pretty efficient process and Snowheads seem to get their virtual knickers in more of a twist about it than people in the real world do.


Because sHs by definition almost are more passionate about their snow time then Franky Average Faffer. It's just basic manners, everytime you wait at the barrier rather than loading you are inconveniencing everyone behind you when you could just step aside and wait for your party to filter through normally.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

As an aside, in 15 years of skiing St Anton, I have never seen crowds as big as those of this week and the preceding. Cannot think of an explanation of why that has suddenly occurred this year.


I don't think it has suddenly occurred this year, its always busy last 2 weeks, half-term holidays all over Europe.....i'll be there on 5th when hopefully all the kids are back to school.
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I thought the Ski Welt was busier last week than it has been the last 3 years or so, and that's without the Cloggies.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
foxtrotzulu wrote:
By all means make more use of a singles line when things are busy, but when they're quiet I'd still suggest letting people travel how they wish and not feeling too much of an obsessive need to fill every available space.

I think most of us are thinking of times when it is busy and there are queues. I'm sure you can suffer two "Bremen builders" on the odd occasion there is a significant queue behind you. I like to see with my wife and two children but we are also happy to split up at busy times/lifts. It happens probably 1 in 200/300 uplifts at a wild guess. If I went at new year or half term that may increase to 1 in 50 or something. I'd still do it.
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
One Friday morning in Engelberg the queue for the first gondola was truly horrendous. Took about 45 minutes from joining it outside the lift building to getting in a cabin. The previous day the lift had been deserted! The lift company tried their best to alleviate the wait by opening up the ancient funicular that runs parallel but that seemed to make little difference.

Happily, after that rather grim wait, there were no queues across the mountain and it was virtually ski on to every lift all day! A little bit of patience does pay off sometimes!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Markymark29 wrote:
@SlipnSlide,
Quote:

If only everyone in the resort could be bothered to get up early and have a quick breakfast to get to the lifts when they opened there would be no queues...


Probabaly would, they'd just be earlier.

Seriously though, if you wait about until 9.30-10am and then get stuck in queues then its simple isn't it....go on another lift, eg Rendl that'll probably be quiet or take a chair to say Gampen/ Kapall and do a couple of runs up and down there until you know Zammermoosbahn will be clear by 11am and then only pinch point could potentially be Schindlerbahn, in which case dive down to Arlenmahderbahn and if busy across low level track to Rauz/ Stuben or play about on Kandahar until say 12.00 when it'll all be clear but don't stand in it that's crazy......or better still choose weeks when its not school holidays. Equally if you know its really busy and you've got in the queues play on Fang/ Nasserein reds for a bit until it eases up a bit.


Shhhhhhh, don't want everybody doing it!
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Markymark29, one quantitative indicator: the morning Linie 4 (Nasserein) rarely got more than half full. This year 2 buses are being used - it was always just 1 - and both are usually full after just the second stop.
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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?
@Sitter, Shhhhh ... don't tell anyone about this either....

Bought annual pass for family in August - queuing time: zero.

Skied Crans Montana Christmas and Feb weekend plus Feb half-term with my two Valais elves
Queuing time: zero

Skied Chandolin and St Luc at Christmas
Queuing time: zero

Skied Verconrin and Nax at Feb
Queuing time: zero

Thought about my last time in 3V on a two day visit to friends - fist fights around us on the last lifts back from one valley to another - got bashed round the head by a guy swinging his skis around and barging through the queue saying 'my friends are there, my friends are there...' (er what???) and just generally terrible behaviour.

Moral - ski big at small resorts.
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@AlpineWalker, While waiting in aparticularly long queue in Whistler I noticed a snack bar just near the start of the lift and wondered why don't they introduce a delicatesent type ticket system - arrive at lift collect ticket, buy coffee, when your number is up get on lift. The most civilised lift queues must be in Borovets. No one mided if one of your party left and bought coffee for the party to drink while queuing.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
When discussions about the new high speed Gondola for La Plagne Montalbert were being held with groups of Co-Props one Director of Compagnie des Alpes stated that a 40 minute wait for a lift in peak holiday weeks was acceptable! The comment was swiftly removed from on line reports - but not before it had been circulated...
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@valais2,
Switzerland is quiet 'cos they're all in Austria !!! Evil or Very Mad
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@musher,
We found St Johann iT and the Steinplatte quieter than usual last week, except for the weekend.
Leogang was busy though.
I think there were a lot of day trippers as the weather was so nice.
We had the slopes, on and off piste, virtually to ourselves on Friday when it snowed.
As for lift queues, nearly zero, but we did have a 10 min wait for the gondola at St Johann iT as we managed to turn up just as the ski schools were going up.
And that's at half term 😁

A day or two in a few small resorts is the way to go!
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@musher, ...can you PLEASE not emphasise this !!!....

Grief the only delays we have at the lift is when the pisteurs we know are so bored that they engage us in conversation for fifteen minutes, give the Valais Elves chocolate and talk about their summer holidays to St Moritz...
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What about queuing up in the morning? Don't really see this phenom in Europe, even on a pow day. You know, like in the USA on a powder day, where powder junkies are lined up at 8AM for a 9AM opening. Or even earlier in Jackson Hole or Alta where they are in line at 7AM on those really big days.. But I've done the 15 minute lift line wait on a pow day. Any longer then it's time to go for a hike. But seems like more and more people are joining me on my hikes! Sad
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Very few queues in Ski Welt this week and it's half term. Max wait is for bottom gondola and that's only 5 to 10 mins.
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Any longer than 10mins is unacceptable.

The lift ticket costs money for lifting and sliding. Not standing in a line next to someone who had garlic and beer the night before.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Layne wrote:
foxtrotzulu wrote:
By all means make more use of a singles line when things are busy, but when they're quiet I'd still suggest letting people travel how they wish and not feeling too much of an obsessive need to fill every available space.

I think most of us are thinking of times when it is busy and there are queues. I'm sure you can suffer two "Bremen builders" on the odd occasion there is a significant queue behind you. I like to see with my wife and two children but we are also happy to split up at busy times/lifts. It happens probably 1 in 200/300 uplifts at a wild guess. If I went at new year or half term that may increase to 1 in 50 or something. I'd still do it.


Don't misunderstand me, I'm not remotely advocating standing and blocking others from going through while waiting at the very front of the queue. My point was that I think it's OK to have a bit of shuffling, reorganising, waiting while groups align themselves in the row a few chairloads back from the actual departure point. Hope that makes sense. Of course we can suffer the odd Bremen builder on rare occasions, but I'd rather not as long as the inconvenience caused to others is minimal.
ski holidays
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Really interesting responses thanks all. Hopefully some useful tips have been picked up by peeps ref the resorts. I don't wish my kids grown up but I'll be bloody glad when we aren't stuck with school holidays. Keep hoping they'll want to go with their schools but they prefer it with us which is nice. We are lazy skiiers so we miss morning queues I think because everyone else has left for the day lol. Ref groups getting on gondolas, we always shuffle to one side to let others go in front so we can stay together which works well.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@mountainaddict, +1. Wtf do these people find to talk about for 20 mins? Buying a lift pass takes about 3 mins top. Tell them what you want, pay, leave. What else is there to it?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Wort lift wait I had was out of Cervinia on a Sunday it took from 10:30 till noon to get away from the bottom station.
After that no problem.
This was 1993 so its probably OK now, but hellish then when your stuck close to a rowdy group of young lads constantly bashing each other on the head with gloves. (No helmets then)

Backpacks???
Struth how many mars bars do you want to carry?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:
Backpacks??? Struth how many mars bars do you want to carry?
A: None:
- Lunch.
- Thermos flask.
- Down jacket.
- Ski lock.
- Chew bars.
- Phone.
- Spare camera battery.

It's a very small backpack that doesn't increase queuing time wink
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Canuck wrote:
If you're queuing longer than skiing, then it's too long.


This, I can ski arinsal top to bottom in about 13 min, taking my time and just cruising. If you have to wait longer than that to ski again there's something majorly wrong.

Arinsal is small but great for lifts, i think the longest I've ever waited was no more than 5 min
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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?
A 20 minute wait would be so much easier to take if the queues were martialed like in America, and they had a singles line. It's a million times more frustrating when monsieur elbows is getting on in 10 and you're getting penalised for not being a dickhead, stood there watching your top sheets getting destroyed and lifts going up half empty.
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Soldeu in the 1980s you could tell if it was a weekend or weekday by the shape of the lift queue at the two man chair. Weekdays was almost entirely british so the queue was an orderly two by two line with no pushing. Weekends, the Spanish and French turned up and the queues went fan shaped as everyone just pushed in at the front.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Here are the large queues we encountered in the 3V over Christmas/New Year week, this was New Years eve.


It was pretty much like that all week, terrible snowHead
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andyrew wrote:
Here are the large queues we encountered in the 3V over Christmas/New Year week, this was New Years eve.


It was pretty much like that all week, terrible snowHead


Crikey, how did you cope with that; you poor thing?!!! Actually, that's pretty much how Norway and Finland have been for us.
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One of the things which annoys me about lifts is when they are really quiet and the 5 of us get on a 6 man lift and someone makes a superhuman rush through the barrier to join us!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

One of the things which annoys me about lifts is when they are really quiet and the 5 of us get on a 6 man lift and someone makes a superhuman rush through the barrier to join us!


Why does that annoy you?
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johnE wrote:
Quote:

One of the things which annoys me about lifts is when they are really quiet and the 5 of us get on a 6 man lift and someone makes a superhuman rush through the barrier to join us!


Why does that annoy you?

Yeah, I'm puzzled too.

In fact I think I've even done that. Maybe it was me, as I know we both ski in Paradiski.
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Boris wrote:
One of the things which annoys me about lifts is when they are really quiet and the 5 of us get on a 6 man lift and someone makes a superhuman rush through the barrier to join us!


+1 it's annoying because it's an unnecessary invasion of one's personal space. Imagine a crowded tube train.... Someone squeezes on an ends up wedged against me with no room for anyone to breathe. That's fair enough. Imagine an empty tube train and you are the only person on board. Someone joins the train and, despite acres of empty space decides to stand 2 inches away from me. Not ideal. It's a bit like the way Italians like to come and lie right next to you on a beach that is otherwise deserted!

As far as lifts are concerned, if I see a group,of 2 or more getting onto a lift, then I'd leave them in peace and just catch the next chair/bubble whatever - assuming there is no real queue. Waiting another 10 seconds isn't really a hardship.
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