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To queue or not to queue

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
that is the question.

Any suggestions on lift queue etiquette?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Small kids in ski gear look cute the first time they push past you in the queue Smile
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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?
I always copy the locals.

Queue nicely in Scotland/USA. Push in when in Europe, it's part of the fun Very Happy
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Fruity, it depends, the say goes "when in Rome do as the Romans do..."
But I feel that I find myself more and more irritated by the wiseguys who try to "jump" in front of one person...
In Italy you'll see a lot of pushing, pulling, people stepping onto your skis, and worse...
If you are able to go with the flow, just do it. If you find yourself uncomfortable and unable to accept those things, just say so, say it in english, as clearly as possible. Also, starting this year there has been an increase in Policemen (true ones, Carabinieri, Polizia or Truppe Alpine, a new law has passed here...) patrolling the slopes. If in trouble look for one. Carabinieri are dressed in Navy blue with red stripes and the name "Carabinieri" written on the back of their jacket.
Poliziotti (policemen) are dressed in light blue with "Polizia" written on the jacket, and Truppe Alpine (mountain troops) dress in army olive or Field gray usually.
Also, in some places they patrol using snowmobiles (colours are the same as their dresses) I've not been on Passo Tonale this year, yet, so I don't know how many there are there...but passo Tonale had once an Aplini garrison stationed there.
I used to ski with them for fun (many, many years ago, when I was young)
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
My wife queues no matter what the locals do - does my head in sometimes as I have to wait with her, as she waits for the non existant gap or the even rarer polite person to let her through. Evil or Very Mad
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It's the same as when a when Motorway lane closes........... If people stopped pushing in at the front then there would be less of a 'bottleneck' and everyone would be on their way a lot quicker, eliminating the need to push in all together
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
In my opinion European resorts should copy the US/Canadian model for queuing - the queue needs to be actively managed by resort personnel.
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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!
It made me giggle in scotland. There were dozens of us all lined in queuing perfection when a chap tried to push in.

To a man (and woman) the queue literally roared at him. The bloke was so abashed he couldn't face the trudge to the back and just skiied off back to the car park.
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Don't know who said about it "in another world" but the idea of a singles queue to fill up the seats on the lifts if a good one.Very irriating to see so many 2's on 4seaters and singles on 3seaters

Also aren't poles just made for Q's
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Its all a matter of simple fluid dynamics, the queue will take the path of least resistance, and flow quickest on the inside if its curved.
Unless there's a blockage of course.
Physics are slightly different in France. Wink
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Sorry mate, but it's actually a complex chaos system and we don't get into ant country untill nearly at the point of departure. Shocked
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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.
Several lifts have got a singles line in the Skiwelt, I use them to great effect as the rest of the group wait for each other whilst blocking the lift line to all others. We still meet up at the top anyway so I don't see the point in trying to organise 3 consecutive 'private' 4-man chairs for 10 of us.
What's more fun is the 2 parallel 4-man lifts out of the Scheffau bowl, you get to pick which side you want and race the other line to the top, a very fair sport as everyone is even when the liftie is in control.
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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
I agree with T. Mike.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I always queue, but may well become a bit wider than normal if there's a bit of jostling going on.

Timberwolf, that annoys me too, but I did manage to get my own back one time. A fellow BMW driver - a flash git in a convertible - screamed past me up the outside (we only had about 50yards before the cones started), and funnily enough no-one let him through. Traffic was queued back from the other side of the lane narrowing, so we were moving really slowly. Eventually I got more or less level with him (he was slightly in front of me, trying to squeeze into non-existant gaps we'd all left). So I put my windscreen washers on. Squirt, whish, squirt, whish, squirt, whish. Over and over again. All the excess screenwash being swept neatly into his open topped car, all over the passenger seat (sadly no-one there).

Made me very amused, but peed him off no end. (especially when he saw he had a significantly inferior car!)
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
the single skier queues make all the difference in my book.

Trying to get back from Val-D to meet my 6yr old son from ski school in Tignes I got held up for 25mins+ at a chair lift. Watching chair after chair taking off with empty seats was infuriating!!
My plan to be 10mins early left me 15 mins late. ESF being what they are, the instructor just dumped the kids at the alotted time and left. Fortunately a friend from our chalet finished ski school at the same time and looked after him.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
telford_mike wrote:
In my opinion European resorts should copy the US/Canadian model for queuing - the queue needs to be actively managed by resort personnel.


I can't see that working, what happens in queues is a relfection on the mindset of the people there. I've just had a nightmare trying to get on and off my own property here in Morillon. Trying to leave some Dutch had left a trailer across my gateway and then acted all surly when I told them to move it immediatly. On my return when I needed to access a different parking area we have and I found a Dutch car blocking the entrance, a UK people carrier on the access track and two French people carriers in front of my parking. This is the mentality and it's not surprising the lift queues end up as chaos. And this season we have active traffic management, which consists of a bloke outside the village trying to stop cars and telling them to park in the actual car park, I presume they assure him they're only loading/unloading and then park across someones gate.
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I like that Masopa - would have loved to see his face... Very Happy
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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?
It was actually funnier after the event, because I very quickly got worried that he'd get road rage and run me off the road further down the motorway! I must admit I did think, "oh dear, have I just made a big mistake?"

I did steal a sly glance before moving off and you're right - he didn't seem overly impressed!
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On lift etiquette, what annoys me are the instructors (often ESF) with their pupils that ignore the 'filter in' rule from the ESF lane. Many visitors don't know about this so when a dozen or so kids push through one after the other they tend to stand back and wait. The intructors of course are more than happy to let this happen. Many's the time I've had to point out how the system is supposed to work to both tourists and ESF groups alike!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
You can't change culture over night and the culture in Central Europe is different.
It's first there, first served (not first in the queue). If you insist on British lift etiquette then you have loads of choice (e.g. Tamworth, Milton Keynes, Castleford, Sheffield plastic grass etc). The European system does have some benefits (i.e. the twit that starts talking on his mobile in the lift queue normally just gets pushed aside). On the plus side quite a few European resorts are adding in single lines to fill up the chairs.
Lane discipline is also bad on the roads over here. Lifes too short, after a few weeks of flashing people to get out of the way now I just say f..k it and over-take them on the inside. OK so central europens don't know how to queue (as is the case with most of the world isn't it?). The fighting etiquette of the central Europeans does tend to be better at Apres ski Smile .
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Be honest, DB, the Euro style has no benefits. The chap on the phone would be asked to move along in North America. How often in Europe do you see a large queue and inefficient loading of the chairs because people want to sit with their mates? Answer: all the time!

The North American system is orderly and efficient. It should be adopted worldwide! Lets have fully loaded chairs and faster queuing! snowHead
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
North American system isn't perfect, the human factor cuts in quite easily. Last month in Lake Louise the 4 man Glacier Express was frequently going up under-loaded. To be fair, the queues were not bad so perhaps it didn't matter too much. One classic example was groups of people lining up in fours, then when it came to loading, one couple decided not to share with another couple hence two chairs went up only half full.
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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!
The human factor seems to cut in easily with North Americans. We were queueing at Wengen and an American behind us kept pushing. He said you have to push in Europe and managed to push both kids over. He eventually got on about 3 chairs in front of us, proving to himself that he was doing the right thing.
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If some pickle head wants to phone in a lift queue (or even worse keep turning round looking for his/her mates) and holds it up then stuff him/her. Simple, it's phone/talk or queue. By the time people have stopped ringing their mates, talking to the people behind them, etc then somebody else has taken the seat they were supposed to get. There's a bum on the seat instead of it being empty so it's more efficient.

In the same vain if I see 2 or 3 people jockying (is that a word?) to take a four seater then it's tap on the shoulder and "excuse me are you going to use that seat" if not then my bums on that empty seat. The Brit or American with "lift etiquette" would be a couple of 4 seaters back. (If I am not going to take the next seat because I want to ride up with a couple of mates then offer it up to the people behind me).

Are we sure people aren't blaming slower lifts, or shear volume of traffic on the way people organize themselves in queues?

Maybe some people might be on holiday to enjoy themselves so perhaps they don't want to be herded like cattle.
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The North American system is still more efficient at peak times. The lifties make sure the seats are full. In Europe, however, seats go empty, while the queues get longer. No system is perfect, but it wasn't hard for me to work out which one was the most ordered and efficient.


BTW, the phone thing happens more in Europe because of the lack of order. I don't mind being herded if it gets me up the hill quicker. I'm sure most people would agree with me on that.
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Gerry,
Europe isn't America. Central Europeans don't queue.
You've more chance of convincing scousers not to knick car radios.
Either get with with the way people queue in central Europe and deal with it or
1) get yourself upset over the fact there are different cultures in the world or
2) go skiing in North America.
I go skiing for the mountain and the terrain it has to offer, if lift queues are higher on your list then it sounds like America is the place for you.
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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.
That's just it, DB, queuing is the thing like doing least of all. If a little order means you spend less time in a queue and more time skiing, then I'm all for it. Europeans do queue, btw, but they just do it less orderly and therefor less efficiently. Am I fundamentally wrong in anything that I've said?

Of course I accept that there are different cultures in the world. But none of them are above criticism, you know. I will continue to criticize the system in Europe, because I'm a customer.

Hehe, I think you are a little out of order with your Scouser comment. We aren't all thieves you know!
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 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
Gerry,
Criticize all you want, you buy a lift pass not a culture. Yes you are a customer but so are all the other Austrian's, Germans, French, Danish, Dutch, Italians etc etc etc (you know those foreign types that eat sausages and out number you approximately 35678.47281 to 1) and they don't want to formally queue or be prodded along like cattle.
I take your point about the Scouser comment, but if you really are a Scouser any chance I can have my wheel trims back?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hey I've just bought some wheel trims off a scouser down the pub!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
DB, yeah, you're right, they just want to wait longer for the lift.

BTW, you don't get prodded like cattle in North America.

Mark, wanna buy a laptop? Wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Come to think of it, DB, your cattle analogy applies much better to the European style, where you DO get prodded and pushed. I'm yet to see a herd of cattle forming an orderly queue. So contrary to what you state, Europeans actually DO like being treated like cattle. As well as wasting valuable skiing time standing in disorganized queues, of course.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Stone the crows, now a Scouser is trying to teach me lift line etiquette.
I don't get pushed and prodded but If you act like a buffoon you will.
Let me explain ....
The typical Brit stands in the queue expecting the world to be just like home. He stands there expecting everybody to be ever so pleasant and the person in front of him moves forward. Now there is an unwritten but well accepted rule - if a space larger than 3mm opens up in the queue and the person directly behind that space does not occupy it in 1.76 seconds a prod is allowed. The Central Europeans can accept light body contact in public, unfortunately the Brits haven't sussed this yet. When one of the sausage eaters gives the Brit a slight prod a culture breakdown occurs. The Frankfurter muncher's prod is equivalent to "there's a space there mate get in it before one of these frogs nips it". Unfortunately the Brit reacts differently, his personal space has been violated. He freezes like a rabbit in the head lights of a 1978 Ford Cortina GL. With a manoerurve only bettered by Michael Schumacher v Damon Hill the Frog nips in. By this stage the Brit is in trauma, the whole world isn't safe any more. His Grandad didn't win the war so that he could be fettled with a ski pole in some quaint skiing resort, he begins to miss his mother and paddington teddy bear. It takes him 20 mins to get through the whole turmoil and reach the top of the lift. His wife asks him "why did it take you so long?". Does he tell the truth, does he acccept the fear for his life like a man or does he hold a stiff upper-lip and blame it on an the empty chairs on the lift? NehNeh

PS One of the wheel trims was a bit scuffed but if you can get the other 3 back we can call it quits.
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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?
Hehe, BTW, which system is the most efficient? Will the most efficient system give you more time skiing or less.

I'm not giving you a lesson in lift line etiquette, I'm just trying to get you to accept that the North American system is more efficient, and therefore better in term of the extra skiing it give you over the European system.

You'll be arguing that black's white, next!
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If anyone ever prodded me with a pole in France (not happened yet) the perpetrator would be the proud new owner of a new aerodynamic version similar to that used in downhill.
Sympathise with your point Gerry, the law of the jungle in queues is all very well but I've seen small kids, and once a handi-skier, in some distress as a result.
Sure you have to move forward immediately a space appears, but it's an ever-decreasing space and on congested days it's an unpleasant experience, leading to flare-ups. DB - we know how it works - but it can and does work better over the Pond. There's always room for improvement.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Any lift can only take X persons per hour - how you get onto it makes no difference unless the in-queue scraps get so serious as to leave empty seats. They're a crime - altho' often being a solo skier I do my best to fill them.
I'd prefer not to take part in a shoving match knowing that it really doesn't help speed of boarding, but if that's what the majority of the queue are into then if you can't beat them, join them. I've found planting your pole on top of the brand new skis sliding furtively alongside your rented bangers is a good defence mechanism. Cool
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Gerry wrote:
Hehe, BTW, which system is the most efficient? Will the most efficient system give you more time skiing or less.


Depends wether you go with the flow or not, I probably get through faster than most (without proding or pushing) so maybe I get more skiing but I take the point about small kids and the odd lift line scrap.

Gerry wrote:

I'm not giving you a lesson in lift line etiquette, I'm just trying to get you to accept that the North American system is more efficient, and therefore better in term of the extra skiing it give you over the European system.


I'm not and have not said one system is better than the other. Just can't see the American system being effectively enforced in Europe overnight. Until then it's best to go with the flow and work the system. I did notice a few weeks back in Sölden one busy lift had four distinct separate lines. Probably saved the the topskins of some skis but there were still empty seats (probably more as it wasn't possible for skiers from behind to pass and fill up empty seats).

Gerry wrote:

You'll be arguing that black's white, next!

Michael Jackson is living proof of that.

PS Two wheel trims that's my last offer.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
No chance of american style lines working in europe - you must have a queueing culture first. Anyway the Brits are just as good at shoving and pushing as anyone once they get the hang of it. Helps in the high season as well as I for one would not dream of skiing in europe when there are crowds - I go to north america in the high season where they have civilized no hassle lines and every chair seat is filled when there are queues.
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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!
Interesting to note if things will change now that the big american companies are buying into Europe. Stayed close to Arc 1950 which I think is being developed by Intrawest, the company behind Whistler. Will the company have enough clout to influence the development of Les Arcs - such as what is expected off the lift attendants and/or conduct on the slopes...
Will the queues be civilised at 1950 - but the usual scrum at 1800, 1600 and 2000? Wink
p.s. the village looked very nice and 'disney' but apparently is already sold out. Very bizarre seeing it being built in the middle of winter [sorry divulged off topic... Embarassed ]
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Confession is good for the soul. There, have one of these!
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It is Intrawest, and they have plenty of clout - they are a big shareholder in Compagnie des Alpes, the lift company that owns the lift infrastructure of Les Arcs, La Plagne, Tignes, Meribel Alpina, Les Menuires, Flaine, as well as minority shareholdings in the Compagnie du Mont Blanc and abroad in Verbier, Cormayeur, Saas Fe.... probably forgotten one or two....
They're having another big sale of the next part of the project soon. But boy, is it expensive - there's nothing, not so much as a rabbit hutch, under £150K. Very 'Disney', as you say, but it might well work. (Aren't they Canadian, by the way?)
I wonder if the Vanoise Express linking La Plagne/Les Arcs wasn't influenced by Intrawest... Technically the combined domain is now the biggest, in terms of skiing acreage, in the world (if 2nd behind 3V in number of lifts, and 3rd in miles of runs).
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