My kids say I am a "chairlift chatterbox."True enough, I do engage my fellow lift riders. A quad to me is a swift, social couch for skiers and snowboarders. Why wouldn't you talk to the powder lover who slid in next to you in the liftline? You are likely to have more in common than you do with your cul-de-sac neighbor. You share the same passion, and can impart important info on conditions, like whether White Heat was groomed. I have met some cool peeps (quite literally) on the ride up the mountain. I love hearing about others'alpine adventures, their favorite ski places, and mountain mishaps too.
But my kids would point out that I have had a couple awkward exchanges. No embarrassment here, it bides the time till we fly down hill again. Perhaps the worst was the chat I thought I had with the guy who turned out to be talking to his girlfriend on a flip phone tucked into his helmet, his well-timed answers were not directed to me at all. Note to self: earbuds or cell phones in use imply a no-chat zone (and lousy manners - but that's another topic).I try to avoid the inane, like asking the dude on the Burton board if he's a snowboarder, or inquiring if the skin-tight speed suit bib-wearer with full faceguard helmet is racing today. My daughter turned me on to a Facebook group called "Awkward Chairlift Chatter" which made me "lol," and feel better about my banter. Like when the lady asks the guy in front of her in the lift line, "Are you single?", and he replies, "Yeah, I'm only 15!" Funny stuff.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.