Oliver Seuffer-Wasserthal

Top 9 skilift queuing tips

Patience is a virtue. That is true – especially as a skier during peak season, you are blessed if you have this characteristic. Unfortunately, this is not one of my strengths, but I still do like to go skiing.  The modern ski lifts are pretty quick, but generally – queuing and waiting?

For that, I have certainly not squeezed myself into my ski boots. I am very happy that I came up with a game plan last season: Due to my long-standing experience and hard “training” I now skilfully escape queuing at the ski lift... ;)

These are my personal anti-waiting tips:

1. Singles are quicker 

The fact is that you will wangle your way through the queue much quicker if you are on your own than you would if you are a group of 2 or 3. Furthermore, at some lifts there are special single lines, through which you get on board much quicker, pretty much like priority boarding at the airport.

2. Active queuing

More often than not, there are usually huge gaps in the queue. Recognise these quickly and make the most out of others not paying attention, that is the greatest key to success. Simply and skilfully lift the left and the right ski over your neighbouring skier, who is lost in their own thoughts, slide forwards and fill the gap. You would not believe how many rows further forward you get with this method. So, when queuing, you must remain focused! You can chat all you like on the lift. 

There is one more thing worth mentioning on this point: This is really a brazen method and you won’t make any friends with it and pushing is not a good idea! This leads to a bad atmosphere among those waiting. Moreover, with all the skis and poles, it can quickly turn into a dangerous endeavour.  

Modern ski lifts and perfect ski slopes in Ski amadé

3. Choose the outside lane

If the queue turns left, then it is best to queue on the right-hand side. The distance you have to go is that bit further, but the queue moves quicker. Why is that? Honestly, I have not given this too much thought.

4. Use the newer lifts

Not only do new lifts go faster, but as a general rule of thumb, they can generally take more people up at a time. An 8-seater chairlift will bring you more quickly and more safely up to the top than a rickety 2-seater chairlift without heated seats and a cover.

5. Delay the hut break

I know it can sometimes be hard, but it is effective. Delay your lunch break until 1pm. Then you will have the lifts to yourself for at least an hour. The slopes are empty and the huts are bursting. After lunchtime, it is a completely different ball game, but you will be sitting comfortably in your favourite hut.

And a few more tips…

Modern ski lifts and perfect ski slopes in Ski amadé | © Ski amadé

6. Insider slope tips

It is hard to believe, but there are still some: the insider tips when it comes to slopes. For unexplained reasons, excellent slopes exist on which only a few skiers ever go down. This in turn, of course, has a knock-on effect for the waiting times at these lifts. Stegbach in Alpendorf is one of these insider tips. At least it was until now. 

7. The early bird catches the worm 

Yes, that is also the case when it comes to skiing. Whoever makes it up on the first lift at 8.30, the so-called early birds, have at least half an hour when it is quiet – whether on the slopes or queuing to get on the lift.

8. Nice weather skiers have it tough

This is not one of my preferred measures to save on queuing time, but sometimes you have to get on with it – through fog, snowfall, wind and bad weather. Skiing in the most adverse conditions takes a lot of effort. And it is certainly not fun….maybe I will scratch that one off my list.

9. “Let me through, I am a doctor”

I admit, I have not ever used this one. But I do know someone, who knows someone, who has tried this, and it worked! Look fully stressed out, pretentiously push the other skiers to one side and shout very loudly: “Let me through, I am a doctor!” 

What is your quickest method for getting on the lift? I look forward to your tips! 

Oliver Seuffer-Wasserthal

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