I am convinced that the ski experience is enhanced by excellence in ski lift loading by the lift operators. Many of my best memories of skiing different resorts or ski areas are of the people loading the lift who had a smile their face and had a consummate skill of gracefully putting the chair under your butt in such a way you had a smooth and steady transition to a ride up the hill. I especially remember one lift attendant at Okemo who made the process look like a ballet move as he managed the movement of the chair arriving at the awaiting skier. Therefore, I find it difficult to accept a ski area management that pays little attention to the quality and training of the lift loaders. Most of my geezer friends have suffered the potential of injury or bruising from the lack of attention to holding the chair properly as it swings into place. I am not sure why this occurs so frequently. Is it lack of training, lack of management oversight or simply boredom? Why is it that some areas do this task so well where others are so deficient?
I feel somewhat guilty about being critical since I never had to work as a lift loader. However, I do think excellence in this task can be rewarding to the individual and to the ski area. Meanwhile, I will enjoy the areas and lift operators that do a good job and watch out for the careless operators to protect my body. And as patrons of the areas it is our responsibility to express our thanks to those stalwart loaders that do a good job.
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