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<b>Maggie</b> aka <i>"The Turninator"</i>
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Maggie aka "The Turninator"

Essential Chairlift How-To’s for Kids

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Chairlift Safety for Children under 55″ Tall

Planning for a fun day of skiing or riding with young kids? Awesome, it’s going to be a blast! But first, let’s make sure you know the essentials of chairlift safety. Here at Sugar Bowl, chairlift safety is important for kids of all ages but we have specific guidelines for children under 55” tall. Follow these steps to ensure a safe lift ride:

One adult buddy please!

Let’s start with the basics: ALL children under 55” tall must be accompanied by an adult on the chairlift. Even if you have an advanced little ripper on your hands, they’ll still need an adult buddy to ride the lift with… until they hit the growth spurt jackpot! You’ll find handy measurement signage throughout the resort if you need to double check a child’s height.

Before you’re ready to load the chair, order is important.

As you shuffle through the lift line, make sure you’re in the optimal order for loading the lift. A single child under 55” tall should sit on the lift operator side of the chair next to the adult accompanying them. Said another way, as you’re about to sit on the chair, the child should be lined up in between the adult and the lift operator.

Two children? Have one child sit on either side of the adult.

Pro Tip: while the chairlift ride is a great place for a quick Clif Bar snack, try to make most of your adjustments at the base of the lift before you get in line. It can be tough to juggle gear on the lift; it’s easy to drop a mitten or lose a wrapper from an unzipped pocket.

All Aboard! Let’s Load Up

  • Want the lift slowed down for you? Just ask our lift operator.
  • There are always two lines on the snow. Stop at the first “wait here” line and await instruction from the lift operator. 
  • When it’s time to move forward, scoot forward to the second line. Turn and watch the lift approach.
  • As the chair arrives, you’ll probably need to give the child a little boost or a full-on lift so they can reach the chair, depending on their height. 
  • If you need assistance or fall while loading the lift, our lift operators are here to help. We’ll stop/slow the lift and help everyone load up safely.
  • The lift operator will let you know that they are assisting with lowering the restraining bar by saying “bar coming down.”

How to Sit on the Chairlift

  • Is there a seat white “seat target” on the chair? Make sure the child’s bottom is covering the target
  • Make sure the child’s back is all the way back against the back of the chair
  • Children should ride the lift facing forward
  • Holding the restraint bar is A-okay, but don’t lean forward on the bar.
  • Got the wiggles? The chairlift is no place for horseplay, so make sure that the child is sitting (relatively) still.
  • Keep the safety bar down until you reach the green, “raise bar” signage at/near the top lift terminal

At the Top

  • If a child needs help getting on the lift, chances are they’ll need some assistance hopping off the lift too. Be ready to support the child getting off the seat as you arrive in the top terminal.
  • After everyone has unloaded the chair, clear the unloading area as swiftly as possible to make room for the next group behind you. Every Sugar Bowl lift has ample space at the top where you’ll be able to regroup before starting down the hill, so take care to not accidentally clog up the unloading zone!
  • If someone falls while unloading, don’t panic, our lift operators will stop or slow the lift to give you extra time to clear the area.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to adhere to our Kids on Lifts Safety Protocols. Together, we can make sure that everyone has a safe day on the slopes. Now that you’re dialed in with chairlift policy, have a fun day with the kids!

Sugar Bowl Mountain Safety

Need some help? In case of emergency call SKI PATROL at (530) 426-6727 (save this contact in your phone) or 9-1-1.

First Aid – lower level of Judah Lodge past Special Tickets; Village Lodge past the Hotel front desk down the corridor from the Gondola terminal.

Ski Patrol block houses – are found at the top of the following lifts: Mt. Disney Express, Mt. Lincoln Express, Jerome Hill Express, Mt. Judah Express and Summit Chairlift.

Mountain Safety Patrol – You’ll see Mountain Safety personnel in their bright yellow jackets throughout the day in slow zones and high traffic areas helping guests and controlling the flow of traffic. 

Book a Lesson Today
Go with a pro and book a lesson with one of our certified ski & ride instructors. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re tuning up some skills, the progress you can make within an hour of ski instruction can replace days or weeks of figuring it out on your own.

Our instructors are certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and have the highest level of teaching expertise.

Bonus: Everyone in the lesson can access the chairlifts faster by using the express line bypassing the general line.