We’ve all done it. You’re loading the lift, checking your cell phone, adjusting your goggles, switching mittens…and it happens. A piece of equipment gets dropped. And the only thing that plummets faster than that ski, pass, glove, phone, or pole is your spirits.
Even the most seasoned skier among us has lost something off the lift, but retrieval protocol can sometimes be a little dicey. Here are our recommendations for what to do when you get a bad case of butterfingers.
Losing something while loading the lift:
It can be tempting to make a grab for a wayward item as you load the lift… I mean, you’re technically still touching the ground, after all… but don’t. I repeat: don’t give in to temptation. Let that ski, pole, mitten, or pass go—the lift attendant will snag it and give it to the people loading the lift behind you and you’ll be happily reunited at the top. Trust the system, people!
Losing something off the lift onto an open trail:
You’re in luck, kid! If the trail is open, you or a ski buddy can head on down the wide open trail to retrieve your lost item ASAP. Consult a trail map at the top to make sure that you’re capable of skiing the trail; if you’re not, you can request assistance from Ski Patrol or ask a friendly stranger to meet you at the bottom with your lost item. If it’s a ski that’s taken an unplanned vacation without you, we highly recommend sending a friend down to snag it. Wait at the top. One-skiing is harder than it looks! If your equipment is not where you dropped it, check in with the lift attendants at the bottom and top of the lift. Chances are good that a well-meaning civilian snagged your gear for you.
Losing something off the lift onto a closed trail:
Don’t worry, friend–all is not lost (literally). Because you should not ski directly down to your lost item on a closed trail, we recommend getting in touch with Ski Patrol to formulate a plan. Oftentimes, they’ll be able to tell you if you’ll be able to hike to your gear yourself, if they’d be willing to retrieve it for you, or if you need to give them your contact information so that they can pick it up later and get it back to you. Trust us: the trail is closed for a reason. Don’t ski it! Work with Patrol—those guys are the bees’ knees and will definitely help you out.
Losing something… somewhere… sometime:
Every once in a while, a sneaky pass, phone, or license jumps right out of your pocket without you even noticing. When you do notice, head on down to the Guest Services desk in the Welcome Center at South Ridge and let them know what you lost. Chances are good that another skier or boarder has your item in custody and will return it by the end of the day! Leave a description of the lost item and your contact information, and we’ll do everything we can to reunite you with your wandering belongings. If you’ve lost a ticket, Guest Services will give you a comp ticket to get you through the day when you show them your receipt (so don’t lose that!). If you’ve lost your pass, you’ll be on file, so getting a first replacement is easy peasy! After that, each replacement will cost you.
So there you have it. Even the least hand-eye coordinated among us should be able to reunite with our lost gear eventually. Stick to the plan, always keep safety in mind, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!