Unspoken rules of the mountain:

Every skier and snowboarder knows that there are certain unspoken rules about riding, things you should and should not do. Call them skiing faux pas, pet peeves, no-no’s, social norms, or whatever you like, these guidelines are sometimes universal and other times specific to a place or person.

As I asked around the Skis.com office, I realized that everyone seems to have input on this topic. So, I put together a list of some of the cultural faux pas of skiing and snowboarding.

What not to do:

1. Not clearing the exit ramp area off a chairlift. If you’re waiting for others, shifting your gear or just deciding where to go, move out of the way.

2. Wearing jeans while skiing. Come on people.

3. No stopping in the middle of the slope. Pull off to the side.

4. Throwing trash off the lift – disposable coffee cups, beer cans, cigarettes, etc.

5. People who put the bar down on the chair without asking or telling you they intend to do so. Being hit in the back of the head with a bar is not cool.

6. When skiing with a group, not stopping at an intersection to keep the group together.

7. Listening to music on the chairlift. In general, it’s common courtesy to talk to the people on the lift with you. Listening to music implies an ‘I’m too good to talk to you’ demeanor.

8. Two people at a table in the lodge taking up 6-8 spots with all their stuff. Your helmet and gloves should not get their own seat when it’s crowded.

9. People that bomb the hill without turning or people that are completely out of control flying straight down the hill with no regard for human life.

10. Smoking on a crowded lift/in the gondola. That’s common space, don’t do it.

Disagree? Have your own to add? Comment below and tell us your cultural faux pas of skiing and snowboarding.

20 Comments on 10 Cultural Faux Pas of Skiing and Snowboarding

  1. robert maclaughlin
    October 22, 2014 at 7:39 pm (8 years ago)

    Skiers in a long line that are ahead of you and then all of a sudden they are allowing their friends to pass by you and other skiers so their can get on lift chair ahead of you and others that have been waiting in line longer.

  2. Nona Fransen
    October 22, 2014 at 8:28 pm (8 years ago)

    I am 85 plus years old/young and am looking forward to another great ski season at Kimberley, BC’s North Star Mountain. I am a veteran skier and certainly agree with all the rules and etiquette involved with skiing and boarding!!!!

  3. JohnDenver
    October 22, 2014 at 8:39 pm (8 years ago)

    7. Listening to music on the chairlift. In general, it’s common courtesy to talk to the people on the lift with you. Listening to music implies an ‘I’m too good to talk to you’ demeanor.

    I disagree..oftentimes (most of the time) I have no desire to talk to the family of four from Houston in town for the weekend.

  4. Vicki
    October 22, 2014 at 9:05 pm (8 years ago)

    love these! Crowding in lift lines and not merging in turn. Stepping on the backs of the skis in front of you in the lift line are a couple more.

  5. Julia Bowen
    October 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm (8 years ago)

    Skiers that are not as skilled as the run requires, beginners SHOULD NOT be on a double black diamond falling and leaving a “yard sale” for others to navigate.

  6. Gary davis
    October 22, 2014 at 11:19 pm (8 years ago)

    Walking on the sidewalk with rental skis or walking into the rental shop with skis on

  7. Purple Fuzzy
    October 23, 2014 at 12:51 am (8 years ago)

    Number 3, gotta disagree. Every situation is different, the most important thing is to look uphill when you stop and make sure the skiers coming downhill can see you. Sometimes being on the side makes you less visible and is a worse choice. You also want to avoid standing under a lift. Another thing to consider is that in the middle of the trail, skiers can go left or right to avoid you, but on the side of the trail going into the woods isn’t an option so you’re limiting their options to avoid hitting you. Because a lot of people like to shred the treeline, I never pause right on the edge of the trail. I try to be near the side but leave 20 feet for people to pass on the outside. I feel like getting off to the side is actually the rookie move here.

    • Jiffy Jeff
      October 23, 2014 at 4:44 pm (8 years ago)

      I mostly agree with you – I think what should have been said in the article is not to stop then take a seat and hang out in the middle of a run and BS with your buddies, there is a right time and place for that, and in the middle of a busy trial is not it.

  8. Gary Birchell
    October 23, 2014 at 6:57 am (8 years ago)

    This is why I ski Deer Valley. 90% of this is just not
    seen on an average day. No resort is without the idiot who skis out of control.

  9. Will
    October 23, 2014 at 10:56 am (8 years ago)

    In the lift line, dragging your rental snowboard across the tops of my $1000 skis. Don’t do that.

    • Michael
      October 24, 2014 at 9:21 am (8 years ago)

      In the lift line, jamming your ski poles down onto the top of my snowboard to stop your forward momentum. My snowboard equipment is also expensive and every single board I own has many circular cuts in the top sheet from ski poles in the lift line. Skiers and snowboarders need to be aware of their equipment and others around them and show some courtesy, especially in the lift line.

  10. Brendan
    October 23, 2014 at 11:43 am (8 years ago)

    With 10 I would say no smoking extends to the lift lines especially when crouded.

  11. Peggy
    October 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm (8 years ago)

    Not only a faux pas but a safety concern: throwing your skis up onto your shoulder while standing in the middle of the crowd at the racks OR carrying them on your shoulder on stairways. Getting hit in the head by skis that way or pushed down stairs is not cool!

  12. AJ
    October 24, 2014 at 7:20 pm (8 years ago)

    When there are 3 skiers and 1 boarder in line for a 4 seater and the skiers don’t board the lift (or vice versa 3 boarders and 1 skier)…although it is crowded and people have been waiting to get on the lifts! Just get on the lifts together!

  13. 1=1
    October 24, 2014 at 9:23 pm (8 years ago)

    Don’t bring your young inexperienced little toddlers and kids into the terrain parks. It’s a safety hazard for everyone and when you try to blame us park rats, you look like a jackass. It’s like bringing your kids into a factory and getting mad when the employees are working.

  14. jamalthebignig
    October 25, 2014 at 1:46 am (8 years ago)

    this author sounds like a huge bitch. i listen to music when i ride the lift because i am the best skier on the mountain. i don’t have time for you worthless peasants.

    • redbud
      January 28, 2015 at 7:54 am (8 years ago)

      I bet you can’t ski worth a crap, and you probably film yourself doing it

  15. LeBeau
    February 23, 2015 at 6:21 pm (8 years ago)

    I don’t see any reason to NOT listen to music if one likes on the chair. Just because there are other people on the chair doesn’t mean one must socialize. Sometimes people just wish to be solitary. I don’t ever listen to music when I ski/board, however, it does not bother me when someone else chooses to…and really, it’s not my right to impose my desires on others if their rights are not dangerous or harmful.

  16. deann
    September 30, 2015 at 3:48 pm (7 years ago)

    People not zippering in to feed the chairlift from both sides and politely taking turns


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