How To Get Off A Ski Lift

how to get off a ski lift

Imagine you’re riding a ski lift and almost at the top of the slope and you’re ready to get off and ski down the mountain. But how do you actually get off a ski lift? 

If you’re new to skiing, or if you’ve never been on a ski lift before, it can be a bit daunting. But don’t worry – it’s actually very easy! And we are here to help.

In this post, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the most popular ski lifts and how to get off them safely without falling down.

Most Popular Ski Lifts

There are a number of different ski lifts but I’ll only cover the most popular ones in this article. 

chair lifts

Chair Lift

A chair lift is the most common type of ski lift you’ll see in resorts. They are made of chairs where the skiers should sit and it’s connected to a cable that takes the skier from station to station up the slope.

The cable is continuously pulled along by a motor, but in only one direction. For example if the cable goes from the lower stations to higher ones, there’s a different and separate cable which takes the lift down the slope.

T-Bar Lift

The T-bar lift looks like an anchor where either one or two skiers can hang on to it and they’ll be dragged up the hill

T bars lifts operate the same way as the chair lifts, however these lifts can be quite a challenge to beginners because it doesn’t have a chair to sit on and the skiers must depend on their balance and grip. Read our guide on how to ride a t-bar lift for some great tips if you are a beginner.

t bar lifts

Ski Rope Tow

Ski rope tow also operates the same way as T- bar and chair lifts, where a rope is continuously rotated in a loop by a motor and skiers can grab on to the rope to be hauled uphill

The ski rope tow lift allows many skiers to go uphill at once, but just like t-bars the skier must hold on to the rope until reaching the point they want to get off.

How Do You Get Off A Chair Lift?

Follow these step by step to safely get off a chair lift and you’ll be skiing down in no time!  

Step 01- After you get on to the chair and approach the tower with signs indicating its necessary procedures make sure to follow its instructions to lift the metal bar of the lift which is used as a seat belt.

Step 02- Now make sure to double check that your clothing isn’t caught up in the chair or if you are leaving anything behind.

Step 03- Next, lean forward in the chair with your skis tip pointing upwards as you approach the unloading zone.

Step 04- Once the skis are touching the ground slowly standup as you balance both of your skis then slide downhill as the chair gives you a push.

That’s it! See that wasn’t so hard after all? You could even do it with a sprained ankle!  

how to get off a ski chair lift

How Do You Get Off A T-Bar Lift?

Let’s talk about getting off T-bar lifts, riding could be tricky but getting down is easy but make sure to let go at the right place! 

Step 01- Once you get a hold of the T-bar with your hands and behind one leg make sure to apply pressure to the opposite leg which holds the T-bar to counter the pulling force.

Step 02- As the slope gets steeper, lean your weight backwards to counter the pulling force.

Step 03- Do not let go of the T-bar until you reach the flat surface of the unloading zone otherwise you will be sliding back downhill which can be dangerous. 

Step 04- Once you reach the unloading zone push away the T-bar from your leg and let it go. After you let it go don’t keep standing in the exact spot as other people too will come so keep moving as you remove the T-bar.

How Do You Get Off A T-Bar Lift

How Do You Get Off A Ski Rope Tow Lift?

Getting off ski rope lifts is exactly like getting off a t-bar lift. Just make sure to let it go before you hit its safety mechanism 

Step 01- When you ride the ski rope tow lift, make sure to let it go if you fall while holding on to it. Because otherwise, you will be getting in the way of the people who are behind you.

Step 02- Always look in the direction where the rope is being pulled because you will need to let go of the rope as soon you reach the unloading zone.

Step 03- Once you reach the unloading zone make sure to let go in time before you hit the safety mechanism.


Ski lifts make it a 100 times easier to get up the slope and all skiers have to do is hold on to or sit to get uphill rather than walking. All the ski lifts work in a very similar fashion where cables are rotated in a loop by a motor. 

If getting off a lift is daunting, simply follow the steps we outlined in this article, and you’ll be able to safely and easily get off a ski lift without falling down and enjoy your day on the slopes.

Learning how to get off a ski lift is not hard and with a little bit of practice, you’ll be getting off them like a pro in no time! 

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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