Earlier this month, my son and I rode the scenic chairlift ride in Lee Canyon. Surprisingly, it was kinda scary.
When we arrived on a Saturday afternoon at the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort, we marched directly to the ticket office, got our tickets ($10 each), and got on the ski lift. No stopping for food or a bathroom break.
That’s how we ended up about fifty feet in the air on a swingy little seat (with no seat belt) before we really considered everything involved in a scenic chairlift ride.
“What were we thinking?” my son asked as we moved herky-jerky up the mountain, stopping occasionally, our chair swaying back and forth unpleasantly.
We both had death grips on the metal frame around the seat. “There’s no reason for us to be scared,” we both said (repeatedly), which did absolutely no good.
The unexpected stops were very uncool. (Son: “Don’t look down.” Me: “Too late.”)
Happy people passing us on the other side were swinging their legs and moving around freely, like they were totally unafraid of falling to their deaths.
Over on our side, we were desperately attempting to find the ends of the flimsy nylon rope we had discovered tied to each side of the seat—one side ended with a carabiner, and the other side had a loop. It appeared to be for cosmetic purposes only.
“I’d prefer a five-point harness,” my son said, after we hooked the useless rope together.
We agreed that our mutual fear was totally unfounded. Everyone else seemed to enjoy the gentle ride. It was like being scared of a Ferris Wheel. We laughed as we discussed the fact that our fingers were probably embedded into the metal frame around us.
At the top of the lift, we got off and walked around the rocky hillside.
“It’ll be better going down,” we agreed.
The drop-off as you start downhill is pretty steep, but we agreed that it wasn’t the height that was scary: it was gentle, tummy-tickling rocking back and forth of the chair that got us.
About two-thirds of the way down, we started to relax. Slightly. The view is incredible, and although I could use only one hand (the other was immovably attached to the metal frame), I got some good pictures of the canyon and the resort before gratefully stepping off the swing at the bottom.
Next time, it’ll be better, I’m sure.
How do you feel about chairlift rides?
All photos by Terrisa Meeks.