This is where we take an occasional look at the big moral questions in the daily life of a skier. Such as how to deal with people who push in shamelessly at the lifts.
Let me through, I’m a doctor. Of course, no one is quite that brazen in the queue for the chairlift, but still, you know the kind of people at the lifts. The people who shove to the front without considering the casualties behind them. The people who press against you, full of self-confidence, getting nearer and nearer, straining to overtake you. Or even better: they try to get their shoulders in front. Because that’s what it’s all about in the queue for the lifts: you have to have your shoulders in front.
If your shoulders are in front, you can control what’s going on. Not only can you then manoeuvre most quickly into any gaps that may appear and decide in general which direction the queue should move in. If your shoulders are in front, you also have the ultimate weapon to use against your competitors in the race for quickest route to the lift. You can put your ski pole right between the skis of the person just behind you – and stop them from moving forward. Accidentally, of course; purely by accident, obviously.
It’s incredibly effective. But is it morally defensible?
First off, it’s obviously extremely annoying when someone pushes in. Pushing in at the lift is about as pleasant as being the first one to walk over to a newly-opened till in the supermarket, although someone else was the one who called out “Second till, please!” Generally speaking, everyone waiting at the lift wants to go up the mountain and only a very few would rather stay longer at the bottom because it’s so much warmer there than at the top.
The pusher-in is, then, someone who takes far too many liberties.
But we still think you should let them do what they want. Because stopping a pusher-in with a well-aimed ski pole is equally bad manners. We’re not the piste police. Getting worked up about pushy people is actually just as petty as pushing in yourself.
And after all, that’s what’s so good about Ischgl. With a transportation capacity of 94 000 people per hour, you don’t ever really have to queue up anyway.