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Earning your turns is a time-honored tradition in snowboarding, and those who choose to hike are often lauded for their dedication and rewarded with face shots and untouched pow. And while that’s great, we here at Yobeat believe hiking is for the birds! There’s a reason those motorized devices exist to propel you to the top of the mountain and we’re happy to take advantage. However, not all lifts are created equal and while casually sitting on a chairlift is pretty idiot proof, some lift riding requires actual skill, such as the T-bar, as we learned on our recent trip to Whistler.
Not to be confused with the bar, which is actually one of our favorite places, the Blackcomb T-bar can be both your best friend and your worst enemy, and this summer, the glacial snowpack is lower than normal, upping the sketch factor ten fold. Basically the T-bars are already extended as far as they go, and offer very little give. Don’t fret though, it just takes a little technique, so here are a few tips.
Sit on it like a bench. You’ll see plenty of riders (ok mostly skiers) opt to place the t-bar between their legs, but not only does this method look silly, it’s a great way to get a bruise in a place you really don’t want one, or at least, a nasty wedgie.
The face to face stance can be awkward or it can be magical! Just depends on your partner.
Choose your partner wisely. Since Two riders can share the T-bar, you will want to judge potential partners based on stance and ability level. Ideally, you should both face the same way, as combining a regular and goofy rider can create some awkward positions.
Pick a side. In general, the inside line is a bit easier, so if you have a weak link, give them the side closest to the lift tower in order to prevent any blow outs.
Alternate sides yourself. If you’re riding the T-bar repeatedly, it makes sense to alternate between riding regular and switch to keep those thighs from getting too tired and causing one leg to grow much bigger than the other. This will also be beneficial if you’re trying to impress babes at the pool afterwards.
Taking selfies while riding the t-bar is not recommended.
Stay on track. Unlike riding the chairlift, you actually need to say in control while riding the T-bar. This means keeping your board inside the ruts by shifting your weight and using your edges, just like you’re riding down the hill!
Let go if you have to. There is nothing more frustrating that falling over when you’re almost to the top of the lift, but don’t be proud and consider your own safety. It’s easier to walk up a little bit than to recover from flying off the side of the trail. Just trust us on this one.
Moments before this photo was taken, I nearly soared off the side of the track, plummeting to our certain doom. Could have been worse. Thanks, fence!