One would hope that ski areas are refuges from human aggression, but no. On Sunday, a white male skier riding the Loge Peak chair apparently didn’t like snowboarder Seth Beckton’s whole snowboardness and shoved him off the lift. Beckton, a 25-year-old Aspen local, plummeted 20 to 25 feet and fortunately landed in a pillow of fresh snow.
“WARNING!” wrote Beckton on his Facebook page. “Be on the lookout for a skier chucking snowboarders off chairlifts. Yes, this is real…happened to me today while having a seemingly normal conversation riding up Loge chair at Highlands about pow when I made this comment “to get tits deep pow shots you just need to be on your edges.”
At Beckton’s powder remark, the man replied, “Are you laughing at me?”
The boarder responded, “Kind of…yes??”
“I thought it was kind of funny,” Beckton told the Aspen Times. “I thought he might be joking. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. I didn’t even think the comment was offensive.”
The man then said, “Well, is this funny?” and pushed him off the lift.
“I honestly thought I was dead,” Beckton. “Because I didn’t know where we were [within the lift path]. It’s not cool to think anyone would do that.”
Unhurt, Beckton was stunned but didn’t want to blow a powder day, so he didn’t report the incident until the end of the day, when it was too late to find the man. A liftee saw what happened-it was about 50 to 100 feet from the top of the lift-but didn’t stop the chair to prevent the aggressor from skiing away.
Deputy Alex Burchetta of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office encouraged Beckton to file a report. “I’ve been skiing since I was 2,” said Burchetta, “and I’ve never heard of anyone being thrown off a ski lift.
Photo of Highlands Bowl by Aspen Highlands