Because what better way to find the perfect someone than dangling hundreds of feet above a gorge?
Since 2015, a dating app called Luvbyrd, which specializes in pairing outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen, has been sponsoring an event known as “chairlift speed dating.”
The name says it all. You show up, get paired with a prospective mate, then set out to talk about yourselves on a chairlift ride over beautiful, snow-covered mountains and valleys.
Writing on Outside, Julie Ellison described her chairlift dating experience on Valentine’s Day at Colorado’s Loveland ski area.
“The basic gist: I show up and pin a ribbon indicating my age group (18 to 35) to my jacket, and an event organizer matches me with someone in my age bracket,” Ellison writes. “Then my date and I head off to ride the lifts together and ski any runs we choose. If we like each other, we can ski together as long as we want. If we don’t click, I can go back to the base and get a new match.”
Ellison was surprised to see how many people showed up for the outing. There were over 200 men and women milling about when she arrived.
“There seemed to be a lot of women in the older age brackets (35 to 45 and 45-plus) and a lot of men in the youngest one,” Ellison writes. “(Numbers from preregistration show that 45 percent of the participants were in the 35-to-45 bracket, while 35 percent were in my 18-to-35 bracket.) The crowd was buzzing with nervous excitement. The man from Luvbyrd was pairing whoever seemed to be in his immediate line of sight within the same age group.”
Ellison nixed her first date – a software engineer who just wasn’t as into rock climbing as she was.
“This would prove to be the most awkward part of the day: letting my dates know I wanted a new match,” she writes. “Each guy was good in his own way, but speed dating is like getting a handful of tasters at a brewery: sample as many as possible before you commit to one.”
We’re not going to ruin the outcome for you – read the article here. But we will tell you Ellison had a good time and that as speed dating goes, dangling over a gorge isn’t a bad way to get hooked up.
“I drove home in good spirits — I had expected the day to be mostly forced, awkward conversation, but it came naturally on all five dates, even when I didn’t seem to have much in common with the guy,” Ellison writes. “Participating in a shared interest provided plenty to talk about—snow, weather, gear, experience—in addition to the usual pleasantries. Each guy was open and happy to be there, which made sense—why sign up for a speed-dating event unless you really want to meet new people?”