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The season's just starting and - Two deaths at Vail resorts?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Seriously, this makes me so sad and sick to my stomach.

Vail and Breckenridge report deaths yesterday, and the season is just beginning.  

http://www.realvail.com/article/1141/Two-snow-riders-die-in-separate-incidents-at-Vail-Breckenridge

 

This makes me think about the days when I was a risk management officer at a motocross track.  I recall the worst events during practice or the first races of the season(s), I'm guessing because of fresh season and body not quite in shape for the season, excitement for the new season and enthusiasm overshadowing good sense..........whatever the factors involved.........

 

Please let this remind us to be safe out there!  

Lets get through this season without any more reports of serious injury or worse.

 

 

post #2 of 13

Snow and trees are usually hard while our organs (like the brain) are not.  I think the line between walking away from a bad fall and death is thinner than what most people realize.

post #3 of 13

original reports suggested the cause for one incident or both was a collision between two individuals. can you keep an eye out for an accurate report? thanks.

 

the first few days are very dangerous due to low coverage and high enthusiasm.

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

original reports suggested the cause for one incident or both was a collision between two individuals. can you keep an eye out for an accurate report? thanks.

 

the first few days are very dangerous due to low coverage and high enthusiasm.



I don't think that was correct. Several reports said the younger guy hit a tree and died of massive internal injuries, and the older guy went off an embankment. (Those who have been to Vail can imagine, those roads back and forth the front are right in the side of a hill.)

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

Snow and trees are usually hard while our organs (like the brain) are not.  I think the line between walking away from a bad fall and death is thinner than what most people realize.



And then there are the accidents that defy explanation .. my brother watched a lady slide head first (at a good clip, with no helmet) into the post that holds the emergency phone, and then starfish into the trees, hitting stuff left and right. He called for the backboard immediately, and was pretty sure the coroner was next, but by the time he got to her she was sitting up and was totally fine. You just never know.

post #6 of 13

Opening days are scary at some hills. Grouse had one WROD (white ribbon of death) open on their opening evening - a Friday night, no less. The run was filled with testosterone-loaded teenagers whose enthusiasm far outpaced their abilities. Nearly ever boarder/skier was straightlining the intermediate run top to bottom. The accident potential was horrific. One snowboarder was looking for trouble, and attacked my friend for "being in the way" (standing off to the side and keeping poles extended across the hill to keep people at least a foot away from us). On the last gondola ride down, people were screaming/yelling the whole way. When the gondola doors opened, some teenagers in the back yelled "PUSH!" and it was a stampede. 

 

I could see how deaths happen on opening day (or soon thereafter). It's a madhouse, and I think resorts should be held accountable for enforcing their safety standards from opening day onward. 

post #7 of 13


Concussions are weird, so you can't know that sometimes. consider this. in one type of concussion, a person may black out only for a few seconds, but have a very serious injury and a particular form of amnesia as part of it. they will typically ask a question, receive an answer, and ask the same question again 10 seconds later = where am I? you had a bicycle accident.....where am I? they will seem normal otherwise. as a friend said when I hit the pavement in a bicycle crash: the lights were on, but nobody was home. I just mention this for anyone that should come upon a crash where someone's head may have hit something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post



And then there are the accidents that defy explanation .. my brother watched a lady slide head first (at a good clip, with no helmet) into the post that holds the emergency phone, and then starfish into the trees, hitting stuff left and right. He called for the backboard immediately, and was pretty sure the coroner was next, but by the time he got to her she was sitting up and was totally fine. You just never know.


 

 

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post


Concussions are weird, so you can't know that sometimes. consider this. in one type of concussion, a person may black out only for a few seconds, but have a very serious injury and a particular form of amnesia as part of it. they will typically ask a question, receive an answer, and ask the same question again 10 seconds later = where am I? you had a bicycle accident.....where am I? they will seem normal otherwise. as a friend said when I hit the pavement in a bicycle crash: the lights were on, but nobody was home. I just mention this for anyone that should come upon a crash where someone's head may have hit something.


 

 



Oh yeah, he still took her to PHQ for observation and all that ... it's just that he said it was literally the most spectacular crash he ever witnessed, the way her head and limbs were hitting things. He also answered a call for a kid who hit a tree at a high rate of speed ... arrived and noticed  a lone ski, boot still in the binding, 30 ft away from its owner. He was a bit worried that the foot was still in it. THen he was sure he'd have a tib/fib or even femur. But ... nothing. A kid with a bruise. (Maybe sometimes wearing boots 3 sizes too big is not a bad thing...)

post #9 of 13

The guy in Vail was a local doctor. Very good skier. Apparently he ducked into the trees, skied down a steep embankment onto in icy cat track at high speed. Probably lots of people prevented him from stopping on the ice - either way, he didn't stop -  and he went straight over the other edge into the trees. 

 

The kid in Breck ran into a tree on Northstar if I remember correctly. 

 

Very sad. 

post #10 of 13

That is horrible, I heard about it on the news but it still seems that information is few and far between. 

 

Even though I usually only ski 4 days a year, it's amazing to me how many people can contribute to incidents like these by having no sense. I don't know how many people I have seen sitting in the middle of the trail taking a break (not after a fall), sitting in a place beyond the view of uphill skiers (especially beyond areas that are good launching points, etc). Until people start paying more attention to what they are doing, I worry that these incidents will continue. frown.gif

 

 

post #11 of 13

Another skier was pretty seriously injured and very lucky at Breck this past week.  They were skiing Spruce, a run that there is some tenision about between patrol and management. Spruce is rated a black, is groomed, and has a couple of steeper rollers on them.  The skier lost control off of one of the rollers and wound up in the trees.  Patrol closed the run, leading to some of those who could observe what was going on to believe the victim was dead.  However, the skied regained consciousness and was cognizant of what was going on around them.

 

Spruce has been the site of many bad accidents and a few deaths.  The run used to be left ungroomed, but management evidently wanted the advertisement that Breck has groomed runs; it lies immediately under the Colorado Superchair.  Patrol would like it to return to ungroomed.

 

Yesterday was nuts at Breck:  too many skiers of differing ability in too little space. Some of them are oblivious of space, and many of them have few or inadequate skills to control direction.  Be careful out there!

 

Mike

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Yesterday was nuts at Breck:  too many skiers of differing ability in too little space. Some of them are oblivious of space, and many of them have few or inadequate skills to control direction.  Be careful out there!

 


Totally agreed. If I wasn't so desperate to ski after summer, I'd boycott early season white ribbon skiing entirely. Icy runs, little acreage, and overenthustiastic skiers/riders is a very bad combination.  The good news is, these conditions force me to ski slowly and in a predictable path, which is a good excuse to strive for a day of balanced, graceful short radius turns. 

 

post #13 of 13

Yesterday at Copper was a very different experience from Friday at Breck or Saturday at Copper.  It was virtually deserted.  I couldn't believe it.  Ok, so there still were folk there, but there were no lift lines to speak of on the Eagle, Excellerator, or Superbee.  You could actually ski sometimes without being so concerned of being run over or colliding with someone.  A very pleasant experience, especially the lack of traffic back to Denver.

 

Mike

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