Originally Posted by anachronism
What a jackass. Pull the pass.
I think there should be more pass pulling out there, because it seems like a lot of people gre up without learning proper slope respect and are now passing that on to their children.
One day last year out at Sunlight, I'm skiing down one of the larger and more difficult intermediate runs, and come to a stop while waiting for my girlfriend. I'm about ten feet away from some other middle-aged guy, we are both stopped on a very visiable place on the mountain. The run is otherwise completely deserted, typical for Sunlight.
I've been stopped for a few seconds, when I hear a scraping noise behind me for a split second before I'm hit square by a snowboarder doing 25+ mph. My legs get completely taken out from under me, I'm knocked 20 feet down the ski slope. I blew my knee up a decade ago, and it is still weaker. Sure enough, after the impact, my knee is nice and tweaked, and is screaming. When I get home, I find I've got nasty, nasty bruises on the back of both thighs from where he stuck the board up, and more bruises on my back when I fell into him.
It turns out the person that his me was a kid around eleven years old, and the guy I was stopped by was his dad. Had my dad seen me do that to somebody, the next thing that would have happened is my dad would have hauled me up and knocked the shit out of me. I know this because I got hauled up for merely coming close to people, let alone hitting them. He wouldn't care if it was an "accident," because the message I got from him was it was my fault for getting myself in a situation where I could hit somebody, no matter what.
I still have no idea what happened to make the kid hit me. My best guess is that he was coming in hot to throw snow on his dad, and either lost control or was so focused on his dad he didn't see me. In any case, the kid was going full bore, and in watching him board out afterwards, it wasn't an issue of him being a beginner and out of control.
So, first, lets make clear that I was LIVID. Getting mule kicked and completely taken out while stopped in a completely visible location next to other people stopped in the same way does not put you in a good, sensible, clearly thinking mood. In retrospect, I've have prouder moments than bawling out a kid, but in the instant my whole body is screaming in pain and I'm not sure if I still have a knee or not.
The options I came up with in that moment were either beat an eleven year old kid unconsious (bad), or scream at the little shit until I was blue in the face (less bad).
My initial statement was along the lines of "Motherfucker, you just hit and fucked up my old knee injury. You want to pay $50,000 to fix my fucking kneee because you can't be bothered to pay attention, you little shit?
Dad's immediately in my face with the following gems:
1. Jeez, it was just an accident.
2. If you have an existing injury you shouldn't be skiing.
3. Lay off, he's just a kid.
4. You are overreacting and are fine.
5. You are on a Blue slope, and this should be expected, if you can't take it, go ski the bunny hill.
At this point, I'm ready to beat Dad unconsious. To the kids credit, he looks like he wishes he could crawl in a hole, and makes clear that he is terrified and really, really regrets what had happened.
The knee pain slacks a bit, and a realize that its probably not as bad as it felt. I ask the kid if he's injured, he says no, I tell him I'm sorry for yelling at him. At this point, I expect the dad to apologize prompt the kid to apologize, etc., but instead I get "Jeez, was that so fucking hard?" Seriously? I'm the one at fault here? You can't just let it go?
I explain to dad that he's liable for his kid's actions, and if I was injured, or simply felt like being a dick, what had occured could very easily turn into a lawsuit. (This is very true. There have been all kinds of cases where negligent skiers have been successfully sued, and several where the negligent skier was a minor and the parents got slapped with the lawsuit. You think its a dick move to do something like that, but you start to question yourself when some kid hits you and comes very close to keeping you from skiing for the rest of your life)
Dad is still in the "Its no big deal, what the fuck ever," mode, and I gather myself and ski off while I'm still cool-headed enough not to beat him silly.
In retrospect, I wish I hadn been able to not lose my top as I'd done, but I'm still floored that at no point the dad acknowledged that anything his kid did was even slightly wrong.
I wonder if people read the liability signs at the ski area "Ski area has no reponsibility for conditions, out-of-control skiers, etc." and get it into their heads that simply being on a mountain means that its a free-for-all, and people agree to hold harmless and get willfully run over and creamed simply by being there. Its not the case- hitting somebody can have very real criminal and civil penalties, and people just don't seem to get it.
So yeah, pull passes. Pull them like crazy. For injury colissions, call the cops. If you can't keep tabs on yourself enough to ski in a way that isn't making yourself a danger to others, I'd prefer you be too afraid of the legal mess you will create for yourself if you come out to the mountain.