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Epic Mix - Killer?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

So the news this weekend reports another skier death at Keystone. Seems like every week or so we hear of another fatality. The Flight for Life copter goes over all the time.

 

I was talking to a friend who works for the mountain. His job puts him in contact with a lot of out of the area tourists types. He told me he constantly hears them talking about how many vertical feet they skied today. They're on their iPhones checking stats. I have neighbors that I rarely ski with. A typical afternoon conversation often goes something like "me: did you ski today?  them: yea, I got 12k feet in two hours.  me: make any turns?"

 

We've all seen the widespread straight lining by people with little skill.  Accidents waiting to happen, and it appears you don't have to wait long.  Is Epic Mix playing a part in this?

post #2 of 29

Honestly I don't think so I really think it's the conditions. With things so bad off piste msot people aren't even bothering with it so they find new challenges. 

post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post

So the news this weekend reports another skier death at Keystone. Seems like every week or so we hear of another fatality. The Flight for Life copter goes over all the time.

 

I was talking to a friend who works for the mountain. His job puts him in contact with a lot of out of the area tourists types. He told me he constantly hears them talking about how many vertical feet they skied today. They're on their iPhones checking stats. I have neighbors that I rarely ski with. A typical afternoon conversation often goes something like "me: did you ski today?  them: yea, I got 12k feet in two hours.  me: make any turns?"

 

We've all seen the widespread straight lining by people with little skill.  Accidents waiting to happen, and it appears you don't have to wait long.  Is Epic Mix playing a part in this?


Seriously? I really think that is a stretch. 

 

post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 

Yea, seriously.  I met the guy who had the most vertical last year. Millions of feet. I asked him what he did to get there. He said he would find a chair serving a steep groomed blue run and just straight line it all day. The steeper the better. How many more?

 

I never pay any attention to the whole thing. Haven't even looked all season. Apparently others do.

post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post

Yea, seriously.  I met the guy who had the most vertical last year. Millions of feet. I asked him what he did to get there. He said he would find a chair serving a steep groomed blue run and just straight line it all day. The steeper the better. How many more?

 

I never pay any attention to the whole thing. Haven't even looked all season. Apparently others do.


 

What happened with the skier that died at Keystone? Could it be that he was skiing above his ability and/or out of control? In terrain that he couldn't handle? Fatigued? Do you even know if he participates in the EpicMix program? It is quite the assumption you are making. 

 

Looking at the Epic Pix page, I am assuming you are referring to JEffB with 3.6M vert. in all of his top to bottom runs, he still had time to stop and take over 100 photos...and he is still alive.  I think you are really making a stretch of a conclusion. How do you explain the skiers who have died at other areas that do NOT have Epic Mix? How about the child who fell of if a lift at Sugar Bowl? they aren't a Vail resort and do not have EpicMix.

 

High Speed lifts-Killer?

Groomed Runs-Killers?

Un-groomed Runs-KIllers?

Trees-Killers?

Helmets-Killers?

No-Helmets-Killers?

The list goes on...

 

In the list of things that are killing skiers..EpicMIx is sooo far down it is laughable. 

post #6 of 29

No

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
...How about the child who fell of if a lift at Sugar Bowl?...


 

John Henderson, Sugar Bowl Ski Team...

John Henderson Sugar Bowl Ski Team RIP.jpg

 

Rest in peace little buddy.

post #8 of 29
Unless you are the retired guy who is skiing everyday and has night skiing so you can go for the most vertical, most people quickly give up on that. There are no pins that are strictly for a extreme amount of daily vert. the points you earn are all for the other wacky things. So I dont think all but a handful begin doing laps just for epicmix. As far as checking your phone, its not realtime. I would submit that a call, text, sports score would be a greater draw to look at your phone.

The handful that may compete are the retired guys, who have the days on the mountain to have sense that its a long day. I read the article in the back of the Snow magazine that interviewed him. The key was that he basically has a perfect (or near perfect) attendence every season and puts in the hours on the mountain.

Saving 10sec on the run by going faster isn't going to increase your vert when you spend more then half your time on the lift (heck, someone falling disembarking the chairlift will completely ruin your laptime) Staying healthy and putting in the hours is what you need to do for vert.

People ski unsafely FAST not to rack up the vert, but because they want to ski fast.
Edited by raytseng - 2/28/12 at 10:33am
post #9 of 29

Reminds me, when I was at Keystone the other week I decided to do a little night skiing.  Rode the gondola with this guy who was at 89k vertical for the day and trying to reach 100.  However, people still tried crazy stuff like this long before epic mix, not to mention there are plenty of cell phone apps that do the same tracking.

post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post


 

What happened with the skier that died at Keystone? Could it be that he was skiing above his ability and/or out of control? In terrain that he couldn't handle? Fatigued? Do you even know if he participates in the EpicMix program? It is quite the assumption you are making. 

 

Looking at the Epic Pix page, I am assuming you are referring to JEffB with 3.6M vert. in all of his top to bottom runs, he still had time to stop and take over 100 photos...and he is still alive.  I think you are really making a stretch of a conclusion. How do you explain the skiers who have died at other areas that do NOT have Epic Mix? How about the child who fell of if a lift at Sugar Bowl? they aren't a Vail resort and do not have EpicMix.

 

High Speed lifts-Killer?

Groomed Runs-Killers?

Un-groomed Runs-KIllers?

Trees-Killers?

Helmets-Killers?

No-Helmets-Killers?

The list goes on...

 

In the list of things that are killing skiers..EpicMIx is sooo far down it is laughable. 

 

It doesn't sound like anyone is directly attributing all incidents to EpicMix, just suggesting it might play a role in people skiing unsafely. To suggest they need to explain away every incident via Epic Mix is a totally faulty argument.

 

I could see how setting up a pseudo e-competition could result in more accidents and injuries. I'm sure there are also more injuries in the MLB than the average local beer league - if you push yourself, you open yourself up to more risk. Of course, I'm sure that the people that actually have a chance of winning are the ones that ski there all the time and can handle the mountain pretty well.

 

Personally, I think the whole idea of Epic Mix (and any other vert counting device) is ridiculous and misses the entire point of the sport. It's recreational; join a shuffleboard league if you want the thrill of competition. To each his own, I guess, but I would be angry if I got clipped by some yahoo trying to out-vert his buddy.

 

post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Reminds me, when I was at Keystone the other week I decided to do a little night skiing.  Rode the gondola with this guy who was at 89k vertical for the day and trying to reach 100.  However, people still tried crazy stuff like this long before epic mix, not to mention there are plenty of cell phone apps that do the same tracking.


 

That was my initial reaction, but Epic sounds like it creates a more organized competition that encourages people to max out on vert every day. A piecemeal collection of apps doesn't quite have that same level of organization.

post #12 of 29

Last's year's leader who was profiled in the Vail promotional Snow magazine was Charles A.   He doesn't post his status until near the end of the season then proceeds to blows everyone away.   Unless something changed, I'd assume he's on the same track (because the article says he's been doing the same near-perfect attendence thing for a few seasons before epicmix started tracking). 

 

here's a public article:

http://marketeer.kapost.com/2012/01/for-users-of-vail-resorts-epicmix-generating-content-is-a-social-endeavor/

 

"Last year’s leaderboard competition seemed locked in for Shawn C., who had been leading throughout the season and finished with over 42,000 points, 20,000 more than the next in line. But on the last day of the season, Charles A. switched his season from private to public, showing 45,130 points and sending Shawn C. to second place. Charles A. skied 171 days and over 7.2 million vertical feet.

 

 

 

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post


 

That was my initial reaction, but Epic sounds like it creates a more organized competition that encourages people to max out on vert every day. A piecemeal collection of apps doesn't quite have that same level of organization.


No, EpicMix said in one of their statements that going forward they are not encouraging high vertical feet for the safety concerns mentioned.  

They are encouraging "points", which will be the esoteric challenges.  If you ski 50,000vert, maybe you'll maybe get 500points for that or less.  But If you take 1 picture you'll get 100points.  


For their social media like facebook, they will post no daily "leaders" for vertical feet or endurance related things; only points based winners.  

 

As far as competition, i think that's the least part of epicmix.  It's a gamification business model, but if you've got a competative attitude, you're going to compete regardless.  Heck, you can just stand next to the lift line sensor all day, and rack up the vert without actually skiing.

 

It's main purpose is social media..  You can set it up to spam your facebook whenever you got pins or levels (see zynga's farmville business model).   I don't think anyone did that and is actually competing with their friends.  But now they got the epicphotos, you can easily post those more professional better-looking photos to facebook, which will socially advertise for them and get your friends thinking about going on a skitrip too.  I think that approach actually is finding traction.

 


Edited by raytseng - 2/28/12 at 11:54am
post #14 of 29

Do they still track vert publicly, though? Cause it sure sounds like it from this discussion. And if they did change it, it just shows that the OP was correct in his assumptions that Epic Mix does have some type of effect on skiing safety.

 

 

Quote:
As far as competition, i think that's the least part of epicmix.  It's a gamification business model, but if you've got a competative attitude, you're going to compete regardless.  Heck, you can just stand next to the lift line sensor all day, and rack up the vert without actually skiing.

 

That's just not really true. Maybe if you're a hyper-competitive ubermensch, you'll find ways to compete all the time. But if you just have a proclivity toward competing with no outlet for it, you probably won't. I'm a relatively competitive person (I think most people are, actually), but in 19 years of snowboarding, I could probably count on my hands the number of times that I've ever competed in any form on a board. Now give me a group of buddies that are all competing and talking smack on a resort-wide platform, and I might be inclined to look at the mountain a little differently.

post #15 of 29

I'll tell you the real problem, the biggest killer: testosterone. you don't want to know the solution....nonono2.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post


 

.......snip

High Speed lifts-Killer?

Groomed Runs-Killers?

Un-groomed Runs-KIllers?

Trees-Killers?

Helmets-Killers?

No-Helmets-Killers?

The list goes on...

 

In the list of things that are killing skiers..EpicMIx is sooo far down it is laughable. 



 

post #16 of 29

In my community, we talk about dying by "testosterone poisioning". 

post #17 of 29

funny, we used that phrase, or at least the women in our club did, at gatherings of our bicycle racing club. that would be around 1986.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post

In my community, we talk about dying by "testosterone poisioning". 



 

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

Do they still track vert publicly, though? Cause it sure sounds like it from this discussion. And if they did change it, it just shows that the OP was correct in his assumptions that Epic Mix does have some type of effect on skiing safety.

 

 

 

That's just not really true. Maybe if you're a hyper-competitive ubermensch, you'll find ways to compete all the time. But if you just have a proclivity toward competing with no outlet for it, you probably won't. I'm a relatively competitive person (I think most people are, actually), but in 19 years of snowboarding, I could probably count on my hands the number of times that I've ever competed in any form on a board. Now give me a group of buddies that are all competing and talking smack on a resort-wide platform, and I might be inclined to look at the mountain a little differently.

 

Yea, that's the thing.   I don't know a single person who talks smack or is competing on epicmix, because all the wacky points get in the way.  And even without the wacky points, vert isn't something cool enough to compete over, because it's basically comes down to time on the mountain.  It's too easy to discount vert and someone will say you're lame, I had a sick doubleblack run or a powder run, or hucked a 360 off a cliff that's worth more than your vert.

So i think you might be chasing after a hypothetical competition that doesn't really happen.

 

Along the same lines, I think someone in the engineering scrum meeting may have thought of the potential problem, so they had to take a stance to not promote it, even though in practice it wasn't happening, it is something they had to err on the conservative side.   So I don't think it's that just because they have a particular policy was the result of actual instances of people were actually skiing more dangerously because of it.   It's the same reason you get the completely nonsensical warning labels on some items that you know was just to satisfy Legal department and nobody was really that dumb to run into that issue.

 

 
Even the things like the social mix, where you can post to other people on the mountain, nobody uses it.  So people yelling out for competition will just be shouting into the wind.   (As a correlary, if you've ever flied virgin america, they have in-plane chatrooms,  You will find no discussions there except for people checking it out for 2minutes and messaging the person next to them).
 

 

 

post #19 of 29

WTF is Epic mix?

post #20 of 29

Have you never met someone that wants to show off about vert? I sure have. I don't get it, but some people give themselves all kinds of props for logging vert. I'll never forget the one dude I met at Steamboat who volunteered his daily vert (20,000 feet or whatever it was) and then said "I ski the shit out of this mountain." I was really impressed rolleyes.gif Nice guy, but a little over the top about something that I couldn't care less about.

 

Anyway, it's not difficult to envision a group of those guys getting together and competing. I suppose we're both just speculation now, though.

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyymc View Post

WTF is Epic mix?


It's Vail Resort's social media thing and smartphone app.   www.epicmix.com

 

All the passes are RF-IDed and so scan you at every lift and will track your lift usage throughout the day.   It'll store all your lifts and vertical feet for the seasons.

They have pins (like video game acheivements) and "points" for doing stuff like riding different lifts in a certain order, or number of times on lifts, but mainly it is mostly wacky stuff rather then just getting more vertical feet.  And they have "levels" which are also as meaningless except to you (or if you want it to post to your facebook when you reach tiers). 

 

Also, they have on-mountain photographers who will take pro (meaning with an SLR) picture of you and automatically upload to your account. and you can easily just share it to facebook (free, but to download have to buy the pictures) .

 

Their phone app have copies of their trail maps, and refreshes with snow conditions/lift statuses, and webcams of all the resorts, as well as doing all the above tracking without going to the webpage.

There's other social functions to associate buddies and friends and share your "game" progress (as well as post to facebook or others), or to post messages to the entire "mountain" chatpage.  but I don't think many people use that stuff.

post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Reminds me, when I was at Keystone the other week I decided to do a little night skiing.  Rode the gondola with this guy who was at 89k vertical for the day and trying to reach 100.  However, people still tried crazy stuff like this long before epic mix, not to mention there are plenty of cell phone apps that do the same tracking.



That's a bit hard to believe; that would be about 40 or 50 lift rides?  No way.  Besides, the River Run chairlift is faster than the gondola, so he clearly didn't know what he was doing. rolleyes.gif

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrbd View Post



That's a bit hard to believe; that would be about 40 or 50 lift rides?  No way.  Besides, the River Run chairlift is faster than the gondola, so he clearly didn't know what he was doing. rolleyes.gif



http://buzz.snow.com/snow-squad/b/weblog/archive/2012/01/26/350k-i-d-call-that-an-epic-day.aspx.  This group did 30lifts together (got to be a few of them that were the anchor skiers that were held back a bit by the slower folks).  With the nightskiing I'm sure 100k could be within reach for an individual

post #24 of 29

I saw it on his phone.  Keep in mind that it was about 6pm and he'd been skiing from 8:30am straight pretty much.  I mentioned that the gondola seemed like a slow method and he said he was just grabbing a quick bite to eat.

 

Of course, it's ridiculous because I'll take 15k vertical of deep powder over 50k of groomers every time.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrbd View Post



That's a bit hard to believe; that would be about 40 or 50 lift rides?  No way.  Besides, the River Run chairlift is faster than the gondola, so he clearly didn't know what he was doing. rolleyes.gif



 

post #25 of 29

Here's a new twist...there have been several injurys during the EpicMix action shots. Guest end up doing something beyond their ability in front of the camera and have gotten injured.

post #26 of 29

I'm guessing this was in a terrain park?  Otherwise it seems like the photographers are always stationed in boring places like the top of the lift.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer View Post

Here's a new twist...there have been several injurys during the EpicMix action shots. Guest end up doing something beyond their ability in front of the camera and have gotten injured.



 

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

I'm guessing this was in a terrain park?  Otherwise it seems like the photographers are always stationed in boring places like the top of the lift.

 



 


Majority of EpicPhoto people are setup to do the static background/group shots.


Only a few are the EpicPhoto "ActionShot" stations. and are either in terrain or wide/uncrowded area where you can setup a nice shot.

post #28 of 29

At Vail, top of chair 3, Hunkey Dory, a blue/green run.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

I'm guessing this was in a terrain park?  Otherwise it seems like the photographers are always stationed in boring places like the top of the lift.

 



 



 

post #29 of 29
I used to ski with a group of retired guys 15 years ago who had the altimeter watches that tracked their vertical. They'd log each day's total and keep the watch set to track a whole season's results. It was a daily part of their skiing. The only "effect" on their skiing was they'd maybe take one more run despite bad weather (rain in the midwest) just to keep the daily average a bit higher.

I've ridden the Keystone gondola several times with that guy who gets the most vertical each year. The gondola always runs, at least at the start of the season, the chair sometimes not. He skis most every day, from the earliest opening for Vail resorts to the latest closing.
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