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'Green, blue and black traffic lights' on slopes

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi

 

Before and after schools and colleges start, our illuminated and computerized speed signs in school zones change to limit car speeds to 40kph. (I am not advocating speed sign on slopes).

 

That changeable signage got me thinking as I was reading a case where a newbie slid under a safety fence off a cliff near the lift loading station. (The same has happened at the same hill since the 1960s on a hill that suffers freeze thaw and violently fluctuating snowfalls which can be 1 metre deep uptop and literally nothing at the bottom  

 

He accessed  blue runs which are very gentle, and were once 'green'. At lunch at a hutte, he could see the pinnacle of boastfulness: a blue run that tends to be 'dust on crust' and used by race clubs to 'effortlessly' carve turns on during practice runs.

 

He tried the more challenging blue run which ends in a t-bar, but boarders and newbies tend to fall off and the lift line grews and grows. Newbies are then directed to go to a blue-black run which has a chairlift.

 

But the 'nice ice area'  on that run ends in a steep 'icy' pitch with medium sized moguls, rocks and protuding twigs.

 

Over the course of a day the ice and moguls on that section can soften and be quite manageable, ...unless something goes wrong. 

 

So I was thinking: Why not have solar powered 'traffic lights' that can say the run is, right now, black, blue or green. As the snow softens, the solar powered lights change to blue.

 

(I'll put to one side the question:

 

1. how on earth can lifties direct newbies to a 'black chair' ;

2. why on earth isn't there an easy 'escape route' where the newbie can access gentle terrain between that tbar to that chair) and

3. how can you encourage low intermediates to access an area used by racers and experts)

 

Any thoughts?


Edited by veteran - 8/27/12 at 4:37pm
post #2 of 11

This was posted in Ask A Ski Pro, and it didn't seem related to coaching or instruction, so I moved to General Skiing.

 

Interesting idea...traffic lights on the ski slopes to reflect changing conditions.  Snow conditions can really change the difficulty of a run, and some runs can become impossible under some conditions.  I think where runs become dangerous due to low snow or severe ice, the Ski Patrol does post warnings or close the run.  Never thought of traffic lights. th_dunno-1[1].gif

post #3 of 11

Runaway truck ramps for noobs?

 

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

https://vimeo.com/46203178

 

As a 'for instance' the 'sound' gives you an idea of the 'firm' base on a run classed as black that intersects, where a skier slips between me and my friend in red,  near the snowguns. There's about 5 ways down to a 'blue' t-bar and a 'black' chair with a net ....and the 'slow sign' is atop a cliff. (They want you to fall off slowly???). There's nothing much to warn novices away from the chair, and I suppose those who can't use t-bars have no other choice. Maybe illuminated signage can designate it was black in the morning, blue that hour, and ices back to black when the sun goes behind the summit. Just thinking.
 

post #5 of 11

Gee Daryl, I think I've seen that run you linked to a few times now. smile.gif

 

I hope the recent snows have improved the sound quality of that run.  I'm just hoping everyone doesn't start taking out their smartphone for trail and lift guidance.  It seems like we could end up expanding on your idea and having an alarm go off on skier's phones whenever they approach an "inappropriate" challenge....It's closer than you think

 

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

It's raining up there atm! Snow is forecast but the forecasts to date haven't been reliable. The snowgods must be on holiday in Balihopmad.gif

 

 I think slope 'traffic management' will become a bigger issue if we get more Sierra-like winters.

post #7 of 11

Patrol does a pretty good job with handwritten warnings on the whiteboard at the bottom of the lifts and with warning signs at the top of particularly dicey runs, not to mention closures.  This at Squaw, which attracts a pretty fair number of good skiers (and gapers.)  Traffic lights seem to be overkill.  

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

Patrol does a pretty good job with handwritten warnings on the whiteboard at the bottom of the lifts and with warning signs at the top of particularly dicey runs, not to mention closures.  This at Squaw, which attracts a pretty fair number of good skiers (and gapers.)  Traffic lights seem to be overkill.  

I agree.

New skiers should pay particular attention to the trail map to ensure they don't put themselves where they're in over their heads. Trail maps & adequate trail signs seem adequate at all the resorts I've even been to.

post #9 of 11

Seems to me that having automatically-updated signs would be a major liability. "The sign had the trail listed as Green--  but I hit an ice patch and flew off the piste into a tree!"

 

The expectation would change from this: "I realize that this sign is a rough estimate of how the run stacks up to others here-- conditions may vary"; To this: "I believe that this sign is an accurate, updated, specific reading of the conditions on this trail NOW." 

 

A mtn is only asking for trouble with something like this. 

post #10 of 11

I think resorts have a hard enough time rating a trial, let alone rating it according to conditions.

 

I've noticed signs at the bottom of a lift that prominently announce the lift only leads to Black runs.  That prominent warning is a good idea.

Directing Newbies to black runs, is not a good idea.

 

Not sure about the last point,  are you saying someone was speeding down a run typically used for race training when it was full of newbies crawling along, or that someone was speeding in an area with a "slow" sign.  (edit: either way it is what it is, and you have to compensate for what's there; if there is a bunch of Sunday drivers doing 10 mph on the freeway,  I'm slowing down) Maybe we need a few runs with a "NO SLOW Skiing" sign, like on some freeways where they have minimum speed limits biggrin.gif.

 

Mixed traffic is definitely a problem. I can recall a few mountains with beginner trail meandering down the mountain crossing steep expert runs that go straight down the mountain, and view this as a big safety hazard. 

post #11 of 11

Sounds retarded.

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