Which is your opinion, and that's great. I disagree, for a multitude of reasons that I have outlined above. Even the Ohio Supreme Court seemed divided on the issue, so it seems to not be so obvious that recklessness is the best behavioral standard to use for free-skiing.
To the best of my knowledge, Ohio is the only jurisdiction where the bar for liability is "reckless or intentional" as applied to skiing. I'm happy to entertain evidence to the contrary.
For contact sports, (soccer, football, basketball, etc) "reckless or intentional" is the usual standard for liability, a prominant case being JAWORSKI v. KIERNAN
But the very same court that ruled against Jaworski also held that this standard does not apply to skiing;
of its participants from the more traditional contact
sports of soccer, football, basketball and hockey. If
skiers act in accordance with the rules and general
practices of the sport, at reasonable speeds, and with
a proper lookout for others on the slopes, the vast
majority of contact between participants will be eliminated.
The same may not be said of soccer, football,
basketball and hockey; in those activities contact is an
inherent part of the game that cannot be eliminated
neither a part of the sport that skiers agree to confront
by their participation, nor is it an inevitable byproduct
of the sport of skiing.
skiing leads us to conclude that the proper standard of
care owed by coparticipants in the sport of skiing is that
of reasonable care. Accordingly, the plaintiff’s claim of
negligence is sustainable under Connecticut law.
Similarly, the Illinois Appellate Court ruled in Nabozny v. Barnhill (1975) that the standard of deliberate,
willful or reckless conduct was appropriate for the contact sport of soccer. But when it came time to apply Nabozny to a skiing case, they said:
ordinary negligence liability for team sports in which
contact was virtually inevitable. As in the individual
sports of running and bicycling, there is the possibility
of collisions in downhill skiing. But by one’s participation
in the sport, one does not voluntarily submit to
bodily contact with other skiers, and such contact is
not inevitable. . . . There is no reason to expand the
limited contact sports exception to exempt downhill
skiers from . . . liability if they negligently collide with
Granted, these are just two cases from Connecticut and Illinois, but I have yet to run across a case where the Nabonzy or Jaworski or similar standard was applied to skiing. If someone can give me a pointer, I'm all ears. But from my (admittedly somewhat limited) research, the standard in most districts is not "reckless or intentional", and Ohio is an outlier.
So, while one might think there are "sound, time-tested public policy reasons for making only reckless or intentional behavior things that can give rise to liability", this is neither the current public policy in most places as applied to skiing, nor is it "time tested". In the majority of jurisdictions, the bar is lower.