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Snowboarders and edge of the run rules

post #1 of 164
Thread Starter 

Just a quick question: Are the guidelines/rules concerning only stopping along the side of the run still in effect? Up for official revision? I ask because of a post by sofar99 in another thread - a boarder broke two of his ribs while he was trying to help a 6 year old along the side - and my own experience that the sides of the trail are now almost exclusively boarder territory. Each of my kids have been been run down this season by boarders after dutifully obeying the rules to move to the side. One was in a ski school class. th_dunno-1[1].gif

post #2 of 164

People are just idiots.  No rules or laws can fix that unfortunately.

post #3 of 164
I have just accepted there are deadly risks involved in alpine sports, and all you can do is recognize them, and then try and mitigate them.

1) Snow boarders
2) Skiing off into the trees
3) Hypothermia
4) Avalanches

More or less in that order. I'm just going to buy and wear all the protective gear I can find.
Edited by sofort99 - 1/22/13 at 10:53am
post #4 of 164

it is and always has been part of the skier responsibility code:

You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.

 

But just cause there's a "rule" doesn't mean it's always followed.


Just like automotive rules.  If all  the rules were always followed, nobody would ever get a traffic ticket or accident ever!  

But accidents are so commonplace, that traffic reports just spew them off ho-hum.  Even traffic deaths just get a rattled off business as usual. I bet that did not happen during the first crash between vehicles.  real life isn't black and white.

post #5 of 164
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

it is and always has been part of the skier responsibility code:

You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.

 

But just cause there's a "rule" doesn't mean it's always followed.

Agree, that's the code. But the problem, as I see it, is that the rules are being followed. Skiers are moving to the sides of the trail, where we're not obstructing the slope. Just like we've been taught since childhood. And then getting clobbered by boarders who have established the sides of the trail as their preferred territory. Probably because of the natural features they love going off of. So the question is, should we still follow the rules, even if the real world is making it more dangerous than not following them? 

post #6 of 164
The problem is enforcement. A rule that is not enforced doesn't exist.
post #7 of 164
Breckenridge has begun placing "safe place" netting on various spots along at least the easier slopes so that classes--and anyone else--can stop below them and hopefully not end up getting clobbered. The resort apparently has abandoned the idea of creating speed lanes and providing greater enforcement for slow lanes.
post #8 of 164

lol, Don't give up and throw out the rules just cause *some* others aren't following it, that's not the right perspective to live in an ordered society.

You need to practice self-preservation.  

 

The rule is still good, and the boarder is at fault due to rule #1-actually even if you were in the middle or the slope and not following this rule they are at fault due to #1.

 

But it's just that the side of the trail is no longer always as safe as it can be  Perhaps consider stopping behind a tree/sign or other immovable object.

 

When you cross the street, even in a crosswalk, you should look both ways.  The crosswalk is where you're supposed to walk, yet people may still run you over.  That doesn't mean you should throw out the whole concept and rules and advice about walking in crosswalks.


Middle of trail-technically nobody should hit you due to rule #1

Side of trail- should make you safer

behind something- you will be even safer than above
 

post #9 of 164

Boarders can't see out of the back of their heads so common sense dictates you have to assume the worst skiing near them (and act accordingly).  Anyone riding out of control on any part of a trail needs to get their lift ticket pulled, but too few ski areas seem to care.  All company personnel (including instructors) should have the ability to take a lift ticket away, but that is not the way most hills operate.

post #10 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Agree, that's the code. But the problem, as I see it, is that the rules are being followed. Skiers are moving to the sides of the trail, where we're not obstructing the slope. Just like we've been taught since childhood. And then getting clobbered by boarders who have established the sides of the trail as their preferred territory. Probably because of the natural features they love going off of. So the question is, should we still follow the rules, even if the real world is making it more dangerous than not following them? 


I always find this sentiment hilarious. I'm a snowboarder and I stop as far to the side as I can - sometimes off into the woods. Yesterday, I whizzed past multiple groups of skiers parked side by side just over the lip of a hill where you couldn't see them from above. I've been out there for nearly 20 years, and have seen plenty of skiers that just stop in large groups at random in the middle of the trail. Boarders, too. Sorry, one group isn't any more guilty of ignoring rules than the other.

 

I can't speak for the anonymous boarders you vilify in your post, but I tend to stick to the sides of the trail not for all those rad natural features (brah!) but to stay far away from the aforementioned clueless groups. Stick to the edge of the woods and avoid 95 percent of other skiers and riders. Now, if those skiers (your words) are doing what they're supposed to and stopping where they can be seen (i.e. not just over the crest of a hill or around a corner where people seem to always stop), then they shouldn't have to worry about "getting clobbered."

 

It's funny how the antiquated skier vs. boarder thing still rears its head decades later. Note to you: Clueless noobs exist in all walks of life. And they use all forms of downhill snow transportation.

post #11 of 164

I agree that noobs in both groups.  The difference i see between skier/boarder groups, is due to the geometry the boarder groups tend to form what I call "the great wall of boarders" whereas skiers will mill about randomly and at least some of them will stack up.  (both still bad)


I stopped being an ass and telling them they should move out of the run on green or blue slopes.  But sometimes I will speak up if I see people stopped in the middle  on high speed groomer black runs where my thought process is that should be for "advanced"/experienced people  and I should say something before someone gets hit at 30mph+ by another person who's got tired legs and out of control.

BUT this is offtopic; I think OP's point is that the edges are no longer a safe zone, and people are going fast there.  I think your point is right, you still need to make yourself visible on the edge of the trail.  And perhaps the clarification is that it's better to stay fully on the side of the run and on-piste, if it makes you more visible, then parking off the trail off-piste where you are potentially hidden.

post #12 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

I agree that noobs in both groups.  The difference i see between skier/boarder groups, is due to the geometry the boarder groups tend to form what I call "the great wall of boarders" whereas skiers will mill about randomly and at least some of them will stack up.  (both still bad)


I stopped being an ass and telling them they should move out of the run on green or blue slopes.  But sometimes I will speak up if I see people stopped in the middle  on high speed groomer black runs where my thought process is that should be for "advanced"/experienced people  and I should say something before someone gets hit at 30mph+ by another person who's got tired legs and out of control.

BUT this is offtopic; I think OP's point is that the edges are no longer a safe zone, and people are going fast there.  I think your point is right, you still need to make yourself visible on the edge of the trail.  And perhaps the clarification is that it's better to stay fully on the side of the run and on-piste, if it makes you more visible, then parking off the trail off-piste where you are potentially hidden.


Fair point, but skiers also tend to line up with their skis cutting horizontally so that they can stand and look up-mountain for the friends that they're waiting for.

 

Actually, if we want to go after someone, I say we all team up and go after huge groups, skiers or boarders alike. One or two people stopping is rarely a problem, but a group of 10 rarely isn't. Why the need to ski with so many damn people biggrin.gif!!??!

post #13 of 164

Great, another snowboard hate thread. Awesome.

 

I ski down the middle of the run, on the edge of the run, in the trees next to the run, or wherever there's snow. The key is to ski and ride in control and to not hit other people wherever they may be stopped.

 

When I want to stop somewhere that's as safe as possible, I stop right behind a tree, trail sign, or some other object.

post #14 of 164

Side of the trail for snowboarders?   That's where the best snow is, why should they get it?

post #15 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliSki View Post

Side of the trail for snowboarders?   That's where the best snow is, why should they get it?

 

I think they're onto something. That's a good place to ski.  Then again the OP is from the east coast where maybe they don't have this concept of good fresh snow on the edge of the trails? 

post #16 of 164

Actually the idea of only stopping on the sides of a trail is only of value if there are others skiing or boarding on that trail which might in some way be negatively impacted by where one stops.   Thus such guidelines ought not be considered black and white but rather with some common sense.

 

Obviously if there is no one else on a run it has about as much value as flicking ones turn signal to make a lane change out on an empty Nevada rural highway.  So when one talks about having to consider where one stops on a trail or run, such infers a certain minimum threshold level of skier/boarder traffic.  I stop a lot of places on wide bump fields because at most there are only a few others ever on those slopes and they will likely choose to start down a fall line that does not include me, any rock outcrops, or trees.  Also there is a situation of the many really wide intermediate trails where there may be a modest number of skiers/boarders on such a slope but there are so many wide open spaces between each person that anyone descending really is not going to care if people are not off to the sides.  Conversely on narrow intermediate trails where there are the same number of people on a slope, yeah getting off to the side is the considerate and safe thing to do.

post #17 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_SSS View Post

Actually the idea of only stopping on the sides of a trail is only of value if there are others skiing or boarding on that trail which might in some way be negatively impacted by where one stops.   Thus such guidelines ought not be considered black and white but rather with some common sense.

 

Obviously if there is no one else on a run it has about as much value as flicking ones turn signal to make a lane change out on an empty Nevada rural highway.  So when one talks about having to consider where one stops on a trail or run, such infers a certain minimum threshold level of skier/boarder traffic.  I stop a lot of places on wide bump fields because at most there are only a few others ever on those slopes and they will likely choose to start down a fall line that does not include me, any rock outcrops, or trees.  Also there is a situation of the many really wide intermediate trails where there may be a modest number of skiers/boarders on such a slope but there are so many wide open spaces between each person that anyone descending really is not going to care if people are not off to the sides.  Conversely on narrow intermediate trails where there are the same number of people on a slope, yeah getting off to the side is the considerate and safe thing to do.

 

Common sense trumps rules once again.

 

For some reason this discussion reminds me of the mountain bike rule of "uphill riders have right of way" being misapplied when a bike rider who is climbing pulls over to get out of the way of the descending rider (because he wants to stop) and the descending rider stops to yell at the climber for stopping.

post #18 of 164

While I think the side of a run is preferable and that's where I usually stop, I don't see any problem stopping anywhere on a nice wide run or the middle of a bowl etc...  But how many skiers are on the run must be considered.  Light traffic on the run who cares.  Moderate to heavy get over to the side.

post #19 of 164

I think that it's more dangerous to sit right below a ridge/drop, especially on a deserted run.  I do not see a problem with people stopping in plain sight, although I do find it annoying when a group stops at the top of a really narrow run/entrance/chute and blocks the whole thing.

post #20 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Just a quick question: Are the guidelines/rules concerning only stopping along the side of the run still in effect? Up for official revision? I ask because of a post by sofar99 in another thread - a boarder broke two of his ribs while he was trying to help a 6 year old along the side - and my own experience that the sides of the trail are now almost exclusively boarder territory. Each of my kids have been been run down this season by boarders after dutifully obeying the rules to move to the side. One was in a ski school class.

 

It's like defensive driving, assume the guy is going to run the stop sign, make that turn in front of you.   Everyone skis the edges because that is where there is usually less ice on skied out runs.

 

With skiing, if you stop, pick a spot where people won't be skiing due to a tree or some other feature, that's best way to protect oneself.

post #21 of 164

I see no difference between the behavior of skiers and boarders, adjusted for age.  Can't we get over that?  Although side of the trail is a nice idea, remember that you're a lot harder to see--people look a lot like trees, especially if they're in the shadows.  Also faster skiers tend to try to pass slow ones along the edge and can get cut off with no way out of the edge (they're fault but who cares if you get hit and hurt). Middle of the trail not so great either, depending on width of trail and crowd. Better option--stand behind a tree, a slow sign, a lift pole, etc.  Best option, don't stop--it's not the alps for heaven's sake.  

post #22 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

 

I think they're onto something. That's a good place to ski.  Then again the OP is from the east coast where maybe they don't have this concept of good fresh snow on the edge of the trails? 


Well, I spent last week in VT. Came within inches of getting hit twice. Once at Stowe and once at Sugarbush. Both times I was skiing, not stopped, on the edge of trails. And both times I had looked up the hill and there was no one anywhere close when I started down. I was on the edge of trails skiing soft snow. Yes it was snowboarders both times. Both were hitting a natural jump on the edge of the trail. In both cases there was virtually no one on either trail. One apologized and said it was a really bad move on his part. The 2nd I never got close to. Probably a good thing because at that point I was ready to use my poles as an implement for which they were not intended. In both cases I think I was in the line they wanted to take but why let that stop anyone.

post #23 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliSki View Post

I think that it's more dangerous to sit right below a ridge/drop, especially on a deserted run.  I do not see a problem with people stopping in plain sight, although I do find it annoying when a group stops at the top of a really narrow run/entrance/chute and blocks the whole thing.

 

I don't know why people sit right under the edge of a blind drop which is by far the worst place on a ski run you could ever stop.  It blows me away the lack of common sense some folks have.  Never having gone skiing before I think I could look at a ski run and tell you under a blind drop would be the worst place to stop.  SMH.

post #24 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by RISkier View Post


Well, I spent last week in VT. Came within inches of getting hit twice. Once at Stowe and once at Sugarbush. Both times I was skiing, not stopped, on the edge of trails. And both times I had looked up the hill and there was no one anywhere close when I started down. I was on the edge of trails skiing soft snow. Yes it was snowboarders both times. Both were hitting a natural jump on the edge of the trail. In both cases there was virtually no one on either trail. One apologized and said it was a really bad move on his part. The 2nd I never got close to. Probably a good thing because at that point I was ready to use my poles as an implement for which they were intended. In both cases I think I was in the line they wanted to take but why let that stop anyone.

Fixed it.

post #25 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post 
people look a lot like trees, especially if they're in the shadows.

 

...unless they dress like one of those exxxtreem, kkkrrazy, gonzo snowboarders!

 

 

post #26 of 164
There seems to be some confusion here. The "rules" that aren't being followed in the OP's scenario are:
- Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
- People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.

There's no "rule" about staying on a certain portion of the trail when moving.
post #27 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

There seems to be some confusion here. The "rules" that aren't being followed in the OP's scenario are:
- Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
- People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.

There's no "rule" about staying on a certain portion of the trail when moving.

 

well, the OP was wondering about "guidelines/rules concerning only stopping along the side of the run" which is discussed in the next rule.  

So the debate is whether to just junk the written advice about blocking a trail and instead park in the middle of the run as being safer then parking at the side.  This is due to the fact that with current usage the edges have more high speed/airborne(out of control) traffic as compared to people in the middle.

So in the hierarchy of safety:

0) stopping in a blind spot and otherwise being an gaper
1) stop more in middle of run
2) stop more at edge of the run
3) stop behind something, be highly visible, blah blah blah.

Debate: should (1) and (2) be switched in the safety order.

Sure, If you just pick (3) all the time, or being aware of your surroundings and use good judgement to choose depending on the conditions, then the discussion of whether 1 or 2 is safer is  a bit of a moot point. 

post #28 of 164

You need to stop where you can be seen and where you don't obstruct the trail.  There is no rule at all about stopping on the side of the trail.  In a lot of cases right out in the middle is just fine and maybe even better than the sides.  People come out of the woods on the sides of trails.  In the middle, if the group is tight, there is plenty of room to go around and you can certainly be seen.  My preference is to stop below a slow sign or Bnet.

post #29 of 164

i think you have to do a bit of wordsmithing to interpret that "obstruct" doesn't apply when you're in the middle of a larger run.
The rules aren't written for lawyers, so i think the simplest common interpretation applies.  If this devolves into the definition of words, then it's not a good rule. 

 

If you park in the middle, you are at least partially "obstructing" the middle of the trail.  Which is how the OP interpreted it and matches with the traditional on-piste focus of resort skiing rather than catering to the off-piste. Most how-to-ski beginning articles also interpret the rule the same way as don't stop in the middle, go to the side. 

 

It would be like the general basic rule in driving to pull over and stop on the shoulder not in your lane.  But if modern driving has evolved where there are no shoulders and it's a primary fast lane, then time to revise that rule to throw in bunches of exceptions and special cases defeating it's purpose to make it easily understandable.

 

So yea, i think enough brain cells have fired on this debate; anyone who reads this probably has enough judgement and go with an even safer alternative rather then strict rules so it's moot for anyone who reads this.  

post #30 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

I see no difference between the behavior of skiers and boarders, adjusted for age. 

 

You probably hit on it as boarders are much younger demographic so more of the wild and crazy going on.

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