For the past 5 years I have been monitoring ski industry sites in regards to skiing accidents. Clearly there is arise in "incidents".
I wanted to identify a pattern. A cause for this rise.
Seems there is three causes.
Cause 1 "The Silly" Cause
Can"t find exact, comprehensive word for this cause, yet you all know the context. Here is a typical context of an "accident" in this category which just happened last week. British skier falls , coming back to inn at 3 AM, slips down a path, into a steep stream bed.
At major American ski resort college student walks up a small rock cliff in order to video tape his "flight" down in order to place on You Tube. Camera made it. Skier did not.
I will not focus on this type of cause since solution is evident.
Cause 2 The Ignorance Cause
This cause is often related on the beginner/intermediate skier who "did not know";
-the rules of ski flow
-the DIN value needed
-the varied quality of snow during Spring skiing
-why warning ski signs indicate a skull, etc,,,
-how to fall well
-how to ski "mushy" snow, cement snow, etc,,,
Cause 3 " The Danger Zone"
This is the cause I want to discuss. This is the zone that is causing a rise in "accidents", deaths and it can be lowered if the ski industry just did some proactive "education" .
I was just involved in such an "incident" and have witnessed such incidents.
Let me set the stage with an analogy we all can refer to, driving in a freeway with all sorts of cars and drivers.
As we drive we make decisions on where to be, how fast we move and how quickly we make these moves on the road.
We have a choice to lower our danger zone or narrow this danger zone. That is,,, a narrow danger zone does not allow for much room for "the safety net". The escape hatch. A way out.
So it is with skiing. As you ski you make choices where to go, how to go there in reference to context. Problem is many skiers are not aware of that "varied danger zone" so they will ski close to tree wells, jump off side boulders unto ski runs, ski close close together as a group, stop in the middle of a steep run, not respect the 3 meter rule.
That last item nearly cost me my skiing life. There are rules of skiing conduct. Some are well known and printed on posters and some "passed along".
One of mine is "give the front skier at least 3 meters either way". Never but never pass him/her less that that 3 meters.
Met a expert level skier and skied with him for first time. I sensed he want to "prove himself" so I let him go ahead 4-5 times as I watched his excellent flowing technique. My danger zone was very wide since I followed him well past the 5 meters mark.
Then , without thinking I took the lead on one hard steep run going fast varying my turns from GS type to SL type. At the apex of my speed he decides to pass me as I switch from 5 fast SL turns to one long GS turn.
He hits me. He falls. I remain still on my skis since I "sensed" his move just in time.
Yes he was wearing a helmet,,,,but the first level of protect is what happens between the ears. He was not aware of the varied danger zone. His ID was more powerful, more demanding that is super-ego ( look up ID and you will understand).
Seems more skiers must be made aware of this varied danger zone.
Always ask yourself, "what if,,,,,,,,"
Hope some of you great skiers think constantly of this varied danger zone while you drive and ski.
He never knew that if I had fallen I would be in a wheelchair for me.
Think of this danger zone.