Originally Posted by Tog
Everyone has basically said Red could've avoided it by paying attention just like Grey. Red did not head for Grey. Grey headed for Red.
Red was passing Grey and then Grey changed directions/speed. Red was too close and/or not paying attention while passing. You can't ski right behind and adjacent to someone else and then blame them when they 'cut you off' or 'turn into your line'.
Red is supposed to be skiing in such a manner that they can avoid Grey, because Grey cannot see or avoid Red nearly as easily as Red can see and avoid Grey.
The point is people call Red "reckless", but Grey is just as "reckless" for not looking ahead.
Red wasn't "reckless", but he was negligent IMO.
Grey was (presumably) looking "ahead", no matter what way you define "ahead" (either 'along the trail' or 'down the fall line' or 'in his overall direction of travel'). What he was not doing is looking 'uphill', which is not in any of those directions. Doing that would in fact require him to not be looking "ahead", because he would have to be looking backwards over his shoulder to see Red coming.
And Grey t-boned Red, not the other way around.
Looked at it again. Red's tips went into the side of Grey's skis as far as I can tell. Grey was 'downhill' and Red was moving faster and hit him from the side. Had Red been a tiny bit faster Grey might have clipped him sideways, but since Red was overtaking Grey it still would have been Red's fault.
My main priority is to do what I can to stay safe, not be able to sue someone after I get hurt. The Code's first priority should be to prevent collisions/injuries/accidents, not be able to easily assign blame after the fact.
There's a couple different things going on here.
"The Code" is, in one sense, a set of guidelines designed to help reduce accidents. On that basis I have no problem advocating that people should maintain situational awareness, particularly when changing their overall direction of travel. Yes, you should look both ways before you cross the street even when the signal says you have the right of way.
In another sense it is a set of best practices that can be used as part of decisions of 'fault' or liability in a legal sense, particularly in states like Colorado where some version of "the code" is state law. I do not agree with anything that puts less responsibility on the uphill skier in situations like this.
If you're talking about fault, this accident was 100% avoidable by the skier in red taking reasonable precaution. It possibly could have been avoided by the skier in grey being abundantly cautious. Depends on when he looked uphill and if he caught the skier in red in his peripheral vision and was able to adjust his line or slow down at the last second.
The laws of physics and the need to look where you are going most of the time mean that you generally cannot be held responsible for getting out of the way of people who are trying to overtake you. At least IMO.