or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Patrol Shack › What's your moutain's policy on patrollers skiing closed trails?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What's your moutain's policy on patrollers skiing closed trails? - Page 2

post #31 of 53

I read a lot about this happening in the east, but I've never skied there much. I've skied some closed trails out west, courtesy of some patrollers, but it's more of a "go get it, should be ok, but we know you won't sue us if  it isn't" thing. I've not experienced patrol keeping trails closed for their own personal enjoyment, if that's what you are getting at. 

post #32 of 53

Overworked, underpaid?  Fee skiing though right?  I've seen a patroller lose it and fist fight with a drunk teenager.  It wasn't pretty.  Usually that guy was pretty level headed too.  I can see how the crap patrols put up with could eventually lead to this attitude though.  Rarely do they lose it though.  Must be the free skiing :-)  So let them ski, eat cake, and let them bring a friend sometimes. 

 

post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

If they were hitting more than one trail, maybe. Repeats don't seem to come under that heading.

Yeah, this is what I was thinking. It happens, but not like that. Unless it's somewhere I've not seen. But we live in avy-prone areas, and I think things are different.

post #34 of 53
People seem to like to get in a snit about first tracks. They must not get enough. A woman today was telling me how upset her husband was about being on the fourth chair this AM and finding a particular trail all tracked up. He was blaming the snow reporter and ski patrol. I pointed out that because of the holiday crowds, a chair that is rarely open had opened a half hour earlier than the main lift. That chair happens to provide almost direct access to the defiled trail. No conspiracy. Just someone who didn't read the morning snow report carefully..
post #35 of 53

I'm certainly fine with patrollers skiing and checking closed trails as assessment.  And I'm fine cutting them some slack on skiing places once or twice where they don't think the general public should go. And, I believe that most patrollers are saints and that no amount of "free skiing" or other benefits really compensates them adequately.

 

That said, go back and re-read the original post. None of this behavior -- obviously ducking the same rope three times in a row with a bunch of friends -- fits the above concessions. This seems to be arrogance and entitled behavior.  And it's not really at all about "first tracks".  It's about the message this sends to customers.  How would you feel if the cashiers at the ticket booth for a Stones concert held back the front row for themselves and their best friends?  

post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Who would want to be a mall cop? Maybe boot fitters. They kind of have that self-important thing going on. wink.gif

you seem overly sensitive, try this: http://www.preparationh.com/

It may be a good time to reveal a dark secret - I've been a boot fitter. Not a great one, but not bad. redface.gif

When drunk or pressed hard I'll relapse and do a little boot fitting for my co-workers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post

I'm certainly fine with patrollers skiing and checking closed trails as assessment.  And I'm fine cutting them some slack on skiing places once or twice where they don't think the general public should go. And, I believe that most patrollers are saints and that no amount of "free skiing" or other benefits really compensates them adequately.

That's very generous of you. I'm probably overreaching here, but on behalf of the patrol community, I thank you.
Quote:
How would you feel if the cashiers at the ticket booth for a Stones concert held back the front row for themselves and their best friends?

How would I feel? To be honest, unsurprised.
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

People seem to like to get in a snit about first tracks. They must not get enough. A woman today was telling me how upset her husband was about being on the fourth chair this AM and finding a particular trail all tracked up. He was blaming the snow reporter and ski patrol. I pointed out that because of the holiday crowds, a chair that is rarely open had opened a half hour earlier than the main lift. That chair happens to provide almost direct access to the defiled trail. No conspiracy. Just someone who didn't read the morning snow report carefully..

I thought first chair is just a joke.. Can't believe someone would actually be mad about that.I can never get up early enough anyways~I can get up at 6, hit the slopes early but can never enjoy until my body is fully awake at around 10 or so...

post #38 of 53
Quote:
How would you feel if the cashiers at the ticket booth for a Stones concert held back the front row for themselves and their best friends?

How would I feel? To be honest, unsurprised.

 

Right.  Even as I typed that, I figured this was the answer.  But isn't this exactly why we're p*ssed at the whole corrupt enterprise of concert tickets, for example?  Don't we just want a reasonably fair and equal chance at the choice seats?  Same rules for everyone?

 

We've become so inured to favoritism and special treatment that it seems like standard operating behavior. But it doesn't mean it frustrates us any less -- and it doesn't mean it's right.

post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post

Quote:
How would you feel if the cashiers at the ticket booth for a Stones concert held back the front row for themselves and their best friends?
How would I feel? To be honest, unsurprised.

Right.  Even as I typed that, I figured this was the answer.  But isn't this exactly why we're p*ssed at the whole corrupt enterprise of concert tickets, for example?  Don't we just want a reasonably fair and equal chance at the choice seats?  Same rules for everyone?

We've become so inured to favoritism and special treatment that it seems like standard operating behavior. But it doesn't mean it frustrates us any less -- and it doesn't mean it's right.

Did you ever get a favor or special consideration at a restaurant or work or retail stores or ski shops or from officials because you knew someone or were cool or just because you've been a nice guy to someone? Not because you could pay for it, but because someone wanted to do you a favor?

If not, then I can see why you're bitter. Just tonight I got a special table at a restaurant for date night because I knew and had been nice to the hostess before, and in appreciation I brought her a trifling gift tonight as well. Perhaps someone was pissed about my special treatment but they didn't do the background work.

If you want to ski closed runs with patrollers...well, I think I made my point.
Edited by Bob Lee - 1/3/14 at 9:44pm
post #40 of 53

I couldn't give a crap less about Patrollers skiing closed runs/areas.  Hell, I figured their jobs entailed doing that quite a bit of the time anyway.  If they do it for kicks on occasion, so what?  They're trained Patrollers.

 

OTOH, I have to admit that I'd be a tad annoyed if I saw one taking a bunch o' buddies along with him/her into an off-limits zone...but just a tad.  They could be off-duty Patrol buddies, resort employees...or maybe nobodies who bought the Patroller beer.  That said, my strong streak of innate apathy would prevent me from making a fuss about it to anyone...or even remembering it by the time I started my next run.  Most of my annoyances are usually fickle teases that way...

 

Soooo, Bob, what brand of beer you drinking these days anyway?

post #41 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post


Did you ever get a favor or special consideration at a restaurant or work or retail stores or ski shops or from officials because you knew someone or were cool or just because you've been a nice guy to someone? Not because you could pay for it, but because someone wanted to do you a favor?

If not, then I can see why you're bitter. Just tonight I got a special table at a restaurant for date night because I knew and had been nice to the hostess before, and in appreciation I brought her a trifling gift tonight as well. Perhaps someone was pissed about my special treatment but they didn't do the background work.

If you want to ski closed runs with patrollers...well, I think I made my point.

 

I'll just say this and then I'm done beating this particular horse.

 

1) I'm not "bitter". Don't presume.  I'm (perhaps unpopularly so) interested in fairness.  My work brings me daily into contact with people who have gotten the sh*t end of the stick from society, so I constantly see where privilege has discriminated unfairly and led to arrogant self-entitlement.  Perhaps it's a tic, but I'm touchy about how we create and then accept special treatment on a regular basis for certain people.

   

2) That said, the notion of a one-time favor is fine w/me.  I'm not campaigning against being nice or doing someone a favor.  But again, go back and re-read the OP.  Three times (at least) is not a favor.  It's taking advantage in an ongoing way. And being led by a patroller conveys an unequal and exclusive advantage, one reinforced by the fact that the group didn't recognize or accept the poster. 


I'll reiterate: I don't know this for a fact, but I strongly suspect that if this had happened at my local mountain, the patroller would be out of a job tomorrow.

post #42 of 53

Our patrollers are not permitted to ski closed trails unless they have a legit need to do so (e.g., trail maintenance/prep, tower pads, etc.).  If the trail is skiable, we open it.  If it's thin/rocky/uneven, but still skiable, we open it and mark it as such.   If the trail isn't skiable, we close it, and no one should be skiing it unless they have a good reason reason.  Our management's view is that it isn't appropriate for patrollers to have free license to poach runs that are closed to paying customers, and I have to say I agree with them.  Rightly or wrongly, letting patrollers ski trails closed to the public is going to annoy a lot of paying customers, so why do it?

post #43 of 53

As a patroller at a good-size mountain, that would be a serious no-no.  I wouldn't even think of doing it.  Its just wrong on many fronts - PR, precedent setting, risk, etc,  It could be grounds for dismissal - certainly a reprimand.  There are many reasons a patroller would ski a closed trail, but not public.  (Unless doing a photo shoot, en route to a cell tower, etc. - but that's not the case here, apparently.)  

 

At our mountain on powder days we are respectful of the paying public.  When we open a trail, we are taught to stay to the edge to preserve the line(s) for the lucky ones so they can claim first tracks. Not sure that is the case on other mountains, but we like to support the stoke when we can.   Sometimes we get abuse when we are slow to open a trail - i.e. if it needs work - but we're thick skinned.  (Or we invite said abuser to ski a snow gun down the trail!)  But that's another subject.

post #44 of 53

Written Policy or SOPs hahaha now that's funny.  That would be too much fun for the lawyers.

 

The real question is will a patroller get paid workmen's compensation if he/she gets hurt on a closed trail?

 

Answer at our mountain is absolutely NOT unless the patroller was directed to ski / board the closed trail by the PD for various reasons. 

post #45 of 53

When he was a patroller my son HAD to ski cut or sweep stuff that was rockier and/or icier than anyone in their right mind would want to ski a lot more often than he GOT to ski good stuff first.

post #46 of 53

"I saw movement and heard a call for help.  Couldn't tell exactly where it was coming from with all the different air currents out there in the Backcountry. "                                                                                       

One is only limited by his intellect, communication skills and lack of creativity. (A Peterism)

post #47 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post
 

I have to say I'm kind of disappointed with the rather cavalier attitude in a lot of posts here.  Maybe I'm a bit touchy about this stuff, but I see way too much entitled behavior in our culture right now.  And simply accepting it with a grin and a wink seems to further exacerbate the situation.  Skiing is already a pretty privileged activity; I see no reason to make it even more plutocratic or exclusive. 

I totally get "local knowledge" but at the same time you get stuff like the Prima Cornice case at Vail with the kid's death with claims that the closure was just to keep gapers out of trouble and it was unofficially open to locals.  I have paid my dues skiing, I'm not going to be smoking the local hotshots' lines but I do visit a lot of places so I've got a lot of varied terrain under my belt. It's kinda frustrating to be the good citizen and obey closures/ respect patrol decisions somewhere new when locals are flagrantly poaching.  I much prefer the "Early season conditions - you will hit rocks and stumps" type of sign

post #48 of 53

I think that if patrollers want to check out a closed trail to assess conditions, have at it. But to ski it to ski it ... that would not be right because it sets a bad example. And if a closed trail was under a chair line, only ski it during the morning trail conditions runs. Teens, especially, might see it as "if they can do it, I can do it and who is going to catch me?".

post #49 of 53
Ski compaction. Packing down snow with proficient skiers to settle the existing snow into a solid base. Open it to the public too early and it gets scraped off by side slippers and snowboarders riding their heel edge right down the middle of the trail. Common early season tactic to improve snow quality over the entire season.
post #50 of 53

Well said.  Most people don't realize the work that goes into opening certain areas. They're asleep at 4am

post #51 of 53

I can't speak for the Patrol, but at our place the rule for instructors is no free skiing in uniform, period. That said, the Patrollers work their butts off, come save yours when you screw up, and get paid very little for it.  Why would you care about their having a bit of fun even if that is what was going on?

post #52 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post
 

I can't speak for the Patrol, but at our place the rule for instructors is no free skiing in uniform, period. That said, the Patrollers work their butts off, come save yours when you screw up, and get paid very little for it.  Why would you care about their having a bit of fun even if that is what was going on?

Or paid nothing for it.

post #53 of 53

I'm an old timer with experience in the 60s and early 70s.  Closed trails were CLOSED to everybody for good reason.  They were not subject to sweep.  Mountains are dangerous. Recues on closed trails can be very difficult and dangerous.  I didn't especially like getting the call to show up at the mountain for a 6 am checkout of whether there is enough snow to open a high mountain trail.  I didn't like ripping my skis up.  I had to do crud skiing.  It was part of the job  I didn't like it.  My first runs of the day always had to be the freshly opened trails to make sure they really should be open.  And as other people mentioned, in powder I skied the edges, not cut up the main body of fresh powder  Some trails were half groomed leaving frozen crud the size of volley balls and shouldn't be opened.  In the west there is avalanche danger that may be the cause of a closing.  I had a slab split several feet deep without sliding, just a 6 inch wide crack several feet long, between my skis, on a open bowl.  I called it in and the whole slope was closed for a week.  People bitched about all that beautiful snow being wasted.  That was a dangerous and unstable slope.  The proper avalanche control people checked it regularly. 

 

Everybody here is everybody  talking as if something sneaky is going on and they are missing out on all the special fun.  Not in my experience.  Now maybe on a 300 foot hill where the only hazard is the sod underneath the snow somebody might, but on a major mountain nobody with an ounce of good sense plays that kind of game.  I enjoyed my before opening runs checking safety equipment, confirming condition, blocking off spring holes in the snow that open up overnight sometimes, when the snow was good. When it was marginal having to evaluate whether the crud is good enough to open is no fun. Having to dig out new snow as needed was also part of the job. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Patrol Shack
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Patrol Shack › What's your moutain's policy on patrollers skiing closed trails?