Originally Posted by enkidu
I had this experience last week at Northstar. I was riding the backside express (mainly less-steep blacks and steeper blues, no beginner runs) with a couple of guys. One of them related a story to his friend which went more or less like
"Some people just don't belong on these slopes. The other day there was this 6 year old making big turns down Burnout and I was following him. [Editor: one of the wider smoother steep slopes]. I'm following him and suddenly right after making a turn he makes another quick turn. What could I do. I ran into him. Then his father comes up and gives me grief. I'm telling you, if you can't make the turns, you shouldn't be on these slopes etc. etc. etc."
First thing, going by his description, it seems clear to me that he was in the wrong. The kid has no idea what is upslope from him and the guy clearly wasn't as good a skier as he thought he was because he couldn't handle one sudden move on a smooth groomed slope. Or is my understanding of slope etiquette totally out to lunch?
Second thing, what would you do? Strike up a conversation about skiing in control? Confront him for being a dick? As it was, all I did was make note of his get-up to make sure that I never ski around him, but REALLY wanted to say "Listen to yourself, YOU couldn't make the turn, YOU ran into a kid who was downslope from you, YOU don't belong on these slopes." But I figured it wouldn't change his behavior, and it would just get two guys pissed off at me.
What possible reason is there for following a 6 year old (not your kid) closely enough that you can run into him?
enkidu - your understanding is correct. I don't know about California, but here in Colorado it is more than "slope etiquette", it is a law. Back in the 80s and 90s it was all very black and white. You hit somebody, it was your fault. If you hurt them, you got arrested and often went to jail.
Originally Posted by raytseng
Especially at northstar, it's not your job to be the ski police.
They have the the yellow jackets, plus skipatrol, plus actual black jacketed ski police to haul folks off.
Obviously we aren't in a perfect world, because every single weekend day at northstar or any family/tourist type ski resort dozens of folks are carted off from collisions, a large portion of them are with other people, thousands spent on safety signage and "know the code" on every single napkin yet it still happens.
Of course if the question is thrown out for open discussion on the chair or your advice is asked, give it, but don't take it on your shoulders to be the ski police.
It's just like if you see a beginner struggling, you aren't going to put on your ski instructor hat and throw out ski tips to every single beginner on the slopes.
Well, not quite like a beginner struggling - if you see a beginner run over a 6 year old kid, or if you hear a beginner talking about running over a 6 year old kid, I sure hope any of us would say something.
raysteng is right - it is not a perfect world. Something has changed over the last 20 years and now when people collide with riders in front of them, they often attempt to minimize their responsibility, or they claim ignorance.
But - isn't a ski resort something of a haven from the rest of the world and the associated crappy human behavior? Maybe if those of us who "know the code" make the effort to educate others then the "ski police" wouldn't have so many folks to haul off? And our resorts would be nicer places?
Just a thought. I doubt if I would have said anything to the buffoons on the chairlift.