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Etiquette while being passed.

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

In another thread (which for the life of me I can't find) the discussion revolved around the best/most proper way to pass others. I am curious about the other side of this, being passed. Is there a proper/accepted way to signal the passing skiier that you have heard their "on the left/right" call so they can get by you without worry? Hope everyone is having a great day.

Glenn
"I know you can fight, it's our wits that make us men."
post #2 of 85
whenever I hear someone call out, I usually try to move in the opposite direction. I.e., if someone calls "on your left", I move over to my right as much as I can.
post #3 of 85
Sheena queen of the slope,
After you have been passed, if you did indeed move over, the faster skier should IMHO yell out "thanks". The very fact that they have had to call "on the left" implies that they are asking you, the slower skier, to suspend the normal paramount rule, ie. the faster skier is responsible for passing the slower skier safely. You have, in a sense, voluntarily given up your "right" of immunity against faster skiers crashing into you from behind, and you should be thanked for that.
post #4 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
Sheena queen of the slope,
After you have been passed, if you did indeed move over, the faster skier should IMHO yell out "thanks". The very fact that they have had to call "on the left" implies that they are asking you, the slower skier, to suspend the normal paramount rule, ie. the faster skier is responsible for passing the slower skier safely. You have, in a sense, voluntarily given up your "right" of immunity against faster skiers crashing into you from behind, and you should be thanked for that.
Not at all. I'm still responsible for avoiding the collision. The slower skier does not have to change his direction. I'm not asking for a right-of-way; I'm just letting them know that I'm there.
post #5 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
Sheena queen of the slope,
After you have been passed, if you did indeed move over, the faster skier should IMHO yell out "thanks". The very fact that they have had to call "on the left" implies that they are asking you, the slower skier, to suspend the normal paramount rule, ie. the faster skier is responsible for passing the slower skier safely. You have, in a sense, voluntarily given up your "right" of immunity against faster skiers crashing into you from behind, and you should be thanked for that.
I disagree with this notion. The call of "on your left" is quite common in road cycling. There it's just an indication that "hey, I'm over here, please don't do any lane changes for a minute". A "turn to the right" by the skier / rider being passed is completely voluntary, although welcomed amoung road riders as it allows the passing rider to not have to swing further out into traffic. By no means does it absolve the passer of responsibility.
post #6 of 85
I haven't heard "on your left" or right for that matter in sometime.: However, I do practice safe skiing. Except when I'm alone.
post #7 of 85
I interpret "on your right/left" as essentially, "get out of my way". It's incumbent on the person over taking to do so safely, and really I don't think the person being overtaken has any involvement at all.
The call from behind tends to make the person in front change what they are doing, and often it's not safe at all.
post #8 of 85
Well if I'm overtaking a Snowboarder which isn't often.:-[] I say dooood on your heel side.
post #9 of 85
I call out "on your left/right" quite often, as you will come upon people swerving across the trail in a random manner, and if you're coming down the edge of the trail it could be disastrous. Most of the time people just freeze and go straight, which is fine by me.
post #10 of 85
What I expect, if I call "on your right" is for the person not to turn to the right. I don't expect him to move to the left. Going perfectly straight is an acceptable option (maybe even preferred ... some non-calling person might come flying up on the left).

Incidentally, in my view (don't know if it's shared) calling isn't something you ordinarily do on an open slope, where the overtaking skier should be able to keep clear of the slower guy even if he does do something wildly unexpected. The classic place you need it is on a cat track, or a narrowish run-out (like a road), where there's not enough space to give someone a wide berth.

On an open slope, where most everyone is turning from side to side, it shouldn't be that hard to either (i) be far enough away from the person you're passing that he couldn't possibly get in your way or (ii) go behind him with appropriate space and timing so that he'd have to do an absurd and perhaps impossible direction change to get in front of you.
post #11 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
Incidentally, in my view (don't know if it's shared) calling isn't something you ordinarily do on an open slope, where the overtaking skier should be able to keep clear of the slower guy even if he does do something wildly unexpected. The classic place you need it is on a cat track, or a narrowish run-out (like a road), where there's not enough space to give someone a wide berth.
This is exactly the situation I had in mind when I made posed the question.
post #12 of 85
Probably just scares the slower skier who hasn't got time to process the info before you are past him anyway. If you say "on your right" they might turn right not understanding. Just the sound of your voice could make someone turn their head towards the side your voice is coming from. Turning head often causes skis to turn also.

On a cat track if you make your presence known, even say "track" (who even knows what that means?) before passing, that's probably better than silent pass. On the hill where slow skier is concentrating so hard just to stay balanced and in control, it might be better to pass with enough room that slow skier couldn't get in your way even if he tried. Verbal warning could just startle him. May be better to pass quietly with a wide berth.
post #13 of 85
I learned the protocol in the '70s and still practice it. I use it in narrow areas like cat tracks. As far as I'm concerned it is an expression of me taking responsibility for the safety of the skier I'm overtaking. It means "hey, I'm going to pass you and it's safer for both of us if you know that than if you don't and I'd be most appreciative if you didn't veer into me as I go past you and the best way for me to help you not do that is to let you know what's about to happen then hope you have good control and judgement."

If the skier demonstrably does NOT have *both* good control and good judgement I will sacrifice my interest in skiing quickly for the sake of safety and wait till I can at least find a spot wide enough to swing out around them in a wide enough arc that their sudden movements won't cover enough ground in that moment to facilitate a collision.

It does NOT mean "get out of my way."
post #14 of 85
As a previously VERY nervous very slow skier - I always was very pleased with those that called "on your right" .... it let me know they were there so I didn't geta fright - & maybe fall down in front of them.... I always answered with a "thanks" if I got the chance...

I still tend to try to call on cattracks - it seems only polite to do so.... I think those that speed closely by unannounced are VERY rude beings....
post #15 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
Sheena queen of the slope,
After you have been passed, if you did indeed move over, the faster skier should IMHO yell out "thanks". The very fact that they have had to call "on the left" implies that they are asking you, the slower skier, to suspend the normal paramount rule, ie. the faster skier is responsible for passing the slower skier safely. You have, in a sense, voluntarily given up your "right" of immunity against faster skiers crashing into you from behind, and you should be thanked for that.
Well it should also be your responsility to avoid an accident if possible. Not that yelling on the left is a great warning and there is no telling what the skier below you willl hear it or not. You are moving at high speed after all. As the passer its best to just avoid those below you entirely or ski slower if it is jammed up. As the passee, it is best to alow them by. I mean who cares. Don't ski angry!
post #16 of 85
At times (both on a bike/walking path / or cattrack), I will just say "passing". My thought is that this will not confuse new skiers/boarders. Even then I keep plenty of room and also look for passing spots with bailouts if needed.

Shannon
post #17 of 85
At times (both on a bike/walking path / or cattrack), I will just say "passing". My thought is that this will not confuse new skiers/boarders. Even then I keep plenty of room and also look for passing spots with bailouts if needed.

Shannon
post #18 of 85
I'll usually yell either Right of Left when I'm passing a slower skier but I can't count the number of time I've yelled a direction only to seemingly startle the slower skier and have them turn right into my path. I've had a couple close calls but I've never gotten to where I've endangered myself of the slower skier. I just wish sometimes that slower skiers would stay off runs they don't belong on, I can't count the number of times I'll come ripping over a huge drop only to be nearly stopped by the staggering number of slow skiers clogging nearly the entire run. Mind you I come from Michigan where runs aren't nearly as wide as they are out West.
post #19 of 85
On the slopes, there's never any excuse to pass close enough to another skier to need to call out. Unless:

a) It's early seaon at a Killington trail merge. In which case it's so crowded (and they are all on their cell phones anyway) that no one would hear if you did call out. Just stick your elbows out and push forward through the massed New Yakkers. They will just think that you are one of them.

b) It's MLK weekend at an East coast mogul run. In this case you have special permission to hoot and holler to warn the gapers standing on the bumps that your going to go over their tips at Mach 6 and spray them with slush.


But seriously, on a cat trail, there are too many people that get nervous when they hear a voice and/or get confused about right and left and/or try to help by going in the wrong direction. I have two basic techniques for cat track passing where there is even a hint of needing to pass within 3 feet. Both techniques start with clicking my poles to let the skier know there is someone behind them. When there's a pokey using the whole trail, I will maintain a speed differential, but line up the victim so that I can get around them by coming at them from the left when they are on the right side and committed to coming left, then passing behind them or vice versa (i.e. I'm skiing laterally away from them as I pass them, they have momentum preventing them from possibly getting into my path, and I have just enough speed difference to be in control of the relative situation even if they try to get in the way). When there's a random drunk whose path is totally unpred(h)ictable, I will match speeds and creep by, grabbing space to the side of the skier when it safely becomes available, then proceeding to pass from there.
post #20 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant
I interpret "on your right/left" as essentially, "get out of my way". It's incumbent on the person over taking to do so safely, and really I don't think the person being overtaken has any involvement at all.
The call from behind tends to make the person in front change what they are doing, and often it's not safe at all.
So you are one of those people that gets all visibly annoyed when someone calls it out?

Hey, I'm skiing faster than you. You may just be that guy that is making turns on a cat track/traverse. I think I'm being courteous by telling you that I'm about to go by, not somehow discourteous.

The person in front often turns in the direction of the call, which is annoying as hell. I stopped using "left" and "right" a while ago. I now just either click poles or yell random nonsensical noises.

In the ever so eloquent words of Ludacris...

Move b***h, get out the way, get out the way b***h

Don't be that guy. The same guy that sits in the fast lane on Interstates, mumbling incoherently about how he is going "fast enough". You are going to mumble about what an ass I am whether I call, yell, click poles, or just pass you without making a noise.
-Garrett

edit: Specifically on cat tracks, I think it is incredibly bad form to:
-ski on the left side of the track.
-turn at all. turn on trails, not traverses. thanks.
post #21 of 85
Folks, it's just like driving a car. It's only an issue if your speed is only slightly faster than the person you are passing.

Pass 'em at mach 10 and you won't have time to say anything - they won't hear it anyway ...
post #22 of 85
I don't know, its pretty simple to me. First, if you have to "yell" you're (probably) closing at too much speed. But there are plenty of situations where there in not a lot of room to maneuver such as a long traverse as well as a cat track where you need to keep up speed. A _gentle_ but loudly voiced "your left" works just fine for me. I've never had anyone turn into me. If people are skiing along three abrest taking up the whole cat track then yea, the left-most should move out of the way, but otherwise just continue straight ahead. The way I look at it, safety is the responsiblity of the overtaking skier, courtesy is the responsiblity of the overtakee, and safety trumps courtesy.
post #23 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodro
I don't know, its pretty simple to me. First, if you have to "yell" you're (probably) closing at too much speed.
I would disagree with the too much speed part. Unless I'm in a beginner terrain area, I expect people to ski traverses like they should be skied...which is as fast as possible.
Quote:
But there are plenty of situations where there in not a lot of room to maneuver such as a long traverse as well as a cat track where you need to keep up speed. A _gentle_ but loudly voiced "your left" works just fine for me. I've never had anyone turn into me. If people are skiing along three abrest taking up the whole cat track then yea, the left-most should move out of the way, but otherwise just continue straight ahead. The way I look at it, safety is the responsiblity of the overtaking skier, courtesy is the responsiblity of the overtakee, and safety trumps courtesy.
I think placing the entire onus of safety of the overtaker is a bit much. In your car, you wouldn't swerve back and forth across the highway as people behind you were driving faster, would you? If you did, I think it'd be fair to say you were being "unsafe".

There is a time and a place for good turns, and it isn't on a crowded and (round here) damn narrow traverse. I don't know if ski instructors teach people this, but they should.
-Garrett
post #24 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
So you are one of those people that gets all visibly annoyed when someone calls it out?
How on earth did you extrapolate that from my post? Mind you, you're doing better than me, as I found most of your reply incomprehensible.

actually I'm an instructor who all too often sees the effect of people calling as they overtake the people I'm skiing with. There is no need to call out IF you are passing safely.

Do you blow your car horn before overtaking another vehicle?
post #25 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant
How on earth did you extrapolate that from my post? Mind you, you're doing better than me, as I found most of your reply incomprehensible.
I didn't.

Quote:
There is no need to call out IF you are passing safely.
There may not be a "need." It's a courtesy, and a (usually unnecessary) safety precaution, to warn they guy not to turn suddenly in front of you. I'll warrant that at least 90% of the population knows what it means, and it isn't, "Get out of my way."

Quote:
Do you blow your car horn before overtaking another vehicle?
If it were standard procedure for cars to change lanes without signaling or looking behind them, I would.

Jeez. Have you ever ridden a bike? And that's a sport where swerving from side to side isn't standard behavior.

In case you find this incomprehensible: it is standard procedure when passing another bike to call out, or signal with a bell, even though the likelihood of a bike swerving in front of you is lower than that of a skier swerving in front of you. The reason it is more likely that a skier will swerve in front of you is that "swerving" is typical behavior for skiers. It isn't for bikers, though it's not entirely unknown.

Is that comprehensible?
post #26 of 85
A lot of these replys posted indicate that skiers here make assumptions about the person, down hill from you. This is a mistake, when dealing in situations of safety. Accidents are the end result of a chain of events, assumeing what another person is doing below you would be one of the links.
post #27 of 85
To what assumtions do you refer? I see a lot of recognition that the behavior of the slower skier, often a white-knuckler, is unpredictible. The input into the situation on the part of the faster skier calling out ideally serves to narrow the range of this unpredictible behavior.
post #28 of 85
This isn't that difficult:

On the slopes:
1. When being passed, hold your line.
2. When passing, make sure you can do so safely or don't pass.
3. No shouting. If you follow 1 & 2, this is easy.

On a cat track there's nothing wrong with a little communication, but you still don't need to shout it out. I was at Vail last year which has plenty of cat tracks to traverse different parts of the mountain. It was pretty typical to hear someone simply say "on your left" with the typical response being "thanks" or "cool".
post #29 of 85
Quote:
Folks, it's just like driving a car. It's only an issue if your speed is only slightly faster than the person you are passing.

Pass 'em at mach 10 and you won't have time to say anything - they won't hear it anyway ...
I agree, if you're passing (on skis or in a car) get by fast or don't attempt the maneuver.
post #30 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15
On a cat track if you make your presence known, even say "track" (who even knows what that means?)...
"Track" was a term used well before there were cats to even leave a track - before grooming - so it does not bear a relationship to the term cat track.

"Track left" or "Track right" were commonly heard on the slopes in the '50s-60's. I was taught that term many years before I heard "On your left/right" (which I agree does seem to make more sense in that a novice has a better chance to understand the message being conveyed).

Chances are that if you hear "Track", there is a "vintage" skier like me coming.
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