Originally Posted by sjjohnston
On the other hand, while it may not be directly addressed by the Responsibility Code, it is bad form (in the behavioral, not technical, sense) to make a dramatic, unpredictable turn if there's a good likelihood it will surprise someone behind you ... or to suddenly swing all the way to the edge of the run, leaving no room between yourself and the trees.
That is why I think simply relying on the Responsibility Code for higher-level skiers is a bit of a "cop out". Typically I take up 20-30 feet of space with tight tracks down the side of a run. However, all I have to do is pressure the tips and roll the skis a little higher on edge and shoot another 20-30 feet across the run almost instantly... before anyone could possibly react. I think that puts responsibility on me to look to the side and behind before making such a move.
I can only recall one close call with another person in the last 5-10 years of skiing. Happened early this year when a ski instructor (suited up) was on the opposite side of a trail. We were coming off of a flat and moving about the same speed and about side-by-side. There was a compound fall line which dropped toward me as we went over a pitch. He took the opportunity to break out a huge arc toward me. He should have seen me, because I saw him coming across the hill, but he was looking down hill in preparation for a sweeping arc back to the other side. I made no turns to keep from entering his path; however, he kept dropping to where I was at the very edge of the tree line. About the time I started to say "excuse me", his outside ski was running along my boot. He yelled "hey watch it!" and quickly cut back to the left. I sped up as much as possible to get ahead of him, then hooked a few short radius turns and stopped. He came over and gave me a condescending "thank you" and said "I guess you could have just taken me out". Like I was at fault.
A couple of other people who observed the incident from behind came over and asked me why the instructor tried to run me into the woods? Beats me.
He should have looked across the trail before taking so much space. It was an intermediate trail and he would have wiped out someone less solid on their feet. I ski short slaloms too, so I know how much fun the swoop is, but maybe it's time for an addition to the RC to remind people to look before "swooping".