New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Another fallen skier

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Found this while mindlessly surfin around the net.
Some one didn't do thier job right, and it wasn't the skier.

: : :
Paralyzed skier falls 35 feet off lift on the way to race
ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — A paralyzed skier participating in the Winter X Games fell about 35 from a chair lift this week, winding up with only bumps and bruises.
Kimberly Joines of Edmonton, Alberta, got her mono-ski — a bicycle-like frame strapped to a single ski — stuck in the chair Monday as she was loading and couldn't get back into the seat.

Joines, who was paralyzed in a snowmobiling accident, spent 10 minutes clinging to the chair with one hand on the back of the seat and another on the side as the lift worked its way up the mountain. She finally let go about 100 yards from the end after her hands grew numb.

Joines, 24, complained of bruised ribs and said she was sore all over, but felt well enough to start the race. She crashed during the race and didn't finish.

Joines told the Gazette of Colorado Springs she had asked the lift attendant to stop the lift when she loaded, but the person apparently didn't understand English very well and kept the chairs moving at a quicker pace.

She was able to hang on while a snowmobile followed her up the mountain, but said her hands were numb when the lift stopped for some reason just short of the unloading ramp.

Jeff Hanle, a spokesman for the Aspen Ski Co., said the incident is being investigated. Hanle said the company hires employees from other countries, and they are evaluated for English skills before hiring. He said he did not have the employee's name.
post #2 of 26
Unforgiveable. Why would you even need to speak English to understand that you'd better stop the lift? Stupidity is to blame - not language.
post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodee
Unforgiveable. Why would you even need to speak English to understand that you'd better stop the lift? Stupidity is to blame - not language.
Yup. I agree. Screaming and yelling should have been the first sign to look uphill. I've actually noticed this before in Aspen - they have pretty dumb lifties. It's not uncommon at Snowmass to see a lift with 4 attendants all standing around paying no attention whatsoever to the crowd. I've noticed they're usually from Argentina, but I'm not sure that means anything. I've also seen ticket checkers hanging out talking to the lifties and not scanning the crowds at all. (The fact that I even noticed it and remembered it must be a sign there's a problem.)

Oh well, I still love the mountains and will continue to ski there.
post #4 of 26
The responsibility for hiring and training the lifty is with management, and no amount of proof that the lifty was stupid can change that. I'll be interested to read any future report of the management's investigation. Also, was only one single lifty or lift worker involved? This is one for the books. The only out for the company would be clear proof that the lifty and lift workers did their jobs and that a mecahnical malfunction attributable to the manufacturer of the lift and of which management could not reasonably have known was to blame - but even then . . . how could you not see that the skier was disabled and needed some attention in boarding?
post #5 of 26
They need to quit pee testing for weed so a normal American ski bum can have that job.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15
They need to quit pee testing for weed so a normal American ski bum can have that job.
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15
They need to quit pee testing for weed so a normal American ski bum can have that job.
you have to be totally kidding me, i will never trust a liftie again, i thought you HAD to smoke weed to get that job.
post #8 of 26
Very fortunate to take a 35 foot fall and only get bumps and bruises!
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbubnis
Very fortunate to take a 35 foot fall and only get bumps and bruises!
True, she sounds like one tough chick. I think she could have held on the whole way if they didn't stop the lift close to the top! I know I couldn't have held on that long. Wow!
post #10 of 26
Last year I was in line with a class, about 3 chairs from getting on, when someone fell while moving forward into place to get on (high speed detach quad). There were no lift ops around, and the lift just kept going. It came over the guy who was laying on the ground and he grabbed it to keep it from hitting his head, and it started to drag him forward. A lot of yelling from a lot of people, but still no lift op. So I went around all of the people in front of me and hit the red button myself. Then the lift op strolls out of the shack as if nothing happened. If I hadn't had a class with me, I'd have gone and found his boss and had him fired. Imagine the lawsuits possible.
post #11 of 26
I have loaded and unloaded a number of sit-skis with only a few problems. Sometimes the Teflon skid pad underneath the bucket(chair the adaptive skier sits in)gets caught on the lift chair. Sit skiers are suppost to have a safety strap that secures to the back of the chair. 35 feet is a long ways to fall strapped in to a 60-80 lb sit ski.
post #12 of 26
I myself being a sitskier, its common knowledge to alert the lifty BEFORE loading. Those liftys are not trained to handle us and how often do you see us 'sitskiers' skiing with you 'two plankers' It's part of skiing independant and know how to load unassisted. Lucky for her, the shock on her monoski absorbed most of the impact. When I load I usually, for courtesy, pull the lifty aside and give him a quick 'sitrep' on what to do if I need help. I just hope that this sitskier doesnt spoil it for the rest of us by filing a complaint.
post #13 of 26
A huge contrast with the lifties here in Japan. Everytime I get to the lift with my 9 year-old daughter eagle-eyes concentrate on us, and the lift is slowed a little to check she gets on okay. As soon as we are aboard back to full speed. This attention to the rules and details here gets some foreigners down, but there is no way that someone in trouble getting on would be ignored.
post #14 of 26
SitSki-
are you being overly sensitive? I am very independent, but think nothing about asking the liftie to slow down the lift when I have a couple of little kids or a poorly balanced bundled of gates- and as a matter of hill policy they are required to help us load a toboggan. So what is the deal with helping a sitskier and being sure they load safely? that is what the liftie is paid to do.

As for the question of the liftie's chemical assist, this is a tough subject. Again, as a matter of policy, peeing in the cup is a requirement today. But how many of us survived those mind numbing hours by "going on break"???? Yet I cannot imagine anyone of my compatriots letting this sitskier leave the pad without being properly on the chair as she left the base, no matter how good the supply. The difference? as ski bums we cared about the product- hell if any of us wanted a real job we would have been elsewhere making real $$.

I haven't skiied at Aspen in some time so cannot comment on their emps, but I have seen the absolute bottom of the barrel at some of the bigger areas- I am sure they come cheap.
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
when i worked DV, we would help sit skiers on the lift,by slowing it, then coming behind the chair and pull back and up on the sit ski, i loaded many, had no problems.
As for a safty strap, who is going to un hook it before the chair reaches the top ramp?
post #16 of 26
this is completely unbeleivable. You mean they knew she was hanging there and even had a snowmobile follow her up. HUH? WHAT? then they let the lift continue up. not sure how long this lift is but I assume long enough to do the right thing.

no one thought to use the radio and slow the lift down as she approched a tower with someone already up the tower with a rope to toss to the other people on the chair.

How about lift evac. every single ski patroller in the last 20 years knows how to toss the rope and with a few people (hey you skiing stop, come here right now and pull on this rope)

climb the tower with the chair in question just under it and rope over the top and sort of zip line down. Not officially allowed but good god, rules be damned.

She better sue their butts off and she better win.

I will stay tuned to this one.

Mark
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoetr
when i worked DV, we would help sit skiers on the lift,by slowing it, then coming behind the chair and pull back and up on the sit ski, i loaded many, had no problems.
As for a safty strap, who is going to un hook it before the chair reaches the top ramp?
Most sit skiers have a helper or guide with them. Unless they are independent. As a guide you are taking on the responsibility of their well being. Sitting in a lift chair while in a Sit ski is a little unnerveing. You are hanging out over the front of the chair alot.: It's an Insurance thing. Loading a man like Casey takes some extra help from the lifties.
post #18 of 26
2 thoughts come to my mind. Are we *sure* she came out with only bumps and bruises? Paralysed from the waist down would---in my mind---make it hard to determine new lower body injuries, would it not?

And to Marmots MB's thoughts. While they are nice sentiments, the reality is it takes quite awhile to get the right folks mobilized on a tiny hill, and much more time for something the size of Aspen.

Before a rope is rigged in any fashion, the lift has to stop and remain stopped for the duration. Since that didn't happen---you can't rig anything even if the people were there.

It would take considerably longer than the "10 minutes" she hung on to rig ANY sort of evac gear.

To your last thought---I agree!
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j
2 thoughts come to my mind. Are we *sure* she came out with only bumps and bruises? Paralysed from the waist down would---in my mind---make it hard to determine new lower body injuries, would it not?

And to Marmots MB's thoughts. While they are nice sentiments, the reality is it takes quite awhile to get the right folks mobilized on a tiny hill, and much more time for something the size of Aspen.
I patrolled at a local smaller hill. the evac rope which is simply a peice of rope about 100 or more feet in length with a t-bar attached to it. there really is no riggin to speak of, you throw it over the lift cable, either standing on the ground or climbing up the tower and tossing it over. Generally speaking these evac. ropes are at the top and bottom huts, and usually on at least one tower somewhere along the lift and in most cases at least one snowmobile has it permanent on it. the rigging is simply people and the rope over the cable.

What I read was a snowmobile was following. correct me if I am wrong but that sled could have, really should be on it permanently, gotten the evac rope, raced up hill of the chair in questioned, climed up the tower and ready for the chair in question to be just below the tower. If it takes them more than 10 minutes to accomplish this they better have good insurance, and someone needs to kick some butts and get that hill organized.

people trapped or hanging from a chair is a reality that will happen and more often than most realize, any good hill mamangement or Safety Supervisor should recognize this reality and have a plan in place for immediate execution.

Mark
post #20 of 26
In defense of the liftie, I was there this weekend and the place was a circus with the X games going on. They had the moto x course right next to the lift on the left with riders catching 50 feet of air. They built a boardwalk on the right for all the sponsors to hawk there gear. Then the super pipe was just up hill, so there was an abnormal amount of activity around the lift.
The lifties are mostly South American university students that speak pretty good english. They seem like good kids that are just happy to be in a ski town.
post #21 of 26
People working at the circus aren't supposed to get distracted by the action going on in the three rings. Their english might be ok but how is their knowledge of chairlifts and the needs of those using chairlifts? Maybe they don't teach that at university. Give me an old fashioned american dropout stoner who takes pride in his work and knows the job inside out. Oldtimer knows what I'm talking about. Good kids happy to be there just doesn't cut it.
post #22 of 26
If she died we would all be screaming bloody murder. what becasue she is already parlized it's okay, because she is a lucky lucky girl, it's okay.

I can accept that it was extremly busy and that it was abnormal circumstances but it in no way excuses the lifty not stopping the lift in the first 100 feet from loading.

Hey why not give the lifty a tip, he did his job okay and she is not dead. oops thread carry over sorry.

Mark
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmot mb
I can accept that it was extremly busy and that it was abnormal circumstances but it in no way excuses the lifty not stopping the lift in the first 100 feet from loading.
5 feet. "You're fired and under investigation for negligent harm."
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
5 feet. "You're fired and under investigation for negligent harm."
does this mean I don't get a tip?

Never been a lifty, had no idea there was a rule regarding it. I don;t recall that ever being taught in the CSPS manual but I am going to look tonight. I just thought that 100 feet was a reasonable distance.

so does that mean the sleeping lifty was or should be fired?

Mark
post #25 of 26

whtmt

As a former Adaptive Examiner and formerTech Director for our adaptive program at Loon Mountain NH, the only way that that liftie would keep his/her job would be if it was determined that the lift had an uncontrolable mechanical malfunction. That includes the RED EMERGENCY Button malfunctioning. The only reason they're (lifties) there is to safely operate the lifts. On top of that result I would want to know why the Lift Manager shouldn't also be sent packing.

Keep in mind my sensitivity is that these participating athletes in many instances have already sustained extremely serious trama, from accidents in many cases. So, for an employee to not be attentive to the job he/she is being paid for goes right off the scale in my book.

It's one thing to have a misload, it happens frequently. But to have a misload with the entire emergency exacerbated by an incompetent and worse yet un-attentive employee responsible for avoiding exactly this type of potential tradgedy is inexcusable. The lift should have been immediately stopped and patrol called to assist if needed.

Many of my friends ski monos and I ski a mono with them from time to time. Loading the lift is a NO-FALL Zone matter for sure. Many years ago I had fallen out of a lift just starting up off the loading area with a student in an older mono ski that was later decided to be inherently unsafe to load on all chairs. After this incident we banned anyone using that manufacturer's mono-ski from getting on our mountain's lifts. No one ever went off a lift again with that mono-ski.

Thanks for reminding me to never ski Aspen!!!!!!!!!!!!

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #26 of 26

whtmt

[quote=slider] Sit skiers are suppost to have a safety strap that secures to the back of the chair.



Slider: In reference to your note about the safety strap used to attach the mono-ski to the chair, you should be aware that many independent and highly proficient mono-skiers don't use them. This is due to the difficulties of getting them off in time for unloading or their inability to twist their body or arms far enough to properly attach the strap or the carabiner freezing up momentarily.

However, my guess is that this skier was involved with a mis-load, which prevented her from letting go of the chair with either one or both hands to complete the attachment. During a mis-load many times, there is simply no time to do anything but hold on until the chair is stopped and /or the athlete and coach, if there is one in the chair, can adjust the mono-ski to a safe position.

I have taught disabled skiers for the last 15 seasons 16, when this one is over, and have seen many difficult loads and unloads, but usually we can straighten them out with assistance from the lifties and patrol.

The lifties at Loon Mountain NH where I ski out of are well trained and attentive all the time. However, as a coach I always make sure they know we're coming through the loading zone and give them the instructions I want them to follow, ie-lift speed, load assist, etc.

Most of all I'm very happy to hear that the skier was OK and not seriously injured, "AGAIN!!!!!"

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion