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Does Ski Patrol Enforce Enough???

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 
Why is safety enforcement so laissez faire at some ski areas and so tight at others?

My question arises straight from some of the discussion we've seen on other threads. Are patrollers pressured to avoid too much enforcement? Is it a matter of patroller mountain-coverage and costs, ie, some areas can only attract or pay for a small number of patrollers? Is it a profits-over-quality-of-skiing problem?

I'm no expert on the subject, but I understand that overall things are better than they used to be, and ski patrols overall have helped lower injury rates in skiing enormously in the last thirty years or so.

I've never skied a place where I felt the enforcement was too severe, I should add.
post #2 of 80
Is it their responsibility to do so?

Don't answer off the cuff, go find the real answer.

I won't accept "Its always has been" Because that is simply not true.
post #3 of 80
It depends where and when you go. And also what rule you are talking about. At the start of the season here there will often be more than half a dozen patrollers watching each run at my local field. But this decreases significantly as the rest of the mountain becomes skiable.

Also the only one of the skier safety rules I have ever seen enforced is the don't go fast rule. - And it is the don't go fast rule, a beginner skier at moderate speed but out of control in a crowded area never gets hassled. An expert cruising down the same slope in total control and managing to stay 100m away from anyone else will get stopped.

I have never seen the 'stop only where you can be seen from above' rule enforced, which is arguably just as dangerous as going fast and out of control. Also I have never seen the 'look for uphill skiers when cutting across a slope' rule enforced. But come to think of it the only other rule that is enforced is the 'don't go into closed areas' rule.
post #4 of 80
At most areas the ski patrol has to answer to the area management and follow what they tell them. If the area management tells them to keep the speeds down in certain areas, then they do it. If the area management tells them to leave the "kids" alone, let them have their fun, then that is what they do. Some managements like a proactive patrol, others like one that only responds when there is an accident, that is why you see differences between patrols and some look "better and more alert" than others.
post #5 of 80
Ski Patrol are not Cops.

they are first aid folks.

you want mountain coppers? heh. I don't. I just want the ski area to pull passes from dangerous riders. shouldn't be too hard. start by checking with the wounded at the patrol shack.
post #6 of 80
You want the ski area to pull passes from dangerous riders? But you don't think that the ski patrol should do it. And you don't want mountain coppers? Hmmmm.

Riders are not dangerous only after they hurt someone. Gotta pull those passes before they do hurt someone.
post #7 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by PVnRT
You want the ski area to pull passes from dangerous riders? But you don't think that the ski patrol should do it. And you don't want mountain coppers? Hmmmm.

Riders are not dangerous only after they hurt someone. Gotta pull those passes before they do hurt someone.
This is NOT what I said at all.

PVnRT go back to remedial reading please.

BTW This was debated at length about a month ago.

Wbroun likes to hear himself type I suppose.

If you want further basis for my position, first read what I wrote---then go use the search tool to see what was said---ad-nauseum---just 30 to 40 days ago on the subject.

With that---

I'm out
post #8 of 80
OK! How my age will tell on me here, but, back in the 60's when we actually had some manners, instead of the ....... in yo' face ... f____ you ... jam in the lift line days, and believe it or not things used to be that way, National Ski Patrol were the mountain "cops" & medics.

NSP commanded an immense amount of respect and I still love to see the crimson jacket with the yellow cross. They would pull a ticket on a maniac in a second. As kids, we never gave them a hard time.

Today, you have "patrol" that is for the most part a part of the mountain management and they enforce very little and just do the EMS part. Areas are so afraid of the loss of a single red cent that you have to be a Jeffery Dahmer to get your ticket yanked. The "cop" thing is left up to the "Slope Security" staff. A nice bunch of fellas but their role is "educational" ..... give them a verbal .... second infraction ..... magic marker their ticket and make them watch a movie .....

They don't even bother with the code (for the most part), in lessons that are given at the area.

How many of you remember the days of "track right" when overtaking or replacing a "stitzmark" when you made a major divot in the snow? Those used to be part of the code.

Today, many areas have a few real police in addition to a few security "goons" just to keep the average eastern nitwits in check at our areas. You NEVER saw things like that back in the 60's.
post #9 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j
If you want further basis for my position, first read what I wrote---then go use the search tool to see what was said---ad-nauseum---just 30 to 40 days ago on the subject.

With that---

I'm out
hey skier_j I checked and am obviously not searching the right way...can you link to that discussion please? I wanted to comment but wanna see if it's already been flipped through a lot. Thx
post #10 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j
... Wbroun likes to hear himself type I suppose.

If you want further basis for my position, first read what I wrote---then go use the search tool to see what was said---ad-nauseum---just 30 to 40 days ago on the subject.

With that---

I'm out
Thanks for the unprovoked insult, Jeff. I did look carefully, as a matter of fact, and found nothing which addressed this. It seems a little high-handed to say "go find what I wrote" without even offering the link. Just trying to learn about a skiing-related subject. Imagine that ... on a skiing forum.
post #11 of 80
Try, "hit from behind"

"Attitudes about snowboarders"

Both those threads have EXTENSIVE discussion of how policing is and should be handled.

Wbroun, you make lots and lots of threads with absolutely no regard to when it was last discussed, whatever the subject is. Use "research" that is apples to oranges, \

And then get PO'd if someone calls you on it.

Give me a break!

But to summarize so that no one is inconvienced.

Yuki kinda hit on it---but not quite. Teachskilp did as well---just not quite.

Enforcement is a MANAGEMENT responsibility.

Skiingman said it best in the snowbarded attitude thread. Ever been to a large disco/bar/nightclub with no bouncer?

Who management ends up designating as the enforcement arm---MIGHT be---the same folks who may also be ski patrol---but not always.

Lots of discussions on this board get waylaid by imprecise usage.

This happens to be one where I will always step in with a correction.

Anyone remember the old tyre (for you WTFH) ad?

"If it doesn't say goodyear, it can't be polyglass"

Doesn't say the same thing when you reverse goodyear and polyglass, now does it?
post #12 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j
Try, "hit from behind"

"Attitudes about snowboarders"

Both those threads have EXTENSIVE discussion of how policing is and should be handled.

Wbroun, you make lots and lots of threads with absolutely no regard to when it was last discussed, whatever the subject is. Use "research" that is apples to oranges, \

And then get PO'd if someone calls you on it.

Give me a break!
J, I think you're the one PO'd. Those keywords/phrases you list aren't exactly intuitive or logic. Don't you have something better to do than try to pseudo-regulate the skiing forum? Get a life, dude.
post #13 of 80
skier_j ......speaking of unprovoked attacks

My post was clearly answering the post directly above mine. I expected to get a rise from Gonzo.

Your post was out of line.
post #14 of 80
wbroun, talk about get a life, you've been on here for a month and you have over 500 posts!!! Holy shit dude, go outside or something!!!
post #15 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zion zig zag
wbroun, talk about get a life, you've been on here for a month and you have over 500 posts!!! Holy shit dude, go outside or something!!!
I have rich, satisfying life, Zag. I don't waste it counting up people's posts on skiing forums. Thanks for jumping in with your worthless comment.
post #16 of 80
at my mountain they are predigiouse twoards racers for exampletwo of my friends and i were skiing down to the lift all in a line going the same speed not fast at all
i had a bib on for one of the local races gusse who gets thretend to get kicked off the mountain
wow the kid with the bib on
post #17 of 80
When was the last time you skied? I did 45,000 vert today before the game, and THIS is the top thread? BTW, non professional ski patrol in charge of enforcing speed and behavior at the area I ski consists of people in red jackets with white crosses that say Skier Safety. The real ski patrol is out doing rescue drills, training, or actually pulling people off the mountain, although sometimes they are just sitting in the sun with the rescue dogs. These guys definitely are king of the mountain, but don't need to be cops to prove anything.
post #18 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by PVnRT
skier_j ......speaking of unprovoked attacks

My post was clearly answering the post directly above mine. I expected to get a rise from Gonzo.

Your post was out of line.
Yer right PVnRT, my apology 's. I had the right windage and elevation but I aimed wrong!

Yeeps!
post #19 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbroun
J, I think you're the one PO'd. Those keywords/phrases you list aren't exactly intuitive or logic. Don't you have something better to do than try to pseudo-regulate the skiing forum? Get a life, dude.
HMM:

Funny that one can get those and other results with a search on "ski patrol".

Intuitive? maybe not exactly, but read brotha, read. The words boarder and ski patrol are rarely more than 2 words apart, yea, apprehend is only one word.

As far as PO'd.

Look around, no one else here elicits the same response with such suprising frequency---yep I've been known to give someone grief once in awhile, but like with PVnRT, when I do so in error, I apologize and move on.

You seem to bring out the best in me, thanks man.
post #20 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j

Look around, no one else here elicits the same response with such suprising frequency---yep I've been known to give someone grief once in awhile, but like with PVnRT, when I do so in error, I apologize and move on.

You seem to bring out the best in me, thanks man.
Jeff, it's clear that YOU don't like me, for whatever weird reason. Well guess what: I don't like you either. If you really wanted to be helpful, you could have PM'd me. Do me a big favor and if you don't like the thread, don't respond. Let it die a natural death. If you're trying to make some kind pathetic argument that somehow I have taken up too much precious space on Epic, why not take it to AC? Otherwise, go start your own gripping thread. I'd love to see that! Oh boy, excitement awaits! Sounds to me like you're just too forum-weary, bud. You're sick of Epic and you can't quite admit it to yourself. You know everything, after all. The excitement of learning is just completely lost on you. Have you considered pottery collecting?
post #21 of 80
[Long whistle] Kids, play nice. Yet another pissing contest thread.

My vote? Thumbs down on ski cops/patrol. Put the responsibility squarely where it belongs. On the offender. Remove the ski areas from responsibility, after all we decide to get up and go to the mountain and place ouselves in harm's potential way. If somebody is skiing too fast and they cause an injury/death let them pay the price. I also think that the ski patrol should not be a free mountain service. This might make a skier think twice before ducking a rope, hitting the terrain park, skiing too fast, or heading to the back country. Seems to work VERY WELL in Europe.
post #22 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbroun
Have you considered pottery collecting?
Let me check my transcript, I believe I have a grade in "Clay for an "A" with Ray" on there somewhere between the ping pong and bowling.:
post #23 of 80
omg i come here to get away from chemistry and i see someone with the nickname PVnRT -.-

anyways from what i've seen, the patrollers are really nice, except when someone went tabogon in a non-tabogon zone, the patroller was so rude...
post #24 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
Ski Patrol are not Cops.

they are first aid folks.

you want mountain coppers? heh. I don't. I just want the ski area to pull passes from dangerous riders. shouldn't be too hard. start by checking with the wounded at the patrol shack.
I agree with you, but who should be doing the actual pulling of the passes?

I think it pretty much has to be Patrol, since at most resorts they're the only resort reps on the hill, but it has to be pushed and more importantly supported by resort management.

Personally, I think if this was initiated and heavily enforced in the short run, people would get the picture and over the long haul it would be much less of an issue in terms of enforcement.
post #25 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
Ski Patrol are not Cops.

they are first aid folks.
No. They are SNOW SAFETY experts. Yes, they should enforce the rules as this is a SAFETY issue.

L
post #26 of 80
I agree that dangerous riders should be identified and dealt with BEFORE the disaster.

Proactive vs. reactive policing.

I also believe that one really good approach would be to try and segregate terrain parks from the rest of the hill (as many mountains have done). Parks/pipes with their own poma or chair reduce the thru traffic of jibbers who are rushing back to the park to work on their cork triple dip misty yadda yadda yadda mctwist.

I'd be willing to wager that a larger # of collisions occur on the section of green or blue trail between the top of a given lift, and the turnoff for the park than almost anywhere else on the hill. That's the section of trail that needs a full time "snow safety" official.
post #27 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by fressen
[Long whistle] Kids, play nice. Yet another pissing contest thread.

My vote? Thumbs down on ski cops/patrol. Put the responsibility squarely where it belongs. On the offender. Remove the ski areas from responsibility, after all we decide to get up and go to the mountain and place ourselves in harm's potential way. If somebody is skiing too fast and they cause an injury/death let them pay the price. I also think that the ski patrol should not be a free mountain service. This might make a skier think twice before ducking a rope, hitting the terrain park, skiing too fast, or heading to the back country. Seems to work VERY WELL in Europe.
And very well in Oregon where rescue after "ducking a rope" can cost $1,000 per hour.

But back to the original post. Most ski areas (ok, many ski areas) use a blend of paid and volunteer patrollers as well as speed control monitors and other paid employees to monitor the slopes for injuries and unsafe skiers.

Cutting to the chase, the ski areas have a right to do this since they do have a liability stake in accidents and injuries which occur on their mountain (whether leased from the Feds or private).

Most ski areas divide the responsibility as follows: speed monitors, paid patrollers, and paid staff have the right to impose a penalty on unsafe skiers. Volunteer patrollers do not (these people are for the most part the people who will be giving you a sled ride on weekends and holidays, while the pros monitor drunks and unsafe skiers). Penalties can range from a warning to banishment (cutting a daily pass or taking a season pass)

Serious problems like combative drunks, weapons, fights, etc are farmed out to the local constable and usually quickly.

After patrolling 4 ski areas I can say that segregated trauma parks have reduced many skier conflicts and most excessive speed skiers only need a brief talk and some recommendations on appropriate ski runs to make the slopes safe once again.

But drunks are something else.

Oh, and as fressen said, girls play nice!!!

Mark
post #28 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbroun
I did look carefully, as a matter of fact, and found nothing which addressed this.
Maybe this link, http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=20999
not sure is someone else posted it.
post #29 of 80

enforcement?

As a volly patroller, This topic has come up in discussions with both Mtn. management and our "Mountain Safety" squad (Distinct from Rescue Patrol)

First, Skiing and riding is about FUN. Different people have different ideas about fun, so there is no good reason why a old timer "Speed Cop" should be telling a kid to not have fun. At least I don't think so. Now SAFETY is different. Both parties need the same awareness and understanding about treating others safely, and sharing the mountain with consideration. That's where "enforcement" becomes "education".

In example:
Sunday, I "chased down" a "rope ducking speedster". To get the point across, I told him what infractions I had observed, that the ropes and rules had a reason, and that his behavior had been noted and was not tolerated.
For drama, this persons pass was demanded, I noted the persons name and advised that he was "on report", a second such incident would result in suspension of the pass. ( pass pulling goes directly to the Mtn Mangement, for they are the ones that get the nasty phone calls, not me)

This young adult was a bit evasive and professed no knowledge of the ski area (Not likely as a seasons pass holder,) but he was apologetic and respectful. I think the message got through, but for all I know, the fellow could have turned his jacket inside out and repeated his action under a new identity. Some people educate slowly.

We patrol exercise the standard that if infractions are observed, and we don't get any lip while advising and educating, then a warning is fine. Bad behavior gets the treatment however. (Pass pulling, or even an escort to Mtn Management)
So yes, Patrol can do safety education and enforcement, It's not too great a burden. But I wouldn't want to be setting Traps looking for a quota.

Just some random thoughts and experiences

CalG
post #30 of 80
As a full time instructor who has worked at four differnet mountains in three eastern states since 1986 I have had the "task" or responsibility of warning and marking tickets with a big black slash for reckless skiing/riding at one area (if there was already a slash then it became an X and the ticket was void). At a different area SS was totally not involved in reckless control (SP was a different Union). My current area originally directed me to go ahead and remove tickets from reckless persons but then last season when I did it and the parents raised a fuss, guess who almost got fired for spoiling guests fun?? Glad I saved that 2001 letter from the president directing me to remove tickets. It comes down to the patrol can either get busy and prevent or deminish reckless skiing and riding or they can get busy picking up the pieces after the crash. Areas can leave it to the victims and offenders lawyers to sort things out and hope they are not found guilty of contributory negligence for not having a policy of deterring recklessness. Notice I use the term reckless, not fast, as many others have already posted that Fast does not = out of control or out of common sense (ie: a totally in control jump out of the woods into a busy trail).
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