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I hit a child today at Sunday River :(

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
It happened on what I had already planned as my last run of what had been a full day of skiing, on the Jungle Road trail off the Barker lift. This is a relatively flat trail which is gentle enough that most people seem to traverse it simply by gliding. That's what I was doing--gliding on a flat part straight ahead on my skis and looking right in front of me. Suddenly, from my right side a child who could not have been more than 5 years old crossed in front of me very closely. We collided, I knocked the child down and then fell down myself. I got up, apologized and asked if the child was okay. His parents were there and he seemed unharmed. Another adult who was there started accosting me, saying how I had ran right into him and was going too fast. I apologized again but also emphasized that the child ran right in front of me and there was no way I could have stopped to avoid hitting him.

I feel incredibly guilty and ashamed for having hit anyone, especially a child. I have read the many posts on this board about people having been run into by other skiers and boarders, and I always make an effort to ski safely and especially to give children a wide birth because I understand how erratic they can be. I have tried over and over to think whether I could have stopped soon enough, but it happened so fast, I can't remember exactly how it happened. All I know is that I was definitely not out of control. I was gliding, not going downhill and not even making turns. I also don't believe that I was travelling at an unsafe speed. While I suppose technically it was my fault, it is frustrating because I don't believe that it happened on account of any unsafe behavior on my part. All I can think is that I know I was mentally and physically tired since it was the end of the day, and perhaps I let my guard down on a trail that felt easy and safe, or my reaction time was slowed due to fatigue. It sucks because it ruined what was otherwise a great day of skiing.

I suppose I just wanted to confess this to my fellow skiers and see what words of wisdom any of you have to offer.
post #2 of 51
Don't knock yourself too hard. I had a similar experience. Being a snowboarder made it a lot worse. It can happen to the best. Just be aware of what you missed and how you can avoid it the next time a situation like that arises or what you can change so that it can't happen. If you can't find a way to avoid this situation, then that is the real problem.
post #3 of 51
I'm glad no one was hurt. Collisions happen and in many cases no one is really at fault. Sometimes these no-fault collisions can be avoided though if people are more careful. Probably you should have been aware of the child's proximity unless he was overtaking you. By telling this story others might rethink skiing cat tracks on autopilot. We need to remember beginners use those roads for pistes, not just going straight. The kid is fine, don't beat yourself up about it. Learn from the experience and move on.

I know you weren't going fast, but could it have been avoided if you were going slower? Should we treat all green runs as slow skiing zones?
post #4 of 51
1. Kids are resilient
2. It happens. As a parent with two young boarders I expect this to happen and will hope the other party is as nice as you.
3. You should have taken one more run and then hit the other kid who was harrassing you after you were so nice about it.
post #5 of 51
Thanks for posting that stryder. Sometimes dispite our best efforts, things happen. Thankfully no-one was hurt.

DrFRAU started a thread along this line, and NO OFFENSE, but you may want to head over and check out the "predictable" thread.

I assume the only thing you may have been able to do was go slower from the start as someone else posted here already. The only problem with that concept is if we all follow that approach, we will all eventually come to a stop ! A hill full of motionless people !

I witnessed something that I posted about a while back and went and found it.....
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...526#post217526

This is much like your situation I expect.....At another thread I noted that the change in the Skiers Responsibility Code rule #1 now states that the skier ahead has the right of way......We have a new gray area. You were uphill (I think ?) but were you ahead, or behind once the child made the sudden direction change. You may not have been technically at fault.
post #6 of 51
I am not interested in assessing blame but I do want to have a clearer understanding of what happened so that I can avoid a similar occurance. You refer to a flat trail and you also refer to traversing. Were you traversing a run that was flat? Was the intersecting kid skiing perpendicular to your traverse, ie downhill? I'm trying to picture what happened but I don't think I have enough information.
post #7 of 51
Pobody's nerfect. It's called human error. It happens. Keep your guard up while skiing. Practice sudden evasive maneuvers (predictably ) next time you go skiing. They saved my bacon once or twice.
post #8 of 51
I am very familar with Sunday River and that run in particular as I start the day on Barker.

The run is pretty straight and flat at the beginning and then hooks left as it goes slightly downhill before dumping into Sunday Punch.

So are you saying that a 5 year old was gliding faster then you and then he cut left?

If the kid was next to you and cut sharply there is not much room to compensate and there is a slight drop on the left side into some trees.

Nobody was hurt so don't sweat it.
post #9 of 51
Never been to Sunday River, but I hate places that funnel everyone down to the same base area on one or two trails at the end of day. I was at Steamboat the other day and I had to ski the massive cat track back to the base. It was a completely miserable experience only made worse by the sheer number of people also trying to get back. It's a green run.. the only thing you want to do is get to the bottom of it, and you've got a million people making really nice snowplows down it. Not so bad, except when you lose your sanity in the flat parts. I'm trying to think of other areas that bad.. Aspen Highland and Ajax come to mind, but they don't have enough people to make it troublesome. Ditto for Purgatory.
post #10 of 51
you sound very conscientious I would not worry about it
post #11 of 51
Sorry dude, kids are only worth 10 points.

25 for the elderly, and 50 for the handicapped. Shoot higher next time.

Oh, and mikebike, big ups on the spelling of conscientious! I'm one of the resident spelling nazis, and you've made me very happy.
post #12 of 51
You're lucky, if it was my kid I would've sued you.



BobMc
post #13 of 51
I had the exact same thing happen to me last year. But the father was leading his son and brought him right into me. Luckily nobody was hurt, and people realized what actually happened.

Sorry to hear that some idiot just wanted to pick a fight that had nothing to do with it. You didn't do anything wrong. Shit happens.
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobMc
You're lucky, if it was my kid I would've sued you.



BobMc
That's why America's the land of bullshiet frivolous lawsuits--greedy bastards trying to make a quick buck.

Skiing is dangerous, there are no traffic lights, people can't be psychic and know where everyone else intends to go at all times, even when skiing perfectly in control and at safe speed.

The amount of space that is required to 100% prevent any chance of collision is too great to be feasable on a crowded ski slope.

Collisions happen--its no one's fault, get over it. If you don't like it, then don't allow your kid to ski.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzinwin
That's why America's the land of bullshiet frivolous lawsuits--greedy bastards trying to make a quick buck.

Skiing is dangerous, there are no traffic lights, people can't be psychic and know where everyone else intends to go at all times, even when skiing perfectly in control and at safe speed.

The amount of space that is required to 100% prevent any chance of collision is too great to be feasable on a crowded ski slope.

Collisions happen--its no one's fault, get over it. If you don't like it, then don't allow your kid to ski.
You must have missed the winky and some of my previous posts in another thread.

BobMc
post #16 of 51
ummmmm.....

Perhaps a fast dodge? often better than a stop..... maybe there was nothing you could do....

Do not understand "simply gliding" - straightlining on flat skis?

I always use the flats for edge-roll practice - so the choice is
a) This edge & drop the hip IN FAST
or
b) OTHER edge FAST....

Sort of reminds me of fencing - you guard one side so that you limit the area of attack - means you make less choice about what to do (stay or move) (actually it is quarters - but beginners rarely attack low)

On cat-tracks skiing off the track often can work.... just have the escape route well picked or else....
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by stryder
It happened on what I had already planned as my last run of what had been a full day of skiing, on the Jungle Road trail off the Barker lift. This is a relatively flat trail which is gentle enough that most people seem to traverse it simply by gliding. That's what I was doing--gliding on a flat part straight ahead on my skis and looking right in front of me. Suddenly, from my right side a child who could not have been more than 5 years old crossed in front of me very closely. We collided, I knocked the child down and then fell down myself.

I suppose I just wanted to confess this to my fellow skiers and see what words of wisdom any of you have to offer.
Stryder,
On Jungle Road and many of the traverses around SR it is pretty common for kids to follow other's tracks to duck off the trail for a "quick hit" through the trees- around 1 or 2 trunks and back out on the cat walk. At the start of Jungle Road kids drop from a small rise on the right to jump a small drop (probably too advanced for a 5yo) and about half way down is a small clearing hidden behind a dog leg that many cruise up through and back down. Same thing on Three Mile Trail off the Barker lift, just before the Lazy River split, only they drop out on the left. If you don't see them going in, some times it's a surprise when they come out.

Obviously hitting kids is a bad thing, but if the child "popped out of nowhere" that might have been what happened. Sounds like you were skiing responsibly... if you had observed the child ahead and made no concessions in your skiing that would have been irresponsible, but doesn't sound like that's what happened. Glad everyone is OK.
post #18 of 51

Hitting a Child

Accidents happen. You were trying to be careful. You did all the right things after the collision. And everyone is okay. Don't worry about the accoster. Unfortunately, there are people like this everywhere.

I would comment that where I ski at Bristol Mountain in western NYS, we often have scads of young racers bombing the hills on the weekends. Yesterday, some kid slammed into an older guy. Left the guy face down, head downhill in the snow. The Ski Patrol finally got both of them up after about twenty minutes and they each skied away.

Young racers are the most dangerous skiers on the hill. Almost none of them carve. They really don't ski particularly well. They do what Werner Perathoner, a former Italian team DH'er, told me most "expert" skier do: Ski quickly edge to edge, begin to accelerate and then soon lose turn shape and become forced to "bomb" the hill. Everyone should learn to hold turn shape, especially racers, all the way down the hill. It is the best way to improve your skiing and it is a great workout for the legs. The key is to hold the turn across the hill. Werner skied like this, built up wonderful speed, but was always in control. It was a moment that changed my approach to the sport.
post #19 of 51
Everyone talks about going slower. If you were going faster the child would not have been able to over take you. Who knows what is the correct answer.
I'll assume the child came out of your blind side and cut you off. There is nothing you could have done. A lot of us have been in your shoes. Don't let it bother you. There is nothing you could have done.

Like it has been said, Glad everyone is OK.
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzinwin
That's why America's the land of bullshiet frivolous lawsuits--greedy bastards trying to make a quick buck.
BobMc:

Please let us know in advance that you're making a joke by using the appropriate icon:


It just makes things easier for all of us.
post #21 of 51
I've collided with a child, too, at ESA1. She was wearing a light pink suit, it was snowing, and visibility was not that good. We turned into each other, but I didn't see her until we hit. I hope she's ok......I still have a lump where I sat on her binding, and that was 3 years ago.

Sure, there were probably things I could have done to prevent this (and probably her, also), but the bottom line is that you can't avoid hitting what you can't see.

Parents: put kids in black or really dark clothing. The cute little Princess Pink outfit looks great, but kids are short and hard to see if they blend in with the snow.


I also had a run in with a 7 year old or so on a snowboard on an extremely crowded run at Okemo once. He fell in front of me. No where to go, with people on each side, behind, and in front. No, we weren't going fast, we weren't out of control.....but with a run 30 feet wide and about 10 skiers per every 20 feet of trail, your options for defensive skiing become limited. Staying away is sometimes an option, but for people learning to ski, it's not really practical. It's like the Autobahn in spots.....really ugly.



Accidents happen. That's why they're called that. Just glad everyone is ok.
post #22 of 51

I hit a college kid in Telluride

I've never had a collision while skiing and always wondered at the number of posts about collisions. Most of my skiing has been @ Telluride which is blessed with a low density of skiers. This past January I was there during "college week". Turns out college week consisted of 1500 skiers, 700 of whom were from LSU. Now it turns out Louisiana is not ski country, so I'd say approximately 682 had never skiied before.

On my last run of the day I was headed home down Sundance (blue) that has a couple of flats but that are preceded by enough of a steep to preclude any
need for poling. I was gliding along going over a bridge with 3 girls in front of me and I was passing on their left (with the warning "on your left") when the skier on the far left decides to turn in to me. Now I was not expecting a turn on a bridge that is 15' wide and I guess she wasn't expecting someone on her left. Anyway she goes down and I recover and stop about 50 yards away. I felt badly and waited for her to apologize. She was fine and appeared to have no animosity towards me. I felt I was skiing responsibly but in the future I'm going to be much more aware of passing in a tight zone.
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by xdog1
Sorry dude, kids are only worth 10 points.

25 for the elderly, and 50 for the handicapped. Shoot higher next time.

Oh, and mikebike, big ups on the spelling of conscientious! I'm one of the resident spelling nazis, and you've made me very happy.
15 points -> people smoking cigarettes in lift lines
75 points -> idiot parents that ski with infants strapped to their back
? points -> blin... I think I'd get banned from this forum if I go further
post #24 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your supportive comments! For those of you familiar with the trail, it did happen on the flat section of Jungle Road before it got to the bend. I hardly ever take that trail except there is a little cut through the woods that leads into Ecstacy that I like. I suspect that the child may have come at me from a rise in the trees on the right hand side of the trail because I don't see any other way that he could have crossed my path so suddenly. And by gliding, yes I meant just straightlining on flat skis.

I feel a lot better about it today. I think what disturbed me was the attitude of the person speaking to me as I tried to apologize. I want to be a responsible skier and that person made me feel really bad about what happened.

Scalce, we should do some runs together sometime since I am at SR nearly every weekend.
post #25 of 51
I can't tell you how many times I have almost been hit by a young kid on a run like that because they ski up on the incline or on the tree line where they can't handle the terrain and then they bobble and cut right into the trail to regain control.

I bet you that is exactly what the kid did because there is an incline on the right side of that run. When they screw up they accelerate down the side and too bad for anyone in their way.

When I take that cut through I just tuck and go so don't feel bad.
post #26 of 51
Hi,

I don't think you should worry about it. Thats why it says on the tickets "ski at your own risk". Not that it gives people the right to plow into one another, but you weren't doing that, you were going slow it sounds like. Things happen like this every day. Atleast you had the courtesy to stop and say you were sorry, a lot of people don't even do that, believe me.

Dave
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
I can't tell you how many times I have almost been hit by a young kid on a run like that because they ski up on the incline or on the tree line where they can't handle the terrain and then they bobble and cut right into the trail to regain control.

I bet you that is exactly what the kid did because there is an incline on the right side of that run. When they screw up they accelerate down the side and too bad for anyone in their way.

When I take that cut through I just tuck and go so don't feel bad.
Wouldn't you say that since you know that this a "problem" spot, that you're just setting yourself up for a mishap with the "tuck and go" approach?
post #28 of 51

slow in center - fast on the edge

One thing that annoys me about people teaching their kids to ski is they don't tell them to look uphill when they intend to go to the edge of the trail. The exact same thing happened to me yesterday at Elk on a blue trail. I was gliding on the edge of the rather narrow trail, and a kid about 5 or 6 was wedging in a traverse in the center of the trail heading towards my edge. He didn't turn back to the center, so I squeezed onto the cookies at the edge of the trail and missed him by about a foot. I wasn't going that fast, but he had about zero downhill speed in his traverse.

I try to drill into my kids that unless you look uphill when near the edge of a trail you have to assume someone faster is coming down the edge and you have to leave some edge for him to use.
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach13
Wouldn't you say that since you know that this a "problem" spot, that you're just setting yourself up for a mishap with the "tuck and go" approach?
I am not talking about that run in particular. I am very aware of people on a trail and I would never fly down a run when people are making eratic movements. Just because you are in at tuck does not mean that you are staring down at your boots.

I am talking about people who play on the side of a run or above a skier where they are not visible. They should not do this if they cannot control themselves when merging back into the run.

If someone decides to do this then they are taking the risk, not me.

If someone comes from behind and does this then they are at fault because I am the downhill skier, regardless of how fast I am travelling or if I am in a tuck position.

I can "tuck and go" if I wish and I only do this is there is no visible person in front of me and I am familiar with the terrain.

I have racers pass me all the time on that very run and I don't have an issue with them tucking on GS skis and I don't run into them because I don't make eratic movements.
post #30 of 51
Much harder to hit a moving target.

BTW JD, FM rules! One of the only good things to come out of the TGR forum.
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