I'm pretty sure I have never collided with another person in the past 35 or so years of skiing. I do remember running over the tails of people in two separate incidents in the same period, and I felt really stupid after each one.
I typically get hit a couple of times per season and experience lots of near misses, but mostly these are low speed events while teaching on shallow terrain. Often I'll see these coming and either help out (ie, start skiing backwards and catch the beginner - especially if she is thin, cute and "catchable"
), or just get out of their way and let nature take its course (for everyone else
Thusfar, I've been lucky and have suffered no bad collisions, although I see and hear of plenty. My daughter has experienced a couple of collisions at the "bloody nose level" of severity while she was younger, but nothing in the last couple of years (knock on wood).
The closest to a bad collision I ever had was with another instructor in a clinic. We were both concentrating on our tasks, coming down opposite sides of a trail, and had an almost-grazing, very high speed encounter in the middle of the trail when he zigged and I zagged simultaneously. We must have seen each other out of our peripheral vision just b4 the collision, because we were both in full get-back-in-your-own-lane avoidance mode. At the point of closest approach, we were skiing very fast down the fall line, parallel and within inches of each other. If I recall correctly, our skis or poles may have lightly tapped each other's, but our bodies were inclined in opposite directions never actually touched. It could have been really ugly if the angles were different or we hadn't spotted each other in time.
I'm convinced that my size (215 lbs) makes kamikazes
stay away from me. I can't count the number of times I've seen an apparently completely-out-of-control skier/boarder heading straight at me, and if I can't get out of the way, I intentionally make an obviously visible bracing move, and miraculously, the person somehow manages to veer off or lays it down before he gets to me. Of course, I would never ever point my poles in their direction to try to affect their course
Tom / PM