New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Fatality at H.V.

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
There was a tragedy this week at Holiday. A 17 year old boyskiing on Falcon, an icy bump run lost control and slid into the trees. Was starflighted to Buffalo where he died of head injuries. He wasn't wearing a helmet. It also isn't know at this time if a helmet could've saved his life. We'll probably never know. The conditions were very icy on Tuesday when the accident ocurred.

I'll try to get more details today.
post #2 of 28
Will you keep us posted on this as things develop.

No morbid curiosity here .... but we tend to learn from the mistakes of others and occasionally there is a suprise.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Here's the scoup,

Seems the young man was skiing the run which was closed at the time. Falcon is a steep mogul run that gradually ends up relatively flat. It was closed for snowmaking. Snowguns were not in operation at the time but huge mounds of snow from the guns made it quite difficult for skiing. Anyhow, the young man, a 17 yr.old honor student from nearby Catteraugus-Little Valley High School evidently lost control and skied or slid into the trees next to the slope and struck his head. He was taken to Buffalo by Helicopter Tuesday night and died early last night. His parents were interviewed on the evening news and hold no blame to the Resort for the tragedy but are calling for State legislation for the mandate of helmets for skiers.

It wasn't very long ago on this forum that we had a very long and heated discussion about the perils of skiing closed trails.

Many of you stated that it's ok to ski closed runs here in the East cause it's not as dangerous.

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
post #4 of 28
Not to be read the wrong way. I sure ain't for "poaching"!

The alure of fresh powder or untracked sun dappled corn .... I can at least understand.

But to poach icy "whales" ... ?? When you are young ... so sad.
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
There was a tragedy this week at Holiday. A 17 year old boyskiing on Falcon, an icy bump run lost control and slid into the trees. Was starflighted to Buffalo where he died of head injuries. He wasn't wearing a helmet. It also isn't know at this time if a helmet could've saved his life. We'll probably never know. The conditions were very icy on Tuesday when the accident ocurred.

I'll try to get more details today.
Very sad to hear this. He was just a kid.

PS - "starflighted"? This is like "airlifted" I gather? Where does this interesting term come from?
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
but are calling for State legislation for the mandate of helmets for skiers.
So what they are saying is, if there had been a law requiring helmets they would have made sure that their son was wearing one?

I don't follow the logic here.

Either they don't believe that a helmet would have saved his life, or if they do believe it would have helped, they as his parents should have made him wear one.

The kid was 17 right? If so, his parents can make him wear a helmet.

Do we really need the government to tell them to do it?

Just my opinion.
post #7 of 28
You can buy a kid a helmet, but can you make him/her wear it? Nope.

I bought one for my daughter and she would not wear it and on school ski trips what could I do? She had it.

My son never skis without one (that I am aware of) even during summer training.

Poachers, helmet or no helmet could lie there and freeze to death if they don't "bleed out" first.
post #8 of 28
This is very sad and this guy was too young to have his life ended. My sympathy to the family.

I wear a helmet but for my own feeling of lessening the risk and danger. The fact is Skiing is an inherently dangerous activity and any way that one can do something to lower the risk-even if it is small then I say why not. Making it mandatory though I dont know.

I think some people do sometimes though lose sight of the fact that skiing is a risky sport and push the limits a bit too much. After getting back into skiing I have noticed some today especially among the younger crowd tend to do things that push the boundaries compared to the 'older days'.
Some like to ski especially close and fast to the treelines or do things to try to impress others or follow some ethos of 'no fear'. I think some also might think since they are skiing at a small resort or inbounds there is no risk of fatal injury. I was at PeakNPeak last week and every time I rode the lift there were boarders riding at high speed up to the lift pilon and at the last second verring off. All it appeared just to impress the riders on the lift.

I dont know what hapened or what the skier was doing but I hope if anything good can come out of a tragedy like this that some of the less safety conscious might look at accidents like this and change any dangerous behavior or decisions. 'Remeber thou art mortal'

Anyone can have an accident at any time no matter what the skill level. I remember way back when an instructor told us eventually you will get hurt skiing and if you cannot accept that possibility it is best to not ski. How bad you get hurt depends on a lot of factors not the least of which is skiing within your limits and not taking unneccesary risks. It only takes a slight error of judgement or lapse of concentration when going at speed and anything can happen. Doing things like wearing a helmet, obeying the rules and signs can make things a little safer.
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Old School, Starflight, mercyflight, lifeflight, they're all air ambulance services aroud here. It's just my habit to say starflight when it really could have been any of the three.

Ullr, Good point and one that is close to my own. If the parents think that a helmetmight have saved his life, why then didn't they buy him one and make sure he wore it? I'm not an advocate for helmet use. I was at one time but after 10 years of wearing one have since been skiing the past two years without one. I will save the reasons for another thread.

PaulR, Good logic but helmets can also give a person a false sense of security. Maybe even to the point where the envelope is pushed beyond personal limits where tragedy can also occur.For every argument for there will be one against. As in every head injury death that occurs where a helmet wasn't being worn, we will never know if a helmet would have saved the individual. Just that it might have.

An edit here, I just want to add that my kids have skied with a helmet since they were 3 years old. My oldest is 21 now and it's his choice whether he want to wear one or not. He does wear one when he skis the park and pipe. My younger Son,17, wears one all the time. Same for him. When he's 21 it will be his choice. Back here in the East it's very, and I mean very, icy. It usually is this time of year. If I were the parent of the young man who died, I would have have made him wear a helmet when he skied. I'm sure they are thinking this very thought right now and feel some sort of guilt for not doing so. I think it's wrong to have a vendetta to lobby the State for mandated helmet use because of their guilt. jmho
post #10 of 28
I am against the state imposing helmet use. Freedom of choice is too valuable to me. I'm against seatbelt laws and motorcycle helmet laws too, though I always wear both. I wouldn't ride my bike around the block without a helmet. I even wear a helmet on a bicycle. I'm buying a Giro Fuse as soon as they go on sale .

Remember the most vulnerable part of your anatomy is your head, followed by your spine. Protect it as best you can.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
Ullr, Good point and one that is close to my own. If the parents think that a helmetmight have saved his life, why then didn't they buy him one and make sure he wore it? I'm not an advocate for helmet use. I was at one time but after 10 years of wearing one have since been skiing the past two years without one. I will save the reasons for another thread.
Thanks. My kids ages 6 & 7 wear helmets. Not their choice, it's my rule. When they are 18 they can do as they please.

Yuki, I don't buy into the whole, "you can't make a kid wear a helmet thing". I make mine. If I catch them without it on. They are done. No arguments, wear it or no skiing, and I will continue this attitiude till they are 18.

I wear one, my wife does not. Unlike the kids I can't force her to wear one, nor would I want to. If it is a sunny day, I like to ski in a t-shirt and sunglasses with no helmet. Do I straight-line double blacks or ski trees on these days? No. I stick to blues, which is a choice I don't want anyone to take from me.

You don't wear a helmet. I'm sure you know the risks of wearing one (or not wearing one). I trust your judgement, respect your opinion and in no way would I want a government to try to do your thinking for you.
post #12 of 28
Very tragic indeed and so unfortunate. Wasn't there a fatal accident about ten years ago at HV near the bottom of Mardis Gras, when someone skied into a fence?
I seem to remember someone telling me this occurred. I skied a few hours Thursday (not at HV), I'm talking absolute bullet proof window pane ice in spots.
post #13 of 28

Recent Whistler crash...

A three-lap, chair-riders description...
Out of control dude flew off (I forget what run) into a second growth area of trees...Broken femur, both arms ( hard to get an IV in), ribs (+ spleen ?), head trauma... Chain saws to get him out...
Helmut (I seem to remember= Yes) but what good is without brains??

27 fresh here last night...about as good as it gets lately.
post #14 of 28
My point was that once she got on the bus for her Thursday night high school ski club trip .... what could I do?

If you aren't there to enforce it you have to hope that she wore it but I know that it wasn't the case and at sixteen there is no discussion.

Oh well. She is older and gone from home and adrift somewhere in the world. I wish that all I had to worry about with her was her skiing without a helmet now.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns
Very tragic indeed and so unfortunate. Wasn't there a fatal accident about ten years ago at HV near the bottom of Mardis Gras, when someone skied into a fence?
I seem to remember someone telling me this occurred. I skied a few hours Thursday (not at HV), I'm talking absolute bullet proof window pane ice in spots.
Actually, it was at the bottom of Morningstar about eight years ago ya. I had the unfortunate pleasure to be there at the time. A young woman came down rather fast and lost it just before the lift line and slid through a wooden fence, which isn't there anymore.

There have been four fatalities at H.V. over the last 20 years that I know of. There may have been more. There was also one at Holimont about 6 years ago. For some reason the local news media has been all over this latest one. They also reported on a serious accident at H.V.lastnight and another today at Kissing Bridge. The conditions are really icy here and aren't going to get better with the forecast.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki
Not to be read the wrong way. I sure ain't for "poaching"!

The alure of fresh powder or untracked sun dappled corn .... I can at least understand.

But to poach icy "whales" ... ?? When you are young ... so sad.
Ahh excuse me but what is wrong with icy whales? In fact I have skied that exact same run in similar condition but don't remember it being closed.

Those conditions should be tested by getting with ski patrol and doing a run. If I think its absolutely fantastic then thre run should probably be closed.

Its tragic when a kid of his age ends up this way. Despite what parents do this occassionally happens, even with a helmet.

In the back of my head I always have this little nagging notion that I am going to get it some day with the conditions and terrain that I love to ski.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulR
The fact is Skiing is an inherently dangerous activity and any way that one can do something to lower the risk-even if it is small then I say why not.
Skiing isn't dangerous. It's very sad, this story, and the parents' reaction is completely understandable (if wrongheaded) given their certain shock and grief.

A quote from one of the better ski safety websites, by a Scottish doctor:

http://www.ski-injury.com/faq.htm#gen1

I don't personally regard snow sports in general as "dangerous sports" and I don't think you should too. The overall injury risk is about 0.2-0.4% (i.e. for every 1000 people skiing or snowboarding in a day, between 2 and 4 will require medical attention). This is really very low and a tribute to the work of many people in the ski injury field including researchers, equipment manufacturers, ski instructors and ski areas. If you're still not convinced, think of an average game of football - usually 2 or 3 players end up with an injury at the end of the game (which only lasts 90 mins!) - i.e. 14% compared to 0.4% for snow sports. So if you think snow sports are dangerous then according to the statistics football must be positively suicidal!


post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Interesting stats on that site wbroun. I can't argue the numbers because I've never compiled any. Some areas do get more injuries than others. If you were to keep track of the injuries in our Patrol room on a Friday and Saturday night, it would be much higher than that. Actually, we had two assistance rooms. One at Yoedler and one at the Main. I bet the injury rate between the two was an average of fifteen a day. Sunday was just as bad. Weekdays I could count on two or three on an average, my shift alone. I can promise you one thing, these figures won't be given out by Resort management and always seem to get lost over the years. For obvious reasons.

I want to say one thing. Right now here in the East, it is more dangerous to ski than at any other time of the season. The Resorts are calling it packed powder and loose granular. It's boiler plate ice folks. Even good skiers must be cautious. Itmight be ok to relax and have a good time during a slow weekday but on a night or weekend with 75 bus loads of kids plus the regulars and some tourists combined with limited open slopes and you've got danger all over the place. No thanks, I'll stay home and wait for my next trip out West.
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
To further tha statement, because I'll probably take some heat for it. I'm not trying to single out one Resort. I'm not trying to scare people away from skiing. I'm merely stating that we're seeing an influx of serious injuries right now because the conditions are so right for them.

Shoot, it's raining today and will tomorrow. Add that to the ice base that is already there and a Zamboni couldn't do a better job.

I'm the kind of guy who always skis the very edge of the trails because the fresh snow lasts longer there. Now, is not the time to be doing that.
post #20 of 28

Pierre

What I meant was that too many times I have looked down at a roped off trail at some of the sun pocked corn and then over at the slush piles building on the mushy groomed ... gone to slop and been tempted.

We open some of our trails with frozen ungroomed whales, usually accompanied by the "super glue snow" that yanks your bindings off. It's better than nothing but I sure don't go to bed at night with sweet memories.

When I was younger, I did occasionally poach very carefully on the spring snow. I knew the trail and the soft spots and "hidden springs". That didn't make it right ..... it just wasn't done with reckless abandon.

Sooner or later one of us will become "a statistic" ..... it's all in the numbers ... one of the Bears will "Buy the Ranch" .... "Screw the Pooch" ...

Ernie Gann's book "Fate is the Hunter" .... applies to skiing too, there are "pilots who have landed with the gear up .. and those that are going to".
post #21 of 28

Helmets are good idea

I wiped out yesterday. I hit the back of my head pretty hard. I'm thinking that I should wear a helmet. I feel I'm a good skier, but conditions can change suddenly and I might find myself falling again.

I'm going to make it a practice to wear a helmet. Seeing that this kid just died is a wakeup call.

It's kinda crazy. We wear helmets to ride a bicycle but not to ski?
post #22 of 28
I've sometimes wondered why people don't wear helmets while driving cars. Hour for hour, I believe it's more dangerous than skiing for the head.
post #23 of 28
I agree with Lars, it's rough out there right now in the East. There were sheets of ice on many of the runs at Windham yesterday. As a blue and aspiring black skier, I had a very tough time with the ice on the black runs.

I even saw a patroller skid out on the ice while riding the lift up.

On the last run of the day, I was knocked out of my skis from the side. All I heard was a scraping sound and next thing I know I was face down.

First thing I did was to pickup a helmet on the way home. I think I'll use my vacation days for midweek runs from now on.

-Pete
post #24 of 28

Helmets and Windham

Hour for hour you think driving is more dangersous? I don't think so. I've logged 24 years of driving without a "fall." With skiing I fell my first year and hit my forehead. My fourth winter, yesterday, I hit the back of my head very hard. I slammed it good.

I think it's foolish to continue to ski with the attitude of "My head is no more in danger than if I were driving." If that's true, I must be very unlucky. I drove 145 miles each way to the slopes without hitting the back of my head but while on the slopes I slammed the back of my head harder than I'd ever been hit in my life. (All by my second run at 9:30 a.m.) And the fall happened just seconds after i was marveling how "in control" I felt with my new skis. Situations can change VERY quickly, at least for beginner and intermediate skiers (90% of skiers). I passed a girl yesterday who had hit her head too. I told her that she should think about a helmet, as I was determined to get one.

Windham yesterday: towards the end of the day the melting snow by the lift lines made it difficult, for me anyway. It's hard to shuffle the skis on slush and ice and I found it hard to get to the chair in time. No wonder the workers were shoveling snow there a lot. Same situation at the top of the lift.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCJIM
Hour for hour you think driving is more dangersous? I don't think so. I've logged 20 years of driving without a "fall." With skiing I fell my first year and hit my forehead. My fourth winter, yesterday, I hit the back of my head very hard. I slammed it good.

I think it's foolish to continue to ski with the attitude of "My head is no more in danger than if I were driving."
Hey, tough guy, I wear a helmet, too.
post #26 of 28
Whether skiing is 'dangerous' I guess depends among other factors on what your defintion of danger is and what it is you do when you ski.

Without explicitly saying skiing is dangerous I would like to present the following corollary as true:

Putting planks on your feet and gliding down steep grades where trees are often present etc is not a safety-oriented activity. It is even less a safety-oriented activity when not doing the basics to protect oneself or when one refrains from using the faculty of common sense.
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Just read in the paper that a skier was Lifeflighted from PeeknPeak, another local Resort. Hit a tree. It only stated that his condition was critical and gave no more details.

That's three in three days. Told you it was bad conditions around here.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
Just read in the paper that a skier was Lifeflighted from PeeknPeak, another local Resort. Hit a tree. It only stated that his condition was critical and gave no more details.

That's three in three days. Told you it was bad conditions around here.
Very sad. My chums from Akron used to ski there.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion