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Vail Safety Program?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I witnessed two events at Vail on Saturday that really makes me wonder if safety training is a reality there or if the training itself is being ignored. After several warm days, the snow was firm and the lift lines were sheets of ice, impenetrable by ski poles. At the bottom of the Avanti lift (upper mountain lift, so conditions were known) some bozo comes flying into the singles line and hits the ice, unable to stop he flies into the area where the lines merge from both sides and wipes out, taking a couple of others with him. Mr. Bozo skis out of control, hits others, and crashes the liftline (literally), so what kind of action would you expect from the lift operators? Pull the his ticket, make him go to the end of the line, some type of verbal admonishment? Nope, helped him get up and gave him priority seating on the next chair! Apparently, Mr. Bozo has relatives running the lifts.

An hour later at the bottom of the Game Creek chair three workers were removing the four feet of snow that was on top of the bottom station’s flat roof. The snow was settled and hard enough that they had to saw it into blocks that were about 3’ X 3’ X 4’ high. One or two workers would then push the blocks off the side. The snow was so hard that many of the blocks did not break on their 15ft fall. A supervisor, with a radio was watching the process from the ground. Despite a potential 15ft fall, none of the workers on the slick sheetmetal roof was tied off in any way, a serious OHSA violation, and a common sense infraction.

To be fair, I ski Vail a lot (10+ days/year), and have for 30 years, and I have never witnessed anything like this before. Maybe I am just oversensitive about safety, but awarding out of control skiing, and watching lift maintenance disregard common sense and federal regulations made me just a little uneasy. Your thoughts?
post #2 of 5
Are you on your period?
post #3 of 5
well this is another reason why VAIL SUCKS!
post #4 of 5
When I lived in Steamboat I made extra money shoveling off roofs. After a "saftey meeting" we would jump off into the big piles of snow. Don't tell anybody.
post #5 of 5
Vail did not chop the ice in the lift maze??? The horror! You'd be surprised how easy it would have been for the lifties to not notice "out of control" before hitting the ice. After a while, they just expect x% of people to crash while in the lift maze. They aren't necessarily looking for people who are reckless. They are looking to be nice to people who may be falling on their butt a lot and hoping they don't get cussed out for the ice.

Not tied off on a flat roof, 15 feet above a nice soft snowy landing? I'd of been really surprised if they were roped off. No matter what OSHA says, common "guy sense" (as opposed to common sense) says "no way I'm going to bother with that crap". This is exactly the kind of thing covered in safety training that all resorts do under the "Don't do it" category. And it's exactly the kind of thing that goes on until the safety manager sees it and bitches. But the safety manager can't be everywhere. And thus it goes on all the time.

We had a little mystery a little while ago at our resort. One of the new demo snowboards being evaluated for next year's rentals had some bent pieces on the binding. We had some rare fresh snow the night before (this is south central PA). Seems one of the rental kids staying over night decided to jump off the roof and stomp the landing. Bozo forgot to wipe the incriminating tracks off the roof, fessed up and then got the Apprentice treatment ("You're fired!"). It's hard to get snow sliders to respect a 15 foot drop. Where some see danger, they see opportunity.
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