Originally Posted by vlad
after 7 seasons away from American resorts, (save for a few street-shoe visits to some tahoe resorts last season, observing), i am appallled by what i see, at least, at Intrawaste's Mountain Creek, NJ.
they could care less about safety.
thier patrol is truly excellent, and does what they can, but that's it. management could care less about safety, or about anything else besides selling their barely-moving real estate units within arm's reach of the high-power lines and then fleeing the scene, asap.
safety is njot a priority, there, and I fear that this might be the prevailing mindset of many other ski corp.s
Uh, oh. Vlad's on Intrawest-bashing patrol again.
: (What did they do to you, anyway, steal your puppy? Or, wait, would that have been a cat?
) I, for one, ski Copper a lot, and am pretty happy there.
Just as a point of fact, Intrawest mountain ops are run by a division of Intrawest corporate, and real estate is built and/or sold by two very separate subsidiary companies, Placemaking and Playground. So those folks selling real estate have very little influence and bearing on how the mountain is run from a safety and ops perspective and vice versa. Therefore the selling of condos, nice or not, is not really affecting how much time and energy mountain operations has to spend on safety and infrastructure.
As for the topic of this thread (sorry for the brief hijack):
If resorts are going to rely on yellow jackets for some of their speed and safety control, then they really need to focus on getting good quality folks out there. I have noticed at many of the CO resorts that the yellow jackets are either largely retired folks (Keystone) who take their jobs too seriously, stopping anyone who skis any faster than the yellow jackets themselves might, even if the person is clearly an expert, in perfect control, going only at a moderate speed. (Meanwhile missing the beginner, going more slowly, about to lose control and careen into some kids.) Sure, these guys and gals lecture some skiers, but usually not the *right* ones. Apparently they even pulled over Picabo Street one time, free-skiing after a race. According to the instructor who told me this little nugget, she wasn't even skiing very fast. She just looked *racer-y* and scared the rather timid yellow jackets.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, at Vail, I have rarely seen yellow jackets do anything other than stand next to their signs. In areas like Northwoods, which get congested at the end of the day and where young men love to practice their high, high speed carving skills in and around lessons with small children and people experimenting with skiing a blue run, I have seen countless yellow jackets just stand there and watch, bored, as these people scream by. Just a few days ago, I was approaching a yellow sign in this area to stop and wait for my Dad, and a guy came SCREAMING by at mach schnell, caught blind air next to the sign, and continued flying down the hill into the crowds of slowly stemming and snowplowing spring break kids. Interestingly, both a patroller and a yellow jacket were standing there, and neither did anything. No one yelled. No one chased. I commented, "Holy crap!" and the patroller shrugged like, "what can you do?" Geez. Earlier this season, I also saw a *uniformed* yellow jacket at Vail get blind air right next to a "no blind jumping sign." That sets a good example.
If somebody offered me a free or discounted season pass in exchange for some yellow jacket days, you can bet I'd take my job seriously. Get a mom on the slopes, and she'll surely chew out idiots bombing towards small children. And clip their tickets without hesitation. I don't know what the resorts are doing to *train* these guys at their jobs, but clearly they are not being explicit enough about what constitutes irresponsible behavior or about how to recognize in-control skiers or levels of speed.