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Stupid Friends - Page 2

post #31 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by PerSwede:
So my previous post wasn't directly related to the broken collar bone, but nobody has any concern with kid-ICBMs being launched down the hill by their folks : ?
PerSwede

There's no question that this is a big problem, and provides a real opportunity to get a child or someone else on the hill seriously injured. I think the reasoning behind this is somewhat different, however, in that I attribute this to parents over-estimating their kids abilities, in most cases. For whatever reason many parents are blinded by their kids true abilities or lack thereof. That said, this reasoning doesn't excuse the parent's use of poor judgement. As I've said many times, stupidity has no cure.
post #32 of 54
I fell at Mammoth because Ryan INSISTED that we ski down right under the chair.
post #33 of 54
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: when the terrain is too difficult, take off your skis and walk down.

Sonny Bono would be alive now if he'd walked down instead of skiing.
Michael Kennedy would be alive if he'd walked;
John F. Kennedy Jr. would be alive if he'd walked instead of flying...
Mama Cass and Karen Carpenter would both be alive if Cass had given that sandwich to Karen...

Oops, I've gone off topic again...
post #34 of 54
<snort>

Just to add to Physics Man's notes about unknown fears, 2 years ago I was in a Level 3 Ski Esprit group at Whistler. Of the 3 (women ) in our group, there was one who almost had a panic attack when we had to ski flat cat trails beside a falloff (fear of heights), one who could barely get through even the flattest terrain if there were trees too close (say, if the trail were narrower than 25-30 ft across), and me who at the time skied incredibly badly on a medium blue grade -- I mean two turns leading to spectacular yard sale falls. I agree that these were mental problems -- we should all have been able to ski those areas. The instructor did manage to get us through a remarkable amount of territory, considering.

And yet, I remember the year before *that*, I had that tree fear -- gone, by the Ski Esprit year. And the year *after* Ski Esprit, I cruised down the Saddle (my nemesis of the previous year) ---- Wheeeeee!

I guess my point is that having stupid friends is incredibly counterproductive because it sure doesn't make you like skiing. Getting over fears more gradually is a much better strategy.
post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally posted by TomB:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Xdog:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by PhysicsMan:
[QB
I felt really bad for this woman, but I have absolutely no idea what I could have done better or differently to anticipate this situation. At minimum, I certainly could have used a heads-up from the boyfriend.

Tom / PM
You didn't do anything wrong, some people are just mental. Mostly chicks.</font>[/quote]You sure about that Xdog? What do you think is more "mental", freezing on the slopes or bombing down completely out of control? Frankly most of the idiots on the slopes are males with big egos and few skills.[/QB]</font>[/quote]You got that right. When ungroomed conditons become unskiable for most,that's the safe place to ski.
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally posted by delta888:
<snort>

Just to add to Physics Man's notes about unknown fears, 2 years ago I was in a Level 3 Ski Esprit group at Whistler. Of the 3 (women ) in our group, there was one who almost had a panic attack when we had to ski flat cat trails beside a falloff (fear of heights), one who could barely get through even the flattest terrain if there were trees too close (say, if the trail were narrower than 25-30 ft across), and me who at the time skied incredibly badly on a medium blue grade -- I mean two turns leading to spectacular yard sale falls. I agree that these were mental problems -- we should all have been able to ski those areas. The instructor did manage to get us through a remarkable amount of territory, considering.

And yet, I remember the year before *that*, I had that tree fear -- gone, by the Ski Esprit year. And the year *after* Ski Esprit, I cruised down the Saddle (my nemesis of the previous year) ---- Wheeeeee!

I guess my point is that having stupid friends is incredibly counterproductive because it sure doesn't make you like skiing. Getting over fears more gradually is a much better strategy.
A few years ago, when I was at Ski Espirit level 3, I had the exact same terror of those darn cat tracks. One wrong turn to the right and you fall off a cliff; ski too close to the mountain and a boarder jumps on your head!

The instructor dealt with it by taking me to the wide blues on Blackcomb. I was fine. I think I would still freak on those darn cattracks! But I would not think a friend was stupid if they took me on a trail that had some of them. Its like the situation that Bonni was talking about. Her friend probably had the skill to ski even the intermedate trails at Okemo, probably even some of the blacks. But I don't think non easterners are ever prepared for the ridiculous amount of crowding on the New England slopes.

But stupid friends are the ones that take beginners down advanced slopes.
post #37 of 54
I learnt to Ski with my wife and had to help her on a number of occasions when she froze. I learnt to always Ski behind her, as it’s a pain walking back up a mountain to get her.

I have a theory why women are more likely to freeze. Men are designed as hunter and our brains are wired to focus on only one thing at a time. That means we aren’t as like to think about “oh my god this is high”, “I can’t do this”, “STOP”, ladies on the other hand are able to think about a number of different subjects, an advantage in a normal work environment, but when on the slopes all the “dark voices” enter there minds because they can.

I’ve just skied a very difficult run with my wife and she’ll turns to me and start chatting about what she’s been thinking about, lunch, gifts, the wallpaper back at home, I can just about remember my name.

To get over the “freezing” she developed a technique where she distracts the “spare” parts of her mind. She sings a song, something like we are the Champions, by Queen. This actually works!!

I don't know if this will help anyone.
post #38 of 54
It's true that most idiots on the slopes are male. It just tends to manafest itself in different ways. The only reason there are more male idiots than female is because skiing tends to be a male dominated sport.
post #39 of 54
Since this thread has evolved into something of a discussion of male-female differences, does anyone have a link to actual ski injury statistics broken down by M/F, age, severity, etc? "Freezing" wouldn't show up in such statistics, but they would certainly be interesting and a basis for serious discussion.

Tom / PM
post #40 of 54
We returned from a weekend of skiing in VT last night, and found out there had been an accident during the weekly school ski-club trip. Each weekend, the club takes a few buses of middle & high school kids up to some nearby mountains (mostly Western MA & lower NY).

Apparently, an 8th grader was skiing for the very first time. Some of her friends took her up the mountain. Not sure what the run was like, but I'm guessing it wasn't the novice area most suitable for first-timers. To make a long story short, she lost control, went shooting into the woods off to the side, & ended up confronting the reality of physics when she hit at least one tree. Face, leg, & chest were at least some of the impact points. No helmet. Ended up w/ a free ride to the hospital in Albany. Haven't heard definitive list of injuries (none life-threatening, fortunately). Needless to say, she is apparently never planning on skiing again.

They play movies on the bus on the way to & from the hills. Perhaps they should include an educational video, highlighting the consequences of poor judgement. Not to freak them all out, but maybe the sight of a smashed cheekbone or fractured leg might get their attention, and maybe even get someone to think twice before getting in over their head.

p.s. Sorry, I originally posted this under the "skier fatality" topicl. My mistake.
post #41 of 54
Quote:
Originally posted by PerSwede:
...They play movies on the bus on the way to & from the hills. Perhaps they should include an educational video, highlighting the consequences of poor judgement. Not to freak them all out, but maybe the sight of a smashed cheekbone or fractured leg might get their attention, and maybe even get someone to think twice before getting in over their head...
I agree and would go even further. I have very strong feelings on the topic of ski injuries to children that occur while on school trips. Here is an excerpt of a message that I posted last year on DCski.com on the subject:

The way to prevent anything like this from happening to someone in your charge is to:

A) Talk to your group about safety before the trip (eg, make them memorize and understand "The Skiers Responsibility Code", tell them that people die when they violate it);

B) Strongly RECOMMEND lessons from the ski pros at the mountain for everyone, even those with some previous experience. REQUIRE lessons for those that have never skied before (or haven't skied within the past year); and,

C) Lay down safety rules with clear and severe consequences for violations of the rules. For example, tell them, "If the leaders or the ski patrol sees a person skiing above their ability, it will be a no-discussion situation: On the first violation, you will sit in the bus for an hour. On the second, you will sit in the bus for the remainder of the session. This way there will be no third violation & you will have to explain to your parents how you wasted their money for this trip.".

D) Contact the ski patrol / mountain safety dept ahead of the planned trip, discuss your policies, and make sure they have a way to recognize participants in your group and a way to contact the leaders when you are all out on the mountain skiing (eg, cell phone, walkie-talkie channel & subcode, etc.).

BTW, don't think that you can leave enforcement of your rules to the ski patrol, or that you can figure out which participants in your group will be at risk based on previous skiing experience / ability. This is an issue of maturity and risk taking, not ability and experience. The risk of #2 (above) decreases for people with more experience, but for these people, the risk of #1 (above) increases. I have talked to numerous leaders of kids' skiing trips, and unfortunately, rarely do they do any of the things suggested above, even though it is clearly their responsibility to do so.

I have a 10 year old daughter, and I know I wouldn't want to send her off to what sounds like a fun adventure, only to see her return injured or even worse, never to see her again.

As a trip leader, you are essentially a stand-in parent for these kids on your trip. Do your job and keep them safe.

Tom / PM

PS (in edit) - Make sure the other accompanying adults are competent and mature skiers/boarders themselves and that they understand their roll in safety on the trip. If their real motivation in participating is merely to get a free ride and a zero-cost day on the mountain, and/or think they won't have to do any work once at the mountain, you don't want them as co-leaders.
post #42 of 54
Quote:
Originally posted by PerSwede:

They play movies on the bus on the way to & from the hills. Perhaps they should include an educational video, highlighting the consequences of poor judgement. Not to freak them all out, but maybe the sight of a smashed cheekbone or fractured leg might get their attention, and maybe even get someone to think twice before getting in over their head.

p.s. Sorry, I originally posted this under the "skier fatality" topicl. My mistake.
PerSwede, I think the child mentality of "It can't happen to ME" is entirely too strong for this tactic. Your scenario is all too likely to devolve into a comic routine, much like high schoolers laugh at highway injury films.

Positive role modeling, and games for all levels, i.e. an engrossing activity for each level where they get to control the outcome, not strictly an instructor figure, is more the ticket I think.

PM, you don't talk of creativity, but that's the next step on the responsibility road you outline in your post. If leaders can't step up, maybe instructors can?
post #43 of 54
Hey Physics Man,

I thought about what you said and the best website I could find was www.ski-injury.com it gives a lot of stats as well as some tasteful pictures.
post #44 of 54
Sorry, comprex, I'm more in line w/ Physicsman on this one. I thought about the driving films analogy when writing my response. However, I think most high schoolers realize that driving is something not to be taken lightly, & the films seem to carry that to the extreme. So they joke about it & laugh it off in public, but I'm sure at least some of the kids at least think about the consequences as a result.

Skiing is billed as a "fun activity", and beginners, in particular, do not usually have a realistic understanding of the very real dangers. Furthermore, there are also middle school kids on these trips, as young as 11 or 12, not just 16+ year old high schoolers. You can't tell me that the sight of a broken jaw, fractured wrist, etc. wouldn't give at least some of them pause for thought. There will always be kids who don't listen, or want to be cooler than the rest. However, I have to believe that most kids don't want to end up on a sled and in a hospital bed. It's all about making the connection in their minds about cause & effect.

As for ski trips, I totally agree that most programs do an inadequate job of educating the kids, and the majority of "chaperones" do a pathetic job of oversight. Free trip & ticket are the prime concern. I have asked for the last 2 years to be added as a chaperone (much to my son's dismay)to see first-hand how attentive the group leaders are. Every time, I have been told that there is not enough space. Seems like the same parents keep going, and every year a couple of kids get hurt. I suspect that potential liability is why the local school stopped allowing trip checks to be dropped off at the school (i.e. so there is no implied endorsement by the school).

[ January 20, 2004, 01:10 PM: Message edited by: PerSwede ]
post #45 of 54
xdog.....(Sorry, Long Post) You know you are probably right in a lot of cases regarding "chicks" freaking and freezing up when confronted with a decision to ski down or freeze up....I skied for my second time about two weeks ago and I took my second lesson at that time in the morning...after lunch I skied on my own and I accidently got on the wrong lift..(I noticed it looked different on my way up) I asked the guy on the lift chair with me what lift we were on and he said lift #2, I asked where it went and he said I had to get off at midway...the top was closed...He asked how many times I'd skied and I said this was number 2 for me, He then said "Good Luck" the trail on the left is Black and on the right is Blue and he said it was really fast...It was hard packed and very icy....I got off and went straight ahead, which was'nt bad but when I made the turn to the right to go down the mountain, there were snowboarders laying around everywhere and I went between them and Down the slope...I got going so fast and since I am very new at turning,slowing down etc...I was scared and out of control so I went to the right side of the slope by the trees( it didn't look as steep) But I wasn't slowing down and was going to hit a embankment so I went up a hill in between the trees and was faced with a row of trees and a huge pile of brush, I ran over sticks and branches and right before I was going to run into the trees...I just sat down....My skis were buried in the snow and I couldn't undoe my bindings (even got a branch to help but no avail)...Finally another skier came along and got me out of my bindings....Then I had hell getting my skis back on because it was so icy I kept sliding...I finally did and I looked down the mountain a second time and said the only way Im getting down is to go for it...so I did..again exremely fast...(but I wedged the whole way down , applying as much pressure as I could and I made it)....so not all females freeze up....Maybe its because I break horses too....I get scared but Fear has to be overcome to excel in any sport. Peace
post #46 of 54
COMPREX - As PerSwede said, I agree that some of the content of an educational film will penetrate, but like you said, I don't think it will be enough in many cases. I think something more akin to a Drill Instructor / tough-love approach from the trip leaders is needed to penetrate the thick hides of the high school boys that need to be more careful in their skiing/driving. Such an approach may be more emphatic than is necessary for the more thoughtful kids, but I don't think it could possibly do anyone any harm. You don't have to scare the daylights out of them with horror stories, but just let them know that they will be sitting on their thumbs for the rest of the night if they are spotted skiing inappropriately fast or continually out of control.

Positive roll modeling certainly is good (if available), but who would provide it for kids on a school trip? Don’t forget that the chaperones are themselves usually just few-times-per-year recreational skiers with little concept of safety issues. I suspect that if most chaperones would see a kid flying straight down the hill in a 25 mph power wedge, they would not think anything of it, or, even worse, think that it represented reasonably good skiing for a beginner. In addition, once the kids start skiing, they will scatter to the four winds and the chaperones are unlikely to actually ski with very many of their charges.

Instructors certainly can help in on-hill safety (1.5 hour roll model, teaching about safety, etc.), but we can’t leave our classes to chase down and then deal with reckless skiers. The real responsibility is obviously with the mountain safety dept and patrol. Personally, I don’t think they do an adequate job on most mountains that I’ve skied at. I think they could ratchet up safety enforcement quite a bit without becoming slope Nazis, but likely are under some pressure from area management not to become what management would describe as over-zealous enforcement activities. Personally, I have no problem at all getting in the face of a obviously reckless skier with a bad attitude. In fact, a couple of days ago, I did just that to a 275+ lb high school senior (with attitude) who repeated
post #47 of 54
ly straight-lined / yard-sale / straight-lined / yard-sale on our main green-blue slope in an absolutely uncontrollable power wedge at high speeds. It was his first day on skis. Thank god that no little kid ever got in his way.

PER-SWEDE – When the leaders of your son’s school ski trip told you there wasn’t any more room as an official chaperone, was there anything stopping you from (a) contacting the leaders and pointedly asking for a printed copy of their safety plan/protocols (…Ah, you don’t have one? I, should bring this up with X); (b) showing up at the hill and observing things like what fraction of the kids were put into lessons, how they were behaving themselves, etc.?

ULLR – thanks for the link. That was a very interesting web site, but it will take some time to wade through all the info it contains.

Later, guys …

Tom / PM
post #48 of 54
I don't think anyone here implied that all women freeze up. Wendy Brookbank could probably take me on some runs that would make me pee my pants..........
post #49 of 54
Physics Man,
I do have a copy of their safety protocols, as it is distributed each year at the beginning of the season. My concern was less with what it said, and more with how it was enforced. And, yes, I did actually go to one of the mountains as a "private individual". I wasn't overly impressed with the vigilance & supervision. That was one reason we now go up every weekend as a family instead of letting them go on the school trips. Paradoxically, I'd be less concerned about them going now that my older sons are more experienced. They are far more advanced skill-wise. Furthermore, since we've spent so much time on the slopes together, they have a very firm grasp of what the skiers' responsibility code is (probably from my endless "bugging them" about it). My oldest actually tells me about all the stupid human skiing adventures he sees, and just shakes his head.
post #50 of 54
PerSwede, PM, I hear what you both have to say, and I do not dispute it. I am merely emphasising that, with any sort of stick the carrot must be sweet too.

It wasn't role models I had in mind at all, in my original post. What I had in mind was the invention of _games_ to channel enthusiasm, possibly educational ones, certainly ones challenging to various ability levels. Effectively, to use diversion to lessen the wear and tear on vigilance and supervision.

I understand that chaperones are often lacking in ability: there is no reason to have the diversions be invented on the spot however. What I have more in mind is having such devised by professionals and widely available, like a book of sermons if you will.

What game, say, might a "stupid friend" play with the novice postulated in this thread, to divert himself and challenge himself as well? (Please change pronoun gender to fit circumstance).

[ January 21, 2004, 10:50 AM: Message edited by: comprex ]
post #51 of 54
As a Mountain Ambassador we are tought to educate the guest in what they are doing wrong. Last Saturday I had seen something that I hadn't seen in a while, A snow board going down the trail all by it's self. I was giving a mountain tour, I excused myself and skied over to wait for the Guest to show up to claim her board. She was about 14 with two girl friends, seems she hurt her wrist and was walking to the bottom, long way to go I told her. Luckily they were close to the top of a lift that has a patrol hut. I informed her that it was not safe to walk on the slopes and that she should wait for a sled ride. They were close enough and the remaining trail was flat enough where it wasn't to difficult to walk to the hut. I made sure she knew why the board have a safety strap and had her attach it to her so I could take off again.

I then continued with my tour.

I have another story from later in the day that involved a young 20 something male with two friends and demo skis that were way above his level. He went down in the sled after we told him not to ski again. He was complaining about a pain behind his knee. He skied about 40 feet and stopped, and said I'll wait for the sled.
post #52 of 54
to share a personal experience on the "guy on the wrong slope" it doesnt necessaraly take friends to cause this condition. two years ago I was out in Arapahoe basin skiing one of the double blacks on the skiers left when I saw something that looked fun. a little cornice had developed and decided it would be a good idea to try it, seeing as the pitch underneath was only 35-40 degrees. I have to admit guys can freeze up as well... anyone over their head will have a tendancy to do so, and I was lucky to lose only one ski to a prerelease, but the panicky feeling of out of control left a big impression.
on the topic of friends leading skiers down the wrong hill it seems to be much more of a problem in the midwest, and im sure the east as well where the skiers per acre reach astronomical figures in some areas. as the day progresses people on their first day of skiing feel they have graduated to "skier" as do their friends. I have had to help many of beginners who have wandered on to more dificult trails who have injured themselves or yard saled and seen many more from the lift. I have no idea where the condition of "he can do that" or "she can do that" comes from especially when there is no experience to back it up (I tried my first black after somewhere around 30 days on skiis)
but then again that is the midwest
post #53 of 54
Quote:
Originally posted by Loveski:
xdog.....(Sorry, Long Post) You know you are probably right in a lot of cases regarding "chicks" freaking and freezing up when confronted with a decision to ski down or freeze up....I skied for my second time about two weeks ago and I took my second lesson at that time in the morning...after lunch I skied on my own and I accidently got on the wrong lift..(I noticed it looked different on my way up) I asked the guy on the lift chair with me what lift we were on and he said lift #2, I asked where it went and he said I had to get off at midway...the top was closed...He asked how many times I'd skied and I said this was number 2 for me, He then said "Good Luck" the trail on the left is Black and on the right is Blue and he said it was really fast...It was hard packed and very icy....I got off and went straight ahead, which was'nt bad but when I made the turn to the right to go down the mountain, there were snowboarders laying around everywhere and I went between them and Down the slope...I got going so fast and since I am very new at turning,slowing down etc...I was scared and out of control so I went to the right side of the slope by the trees( it didn't look as steep) But I wasn't slowing down and was going to hit a embankment so I went up a hill in between the trees and was faced with a row of trees and a huge pile of brush, I ran over sticks and branches and right before I was going to run into the trees...I just sat down....My skis were buried in the snow and I couldn't undoe my bindings (even got a branch to help but no avail)...Finally another skier came along and got me out of my bindings....Then I had hell getting my skis back on because it was so icy I kept sliding...I finally did and I looked down the mountain a second time and said the only way Im getting down is to go for it...so I did..again exremely fast...(but I wedged the whole way down , applying as much pressure as I could and I made it)....so not all females freeze up....Maybe its because I break horses too....I get scared but Fear has to be overcome to excel in any sport. Peace
This post is very disturbing. She doesn't realise what a menace she was to herself let alone others. :
post #54 of 54
Excuse me....Yes, I do realize the danger but I was not a menace to anyone else, why do you think I got off to the right of the trail, I didn't want to run over anyone,and wanted to slow down and since I was actually the only one at that time skiing down (not a soul in sight) I don't think I was too menacing.....as for going on down the second time, I did fine once I applied enough pressure in the wedge. Trust me...I guarantee I won't be getting on the wrong lift again. That little episode was enough. I can only assume that ice is probably a little difficult for anyone to ski on whether it be on a green trail, blue, or black ???? Am I correct in this assumption? I have no one to blame but myself but is was a learning experience and I would hope that no experienced skier would ever take a beginner on a run like that because it is truly dangerous but then again I think hard packed and icy is probably dangerous anyway. Sincerely, Leisa
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