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Slope Segregation

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I saw this in the new SkiEurope report:

Slope Segregation Law Passes Through Lower House of Italian Parliament House
Italy (Snow24) – A comprehensive new law proposed for Italy and said to be inspired by a fatal collision between a skier and a snowboarder last year has passed through the lower house of the Italian Parliament and is now to be considered by the upper house.

The most controversial area of the proposed law, which covers many aspects of the winter sports holiday in Italy, is that different snowsports are segregated. The actual wording of the law is slightly ambiguous on whether the most highly publicized part of it - the segregation of skiers and snowboarders on the mountain - is to be enforced. It is more specific that sledging and tobogganing should definitely be in specifically separate areas to the ski slopes.
I agree with the proposed law for tobogganing, but snowboard/skier segregation seems like a giant
leap backwards. What do others think? I certainly hope this trend does not spread beyond Italy.

SkiEurope European Newswire

[ September 06, 2003, 05:15 AM: Message edited by: West Virginia Skier ]
post #2 of 21

I agree with you fully. What we really need is 'attitude' segregation, and the only people I can envision enforcing that is the mountain patrol. Recent litigation has awakened many areas to this responsibility, but the final tally will be how 'we the consumers' vote with our dollars.
post #3 of 21
I think it's stupid as hell. However as an F1 fan having watched the debacle surrounding Ayrton Senna's fatal crash, I've learned that the Italian legal system is crazier than our own!
post #4 of 21
Segregation, it's a good thing.

That's what makes Alta such a wonderful place! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Feal. I agree that Europe needs more Mountain Patrolers. I've rarely seen them in Europe. From what I gather, some rescues are performed by various Mountain Rescue services and others (namely the helo rescues), by the Gendarmes. I'd like to see more NSP type patrolers on European slopes. Can anyone explain how the European ski patrol system works? Do they have any volunteer patrolers or are all the patrollers paid, full-time employees?

[ September 06, 2003, 12:33 PM: Message edited by: West Virginia Skier ]
post #6 of 21
Originally posted by Xdog:
Segregation, it's a good thing.

That's what makes Alta such a wonderful place! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
Here's something you won't hear me say very often....I agree with Xdog.

Don't take offense Xdog, I'm just pissed that you're gettin' ready to go skiing and I'm gettin' ready to go mow 3 acres of lawn.
post #7 of 21
Mountain patrollers in Europe are more about avalanche watching than people watching. The attitude is that when you are skiing, it's your responsibility, not the resort's.
Accidents tend to occur when people ignore their responsibility, and try passing the buck. If the skiers/boarders/tobogannists/etc obeyed the responisibility code, then the likelihood of accidents happening would be kept to a minimum.

Here's the European responsibility code...

1. Consideration of the other Skiers: Every skier has to behave in a way he or she doesn't endanger or damage any other.
2. Controlling of speed and way of skiing: Every skier has to ski on sight. He has to adapt his speed and way of skiing to his abilities and the conditions of the terrain, the snow and the weather as to the traffic density.
3. Choice of track: The skier coming from behind another has to choose his track so that skiers before him won't be endangered.
4. Overtaking: Overtaking is allowed from above or below, from right or left but always with a distance so that the skier being overtaken has space enough for all his movements.
5. Entering and restarting: Every skier entering a trail or starting after a halt has to assure himself uphill and downhill of the fact that he can do so without danger for himself and others.
6. Stopping: Every skier has to avoid stopping at small or blind places of a trail without need. A fallen skier has to free such a place as quick as possible.
7. Mounting and descend: A skier mounting or descending by feet has to use the border of the trail.
8. Pay attention to signs: Every skier has to pay attention to the marks and signs.
9. Behavior in case of accidents: In case of accidents every skier has to help.
10. Duty of proving identity: Every skier whether witness or involved, whether responsible or not has to prove his identity in case of an accident.
post #8 of 21
Originally posted by Xdog:
Segregation, it's a good thing.

That's what makes Alta such a wonderful place! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
That is not segregation...it is an all out ban. Pathetic if you ask me, but as with the other "ban" areas it will eventually over time drop its ban when $$$$ begins to be lost.
post #9 of 21
Attitude segregation.. that's the bext quote I've heard on this topic. I think all sides have beaten this subject to death. There are as many idiot skiers on the mountain as there are snowboarders. The Summit Daily ran a series of letters to the editor last year after a collision at Breck.

I think resorts would do well to put a positive spin on segregation. Rather than have "no snowboarder" areas instead enforce "family only" areas and "learner" areas. Keystone will be moving their terrain park this year, it'll be interesting to see how it affects the demographics on the rest of the mountain.
post #10 of 21
Segregation...a fantastic idea

Make sure that everyone has a tattoo on their arm so boarders can't sneak into the ski slopes and intermediates can't challenge their skiing on the black runs.

Lets put all the boarders on one slope, skiers on another and make subdivisions of black, white, muslim, cathloic, asian, jewish and misc.

Make sure that everyone needs to dna print to buy a lift ticket so we don't get any 'unwanteds'. And the world would be sweet.


There is snow and gravity. Don't use the word segregation on this site, it's just not skiing.
post #11 of 21
Although I will admit if people will persue the 'sport' of tobaganning (aka spinal injury in oz due to the copious amount of rocks) they really should be on a separate run.

Can't count the amount of times when I was working on the hill and suggesting to parents that maybe they shouldn't send their 5 yo hurtling down the hill on a piece of plastic towards a cliff/beginner class and got dity looks/comments.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
I know that the subject of segregation has been beaten to death at the resort level but what Italy is trying to do is legislate it at a national level. It would be like Congress passing a bill ordering all ski resorts in the US to create "separate but equal" slopes for snowboarders and skiers. I find this idea to be beyond ABSURD.
post #13 of 21
Wow that is just stupid. :
post #14 of 21
Originally posted by West Virginia Skier:
I know that the subject of segregation has been beaten to death at the resort level but what Italy is trying to do is legislate it at a national level. It would be like Congress passing a bill ordering all ski resorts in the US to create "separate but equal" slopes for snowboarders and skiers. I find this idea to be beyond ABSURD.
Well, this IS America, so wouldn't it be more likely that they'd pass a bill limiting your downhill speed to, say, 10mph? That would make it "safer" for everyone, just like the dumbass speed limits on the highways.
post #15 of 21
Well folks, this is Italy, a place even Italians have a hardtime to understand.

For your reference, I think I "spoke" briefly about it, last spring (search the archives, I'm too lazy to do it)

For those who know Dante's language, and its bureaucratic version:


(plse take notice of the date)

WVS, there is no such a thing as an "Eurpean ski Patrol system"
We're not (despite the name "European Union") an Union like the USA.
Each State is very jealous of its own turf...
Anyway: the Italian Police system is based on the French one, derived from the Napoleonic Poice system:
-Carabinieri (this is a military force, the equivalent of the French "Gendarmerie")
Main mission: Territory control
-Polizia (this is not a military force,equivalent to the French "Police Nationale")
Main mission: City control
-Guardia di Finanza, GdF (kind of "Border police" mainly there to prevent bootlegging between Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria and Jugoslavia, IIRC this is a military force)
Main mission: border illegal commerce, countrywide fiscal evasion control...

All these three institutions, for obvious reasons, tied to their missions, have a "Mountain" component (they also have a "Sea" component, a "fiscal" a "drug" a "Mafia" directorate....but I digress)
Thus during winter time, they perform patrolling tasks (read rescue mission) in addition to their "institutional missions" (crime prevention, territory control, fraud prevention and so on), wherever one of their stations is present on a mountain...
The Police Mountain school is located in Moena di Fassa
The Carabinieri in Selva di Valgardena
The GfD in Predazzo di Fiemme (not completely sure)
To these three, the Italian Army Mountain specialty is also present (the "Alpini") and they too do participate into the service, wherever their barracks (Caserme) are present.
Should I add the Forest service? They too serve as patrollers.
And every one of them skis for free.
How to spot them?
Carabinieri are dressed in Dark blue, with a red stripe on the side of their pants. Police are dressed in Light Blue,
Alpini and Forest service in dark green (olive green)
GdF, green-gray...Personally I like to meet them on the slopes,
they're aways available for a chat, and unlike their town colleagues, relaxed and at ease.

Here and there, where present with qualified personnel, volunteer organizations work as well.

And with all this confusion do you think that the slope segregation law is confusing? I personally think that's notthe way to go...when the rumors started, well, the "community" stirred a bit, but then it was forgotten and quietly discussed...
I do not know if it has been really approved...
The sad thing is, we in Italy are always at fault, always breaking one law or the other, because there are so many, that we don't even nknow how many!

One positive thing, is the mandatory use of helmets for children below 14 years of age.
post #16 of 21
Another thing, the Regions have 12 months to transform all that the law says in facts. But the law will be in its full force not until it will pass throught the Upper house as well (it was just approved in the lower house)...

I'm really curious to see what will happen at tis season opening...(my guess is: nothing) I'll let you know.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 

Interesting information about the various mountain rescue services in Italy. What surprises me is that mountain rescue is more of a police function in Italy than an Emergency Medical function. You hear a lot of stories in Europe about being rescued in Europe by a police rescue unit and then being charged with some crime such as reckless skiing. That makes sense if police are doing most of the rescues. It may also explain why you rarely see rescue units on the slopes in Europe.

It seems like the system we have here is better: the National Ski Patrol--a dedicated mountain rescue service for skiers.
post #18 of 21
I've skied in Europe for the last 3 years (100 days), and I have been very impressed with the mountain rescue functions I have observed. As someone above mentioned, the European way is to take responsibility for your actions. If you get hurt skiing out of bounds, or in a marked danger area, they don’t charge you with a crime, they charge you for the cost of the rescue which usually involves a helicopter flight and can be very expensive (you can buy winter sports insurance to cover the cost for 40 euro/year). I have seen some of their rescues up close, and they were more professional and competent than any ski patrol I have seen in the states. I was at the top of Kaprun when the train caught fire, and the response was incredible, I have watched people lifted of all parts of the mountain by helo, and I watched a friend pulled from a 20 meter crevasse less than 30 min after she fell in. I have never skied Italy but I assume they are as competent as the others.

I don’t believe you can segregate skiers, and snowboarders, but some of the other sports (tobogganing, sledding, ski bikes etc..) don’t belong on the same slopes.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

I did not mean to imply that rescues were unprofessional in Europe. Rather, rescuers do not patrol slopes to the degree the NSP patrols slopes here in the US. If someone needs to be rescued in Europe, the rescuers respond and respond quickly but they don't constantly ski the slopes as our NSP folks do. It may be because of their smaller numbers. They may need to be stationed in central locations so as to respond to emergencies quickly and efficiently. Is that true?

Many NSP, by comparison, are off duty volunteers and only respond to an emergency if they are first on the scene of an accident. Otherwise, they are there to enjoy the skiing just like everyone else.

One thing that really impresses me about Europe is the availability of rapid helo assisted rescue. Because of the big vertical of the Alps, I suspect helos are the fastest and most efficient way to get victims to a hospital for medical treatment.

BTW, for a small amount of money, one can join the Austrian Ski Federation and get lift ticket discounts as well as free helo rescue and other insurance benefits. This is a great deal for people who ski in Austria. I'm a member of the ASF through my membership in Ski Club Arlberg.
post #20 of 21
I think it is more a question of cultures than anything. Europeans don't expect to have guys just skiing around to help them out. My impression of the whole ski industry over there is the workers associated with it are all professionals with a high degree of education. The ski instructors I have met are all well trained in a vairiety of disciplines including basic firstaid, and they seem to be the first responders to on piste accidents, and can call for rescuers if needed.
In the US the culture thinks we need the NSP to protect us from ourselves. They always have seemed to be as much of a mountain police, or rule enforcment function as a first responder organization. Don't get me wrong, both my parents were patrollers for many years, and I appreciate the volunteers, it is probably the only way it can work in the US.
With countries like austria where a large population lives in alpine areas, they need thier professional corps of rescuers, and along with the other professionals on the mountain, have the right manpower and resourses to do the job. I think you are looking for the preventative presence you might see in the US. I for one enjoy the freedom skiing under the rope knowing I am responsible for any harm that befalls me for doing so, and not having to worry about my ticket being pulled when i get to the bottom.
Just may opinion and observations
post #21 of 21
Chester and WVS, Yes, I forgot about the ski instructors.
I can't tell for the rest of Eurpoe, but,in Italy, whenever they don their uniform, people will listen, they are nearly treated as public officials, afaik.
Mostly they are locals (in Italy that means that your family has been living in the same village/area for at least 2/3 generations) this adds to their professionalism and dedication.
They aren't only dedicated to the sport, but they are dedicated to their land (in this case, land means village/valley/province/region...not nation)

From Suedtirol provincial (county) chamber of professional ski instructors association

There's also a German page.
This is the "provincial law" (Legge Regionale)
which integrates the "National law" (Legge Quadro)

Art. 9
Doveri del maestro di sci

I maestri di sci iscritti all'albo professionale debbono esercitare la loro professione in modo corretto, nel rispetto delle norme di deontologia professionale e di comportamento previste dalla legge, contribuire allo sviluppo di questo sport, insegnare agli allievi le regole di sicurezza mettendoli in guardia contro i possibili rischi in pista e fuori pista, contribuire allo sviluppo turistico nonché prestare soccorso in caso di incidenti sciistici.

Art 9
Ski instructor's duties

The ski instructors inscribed into the professional registry must carry on their profession in a correct way,abiding to the
professional deontology (see chapter) and comportamental rules as provided by the law, to contribute to this sport improvement, to teach the pupils the safety rules warning them of the possible risks on the pists (signalled, groomed runs, aka in-bounds) and out of pists ( everything which is not a groomed, signalled run), to contribute to the tourism increase and help
in the rescue (read: first aid help+act as a public official while waiting for the proper rescuers/police/patroller) in the case of skiing accidents.

The translation from Italian is mine, so the errors (grammatical and conceptual) I made while translating. Said errors have been made in bona fide. Comments between brakets are totally mine. Last note, the title Maestro, identifies someone who has Mastered an art. Thus, it is implicity ecognized that Ski is an art...

An English page carries only the information useful (I hope) for
those of you who would like to try teaching here.
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