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Where to Stop

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
What's the best place to stop on a trail? (I know, I know, it's better not to stop, but sometimes you have to)

I always thought it was best to stop on the side, but I've had some close calls with snowboarders (and a few skiers)trying to catch a little air on the snow piled upon the edges of the trial. A ski instuctor told me that he started telling people a few years ago that it was safest to stop in the middle of the trial, in plain view from above.

I should mention that I started skiing last year, and right now I still mostly ski blues, and so encounter many skiers and riders who are--how to put this?--both not very skilled and not always terribly considerate of others.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 12
Generally, folks who ski the edges of trails tend to be better skiers, so as long as you pick places to stop where you are in good view from above, you run the least risk of being hit at the edge. The middle is where most of the skidders ski/ride, so that's where you're more likely to get run over by a less capable slider.
post #3 of 12
Here is what the FIS says about your, and other questions about skiing safety and etiquette:
In Europe, everybody gets taught these rules. In Austria, they are even the law, judges rule according to the FIS rules. You find them, in different variations, on the heads-up signs on display in Norh America as well.
The FIS say you ought to pull over to the edge of a trail when stopping, and Kneale has a good point, always make sure you are in good view. Also, and that's something i usually frown upon, groups of skiers and riders often stop in the narrowest section of a run, making these sections more difficult to negotiate. Sigh.
post #4 of 12
Maybe you should try stopping where you can't be seen. This would seem like the most logical place to stop [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]
post #5 of 12
I always stop behind, or next to signs, or behind snowmaking posts or whatever, as long as its somewhere I wont get hit [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #6 of 12
Originally posted by Paul__420:
I always stop behind, or next to signs, or behind snowmaking posts or whatever, as long as its somewhere I wont get hit [img]smile.gif[/img]
not protection I discovered...
I was hit by a boarder when I was
a) behind a slow sign
b) about 2 feet from the patroller - who missed the whole thing just heard it & could not believe it either...
post #7 of 12
Stop in the dismount area of the chairlift with the snowboarders and skiers who think there is no one else using it.
post #8 of 12
I used to think the edge of the trail was the safest place but during a clinic last month was nearly clocked by a heelrider who skied BETWEEN me and the woods (with a few inches to spare). We were maybe a foot or two from the edge of the trail, a compact group. This dolt was skiing straight down the hill and evidently chose his path, as our group was in clear view. I've come to the conclusion no place is safe. You have to keep a lookout and be prepared to move fast. Its especially important to keep an ear to those approaching from behind. You have to be prepared to get out of their way or be struck. I imagine these reckless skiers would say that it was your fault for skiing in front of them.

Todays equipment and grooming seem to encourage people with little skiil to ski beyond their ability. Thats the only explanation I can come up with. Some people like to ski the soft snow at the edge of the trail because it offers increased friction that their heel pushing technique requires for speed control. I suppose they imagine they are advanced skiers who prefer to ski the edge of the trail.

Folks who ski this way are taking a lot of chances with their own safety and that of others but this seems to be part of their approach to skiing. Kind of scary isn't it?
post #9 of 12
The sides for sure. I also ski the sides but I watch! You should watch too, even when standing there. Sure the guy might be a jerk, but he might be the jerk that you can avoid...better safe than sorry in my book and it's good to be aware of your surroundings as there are a boat load of folks out there who aren't!
post #10 of 12
Originally posted by Paul__420:
I always stop behind, or next to signs, or behind snowmaking posts or whatever, as long as its somewhere I wont get hit [img]smile.gif[/img]
When I was a patroller, I was standing next to a slow sign and got hit as I was giving directions to another skier. Slow signs are magnets. You don't know how often those things have to get repaired due to people hitting them.

[ January 21, 2003, 07:36 AM: Message edited by: crew cut ]
post #11 of 12
I, too, am a fairly new skier sticking mostly to blue runs. If I find the need to stop in the middle of a trail I usually try to get over near the sides. Now because of the people who like to ski down the edges to get a little ungroomed snow or to dart in and out of the trees I do not go all the way to the edge. It depends on the trail, but often, for me on a normal blue run, I get maybe 10 - 15 feet from the edge. That gets me out of the path of those coming down the middle and leaves ample room for people to get by on the sides, even if they do not really belong there. (In fact, this is where I often ski. It stays out of the way of the middle and gives me some variety. If there are some powder or bumps on the sides I get to practice a bit and I can move a few feet and get back to more groomed stuff if I need or want without getting into the shooting gallery in the middle.)

Now my preference is to find some sort of natural break. Right up next to a trail sign or near SLOW signs. Occasionally I'll find a small group of very tightly spaced trees (tight enough that there are not any trails between them) and stop just in front of them. Basically, my preference is to stop somewhere such that if someone were to hit me that they would have hit something big, immoveable, and visible from a good distance if I had not been standing there. Or at least two out of three. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Others have testified above to still getting hit in similar areas, but I have yet to be hit. [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]
post #12 of 12
IMHO, you aren't safe anywhere, but the places mentioned by others earlier in this thread are probably about as good as you can get. FWIW, one place not previously mentioned is right next to the downhill side of a lift tower. Totally out of control people will probably hit the uphill side, and reckless but good skiers that are carving around the tower will usually give it a few feet of clearance to avoid the odd snow that is usually near the tower. The only problem with this location is that you are a prime target for teenagers on the lift throwing snowballs at you.

My own personal story about how "they'll get you anywhere you stand" happened a few years ago.

I was standing with a group of four patrollers towards the bottom of the steep section of a black run. We were all lined up facing into the run, watching the people go by, chatting & enjoying the last day of the season. Our skis were so far off the edge of the trail that our tails (from boots back) were in mid-air above the dirt & rocks on the side of the trail. This particular trail curves to skier's left & we were standing on the inside (LH) side of it, noting that as people fell, they all went to the outside (RH) of the turn and thus, we were absolutely safe.

Hah. No such luck. Some yahoo that shouldn't have been anywhere near a black fell at the very top of the run, and to our utter astonishment managed to keep heading directly at us while tumbling and spinning & picking up quite a bit of speed. We are all standing there utterly dumbfounded, thinking that there is just no possible way he can hit us, but he did just that, and managed to take out every one of us, just like we were a bunch of bowling pins. We all wound up with minor cuts in our legs/clothing from the edges of the next person uphill, but fortunately, that was about the worst of the damages. Mr. Human Bowling Ball was pretty much unharmed and got the lecture of his life. As I said earlier, you aren't safe anywhere.

Tom / PM

[ January 20, 2003, 10:39 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
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