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Skier dies at Keystone - Page 2

post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post
Not to get into the helmet or not arguement. I wear one. A helmet is not going to protect you from a direct impact if you are going much over 10mph. Which he probably was. Especially true with a fixed solid object.

To have a helmet that would protect you from that sort of impact it would have to be about the size of a small car.

I seriously doubt it would have saved his life. If it did he would probably be eating through a straw for the rest of his life.
IYHO. People wearing helmets regularly crash on motorcycles way over 10 mph and walk away. Without really having it on video or a witness account there's really no way other then autopsy to assess how much a helmet may or may not have prevented some extent of trauma.
post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski-2-fly View Post
IYHO. People wearing helmets regularly crash on motorcycles way over 10 mph and walk away. Without really having it on video or a witness account there's really no way other then autopsy to assess how much a helmet may or may not have prevented some extent of trauma.
I generally try to stay away from substantive helmet discussions becuase what should be technical gets emotional real fast, but to put this in perspective:

Whether they occur at 75mph or 5 mph, the vast majority of motorcycle head injuries occur not from head-on impacts but from heads striking the pavement as a result of falling off the bike. The energy even if you get tossed in that case is roughly the same as falling and hitting your head on icey pavement, much lower-energy than most people think. Just stating the facts. The appropriate analogy is hitting a telephone pole at say 30 mph, and those are not accidents motorcyclists walk away from. & I do wear a helemt.

RIP for the skier in this case, & condolencences to family & friends.
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by WmCraven View Post
Unfortunately, this kind of accident is why most of the New England mountains will pull your ticket if they catch you in the woods. Jay Peak is one of the few exceptions.
a) skiing in the trees, per se, is not how people tend to have fatal accidents with tree collisions. this case is one more example of the fact that most of these involve wide open groomers.
b) as noted elsewhere, every eastern hill worth skiing allows tree skiing. i'm not aware of any empirical data showing tree skiing to be more dangerous than hossing down groomers.
post #34 of 56
Someone said in clinic this weekend "Never ski faster than the speed at which you are willing to hit a tree."

Not saying I agree with it, but it could be sage advice to some.
post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stache View Post
Someone said in clinic this weekend "Never ski faster than the speed at which you are willing to hit a tree."

Not saying I agree with it, but it could be sage advice to some.
I totally agree with that as it applies to skiing on the edge of a run or in the trees. High speed skiing down the middle of a groomer I'm careful about putting a tree or a lift tower on the outside of a turn.
post #36 of 56
Makes a lot of sense. My problems have come when I've fallen at high speed on a groomer that then turns. If you fall going fast on a slick groomer, the turn can be a hundred yards downhill and you'll still go into the trees.
post #37 of 56
I used to really push back against wearing one, but now I'll NEVER set one ski on a trail sans helmet...I'm still missing 10hrs of reel after a rental binding let go at Loon Mt. NH 8yrs ago. From what my brothers tell me, my binding popped off the ski & I went down hard. I was(no joke) a drooling lump of meat until I woke up in a hospital 6hrs later. To this day, I remember up until lunch & then coming to at 10pm. with a doc shining a light in my face telling me how lucky I was. Really small price to pay for a kick-ass, no-more-debate-FOR-ME lesson. The guy that owned the rental shop was shitting bricks after my dad dumped the set-up on his counter & told him he'd deal with it when I came to(the mounting screws weren't loc-tited in or whatever & backed out)fortunately my folks weren't the litigous type.
post #38 of 56
Help me understand: Many say a helmet does no good above 10mph. Then why do slalom skiers (slowest event) often ski with only a face guard, GS a full helmet, and downhillers (fastest event) an even more substantial helmet. Could the race community have it backwards?
post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJazz View Post
Help me understand: Many say a helmet does no good above 10mph. Then why do slalom skiers (slowest event) often ski with only a face guard, GS a full helmet, and downhillers (fastest event) an even more substantial helmet. Could the race community have it backwards?
That is not what I said. Hitting a fixed solid object like a tree, it's not going to matter after a certain speed. One that is easily attainable on skis or a snowboard. Flying down the mountain catching an edge and slamming your head on the ice, a helmet will make a difference. Momentum is carrying you along. The full energy of the direction (downhill) you were traveling is not focused on the slam. That is why they wear helmets. Flying down the mountain and hitting a tree head on? A downhillers helmet won't make a difference. Read the ski-injury article I posted up. These are guys with doctorates who study this stuff. In other words experts. I do wear a helmet, but I also understand what it will realistically protect me from. The end result of this accident probably wouldn't have changed by wearing a helmet.

If you don't believe me, you could put a helmet on and ski head on into a lodgepole pine at say 15mph. I wouldn't recomend trying this though. :
post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski1024 View Post
I don't think we know enough about this particular incident to know if he would have lived if he had a helmet.

Fact is... BLUNT TRAUMA KILLS!!!
I have first hand experience with other similar accidents and reading forum post after the fact. Based on those experiences, these posts are probably nowhere near reality.

Please think about the family members that may read this garbage. If you need to feel safe by saying you wear a helmet and this person did not wear a helmet, please don't make statements that may hurt the family members.
post #41 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman View Post
My problems have come when I've fallen at high speed on a groomer that then turns.
Same here. Especially those that have turn and a double fall line sloping into the trees on the outside of your turn. Worse yet is we have some of these that have roads across them right at the turn. So you hit that road and hope a tourist isn't hidden under it. Then you have make that turn as soon as you get back on the snow else you're in the trees.

I wish ski areas would make one run a public downhill course that are totally protected with fences. They could have timers and charge $5 per run.
post #42 of 56
From a physician:

Helmets reduce head injuries, but may not save a life if the trauma is too extreme.

The real danger is fixed objects: trees, rocks, lift poles. Those who like to ski fast in trees or use fixed objects for "gate turns" or ski at the very edge of trails are a caught edge away from a potentially fatal accident. The real surprise is that there are not more fatalities.

Do you really want to be killed for catching an edge??
post #43 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebough View Post
The real danger is fixed objects: trees, rocks, lift poles. Those who like to ski fast in trees or use fixed objects for "gate turns" or ski at the very edge of trails are a caught edge away from a potentially fatal accident. The real surprise is that there are not more fatalities.
To put it kindly, you don't know what you are talking about.

In my last 1000+ days skiing I've almost killed myself in the trees twice. Despite loving to ski in the trees and loving skiing on very narrow, twisty runs...both times I went into the woods at high speed I had fallen smack in the middle of a groomer at least 40 yards wide and slid into the trees head first. I'm positive that if you ask enough people that ski fast and take chances; most of their big scares with objects will be of that sort rather than nailing a pine in Paradise. The lesson to be learned is that speed is the risk factor, and it is made more prominent by groomed terrain and modern equipment. Falling at 40mph on a groomer that doesn't have fences is a roll of the dice. Falling over while picking at the woods at 10-15mph is per the laws of physics far less likely to kill you. If you fall in two feet of crud at 15mph you aren't going to slide into a tree at a fatal speed. This is rather obvious to those of us who actually ski.

If you had read the relevant literature before posting you'd know all this.
post #44 of 56
Yes, Skiingman, but what if you fall in the woods at 40 mph?
post #45 of 56
It's the brain movement inside the skull that does the real damage, not so much the skull being fractured. The sudden impact with a head injury doesn't really matter if you have a helmet on or not. The helmet might keep your skull intact but it won't keep the brain from bashing the inside of the skull which is why helmet companies won't claim to be foolproof at speeds over 10 mph. The only thing the helmet will do is make an open casket more of a reality. Helmets are fashion and big business these days. They're also more practical in the East than the West. They protect you more from cold than from serious injuries.
post #46 of 56
This helmet debate has raged on for years here at Epic Ski. For every one person who is for wearing a helmet, there is one who is against. Just because you feel wearing a helmet is the right thing to do doesn't mean that everyone should. Just because the article in the paper states the victim wasn't wearing a helmet doesn't mean that if he was wearing one, he'd still be alive. That's speculation. It's as common as the fatalities where the person was wearing a helmet and the helmet didn't keep him alive. If you feel safer wearing a helmet, so be it. But, don't condesend those who don't. It's their business not yours.

Just for the record, I own a helmet. Sometimes I wear it, sometimes I don't. That depends on where I'm skiing, how cold it is, if it's icy or if I'm going backcountry. It's my choice, not yours.
post #47 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Yes, Skiingman, but what if you fall in the woods at 40 mph?
hehe....operator error.

Seriously though: most skiers don't ski nearly as fast in or near the trees as they do when they think they are protected by a few dozen yards of slippery boilerplate. An error in risk assessment that I myself have unfortunately made many times.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
They're also more practical in the East than the West.
Yeah, especially in the trees what with the tight nature and low brush. My helmets don't get nearly as scratched up since I left the East.

I've worn a helmet since 1995 but I harbor no illusion that it will protect me from hitting a tree at any speed. I have trashed two brain buckets in ways that almost certainly made my injury much less severe. One when I got off a chair for the umpteenth million time and got hit in the side of the head as it came around the bullwheel because I was lollygagging. The other more serious one when I high sided for no reason on SL skis on a frozen rain surface. I got a minor concussion from that one. It involved nothing but me skiing at low speed on a buff groomer and "catching an edge" as people say...
post #48 of 56
Helmets won't hurt and they might help at least some unless you assume all crashes are either
1. trivial enough that a helmet is pointless
or
2. unsurvivable even with helmet

Such assumptions are asinine...

There are crashes where helmets will prevent or reduce morbidity/mortality. There are no two ways about it. I am proof. I survived a downhill mountainbike crash off of a small 2ft drop. I suffered a grade 3 concussion /w perseveration and memory loss while wearing a helmet. From my injuries and the impact pattern on my helmet, it was easy to see that I stopped myself almost completely with my head. The doctors all said that without the helmet I might have much more permanent brain damage (I escaped with only a few minor memory issues) or I might even be dead (since nobody witnessed the crash, I don't remember what happened for about 5 hours afterwards but I know that I walked out and called my friend to come pick me up). Mountain biking, expecially DH, is very comparable to skiing when it comes to head injuries.

Remember, even a fast skier who falls is trying to self arrest during the crash, often reducing their speed.

The only room for argument with helmets is a personal cost/benefit argument. I guess backcountry skiers could argue that avalanche beacons are expensive and drivers can argue that seatbelts are uncomfortable.
post #49 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Summit View Post
Remember, even a fast skier who falls is trying to self arrest during the crash, often reducing their speed.
Exactly! He is also doing his best to avoid bashing his head on a tree or rock, and trying to get his skis back under himself, unless of course he is already out cold from that first little bump on the head from that 1.5 m drop to the ice, or being bashed on the back of the head by his ski. You can't do much if you're already knocked out. A helmet gives you a chance to keep fighting.
post #50 of 56
Having just come back from a nice day at Tremblant, I must say that many were skiing well beyond their ability. Sure, trail selection was limited, but if you have to snowplow down an Advanced trail, you're over your head and ruining everyone else's day by being a moving gate and breaking their rhythm, especially when you had to ski past several huge signs saying "Warning, Experts Only". I probably saved myself from 3 potentially nasty spills today , because of people standing in the wrong spots or losing control. Threw me off balance, but I did everything in my power to avoid anything hard and get my feet under me.

As for novice-level young males being young males on intermediate runs, the only ones they're impressing are their egos. However, I will not pass judgement as to the recent events at Keystone because I was not there, nor will I pass judgment on the whole helmet issue. There's a family grieving and to them I send my condolences.
post #51 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by breckview View Post

I wish ski areas would make one run a public downhill course that are totally protected with fences. They could have timers and charge $5 per run.

ditto that.

A friend of mine is always preaching to stay off the blue groomers as they are the most dangerous trails on the mountain. This of course has to do with the small amount of ppl who race down the hill, and are not racers!

In no way am I saying that is what this deceased was doing, but I know its scary to see a kid bombing down a hill and I wish they would open a downhill run for the public to curb this problem.
post #52 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Exactly! He is also doing his best to avoid bashing his head on a tree or rock, and trying to get his skis back under himself, unless of course he is already out cold from that first little bump on the head from that 1.5 m drop to the ice, or being bashed on the back of the head by his ski. You can't do much if you're already knocked out. A helmet gives you a chance to keep fighting.
I don't wear/have a helmet as of yet (still debating, but probably will especially since my wife says I need to be a good example to my kids), but I sure wish I had one about 10 years ago...

I was skiing KT22 (Squaw Valley for those few who don't know) about 10 years ago when I failed to negotiate a rather large bump at very high speed. During my very short failed recovery attempt, I somehow managed to shoot one of my skis off my boot into the air and it hit the back of my head with a vengence. I woke up at the bottom of the run with people all around me and not letting me get up with a pool of blood around my head.

My friends who were there that day still manage to get a good laugh about seeing me wipeout and the subsequent lifeless ragdoll sliding down the rest of the hill, but I've still got the scar from 12 stitches to remind me that it wasn't funny then.

I'm fairly positive it wouldn't have been such a bid deal had I been wearing a helmet that day.

Other than that episode, I haven't had any other real head injuries while skiing...Then again, it only takes once.
post #53 of 56
I have a friend who got a head injury playing soccer, it was a mild concussion. No problemo right? Well several years later all of a sudden he starts getting these seizures and ended up in the ICU on a ventilator for a week. Now he can't drive a car and is on medication indefinitely.

Yeah, I think I'll keep wearing my helmet, even if it might not save my life if I hit a tree at 50 mph
post #54 of 56
Pssst. Helmets CAUSE head injuries. I was knocked out by a 9 year old when she hit me. She was wearing a helmet and it caught me right under the chin. From what I've been told, I was out on my feet. I skied down and don't remember it. I woke up in the locker room about 10-15 mins later. I had the wildest technicolor dreams while I was out....
post #55 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
Pssst. Helmets CAUSE head injuries. I was knocked out by a 9 year old when she hit me. She was wearing a helmet and it caught me right under the chin. From what I've been told, I was out on my feet. I skied down and don't remember it. I woke up in the locker room about 10-15 mins later. I had the wildest technicolor dreams while I was out....
Hey genious... I'm sure you would have been just fine if thhe 9/yo had hit you with his skull. I'm sure it would have gone better for the 9y/o too. Did you think that through before posting?

You sound like the morons who don't wear seatbelts becaues they think they cause injuries (and yes, under extremely rare circumstances, but the vast majority of the time they prevent/reduce injuries).

Strangely, your cars seatbelts, crumplezones, and airbags aren't going to save you if if you headon a semi truck with you both doing 80mph. Guess we better not wear seatbelts.
post #56 of 56
I had the same thought about the skull, but I think his post was tongue-in-cheek.
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