I’m going to weigh in on this topic too since it is of ‘professional’ interest to me. I am a patroller at my local resort and deal with these issues every time I put on my uniform.
Our local race team is notorious for causing our guests some angst. They do ski fast, they do cause accidents and they do ski irresponsibly. However to be fair, that is not more or less than anyone else on the hill either.
I would like to point out that the coaches posting on this thread need to look at things from the ‘recreational’ skier’s point of view. That view is of a group of high-speed skiers charging down the hill at you, threatening to choose the same line as you, and the intersection thereof. Ok, so the racers have skills far beyond those of the average skier, but simple physics state that they CANNOT stop on a dime. The average skier is unpredictable in their turns and the snowboarder is even more so with their ability to instantly change tracts. When you mix these two, someone’s going to get bent out of shape…literally or figuratively!
I’m not saying that people should not ski fast. They can, and should be able to ski any way they prefer. However when entering a trail, they must accurately assess the risk involved to themselves and others and make the right decision and ski accordingly.
Coaches are you listening? You should be teaching these youngsters to have honor and respect for everyone, of whatever ability level, and ski for the conditions and crowd density. By defending the racers actions, saying they have superhuman skills, and complaining that it’s the other skier’s fault that they cannot ski to the trail or conditions, you are condoning their behavior, whether real or perceived, and encouraging reckless skiing. Everyone has equal rights to ski the whole mountain no matter their ability level. And everyone has the same responsibility to avoid the skier below while always skiing in control.
Many people admire these racer’s for their ability and enjoy watching them race. One of my daughter’s hero’s is a ski racer. They are held up as role model’s for the next generation. Yet my perception, from the some of the coaches posts on this thread, is that you are teaching the kid’s that they are better than everyone else on the hill and therefore do not have to give the same respect to fellow skiers. As a parent and a patroller, I find that distasteful and if it continues would join in efforts aimed at limiting racing teams.
What is a possible solution to this problem? I don’t know, but I have some ideas that would help keep the race teams on the hill.
1.Teach the racer’s ‘Your Responsibility Code’ and make them follow it!
2.Show them alternate trails on the mountain to avoid the congested and SLOW skiing areas.
3.Show them what responsible skiing is when on a crowded trail. Hmmm…on second thought, have someone else, like a patroller show them.
4.Bribe the resort management with large sums of money to ignore all the guest complaints and continue to renew your charter to race on the hill.