I kind of agree that it has to do with changes in the technology of skiing, combined with more people on the slopes. But mostly i think it has to do with people on the hills who havent been skiing for long. They either dont know the skier code, or more likely take it as the bible. Being in compliance with a small set of rules really doesnt mean you can safely go through life blissfully ignorant of your surroundings. Kind of like defensive versus offensive driving.
Really the only time i bomb the hill anymore is when i cant find any soft snow. And that is a rare day!
When its hard, there is little do to for fun but ski groomer fast. There definitely have been days when i went home because i was concerned someone was going to get hurt.
I think in my life, i've hit two people by accident when it was my fault (32yrs on skiis). One of them was my buddy last season, but i still claim that just because he was downhill from me and skiing slower doesnt give him the right to ski directly in front of a 220# moron straightlining Bridger's South Bowl. Anyone who skiis with me often knows if im not in front of you, im working on it.
However, i have had some rather dramatic wrecks trying to save someone elses ass when they are standing in a blind spot, or entering a slope without looking uphill. Mostly, i understand what the consequences would be for those people if they were involved in a high speed collision with me. Even if they dont seem concerned, i will (usually [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img] ) do whatever i can to avoid the collision. The look of terror is its own reward
I really do believe that the people who are the biggest danger are the ones who believe that they are absolved of any responsibility for their actions because they are downhill. People standing where they cant be seen, or entering a trail without looking up hill are as much of a danger as those who ski fast. And dont even get me started on people who stand on traverses! Dont they know that momentum on the traverse is among the powderhounds most precious commodities??
Its not just a simple set of rules. Its about knowing your abilities and the mountain and paying attention to what is going on around you. 30 may be too fast on a new england groomer on president's weekend, while lining bronco face just after it got groomed on a weekday morning when it hasnt snowed in 2 weeks is dangerous only to the person doing it.
All this is reminding me of a funny story.
I was skiing in Italy with my little brother and dad in 1988 i think. We were staying in Courmayeur but took a day trip to Cervinia. While skiing Cervinia, we got lost and ended up at Zermatt. After finally negotiating our way back to the Italian side of the alps we needed to get moving to catch our bus. I was in the lead, skiing pretty fast on a run i had never skied before. Dad and bro behind me. I hooked an edge and went down pretty hard. Yard sale all over the place. Dad and bro skiied up, checked to see if i was alright, then continued on while i collected my gear.
Dad and bro skiied on a bit further, rounded a corner, dropped down a little rise. Dad, knowing me and how fast i would be coming up, saw something that could be pretty interesting. So he called my bro and they stopped on the side of the run to watch me come down. As dad guessed, i came around that corner trying to catch up, i flew off the little drop and while airborn i saw what my dad had seen. A group of about 20 Italians SUNBATHING in the middle of the slope. I realized while airborne that i likely to run right through the middle. so i threw my skiis sideways, landed braking, dropped enough speed i could get a good edge and shot across the trail. I came to a stop, just in time to watch a big spray of snow settle on the shirtsleeves and less sunbathers.
With dad and my bro giggling, we skiied off to a chorus of interesting Italian words and hand gestures.