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Ski Patrol Request

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
There was a thread below that got me thinking about the one aspect of resort skiing that takes all the fun out it:

Ski Patrol disrespecting the paying guest. The "Green Goblin" comment is just a minor example. "Green Goblin" A skier or boarder on terrain that is beyond thier ability.

I've talked with my friends and have learned that over the years, thier most negative experiences on the mountain have always been with a Ski Patrol (usually a veteran) that went completely over the top, yelling, demeaning, threatening, and generally acting like an a*s about even the most minor transgression. I've been on the recieving end twice in 37 years. Both were incredibly benign happenings which were being handled very well by the young pro - then both turned ugly when the old pro showed up and wanted to show how much power he had.

I do appreciate the role of ski patrol as paramedic and avy control.

My peeve is the way the majority of the old Pro's treat guest like scum, even when they aren't doing anything wrong. You pass this attitude on to the young pros and propagate behavior that is entirely unnecessary.

There are two ways to deal with any transgression:

1) politely, and professionaly explain to the guest the situation, why it was a problem, what the consequences may be. If it is minor, ask them to enjoy thier stay and not do it again. If it is major, politely do what is necessary.

2) The method that seems to be in favor at most resorts is to make sure the guest knows you are 'da man by demeaning the individual, yell at them, threaten them, argue with them, threaten greater harm than the transgression warrants and make damn sure the guest knows they are scum and you are all powerful GAWD.

My request to all of you in supervisory roles, resort management, or other position of influence, is to reevalute how your teams are interacting with guests. Maybe a course on guest relations may be in order. After all, it is the guest the brings the money to the mountain that ultimately pays your wages.
post #2 of 25
When I think of the two oldest patrollers on our hill I keep thinking that it's just a matter of them being in the same place too long, they get stagnant & start thinking. The problem is that they think up some really weird things that are just an a@s.

They also make problems for the younger guys.
I think they need to move to another hill or just re evaluate what they want to be doing.

I'm in the process of trying to get rid of one of them.
As they are not directly in my sphere of influence it is not easy.

post #3 of 25
Volunteer patrol can be a lot of work and there can be some really frustrating days. There comes a time when as a patroller you've seen too many people doing really dumb stuff and *boom* - there goes the lid. When that happens too often, it's a good time to work in the first aid room or quit volunteering.

If a patroller really gets in your face, then you complain to area management. They'll take it up with the shift/hill lead for the day and that person will take it up with the patroller.

On the other hand, if a patroller observe behavior that in his judgement puts you or other folks at risk, you might get a repremand. Unfortunately that is part of the gig as well. Ski cop is the absolute pits. There is way too much adrenaline involved and that isn't fun for mister patroller either.

My old area used to tear ticket corners for a warning. That way the offender got another chance. If another patroller made a similar observation then 'they're outta here ... see ya later.. thanks for playin '

OK 'off the soap box but ... you know those obnoxious Warren Miller segments about very goofy people on skis screwing up every way they possibly can ... after ten years as a patroller I dont think any of that was staged ... you see the damndest things. Some of them are really funny and some of them are really dangerous...

I hadn't heard Green Goblin by the way bit I like it ... Ours was SPORE for Spastic Person on Rental Equpment. Not PC I'll admit but occaisionally apt!
post #4 of 25
I too have noticed a sour trend in some patrollers. A lot of the patrollers at my hill are sour, holier-than-thou a**es who talk among themselves and make no effort at all to build a posative "Vibe" among patrons. That said, I had a wonderful lift ride with a female Patroller last Saturday. She was nice, talked about every old thing, and just generally was very cool. I defintly have major respect for her now and hope she hangs around my hill. On the other hand, there was a bitter young a** hanging out at the bottom of the hill raving me to slow down even though he was quite aware that I could stop and was in the top 10% of the skiers on the hill. (You have to understand that my hill is full of people who can't even snowplow properly). He gets an "F" in customer relations. Next year, I'm seriously considdering driving the extra 45 minutes to a competing resort to check out their staff.
post #5 of 25
I've had issues with both pro and volly patrollers and speed controllers. At my home mountain of Whistler/Blackcomb, both types of patrollers are professional and primarily deal with on hill safety which includes first aid and snow stabilization. There are instances when they are asked to diffuse a situation or escort malcontents off the mountain. The Speed Controllers are @$$holes. They think they are god's gift to skiing (and boarding) but for the most part would fail a level 1 ski (or boarding) intructor's course. I had one of these jack-offs almost injure himself and others by trying to catch me while I was on 164cm slaloms, and I wasn't trying to out run him. I just ignored him and he skied (if it could be called that) up to me in the lift line yelling and demanding to see my pass. Since he was treating me like shit, I didn't give him a milligram of respect and laughed and smiled as he went on his tirade, which led to even greater hostility. I briefly showed him my pass, but did not allow him to get a look at my name or number, and tucked it in quickly. Again, more to piss him off. He eventually let me be, but said a pro patroller would be waiting for me at the top of the lift. Upon arriving at the top, I was greeted by the patrollers who recognized me and asked me what happened. I gave them my story which was basically that I was making slalom turns at approx race speeds (which is not really that fast), and when I got to the slow zone, I slowed down. They said that the Speed Controller was the supervisor and was on payroll. They then went on to say that now they have to look like they are giving me a stern talking to, while telling me that the SC was a power hungry putz who couldn't even get onto the volly patrol team. A few days later I happened to be skiing in another slow zone (they are everywhere here) on my slaloms again. The same SC says something as I ski past him, and this time I know I am not going fast and stop instantly. I ask him "What?". He said thanks for skiing slowly. I just shook my head and skied off. Everytime I saw this guy he was all nice and smiley towards me. I found out that he got a very strict reprimand from his superiors because an uninvolved public complained about his attitude. What goes around comes around.

With the smaller resorts and ski areas, the pros are generally very professional, as their titles indicate. The vollies are the power hungry @$$es who think their farts smell like roses. Their skiing abiltiy is not much better than my 22month old niece, and she hasn't even tried the sport yet.
post #6 of 25
You guys have touched on a problem with the american ski indurstry. I call it skiings version of the peter pinciple: once you reach a high level of competence unless you perform below that level of competence you are labeled a dangerous incompetant.

Unfortionatly all too often management equates lack of speed with being in control, and speed with lack of control. Which is not always the case. It is an easy policy for management to establish and requires little training for the staff responcible for it, it's a no brainer (fast means dangerous, slow means safe) and I suppose it satisfies some legal liability issues for the area, but it has serious flaws. In saftey reality a highly skilled skier making arc to arc GS turns can be in far more in control then the stiff, out of balance, skis fluttering every which way beginner skier going half the speed. But the expert in controll skier will get stopped and repremanded while the beginner skier who poses the actual greater danger is allowed to proceed on because he is with in the speed barrier threshold. It can be very frustrating for the skier who has worked so hard to gain a hi level of competence in the sport to then be persecuted for it. Seems foolish for an industry that is stuggling to maintain guest numbers to allienate their core market segment, doesn't it. :
post #7 of 25
I've never had a problem...
post #8 of 25
I will agree that there are power hungry patrollers out there, but anyone who is on a groomed run with other people of lesser ability should slow down. When I patrolled, the worst part of the job was standing next to a slow sign. The proper way to perform slow patrol is to warn people, of any ability level, when they are out of control and to educate them of the possible dangers and the responsibility code. In all the years I did this, I pulled one pass, and that was becasue the jackass (he was a very high level expert and raced on the Masters circuit) was skiing fast with his head turned (his words) so that he could see his buddy so that he could provide feedback at the bottom. Said jackass plowed into me as I was talking to another guest asking for directions. I did not see him coming at all. My only warning was a scream from the guest that I was talking to, a split second before I was hit. Luckily, I had my helmet on. But I suffered a mild concussion and whiplash.

But if I was at a slow sign and there was an expert skier on one side of the run and beginners all the way on the other side, I would look the other way. As far as alienating a segment of the clientelle, if they did not take some measure to allow beginners to try more challenging and relatively safe terrain to improve, the resort would eventually die becasue sooner or later, all of the experts will get old and die. They need to do what they can, for their own existence, to introduce the sport to new people and retain their business.

[ January 21, 2003, 07:32 AM: Message edited by: crew cut ]
post #9 of 25
Crew cut,
You've missed my point. Yes, we don't want to scare off the new skiers because that is the breeding ground for the serious skiers of tomorrow, but from 40 years of being on the slopes virtually every day I can tell you from personal observation that that beginners greatest saftey risk is not impossed on him by the expert skier but by his own peers. I trained ski racers for 20 years and don't remember ever having one of my students run into or injure another skier. I have, however, witnessed many skier collisons over those years and the VAST, VAST, VAST majority did not involve expert skiers, they were caused by lower ability level skiers who have little control of their skis know matter what speed they're going. And some of my students were the unfortionate victims of the beginner skier, a couple times resulting in very serious injury. Even the in the incident you describe speed was not the major contributing factor to the collison, it was a moron not watching where he was going, I've watched countless low skill level skiers plow straight into people even though they were looking straight at the target the whole time!

As long as the industry continues to target the expert skier in their striving to improve saftey on the slopes their extensive efforts will provide minimal actual enhancement to the saftey environment. The beginner skier will be just as discouraged from continuing in the sport if he is flattened by an out of control beginner or intermediate as an expert not looking where he is going, and the chances of it happen are probobly fifty to one better.
post #10 of 25
I am also a patroller and have been professionally trained on how to treat our guests when an 'educational' opportunity presents itself. I have also been a ski instructor and involved with the sport for 24 years.

Reading through this forum all I'm hearing is skiing is all about 'ME'. I'm in control...I'm an expert (top 10%)...etc. No doubt you are an excellent skier and always ski in control. That's great! But you are not the only person on the hill. Especially on a beginner run!

Have you ever stopped on the run and looked behind you and seen the number of people coming down the hill? Look at their ability levels...yes they are out-of-control sometimes because they are just learning how to ski. They ski slower, make big wide turns, unexpectedly fall down in front of you and make abrupt maneuvers. Stop for 5 minutes and just watch everyone and you'll see the 'expert' skiers coming down the hill, in total control but skiing faster than everyone else. To the side of the problem, but quite often they come right through the middle of the crowd sometimes causing accidents because they scared a beginner, or got jammed by beginners turning in front of them and they can't stop quick enough to avoid a collision.

That is skiing too fast! That is why you are being asked too slow down. At a higher speed you pose a greater risk to everyone else on the beginner run and therefore get more attention from patrollers.

You don't have to respect a skier for their ability level, but you must respect their right to ski in a reasonably safe environment until they can advance to the point where they move off the beginner run.

Now I don’t agree with the ‘in-your-face’ style of telling people about their responsibilities and that does not happen too often at my home resort, however I do wonder sometimes about the motivations of some of the patrollers. For me, I love skiing and want to better the sport. When I ski, and I think this is true for a great many people, I become ‘one-with-the mountain’ it’s me and the mountain challenging each other. But, when I come down to the congested areas my head turns back to my responsibilities to everybody else. Am I skiing in a manner that is appropriate and safe for the hill that I’m on? and the current number and type of skier’s that are there?

You may be an expert skier in your technical ability level, but until you have respect for EVERYONE on the hill you'll always be a 'beginner.'

That is my humble opinion, enforced on the hill...
post #11 of 25
As a new volly patroller, I now can reveal my motives.
The military would not take me, and the police force would not have me. So I spent my time in frustration of this need to express my self proclaimed powers.

THEN... I discovered "SKI PATROL".

All the outlets with none of the controls or restrictions. Just one big Bad Ass party!
I can Yell, and carry on to my hearts content.

Well, really, no.

The closest I have come to reprimand is helping up a woman who had fallen into a running water bar on a trail closed for just that hazard.

I suggested that I would not pull the tickets this time, but that trails are closed for some good reason not often obvious from the rope that is ducked.

At our mountain, we let the Mountain Safety Patrol do the spped enforcement, and I am glad not to have that task.
Still, collisions are too often serious wrecks. They are not called accidents here, someone was doing something stupid.

If there are reports of very bad actors on the slopes, there are only a few patrollers who want the task of confrontation. They are pushed into such tasks by virtue of their physical size.

The volly patrol group I am associated with is of the higest caliber of personal and professional performance.


post #12 of 25
Fastman, I guess we disagree on what the core market for ski resorts is. Speed was a factor when I got hit. The point is, the skier who hit me was out of control becasue he could not avoid a collision, and he told me and two other patrollers he was "going way to fast". My injuries would have been lessened if he was going slower.

The beginner will almost always be going slower. Physics dictate that the slower object in a collision will almost always bear more force at impact, putting them at a higher risk to injury then the faster moving object. That is why the faster skiers seem to be targeted. Beginer and lower intermediate skiers are more susceptible to serious injuries (I agree with you on this point), and one of the patrollers jobs is to ensure the safety of the resorts guests.

Like I said, the patroller/speed controller needs to use his own descretion and take the approach that it is their job first to educate and inform, and then take further action if necessary. In most cases, education will get the job done. I once had to (by order of the patrol director)take a skier out to a slow sign so that he could see what happens on runs where beginners and higher end skiers integrate. He was amazed at the reaction that beginners/lower intermediates had when passed by fast skiers. But, it comes down to this: if you want to point them, find a run that is not crowded, where there is not a slow sign (except maybe at the bottom, in which case go as fast as you want on top, and then drop the speed a little as you get to the slow sign) and let them rip.
post #13 of 25
Mr. Faceplant, you're quite right, of course.
But I disagree when it comes to sentences like Crew cut's
"if they did not take some measure to allow beginners to try more challenging and relatively safe terrain to improve"

Said "some measure" is only one:

Too often I've found miself confronted with a father who was
forcing (yes, I see no other way to say it) his lower intermediate (say advanced beginner) child down a black run in the Dolomites only to be able to say: "We skied down the world cup run!"
Said kid was A) scared, B)Cold, C)tired D) stopped in the middle of a steep section, and a blind sectiono too!
Put beginners in the hands of capable instructros, and thay'll be able to tell when and how their pupils will be able to ski
the advanced terrain, and savour it, with reduced risks.
With adults the tune is the same. Too many skiers whom are deceived into sking advanced terrain by the World cup races on telly, find themselves in situations which they should/could have avoided.
What have the resort cooked up, then?
Flattened the best runs I've ever skied.
The Gran Risa in La Villa, flattened and enlarged, so to allow
everybody to ski it. The Forcelles in Colfosco, same fate
The Dantercepies in Santa Cristina, idem with baked potaoes
(I saw the images of last Downhill run, the steep section
before the Camels back has been bulldozerded away!!!)

As for Patrollers, the speed control function is expleted by State Police here, the problem is that there are too few of them on the runs.
post #14 of 25
This seems like a good time to tell everyone who doesn't know it, that Holiday Valley's Ski Patrol was declared the top Ski Patrol in the entire Nation. How about that? Little Holiday Valley! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] Alright huh?

Our Ski Patrol is actually assisted by Resort Guest Services. Which includes Security, Safety Patrol(Yellow Jackets) and The Host program. When you see all these units work as one team it's no wonder we came out number one. The key is cooperation of the individuals within each group working towards one common goal. "Giving the customer a good, safe skiing/riding enviornment"

Now I'll admit that all three groups have some idiots within their ranks. The Patrol, though all qualified, have some people who's arragance and ego's prevent them from giving credit where credit is due, at times. And, I know some that do nothing but sit in the patrol room most of the time instead of skiing. Especially in the rain and cold days. And, we have some Yellow Jackets who think they're FBI personell. They actually brag about who has taken the most passes at the end of the night. Some(alot) who can't ski moguls, trees or deep powder let alone catch anyone on skis. Embarassing to say the least. But as a group working together, provide an enviornment here that people love and drive for hundreds of miles to enjoy. The key is working together.

The better skiers of this world should know when they are putting themselves and others at risk. Skiing fast has it's place but not among lower level skiers on slopes deemed for lower level skiers. The same goes for lower level skiers being out of place on slopes above their abilities and putting themselves and others at risk. What's at question here? Beta's ego being crushed by some peon speed controller? Being belittled by this peon in the lift line? Or, was it the speed controller's ego being crushed to the point of futility by an expert skier who should have known better than to allow the incident to spill over into a lift line show for the tourists?

It's all lack of respect. Should there be respect? Should the resort put such people who aren't good skiers in this position of authority? Probably not. But, who are they going to get to do the job? The good skiers? Na. Are they too busy skiing fast? Or, is it that they don't want to be associated with a bunch of Gapers with radios.

I don't know the answer. Resorts recognize the need for skier safety and if this is their only means then they have no choice. That is until we get more expert skiers to sign up or we all become responcible individuals out there. So don't bitch!
post #15 of 25
matteo, you are right about taking lessons. But the reality is, not everyone is going to take a lesson everytinme they go skiing until they are good enough to handle most terrain. Yes instruction is key, but just being in a lesson is not a gaurantee that a beginner will be safe; safer, probably. That would be just one measure, but then again, resorts do not require you to pass a test before you buy a ticket. Yes, I should have used the term " some measures" instead of measure.
post #16 of 25
Biggest mistake any patroller can do is to get involved in speed control. We don't enjoy it, the guests hate it and transfer their anger towards you. Management will give you a set of directions, change their mind mid-shift and will never back you.

I feel radio problems coming on when the hill captain calls for 'trollers at the slow banner....

Bullet makes a fine point that many of my patrolling buddies miss: Keep the smart ass comments off the radio! It is so hard to be smoove with the ladies on your chair if the handset is squaking about stale donuts and cold coffee in the hut.
post #17 of 25
Crew, I over emphasized one aspect, yes, instruction will not
guarantee everything, you're right; I think that my post came out a bit too absolute. People should ski what the feel they can ski, at whichever pace (I voluntarily avoided the word speed here) he feels comfortable, and of course experts should take care and think also for those who are not experts, after all,
an expert should also be wise (otherwise he/she is not an expert, IMHO). Still, I think that too many people ski terrain for which they are not really prepared, phisically, culturally and most importantly psycologically (and this applies to experts skiing backcountry too, as the too many death for avalanches in these past days can attest), these three aspects are summed up in the world "feel" I used above.
That resort should ask a test before allowing people on slopes
is something that has been mulling in my head for some time...
After all, we're required a driving licence, to drive a car, to fly an airplane we are asked to obtain proper qualification, and so on.
I know, it's umpractical, but one can dream...
Amongst other problem, one would be, who has the right to access what, and how to control it?
I don't know in the USA and Canada, but as an example, in France, the ski schools will issue a "Carnet de capacites en ski" to the attendees (usually children) where it's being reported what progresses the pupil has obtained (which kind of manoeuvres) which is recognized nationwide.
It was the same in Italy (I still have a couple of mines) but I think it's not being used anymore.
Of course it does not report which kind of terrain one person is allowed to ski. But it could be a starting point, don't you think?
I think that the idea was even proposed by some magazine here in Italy, but was abandoned (too many issues to be solved).

As for patrollers, which is the topic here, congratulation Lars!
As I said, patrollers with the meaning that you use in the USA, do not exists here in Italy (at least I beleive)
Police performs the "traffic control" duties (as if a run were a road) and sometimes the rescue duties.
So, there is no discussion about them being impolite (I always had to do with very polite ones, even if I'm a tourist, and my Milanese accent identifies me as such in most mountain areas in Italy and they are mostly locals) they do not need to, they are the law, pure and simple. The real problem is that there are too few of them, and they can't be everywhere.

What's left of patrollers duties (amongst others, I think, grooming runs, tend to safety nets and such) is taken over by the liftees crews.
Apologies if I've derailed a bit from the subject. Won't happen again (I hope )
post #18 of 25
Tanglefoot wrote:

We don't enjoy it, the guests hate it and transfer their anger towards you. Management will give you a set of directions, change their mind mid-shift and will never back you.

I agree....we get abusive comments directed our way from some people on the chair, however my positive experiences with the guests far outweigh the negative aspects of my patrol duties.

Often I have parents, ski instructors and other guests stopping by and saying 'Thank You.' People comment about the extra level of safety that we promote in the 'Slow' beginner areas and are truly appreciative of the job we do. At the end of the day I'm a bit rattled with the 'confrontational' contacts, but I take solice in the fact that overall I feel I'm making a positive contribution to the sport.

With the 'not so glamorous' aspects of the job, our resort management realizes the dynamics of the hill and the situations that present themselves. Understanding these and relying on the quality of training given to us, management has been very supportive of the teams enforcement practices. This may change but that has not been my experience.

post #19 of 25
Originally posted by crew cut:
Fastman, I guess we disagree on what the core market for ski resorts is. Speed was a factor when I got hit. The point is, the skier who hit me was out of control becasue he could not avoid a collision, and he told me and two other patrollers he was "going way to fast". My injuries would have been lessened if he was going slower.
A couple things: Someone who was out of control and skiing fast is not what Fastman was suggesting was the core market for ski resorts. He was discussing the unfair treatment that good (and completely in control) skiers get for skiing fast, because patrollers rarely seem to differentiate between an expert skier skiing fast and an out of control skier who is about to hit someone. Over the past weekend I saw a multitude of out of control skiers, some straightlining groomers in a wedge at 30mph. These people don't ever seem to get yelled at by the patrol. That's the complaint here. And honestly, if someone is absolutely struggling to stay on their feet on a blue or above groomer, maybe the patrol or a mountain host should offer to help them back to more suitable terrain. People who are WAY above their heads on a crowded day are putting more people than just themselves at risk.

I'm very sorry to hear about your injuries, but I hope you see there's more to identifying an out of control skier than speed alone.
post #20 of 25
Perhaps I am lucky but, with the exception of my younger years, I have never had a ski patroller be anything but friendly and helpful. When younger I deserved every bit of reprimand I received. And, no, I don’t dawdle on the cruiser runs or timidly ski the piste. I am big, aggressive and fast. But I don’t try to hit 35 mph on a 12' wide cat track or tuck the greens or play people are gates on the blues (Ok, I do play people are gates). I am so seldom on runs where there are many people I doubt the patrollers care what I do.

My only advice is to find and ski more difficult and remote runs. Not only will you not find as many people you will find few if any patrollers. They seem to be on the greens and blues trying to keep the speed down.

The last time I saw any number of patrollers was late last year at Bachelor when they were looking for a lost snowboarder. Sadly, they did not find her alive. But for many weeks the mountain was heavily patrolled. Even so, not one of them was interested in what I was doing; they were on a mission to find the young woman, alive.

A parting thought. Ski patrollers have one great fear. That they will have to provide an Akje or Cascade ride to a corpse. If they are yelling at you the reason is you probably did something that triggered that fear (or, in a minority of cases, the dude is just an idiot). After he is done yelling, reflect. Was it something you did? Because I hope you don’t want to be the corpse in the Cascade or Akje more then the patroller doesn’t want to provide the ride.

post #21 of 25
Originally posted by altagirl:
A couple things: Someone who was out of control and skiing fast is not what Fastman was suggesting was the core market for ski resorts. He was discussing the unfair treatment that good (and completely in control) skiers get for skiing fast, because patrollers rarely seem to differentiate between an expert skier skiing fast and an out of control skier who is about to hit someone. Over the past weekend I saw a multitude of out of control skiers, some straightlining groomers in a wedge at 30mph. These people don't ever seem to get yelled at by the patrol. That's the complaint here. And honestly, if someone is absolutely struggling to stay on their feet on a blue or above groomer, maybe the patrol or a mountain host should offer to help them back to more suitable terrain. People who are WAY above their heads on a crowded day are putting more people than just themselves at risk.

I'm very sorry to hear about your injuries, but I hope you see there's more to identifying an out of control skier than speed alone.[/QB]
Fastman was saying that advanced skiers should be the core market for resorts and by "punishing" them, they were alienating their core market. I was suggesing that the core market is different. We agreed to disagree on that point.

I rarley stopped anyone when I was a patroller, unless they were skiing incredibly fast on a very crowded slope (like the bottom of Silver Queen at Park City at 3:45 on a Saturday). I also ran numerous sleds with beginners who were not injured, but decided they could not get down the slope on their own and gave a ton of snowmobile rides to beginers in the same situation. So patrol does do those things. I also advised beginers of other trails that were less steep and easier, but also slightly harder than the bunny hill. I know that just about everyone I worked with did the same thing.

I never said that a fast skier is an out of control skier, in fact I mentioned earlier that I looked the other way when I saw a fast skier who gave beginers a wide berth. I never yelled at anyone, even the guy who hit me. After I realized what had happened, i slowly got up, asked him what was up, and clipped his pass after he told me what was going on. If he had told me that he saw me, tried to turn, and caught an edge or something, I calmly would have explained to him the dangers of skiing so close to a stopped skier and told him to have a nice day. Besides, I love to point my skis as well. The main point of the thread is that some patrollers are going overboard with how they enforce things. I agree with that, it was my biggest complaint when I was a ptroller. The moral of the story is that the patrollers need to learn discretion. There is never a reason for a patroller to ski up to someone and start yelling. The polite way to handle it would have been to ski up to him, calmly ask him if you could join him on the lift, and then discuss the situation with him. At the top, shake his hand, tell him to take it easy, and enjoy the rest of your day.
post #22 of 25
We're agreed. [img]smile.gif[/img] And for the record, I haven't been yelled at by a patroller since I was a kid (with the exception of being yelled at in a big group where we were all going the same speed and were the only ones on the slope - which makes no sense to me, but whatever.) I'm sure that's mostly because I avoid groomers like the plague to get away from crowds.

And don't get me wrong - I've thanked just about every patroller I've met (especially at Alta) for doing a great job. I'm just the type that gets frustrated by having too many rules imposed on me, even if I don't intend to ever break them. I prefer living by common sense, which doesn't seem to be the direction the world is going...
post #23 of 25
We do a guest services training at our resort the main components are:

Make Their Day
Be there
And most importantly - Choose Your Attitude.

It’s really easy to pick a lousy attitude patrolling. Takes a creative mindset and more effort to problem solve than just yell. But at the end of the day you feel a lot better about being on the hill and dealing with the silliness of the job.
post #24 of 25
Crew cut, my classifing of the advanced skier as the industy core market segment was really a secondary issue to the more important point I was attempting to make in responding to this thread. AltaGirl understood clearly the macro issue I was addressing, and in your clarification of the manner in which you exercise discretion you seperate yourself to a degree from the current industry mentality of viewing speed as the absolute measure of control. But as this comment I made on "core market" has been the topic of a few postings now I feel I should provide clarification, as I do feel it is important for the health of the sport.

It was pointed out that the advanced skier represents a small portion of the skier population. Absolutely true. Beginners will always represent the largest group by far. They are the base of the pyramid and from that base the majority will either continue participating in a limited capacity or leave the sport totally. There will always be a high turnover rate within that segment but out of it will emerge those who truely love the sport, participate on a full time basis, and elevate their skills to high levels. They may not represent the majority from a pure number standpoint on any particular day, but they are the ones who are out there on the slopes everyday while Joe and Jane beginner and perpetual intermediate continually filter through on their annual 5 day trip to the mountains. The advanced skiers provide the stable base to the area. When the weather sucks, they don't cancel their trip and head to the Islands instead, they are on the slope. They are the ambassadors of the sport and constantly attract friends and family to the sport by virtue of their shear enthusiasm for it. They become the instuctors, coaches, and patrolers that serve to groom the next generation of skiers to come. Their children become the great skiers of their generation and continue the contributions to the sport their parents provided. Yes, I believe the advanced skier is the core of the sport. They are not expendable.
post #25 of 25
Over here in Japan If you want to go fast you ski in the week days or first thing in the weekend. By virtue of the number of patrons present on the hill it is near impossible to ski fast.
But then the Japanese only know big fast turns so that makes for interesting situations.

One thing that has not been considered yet is the design of skifields. In some areas there are defined zones for beginners & only one or two points of entry/exit from them. Other fields have beginner runs here & there creating their own problems & more mixing of the levels of clients. At the field I work on over here there is a run that I winch every night that comes out on a beginners trail, a great recipie for trouble.

Generally on the skiing front there is a time & a place for nearly everything. Nearly.

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