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Carnage on the slopes

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just got back from trying BearValley today. The snow was definetly on the icy side for California. I would consider it goomed packed snow.

Here's what's bothering me. I personally saw a fantasic effort by the ski patrol today with them pulling 8 different people off the slopes today. Many were young. Unfortuatly, one was a helicopter evac.

Earlier in the week at Kirkwook, I saw there accidents and one evac.

Two things. 1) What's happening out there? I've never seen so many people go down in flames. 2) I am glad to see what an excelent job the ski patrol does to help people out.

What do you think?

post #2 of 12
i totally agree with you...there are many accidents and injuries going on, especially with the ice goin on in tahoe...i have seen numerous accidents that can be attributed to young and inexperienced snowboarders...no contest that that number increases every season...and with the ice going on in the past two weeks, there has been about 3 deaths, two of them during night skiing under the lights...skiiers just need to keep their eyes open, and not take any stupid risks in the icy conditions... :
post #3 of 12
Part of the reason for so many people getting hurt is the 'Disney-fication' of resorts. Nowadays resorts are being labelled as safe, family places where nothing can go wrong - however there is always danger involved in sliding down hills at breakneck speeds on wooden (or foam or metal) planks.
post #4 of 12
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>and with the ice going on in the past two weeks, there has been about 3 deaths, two of them during night skiing under the lights<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

where did these happen?
post #5 of 12
problem: injuries getting more frequent

solutions: (1) people need to learn to ski/ride before attempting stuff. too many are told "it's easy, you don't need lessons" and/or they take only a basic lesson with just enough to barely turn, slow down, & stop. that's not enough.

(2) the influence upon teens & young adults from "extreme" freeskiers who do stupid deathwish stunts just to "push the envelope" -- many young folks don't realize the amount of practice these "extreme" freeskiers have under their feet.

(3) the growth of skiing as an "industry" has brought along a huge increase in the numbef of people who ski as a hobby, as a way to say "I've done that," as a form of recreation. This means there are fewer people who treat skiing as a serious sport. The diminution of the number of core, serious skiers has led to (1) and (2) and has created a more dangerous environment even for the core, serious skiers. The unpracticed, unskilled skier/rider does erratic things because he/she doesn't really know how to ski/ride and is merely surviving runs while trying to "look cool" or "go big" or something other than learning how to ride the terrain with precision and speed.

(4) stay away from resorts, which tend to attract the eedjits seen in (1) - (3).

(5) never go near anyone wearing camoflage, hunter orange, sweats, jeans, starter jackets, jester hat, fool hat, garanimals outfit, or a "rad dude" attitude/lingo. such people are more danger to you than the already huge danger they pose to themeselves.

(6) start whittling down the number of recreational/"scene" skiers & riders by using them to make Soylent Green, which will be fed to "extreme" sports fans as a new kind of "extreme" power food.

I liked it better when I hardly knew anyone else that skied.
post #6 of 12
HMMM! Sounds a lot like conditions last night at my area. Couple of inches of fresh on top of ah---hard packed groomed (can't say ice).

For the guest population last night we had a lot of minor accidents. Those that were of any consequence were the result of Gonzo's #1. (I paraphrase) Inability or inexperience with changing snow conditions.

One was downright stupid---and had nothing to do with skiing/riding. A mom took her 2 yr old on the tubing area, kid bounced out of tube. Kid was fine. One of mom's comments---"I thought tubing was a totally safe benign activity!"

Gonzo, I'd like to add one more to your list, if it already there and I missed it---oops.

How about 1(a) Use common sense.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 20, 2002 02:30 PM: Message edited 1 time, by skier_j ]</font>
post #7 of 12
I have found the best way to "distance" myself from Interlopers is to ski in the trees or terrain that they are too busy, just trying to stay alive.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 20, 2002 08:24 AM: Message edited 2 times, by slider ]</font>
post #8 of 12
This topic has already been done to death in previous threads. Just search the archives. Last time it didn't take long to turn into a stream of insults. This topic just gets a lot of people wound up and never gets anywhere.

Lets just drop it people.
post #9 of 12
aOk here's 2ยข anyway even if this had beeen done to death beofre...

we have some bad weekends at my hill, holiday weekends, hardpack etc.

The interesting thing is that skier #s are up, but injury #s are staying constant so you do the math and it's LESS injuries per skier days.

all that aside...sh** happens, too, there are inherent risks and you just have to deal with it.

In the past 4 weeks, one of my friends husband flipped his car and died on the way home, really bad roads; another friend caught her skis on some snow fence night skiing in the fog, was launched onto the hardpack and broke her arm in 4 places; my hubby was on a code where a guy was dead on impact; another acquaintance left his helmet in the lodge for one run, cuaght a tip in the terrain park and is still in a coma...

post #10 of 12
Last week when I was skiing Tahoe there were 2 deaths - one was an 11-year old girl who skied into a tree on a beginner run at Squaw and the other was a 31-year old snowboarder who went out of bounds, I think, at Heavenly.
We were at Sierra, and my husband said he saw a helicopter take someone away as well.

I am kind of surprised at the carnage as well. Two deaths in one weekend is a lot, unfortunately. Conditions were hard packed and fast, but that is pretty normal.

Yesterday I had a bad fall and ended up in the ER. On skis??? Nooooo, pruning roses! Geez! :
post #11 of 12
Unfortunately, another skier took a fall and slid into a light tower at Squaw on Friday. Last I had heard, he was air lifted to Reno where he remains in a coma. I hope he recovers!

It has been really um, "firm" (read icy) in spots in the Tahoe area for the last week.

Maybe these are just "random" accidents, but I think the "firm" conditions do nothing to help the situation.

If we don't get some more (10+") snow, soon...the ski areas are going to have to start giving lessons in "self-arrest" technique! :
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. At Bear, I saw 4 being pulled from the Terrain Park alone (before they closed it). I stayed far away because I saw that just about everything in the park had a great glaze. A smooth glaze is great in cooking but not in skiing. Another small kid (About 8) was being pulled off the mountain After it looked like he had hit a tree on a black run "The Face" he was about 15' from a 30' cliff. One on Westworld and one on Shady Grove (both blues) plus one being loaded onto the Pooh Bear Chair. I guess that makes 9 without counting the walking wounded I saw at lunch.

Sorry if this is a repeat but hopfully we can let our friends know, "ski safe". In one of my other hobbies (flying) we try and remind each other to be SAFE (No old bold pilots, ya know). And we spend a LOT of time in training. This includes book work, classes, and one-on-one hands-on flight training, and flight reviews.

I spent today up at Dodge Ridge(CA). Snow was even worse. But I did not see a lot of wrecks like Saturday.

I guess being a professional, and a pilot, make's me a little more accepting of doing my homework before I get on the slopes. Then practicing many times before I put myself into challenging situatations. I love a successful challenge, not total terror. I really don't undersand when I see people trying to doing wedge turns down a hard blue or an easy black. Add hard pack and you have a recipy for disaster. I know they may be following someone else etc, etc. But if you are not ready for it, its not going to be a good day.

Hear's the key. "Be safe out there" We want skiers, not organ donner's.
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