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post #61 of 117
Thank you, Helispin. You have rebutted my objection. Skiing has become more dangerous as the sport has developed. Less ski areas serve the same number of people. High speed lifts contribute to accidents through fatigue and overcrowding. Faster skis and shallower learning curves are letting loose pilots who don't have the skills to fly their planes. Better grooming makes hero snow that beckons all of us to press on the pedal a bit harder.

The sport has evolved in this direction, whether I like it or not.

However...I ski at a place with museum-quality Riblet chairs, moderate annual numbers, during the week when it's a ghost town, and I tend to favor ungroomed runs where natural selection keeps the numbers down. Honestly, I am more concerned about my knees than my head, but I completely buy the argument that there's nothing lost (except vanity) in wearing a helmet and much to be gained in peace of mind.

I wouldn't rely on it, though. I would ski as if the helmet was no more protection than God gave me with my skull and continue to cover my bets by developing my knowledge, skills, and abilities, keeping my equipment in good maintenance, staying fit, and keeping my ego in check.
post #62 of 117
nolo, don't give up, you are not alone on this issue.

Skiing did not really become more dangerous, it simply became accessible to more people who just cannot handle it. Just like Everest became more accessible to people who cannot handle it. Witness the large number of "mountaineers" who get dragged up Everest by sherpas. Today even a blind man reached the top of Everest - a very impressive feat, no doubt, but the man went through hell and mortal danger to get there.

I see the same thing in skiing. Lots of pathetic skiers barely surviving black runs. Lots of average skiers skiing at speeds that are well beyond their capability - should something go wrong. And then there are the "heroes" who do things that Scott Schmidt (sp?) would have considered nuts. Take a look at any ski movie and you see more air time than snow time. Everyone is pushing the envelope because they think they can. These people need the comfort of additional safety and helmets are the answer. Actually body armour is the answer for some.

Do I have a good argument? No. In reality it is impossible to argue against safety. We have a very "safety conscious culture" and through peer pressure, anecdotal references to situations where helmets saved the day or simple statements such as "why would you not wear a helmet" everyone will eventually wear one.
Except me, nolo, TheRockSkier and a few other stubborn folks.
post #63 of 117
I do not think skiing has become more dangerous, quite the contrary. In Oz with grooming, chairlifts and snow making we now ski in much better conditions than ever before. I distinctly remember hitting many a root, rock or errant shrubbery sticking out of the snow before all this wonderful “snow landscaping” came about. In fact the awareness of “snow snakes” has always been part of my teaching philosophy.

What I believe has happened is a parallel with many areas of society in the fact that the “me” way of thinking has replaced the “us” way of thinking in the world and many people are simply not aware or do not care about their surroundings and the others that they share the surroundings with. The media “going huge” focus also has played a part in the invincibility of youth. Add the invincibility of youth and the lack of care of many others and whilst the industry has IMHO become safer the users have not.

I personally am amazed I have survived some spills without body amour and my knees remain my biggest concern. (One ACL op is enough) and last winter it was a kidney that was injured. I do not think we should blame helmets for accidents.

Why do equestrians wear helmets and cowboys do not?

Um they are all real riders and cowboys have the same exterior skull characteristics. My sister has a long history of “on the land” riding, cattle farming as well as equestrian eventing & teaching. She, as do many “cowboys” wears a helmet when they work. It is an OHS issue. They now have these wide brim “hats” that go over the helmet to keep the real danger away, that of skin cancer.

I understand the arguments for not wearing a helmet but personally choose to wear one now that they are so light and comfortable.

The 4WD issue in Oz is interesting. I find the most 4WDs in the school carpark driven by affluent mums with two children. Go figure … Big cars and little kids a very dangerous mix ???


[ September 24, 2002, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
post #64 of 117
I bought one today, actually. I think they are a bloody good idea and I don't care if it is cool or uncool. I'm not going to wear it on the groomers, but whenever I am not sure of the terrain, or in a park, I am going to wear it.

To all those people who say that 'I don't want to wear one, but you do what you want', that's your call, and you accept the risk. But to the cowboys who think that no one is justified in wearing one, well... there's really not a hell of a lot to say to you guys. Except maybe that I'm going to try and minimise injury in every way possible - skill, caution, and protection. And I don't see why that isn't a good idea.
post #65 of 117
I'm new here, and appreciate the courteous, thoughtful discussion.
I vote for wearing a helmet.
First reason, comfort. My ears don't get cold, my goggles don't fog, and I can vent it to keep airflow and a cool head (literally, that is).
Second reason, safety. At my advancing age, I too, am more concerned with my knees than my head, but my knee has at least a little give to it, my head doesn't (some might argue that point). Regarding the "is skiing more dangerous today?" discussion, it is definitely more crowded. And, just like on a motorcycle, it's the other nut you need to watch out for.
And no, the government shouldn't make me wear one. Just like on a motorcycle, if I chose to risk scattering my face through the trees, that's my business, not the governments.
However, if I am using the facilities of a property owner, it is within the property owners authority to require me to wear a helmet, I would think. And you will see that first, if it hasn't already happened, in Vermont, I would bet.

[ September 25, 2002, 06:46 AM: Message edited by: gwc ]
post #66 of 117
I don't know of a single sane reason why anyone wouldn't!
I don't wear one because I can not HEAR very well in it. I bought one a few years ago and found that for me (I have a slight hearing loss in one ear) the reduction in my hearing caused by the helmet in addition to my own caused what I perceived to be an unsafe condition.

When I teach skiing I want to do it as safely as possible and I rely on my eyes as well as my ears to do so. Maybe there are helmets out there that don't reduce your hearing, but mine does.

post #67 of 117
After landing on my head last season and compressing one of my verterbrae I bought a helmet and it gave me my confidence back and got me skiing loads quicker (weeks not mph) than I would have felt confident with before hand.
The decision should be individual but I will always wear mine except in lifts cos it's the best thing for my head and the body is a mighty vulnerable little thing really. I could've died if I'd landed slightly differently (not unique on this forum I'm sure!). The pain was quite unforgettable so I will always wear my helmet if only to stop the pain of that day and every day afterwards even until sitting here typing this today.
Pain, too much pain will keep the helmet on my head.

On the problem of giving people too much confidence I think that can be a real problem, in my case however it brought my confidence up to level with my skiing as it was confidence that was holding me back but now I can ski things that I never thought that I could ski - no problems. So yes it does increase your confidence and I'm sure for quite a lot of people it will push them over the safety barrier.
It is definitely an issue but I am going to wear one as long as it will fit over my ego!! Oh yeah another thing, it keeps your head safe when fools bring the bar down on your head on a chair.
post #68 of 117
Originally posted by WVSkier:
I don't wear one because I can not HEAR very well in it. <snip>
Maybe there are helmets out there that don't reduce your hearing, but mine does.

You know I was just wondering about that! I know there are earmuffs that have built in micrphone/amplifiers to aid people in hearing better while reducing ambiant noise but I have never seen a helmet with those built in. I have not even seen an option for a helmet to plug in the FRS that so many of us carry. Any manufacture reps listening in?
post #69 of 117
WVSkier -

I don't notice any hearing impairment when wearing my Giro Nine.9. The shell doesn't extend down to the ears - it's got flaps with perforations. It's still warm enough, but I can hear just as well as I could with a hat pulled over my ears. You can even remove the ear flaps - I did it last spring (at WVV by the way). You might consider trying a helmet that has that kind of design. Just a suggestion ...

- Tom(inator)
post #70 of 117
WV I wear two in ear hearing aids and have done since I was 16. The biggest hassle for me was "feedback" ... yep the little buggers "whistle" if you cover them with the wrong kind of covering. I have always worn a hat because I am afraid of loosing one of the buggers. I skied without them for years becasue of this. Now the hearing aid technology is vastly improved and I can teach again with decent hearing. I held off getting a helmet because, as you say many designs do cut out noise, and in my case incite "feedback" from my digital ears.

The Giro 9 design with "soft" ear flaps solved all that and I have no feedback, my digital ears stay in place and the batteries last longer because the devices stay warmer. (this post should make you all chuckle)

The Giro 9 makes helmet wearing a "no brainer".

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #71 of 117
Originally posted by nolo:

When I ski for me I go to British Columbia and pay to have a helicopter take me and 11 of my buddies to a pristine peak and wait for us at the landing. On some runs I have seen small weather-proofed portraits hung from tree branches, memorials to the unfortunates who fell into its tree well and were not discovered in time. On the wall of the lodge is a display of plaques with names on them, "In memory of..."
ok, that's creepy. suffocating in deep powder is one of my worst ski fears. what can one do to survive a tree well, assuming you're on your own to get out?
post #72 of 117
I wear a helmet when I'm events where one is required of me to participate.

I don't judge those who wear helmets harshly, nor those who do not.

The only people who truly suck are those who are even quietly self-rightous about their choice to either wear or not wear one.
post #73 of 117
The only people who truly suck are those who are self-righteous about wearing or not wearing a helmet? I think the only people who truly suck are child sex murderers.

Adema, it's hard to get out of a tree well by yourself, but it can be done. Skiers are better off in this respect than snowboarders. Click off the skis and use the branches to right yourself and help you climb out. It's exhausting to do in a lot of snow. Also, in a deep well, the sides can cave in behind you and you're a goner unless your buddy digs you out. When we ski in the trees, it's always with a buddy. You ski down in a leapfrog pattern, within line of sight, or at least you're supposed to. On one trip my buddy was a snowboarder and he fell in a rock well on the lee side of a large boulder, and his board acted like a lid. He was very happy to hear me say, "Hey, Bart." I got his board off and we used my poles to make a T that he used to support himself as he climbed out. (No tree limbs.)

Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, by Bruce Tremper, is available at Amazon. Click the link on this site and AC gets credit for the sale.
post #74 of 117
Emergency room personnel state that at some point, a helmet only keeps your coconut together and the injuries sustained from your brain sloshing will likely be your undoing. I believe in helmets for kids, especially since a 195 lb. guy like me can make a mistake and take out someone lighter and they will likely bear the brunt of the collision. Off piste skiers west of the mighty Mississip' often decline the helmet treatment since there are oftentimes greater risks to encounter than collisions.

I can side with the rationale of east coasters and the bullet proof ice being a good reason to put on the skid lid.

post #75 of 117
Originally posted by N8M:
This year i'm going to buy a new helmet to replace the one I already own. (I never ski without mine since a big wipeout in Paradise Bowl at Lake Louise)

A quick question:

What are some of the pros and cons of a full shell helmet as opposed to a short shell helmet? Are the short shells that much lighter and more comfortable? What do you do if it gets cold and you have a short shell?
The short shell I use is the Giro Nine (lots of fellow 9 wearers here). I've used it with all the vents open (plugs out) and the ear laps removed for 60 degree summer afternoons, and in -20 (-50 with the wind chill) by putting the earflaps on, all the plugs in, and wearing a thin polypropolene skullcap underneath.
See if the Nine fits your head, you won't be sorry with the versatility.
post #76 of 117
Hmmmm, cute Nolo. Well, sorry to get you worked up! [img]smile.gif[/img] I of course meant *IN THE CONTEXT OF THIS THREAD* . . . i.e. helmet discussions.

Are we in the time of year where everybody is so hungry for snow that if you take understanding for granted you get jumped on?

Or were you just kidding?

[ September 25, 2002, 08:49 PM: Message edited by: GravityGuru (Todd) ]
post #77 of 117
Hi Todd,

I was being a smartass. I apologize, but "people who suck" is an indictment that I expect to issue from the pieholes of callow teenagers, not esteemed arbiters of taste such as yourself.
post #78 of 117
"Esteemed arbiter" Eh? Hmmm, not by most! Anyways, the language I chose yesterday evening was post multiple-martini . . . not necessarily a good excuse since drugs like alcohol probably really just expose our true inner selves! Mine apparantly being that of a callow teenager!
post #79 of 117

I am amazed at the foul spew that is the vernacular of my two beautiful darlings in their natural habitat. Thankfully they have the ability to transform into Ms. Mannerses when circumstances require.

Back to the topic: Interesting how the two poles on the topic are on either side of the Mississippi. Equestrians on the right, cowboys on the left...
post #80 of 117
Please don't forget the third pole:
The rest of the world, i.e. not the USA!

We have feelings too!

post #81 of 117

The Mississippi divides the Earth into left and right, does it not? Equestrians on the right, cowboys on the left.


(Quiz for you linguists: does yee mean right and haw mean left, or is it the other way around?)
post #82 of 117
so . . . nolo is a leftist . . .
post #83 of 117
Well Thank you for the cowboy, I consider it as a compliment
(I'm on the far far left of the Mississippi )
Now, a few words, some OT.
Originally posted by skimum:
There have recently been some people in Oz who want to have 4 wheel drives banned in cities as when there is an impact between a 4WD & a sedan, the sedan & its occupants come off 2nd best. The people who drive 4WDs in the city & hardly ever go off city roads say one of the main reasons they got the 4WD is because they feel a lot safer in a collision. Who are you going to protect?
Interesting, skimum.
I've always been a 4x4 fan, will always be.
At home was always lobbying to buy one, only to have my just wed
wife reply "to what use?"
We were living in France, southern France, at that time.
Nice paved roads everywhere, full with French drivers, which can be as mad as their Italian cousins.
One morning, I was to work early shift, I came out of the flat to ride with my colleague. Driving toward the motorway we were
overcome by one really fast car (we were on a little Ford fiesta). Suddenly, my colleague, who was driving, alarmed said :"what's this guy doing?????"
A big car hit us from behind, at very high speed. Luckily, it hit us straight, having the effect to
to lift the back of our little car and projecting the car itself straight forward, thus we were able to stay on the road.
Then we noticed that the first car which had overcome us was stopped in the middle of the road.
Five guys (armed with knives) surrounded our car.
What to do? Fight? 5 to 1 (we were 2, but I in case of a fight I always count myself only. Too many times I entered a fight counting on my "friends" help, only to find myself alone)?
No way. To outsmart them was our only chance, then.
We waited until they were far enough from their car and then made an u turn and raced toward the Gendarmerie (Police) station, in the centre of the
village. What followed was Hollywood come true for me and my colleague, a race in the middle of the village with other two cars hitting uns from the sides trying to send us out of the road.
At last we reached the Police station, hoping to find the night watch, only to discover that the station was closed and no watch was there, because they were renewing the station, and the temporary station (where we drove)was open days only.
Talk about bad luck, the temp station was in a dead end. And our "friends" were waiting for us at the begining of it.
At that point I prepared to fight. Removed my white parka (damn, I've never worn a light coloured parka since, brown or navy or dark grey are my parka's colour, even if I am to go to work) searched for a big enough branch and started to walk
trhought the woods (beside the road) toward them. Instructed my friend to wait with the car, not to kill the engine and be ready to run again.
After few meters, I heard tires squeaking and the noise of cars running away. Even them did not know that the police station was closed! But could read the signs sayin "Gendarmerie".
We were saved. Got back in the car, and we drove home.
To my pregnant-of-six-months wife.
I'm telling all this for one reason.
While racing around, only one thought was in my mind, "I want to see my son birth".
Few months later, another colleague of mine was less lucky, he stopped got out of the car, was beaten and robbed. It turned out that it had been a standard robbers tactic of the area to hit drivers from behind(living in Camargue, every road is in the middle of nowhere, and you're on your own most of the times).
What surprised me most, was that everyone was making a point to tell me how France was "civilized" when compared to Italy, and that, surely, we had provoked the assault in some way.

Next car I bought, and with these episodes in mind was a nice old
Jeep Cherockee.
Not fast, but big enough that if such a thing had occured again, it would enable me to drive through the bastards, no matter wheter they were on the car or off it. Plus, with two kids around, we really felt safer, even in a case of a normal accident, and to the hell with the others.
Sorry for the rant.

Now, about the helmets.
I agree, Nolo and all others, that the first line of protection is the way someone thinks,
his attitude and preparation, his intelligence and capacity to be rationale.
But, I cannot go out skiing assuming these things of other skiers, sorry but I can', especially when my children safety is concerned.
I already said what follows:
Last year, a 50ish racer wannabe (he was wearing an helmet) nearly hit me and my son, who was liyng after having taken a fall. I was skiing toward him to help him when, zap, this guy came out of nowhere from BEHIND me.
He then accused me of cutting his path!
I'm not an aggressive guy, and prefer to reason and talk than to hit, but that time I went really close to be younger and back to be more aggressive and hit the guy and beat the s***t out of him with one of my skis.
Poor ski, used for such an un-civilized thing as beating an idiot.
Bottom line, I still deem helmets useful.
I won't sneer at people for wearing one, neither at those who
don't (I don't). And, again, as soon as I'll find an helmet that suits me I'll buy it and wear it.
I still rely on my reflexes, and the years of judo practice to avoid risks when falling, and on my relative (compared to other Italians) bulkness to be visible enough for the idiots of this world to see me. But what if I'm confronting an out-of-control skier?
What if I loose control and hit with my head a tree? A rock?
I ski mostly on groomed, always inbound (pow terrain is off-limits most of the times in Italian resorts anyway. As soon as they see someone sking off groomesd terrain, next day you find
a safety net blocking the access to that terrain, I've found myself in this situation many times).
For those who want pow, then go AT, no pow "near" the resorts here. Seems to be the message.
As far as my sons, that's another story, thought.
I make my kids to wear helmets when skiing (and when biking and skating too) because of the other skiers, not to encourage them to go faster,they'd go fast anyway [img]smile.gif[/img] ; rather as an additional protection against fate.
Against which, one is never too much or too well equipped.

OMG, atta ramble. [img]redface.gif[/img]
post #84 of 117
Wow, Matteo. You are a cowboy and a half!

You beat the guy with your ski?

(Was he wearing a helmet? This is a situation our thread had not considered...)
post #85 of 117
Matteo, tsk, tsk

As a ski patroller in the USA, if I happened onto the scene where you were using your ski to beat the tar out of some dickhead who just barely missed seriously injuring your child by skiing too fast on public slope, I would have to issue a stern warning accompanied by a wagging finger, lowered eyebrows and appropriate frown. Ayup.
post #86 of 117
Originally posted by Matteo:
[QB]I ski mostly on groomed, always inbound (pow terrain is off-limits most of the times in Italian resorts anyway. As soon as they see someone sking off groomesd terrain, next day you find
a safety net blocking the access to that terrain, I've found myself in this situation many times).[QB]
If that's true, skiing in Italy truly sucks! Why ski at a resort if you can't ski the freshies? Scratch Italy off my list of skiing destinations.
post #87 of 117
Nolo and Potatohead, thanks, I'll settle for half a cowboy.
I must say that I wished I had beaten up the guy (I hope I did not conveyed the idea earlier on that I actually did it). I went very closed to do it. But I managed to calm down and then went looking for a Carabinieri patrol and told them about the incident. And unleashed them after the guy.

Terry, there is plenty of fresh snow, in Italy. But the concept of in-bound and out-bound here is pretty different.
You're in-bound when you ski on the runs.
Out-bound when you're not.
And in some places, if you're out-bound, like in Madesimo, where the nicest run I skied there has been declared an off-piste
(aka out-of-bound) run a few years ago (It means that they do not groom it anymore, and that if you ski there it's at your own risk), see the Madesimo map here, the run I mention is the one coloured black-orange), when the local Council (yes, I mean the town Major) has declared the run "closed" because too dangerous, then you can be fined and loose your ticket for the day.
I've last been there in 1999, and one of the reason I've not gone there anymore (the fact that it's a very cold place) is exactly that. I don't want to risk going there only to find the best run closed.

Edit, I just noticed that there are three runs classified black-orange (which is the first time ever I see as a classification, it must means something like : black-offpiste run), the one I meant is the one called CANALONE, the otrher two were always off piste runs (or itineraries, or AT routes), as far as I remember.

[ September 27, 2002, 05:05 AM: Message edited by: Matteo ]
post #88 of 117
OK, so how many of you have ever gotten whacked in the back of the head by someone carrying their gear on their shoulder down at the base? There's another good reason for a helmet!
post #89 of 117
The two times that my helmet was useful were:

1. Skiing Northstar at Killington, some guy shoots across the trail doing a snowplow, from out of nowhere. Did a nice endo, got up skiied over to him and told him that he did not belong here.

2. Doing a mogul course at Okemo, a kid, maybe 12 years old jumped into the course without looking uphill. I was going through like a rocket. Falling was the only way to not kill the kid. Hit my head on a nice Iceie bump. Once the birds stopped circling, I gave the kid a lecture on course rules.

I guess for number one, you might say "Well you should know better, people may not know where you are", but for two, you always have people lining the course watching you. they generally don't jump in. But I am glad I had the helmet.

The one time I wish I had a helmet on was 2/17/87. Skiing a rinky dink mtn in Mass called Brodie. Woke up in the hospital. Still have no clue what happened to this day. Nobody saw what happened, but still very glad I was skiing with people that knew CPR. They found me face down on the side of the trail with bleeding from the ears. You never figure that you are going to need CPR when you are 16 and in great shape, but...

[ September 27, 2002, 11:57 AM: Message edited by: CAPBOY ]
post #90 of 117
Hmm...LID: small plastic bag with leafy herbal substance, highly aromatic...oops, that darn wind on the highspeed quad...no lid anymore.
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