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Kids and hucking cliffs

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
My 10 year old daughter and I were skiing today. The snow was great and we where doing some short traverses to get to mostly untracked stuff. In one spot there were quite a few little 5 foot cliffs and we where dropping off them into the pow. It was a lot of fun. On one of the lift rides up I was talking with my daughter about her sking and how much she has improved her off piste skiing since she got wide skis for Christmas. She was excellent on groomers but had a difficult time in the deep. Now she skis the pow and crude like it was an easy groomer. Any way I asked her about dropping the cliffs which she had done a little bit of but was always limited by her difficulty in the deep. She said that now she thought it was a lot of fun and wanted to keep sking that run so we could do it again. On this run I skied just on the other side of the trees (to get some good untracked) from where the cliffs were. The two trails connected about 100 yards below. My daughter hit the cliffs and we were going to meet where the trails connected. I was standing next to a tree at the bottom when my daughter comes flying through the air just in front of me but about 5 feet over my head. She stuck the landing but layed over on the run out. She had gone off a cliff that was about 15 feet high. She got up laughing. It scared the hell out of me to see her do that. I kind of got a little upset with her and told her she could only do cliffs that were equal to her age. 10 years old = 10 foot cliff. After I have begun to wonder if I did the right thing. I don't want to hold her back in anyway but I may have a heart attack if she does that to me again. What should I do?
post #2 of 29
Here's the downside of hucking cliffs and powder.
post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTpowder View Post
My 10 year old daughter and I were skiing today. The snow was great and we where doing some short traverses to get to mostly untracked stuff. In one spot there were quite a few little 5 foot cliffs and we where dropping off them into the pow. It was a lot of fun. On one of the lift rides up I was talking with my daughter about her sking and how much she has improved her off piste skiing since she got wide skis for Christmas. She was excellent on groomers but had a difficult time in the deep. Now she skis the pow and crude like it was an easy groomer. Any way I asked her about dropping the cliffs which she had done a little bit of but was always limited by her difficulty in the deep. She said that now she thought it was a lot of fun and wanted to keep sking that run so we could do it again. On this run I skied just on the other side of the trees (to get some good untracked) from where the cliffs were. The two trails connected about 100 yards below. My daughter hit the cliffs and we were going to meet where the trails connected. I was standing next to a tree at the bottom when my daughter comes flying through the air just in front of me but about 5 feet over my head. She stuck the landing but layed over on the run out. She had gone off a cliff that was about 15 feet high. She got up laughing. It scared the hell out of me to see her do that. I kind of got a little upset with her and told her she could only do cliffs that were equal to her age. 10 years old = 10 foot cliff. After I have begun to wonder if I did the right thing. I don't want to hold her back in anyway but I may have a heart attack if she does that to me again. What should I do?
make sure you have a camera next time!!!
post #4 of 29
That article has a lot to do with Darwin getting his man, and not much to do with a little ripper hitting some cliffs under the watchful eye of her dad.

I think UT should encourage his daughter to keep on rippin'. Teach her how to assess risks and how to decide for herself whether or not she should hit it.
post #5 of 29
cognitive development doesn't typically register theoretical circumstances until around the age of 11. Although your daughter can speak in the subjunctive mood (If I .... then I...) she doesn't actually have the cognitive development to understand that statement. According to Piaget's theory of cognitive development, anyway.

So yeah, I would limit the cliffs and be a parent in that situation. You could (and should) explain the dangers, etc. But allowing her to assess her own level of risk is asking her to perform the task of an 11 year old.

(edit- for some reason I thought she was younger than 10. brain fart.)
post #6 of 29
Let her hit the cliffs.

Little kids are amazingly elastic, it takes a lot to hurt them.

They are also don't weigh much, and the forces exerted on your daughter's body from dropping a 15 footer will really not be that much, especially into powder.

There is also nothing wrong with kids hurting themselves. Its how they learn their actions have consequences. It is next to impossible that she would sustain any injury more serious than a broken arm or something, if you pick the right cliffs.

Just make sure she knows not to do it when she's alone, so someone is there if she gets hurt.

And post pics. Kids hucking cliffs is the definition of quality stoke.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
Let her hit the cliffs.

Little kids are amazingly elastic, it takes a lot to hurt them.

They are also don't weigh much, and the forces exerted on your daughter's body from dropping a 15 footer will really not be that much, especially into powder.

There is also nothing wrong with kids hurting themselves. Its how they learn their actions have consequences. It is next to impossible that she would sustain any injury more serious than a broken arm or something, if you pick the right cliffs.

Just make sure she knows not to do it when she's alone, so someone is there if she gets hurt.

And post pics. Kids hucking cliffs is the definition of quality stoke.
X2

Special girl.

She will just do it behind your back.

Some thing parents were not meant to see.

Buy her a trampoline!
so she can learn to go inverted under the correct conditions
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
make sure you have a camera next time!!!
X2
post #9 of 29
My 14yr old does back flips of 2ft mounds ..... some kids just know where they are in space. It freaks us out but if you watch them closely they have it all dialed
in. Of course then there are others that don't think and just do. They are the ones to really watch out for.
post #10 of 29
Sounds like she's got the chops and the guts to be fantastic. Just be sure she has the coaching and guidance to hone it properly. You know there are summer camps she can attand with lots of dry land and water air training. Most fun I ever had in summer. It's only natural to worry and be concerned, but all you can do is foster her environment and training the best you can. Like they said, she will be doing it anyway...
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTpowder View Post
What should I do?
Follow her lead
post #12 of 29

Tedhead

i'm 13 and love air i've only hucked one cliff in my life which was about 7 feet so not much. i'd say keep her at 15ft no more any parent would be worried but if there's powder and you've checked the landing she should be fine. Way to go when i was 10 i was just perfecting my turns let alone cliffs and powder and i'm an expierenced skier so bravo for your daughter


Remember when your Skiing the only way to get hurt is if you fall

Warren Miller
post #13 of 29
I think thats pretty cool but I just wanted to say... You can definitely get hurt skiing without falling. Going fast and/or jumping and landing on a rock are extremely common injuries that do not directly involve falling
post #14 of 29
For the o.p., I'd be more concerned about establishing clear safe protocols with the kid in terms of handling terrain than worrying about amount of air per se. You don't give a lot of detail...it's unclear whether she completely knew the area, was at risk of ending up above something much bigger than she meant if she zigged when she should have zagged, what the snow conditions and steepness of landings were, etc. But, it does sound like she could have hit her head and been face down in the snow without your knowing or at least being able to get to her on that 2d run.

I'm a believer in tailgunning, i.e. always going second after kid has reached the next agreed area to stop, with my kid where warranted as I feel it gives me control in event kid falls, loses a ski, gets gripped, or otherwise needs support. This require a kid with the maturity to take that type of direction, obviously.

What if she got hurt? Were you in an area visible to other skiers, easily accessible by patrol, etc.?

It's also good to remember that she cannot help you, in addition to the fact that your getting hurt or falling into a treewell (if in trees) or equivalent in front of her would be more traumatic than, say, a coach or instructor getting hurt. So for terrain choices overall you may want to err on the side of caution for this reason too. Also, supposing she gets cliffed out, gets lost, etc., does she have a whistle? If yes does she remember where it is? Whistle and recco make sense for younguns in particular in my view.

There's also a process in terms of inspecting takeoff/landing, spotting, etc. that you and your kid should both understand; in a rock garden with small drops and good snow that you know well, which it sounds like you may have been in, this is obviously not always needed for small drops. But remember a bigger drop with steep landing can be much safe than a 5-footer to pretty flat. All that said, assuming you have all of that safety backdrop in place, I wouldn't worry about a magic "air-limiter" number, she sounds like she wanted to do it and had fun. I also don't mean to sound critical with any of this, just to say there are issues to think through.
post #15 of 29
Olympic training.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
Sounds like she's got the chops and the guts to be fantastic. Just be sure she has the coaching and guidance to hone it properly. You know there are summer camps she can attand with lots of dry land and water air training. Most fun I ever had in summer. It's only natural to worry and be concerned, but all you can do is foster her environment and training the best you can. Like they said, she will be doing it anyway...
This months "Freeskier" has a brief article on summer camps. Not a lot of info, but contact information.
post #17 of 29

Even the "pros", don't always make it

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...x.html?cnn=yes
post #18 of 29
You two have started down a slippery slope!

Fortunately, my family has no built in gyroscope. if our feet are not beneath us planted on terra-firma we get very upset.

With that said, i was a nervous wreck when the boys were running downhill and Super-G particularly with big air at speed!

Good luck with your little flyer!
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
I have since talked with my daughter about this. She told me that she didn't think it was that big when she went off it. Which told me she hadn't checked it out first and was just going into it blind. So we talked about all that needs to go into deciding whether or not to hit something. We had already been over this many times but she just didn't realize what the consequences of a bad decision can be. Thats just part of growing up I guess. I tried not to scare her but wanted to make sure she understood what I was telling her. I think she will be fine, she said it scared her a little bit too and from now on she will make sure she "looks before she leaps".
CT we were in a "rock garden" type of area. It was quite familiar as we ski it often. We had also been through the same place the 3 previous runs. That is why I elected to hit the untracked on the otherside of a small group of trees while she had fun dropping the small rocks. We were never more then about 50 yards apart and she does carry a whistle. I do worry sometimes that something may happen to me and she won't be able to help. I would love to take her into the backcountry but know that it will be quite a while before she is ready. We were skiing inbounds but had to traverse to get to a smaller peak that was not serviced by a lift.
I am really enjoying skiing some of the more difficult terrain with her. It has been a long time coming. She started when she was 2 1/2 years old. Between then and when she went to kindergarten we would ski 4-5 days week. She got in 60+ days a year for 3 years or so. All of these days were spent skiing with me. My wife started coming with us so I could ski the last hour or so by myself. When she started school we put here in group lesons. She progressed though all the levels our small mountain had in about two years and and at the top level became bored waiting for other kids so we let her quit. She wanted to start racing but when she found out about the time commitment which would not allow her to ski with me very much she decided against it. So I guess I am back to being her coach. However she has now progressed enough that I can ski anything I want and really do not have to wait very much at all for her. She has become my skiing buddy and we enjoy every minute we have on the snow. My wife has started skiing and we spend the mornings skiing together as a family with my daughter teaching my wife. My wife then goes to the lodge with a book and some hot chocolate while we finish the day skiing (unless its a powder day then its reversed). I know it is probably not long until she will be able to beat her old man and she will be the one waiting for me. Skiing has become a way of life (that and Utah State basketball games). My daughter displays her old season passes on the wall in her bedroom. She know has 7 on the wall and one on her jacket. She says "thats pretty good for a ten year old."
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTpowder View Post
So we talked about all that needs to go into deciding whether or not to hit something. We had already been over this many times but she just didn't realize what the consequences of a bad decision can be. Thats just part of growing up I guess. I tried not to scare her but wanted to make sure she understood what I was telling her. I think she will be fine, she said it scared her a little bit too and from now on she will make sure she "looks before she leaps".

She know has 7 on the wall and one on her jacket. She says "thats pretty good for a ten year old."
It's possible she didn't understand what the consequences of a bad decision can be because she literally doesn't have that cognitive development yet. It's just not possible, hence my original post.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
Fortunately, my family has no built in gyroscope. if our feet are not beneath us planted on terra-firma we get very upset.

You mean unfortunately right?
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTpowder View Post
My 10 year old daughter and I were skiing today. The snow was great and we where doing some short traverses to get to mostly untracked stuff. In one spot there were quite a few little 5 foot cliffs and we where dropping off them into the pow. It was a lot of fun. On one of the lift rides up I was talking with my daughter about her sking and how much she has improved her off piste skiing since she got wide skis for Christmas. She was excellent on groomers but had a difficult time in the deep. Now she skis the pow and crude like it was an easy groomer. Any way I asked her about dropping the cliffs which she had done a little bit of but was always limited by her difficulty in the deep. She said that now she thought it was a lot of fun and wanted to keep sking that run so we could do it again. On this run I skied just on the other side of the trees (to get some good untracked) from where the cliffs were. The two trails connected about 100 yards below. My daughter hit the cliffs and we were going to meet where the trails connected. I was standing next to a tree at the bottom when my daughter comes flying through the air just in front of me but about 5 feet over my head. She stuck the landing but layed over on the run out. She had gone off a cliff that was about 15 feet high. She got up laughing. It scared the hell out of me to see her do that. I kind of got a little upset with her and told her she could only do cliffs that were equal to her age. 10 years old = 10 foot cliff. After I have begun to wonder if I did the right thing. I don't want to hold her back in anyway but I may have a heart attack if she does that to me again. What should I do?
Give your daughter some more credit. She is probably intelligent enough to know her own limits and what not to do. If there is a cliff too big for her and is out of her comfort zone which is most likely paralleled with her skill level, she probably wont do it. Seems logical enough, right? I grew up skiing with out parents and I turned out okay
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
You mean unfortunately right?
Nope, Fortunately!!!

I don't have to ever worry about mine hucking off cliffs upright, inverted or otherwise!!!!
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
make sure you have a camera next time!!!
I need to get some pics. I bought a small Cannon just for this purpose but I cracked the LCD for the second time. I guess I better find a better case or a different camera.
post #25 of 29
If the landing is safe and nearly 'foolproof" (nothing is 100 percent safe and or foolproof) and you daughter is balanced in the air and has done smaller jumps / drops before I would say let her go for one you and her agree on.

Also dont bring the death of Billy poole in to this, Billy Poole is know for his high conquence skiing. His 50-100 foot hucks that in most case are must sticks are no where near jumping a 15 footer with tons of powder, and safe open run out.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTpowder View Post
I need to get some pics. I bought a small Cannon just for this purpose but I cracked the LCD for the second time. I guess I better find a better case or a different camera.
This is a little O/T, but if you haven't tried it already, give a look at the 'da Protector LCD covering. I know the name is turbo-lame, but the product is great. I put it on an LCD camera (a Canon SD500, which was rather infamous for having problems with cracked screens), and haven't had any issues.

Here's their website: http://www.daproducts.com/

sorry for the diversion...


aaron
post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootertig View Post
This is a little O/T, but if you haven't tried it already, give a look at the 'da Protector LCD covering. I know the name is turbo-lame, but the product is great. I put it on an LCD camera (a Canon SD500, which was rather infamous for having problems with cracked screens), and haven't had any issues.

Here's their website: http://www.daproducts.com/

sorry for the diversion...


aaron
Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a try. My camera is the SD500. I was debating on whether or not to get it fixed. At $150 its hard to justify when I could get something else for a little more that will not keep breaking on me.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootertig View Post
...I know the name is turbo-lame, but....
I don't know why, but that cracks me up.... I think I need to get more sleep.

To the original poster, encourage her natural talent. In a few years send her to either a park or big mountain camp (i'd say option B), if she can drop cliffs clean at 10, she's gonna rip when she is 20.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
If the landing is safe and nearly 'foolproof" (nothing is 100 percent safe and or foolproof) and you daughter is balanced in the air and has done smaller jumps / drops before I would say let her go for one you and her agree on.

Also dont bring the death of Billy poole in to this, Billy Poole is know for his high conquence skiing. His 50-100 foot hucks that in most case are must sticks are no where near jumping a 15 footer with tons of powder, and safe open run out.
Good post BWP. Consequences are what really matters -- if a missed landing means getting bruised up, it's a lot different than if a missed landing means careening over another drop or sliding down an icy pitch headfirst into some trees.

As a Dad of two girls I can appreciate the original posters situation. It sounds like he's there to guide her if her guts get ahead of her brains (which can happen at 10...or at 41!).
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