EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › We collided and I'm heartbroken
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

We collided and I'm heartbroken - Page 2  

post #31 of 59
He was ahead of you at the time of the crash; you skied over his tails. QED. You still have my sympathy, and I hope you can make it up to your friend, and wish him a speedy recovery. By him a season's pass so he can get back on the hill for some physiotherapy this spring.
post #32 of 59
Samarai,

Thanks for your contribution to the forum that sucks. We do have room for many viewpoints. As one of the back patters, I ask you to reread what I posted to see if there is a polite message in there that actually agrees with your viewpoint. There are (at least) two schools of thought for dealing with guilt based grief:
-pile it on because they deserve the punishment and expect the punishment
-don't pile it on because they'll punish themselves more than anyone else will

There's a reason this old fart has chosen not to judge and condemn. It's because we have not heard the whole story. For example, was the old guy traveling uphill when the collision occurred? Was SMJ "passing" his friend (e.g. within 25 feet of him) or simply skiing down the same trail at a different speed (e.g. greater than 100 feet of lateral separation). Yes, there is surely an element of guilt based on skiing over the tails. There is also surely an admission of an element of guilt in being heartbroken. I agree that, given the facts presented, there is probably some denial going on that should be addressed. Would the 30 year younger version of myself say exactly what you said? Yup. Experience has given me the wisdom that tact can be more appropriate in these situations. If that makes me old, so be it.

Those of us who personally know SMJ can tell the difference between an error in judgment and a flaw of personality. There is room for many viewpoints on Epic. We should expect that different people will see things differently. There are times when everyone learns from seeing all of the viewpoints. Thanks again for sharing yours.
post #33 of 59
Thread Starter 
Rusty thank you. I just spoke with Tony, the man I hit. He didn't sound angry or blaming.

Samurai I guess I have been trying to defend my position, and if it helps I will say that I do feel as if I am responsible. Whether or not he cut me off and shares in the blame doesn't take away my feeling that I have ended his season - I have impacted the possibility of his playing tennis this summer (his other passion) and caused him great pain.
post #34 of 59
SMJ,

If it helps, when I was 19 or 20 I was involved in a very competitive game of park footballl. The game went from touch to aggressive touch (wink,wink) fairly quickly. One of the players was an older college "star". As a defensive back, I covered him extremely tight and while running full out, we tangled and both went down. He was injured, but not quite to the extent of your friend.

People were appalled that I covered him so tight. I was appalled that I covered him so tight. He said "thank you for not treating me like an old man". I think his words were sincere ... he never mentioned it again. I've never forgotten.

Just make sure your friend knows that you would give anything to go back in time and reverse the situation. You can't. He knows. I'm sure he was enjoying the competitive play.
post #35 of 59
OK, Now that we have ironed out owning up to what happened and how it happened healing can begin. SMJ, I'm pretty new here so you don't know me from Adam, but I feel for you greatly/emphathise. What is worst of all is that it wasn't a stranger, but that is also a good thing because maybe this gentleman needs a friend off the slopes too. I'm sure you will take some time to visit him more often when you can. At his age that may be what he needs even more than a skiing buddy. Older folks seem to just get lonelier and lonelier. My mother has been miserable since losing my father/her husband. Think of this as an opportunity to take your friendship to a higher level off the slopes and on next season with faith, desire, and maybe some luck.

How's your sense of humor and his? Maybe someone should receive a "Blind Skier" vest as a Christmas gift next December. Also, you may want to change your signature.

All kidding aside, I'm surprised at how much I keep thinking about this and how devistated I would be if I collided with a good friend and they were hurt as a result. I would need to talk through this experience with family, friends, folks from -insert spiritual group, therapist, whatever- and of course the other party involved. It sounds like that is exactly what you are dong.

I hope you and he recover completely and can remain friends, even better friends.

Charles
post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Samarai,

Those of us who personally know SMJ can tell the difference between an error in judgment and a flaw of personality.
If you run over a 70 yo's skis it's more than an error in judgment.

This incident just points out the reckless conduct that continues to plaque this sport. Even a so called "instructor" is apparently incapable of leaving a margin for error so how is the public supposed to.
post #37 of 59
Wow. Some of the posters should get down their high horses. And stop skiing. Ride the tram, it's much safer.

SMJ, you must feel miserable.
Sometimes we're too busy having fun to be 100% careful. Sometimes things go wrong. It's not a perfect world.
Sometimes sh*t happens.
post #38 of 59
Make sure the old guy is getting the best care he can get! Sometimes the hospitals arnt the best with older people because they dont have to much life left in them sad but true! Find out from the Doctor what you can do for him to have him back on the Mountain asap. The ribs are the worst injury for pain. If he tapes them up like I did once he could ski. The collor bone will heal ribs take the longest! Hurts to breath. make sure he is getting lots of protien and DHEA! That will help him heal faster. Get him tough and walk with him as soon as he can. The more he does the sooner he will be able again. Check around some times owners of the gym like worlds gym or Golds Gym are very nologable as to the type of exersise he can be doing. Leg exersises at least to keep him fit. He will be fine if he was skiing at 78 he will be skiing when hes 80. Get him a membership at the gym and see him threw a few days there. Probably a good idea for boath of you. Use it or he will loose it.
post #39 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
If you run over a 70 yo's skis it's more than an error in judgment.

This incident just points out the reckless conduct that continues to plaque (sic) this sport. Even a so called "instructor" is apparently incapable of leaving a margin for error so how is the public supposed to.
This is not a "70 yo's skis" this is a world class skier carving deep trenches very fast across the hill cutting in front of me.

I do take some of the blame but there was nothing reckless involved, however I expect nothing less from you VS1 then to attack me, you do it every chance you get.
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post

*edit because I can't let it rest. You should be heartbroken. I would be. We all would be. Now, sack up and admit fault and let's all move on. Until then, you're just feeding the forum with hypotheticals. Hey, rules exist because people fark up. If you didn't fark up, then there would be no rules. Acknowledge your contribution to the system and don't do it again. Period. Then... preach why it's important to know what the fricking-hell is going on around you.
Its called an accident when two skiers are skiing in control and responsibly collide. Warren Miller has this same scenario on film--two pro skiers side by side who arced into each other and took each other down. I'm pretty sure they didn't get up and start carping to each other about the skiers responsibility code or pointing fingers.

To put it another way, if the code is so perfect, then there should be a lesson here. You say "don't do it again". Don't do what again? Ski? Can you explain to SMJ *exactly* what he could have done differently that would have resulted in this collision being avoided. Or more importantly how any other skier would have acted differently? If you can't do that (and its even harder if you weren't there), perhaps you might want to cool your anger a bit.

I guarantee that if you ride long enough, you will one day find yourself in this same situation. Maybe it will take 20 years, but eventually it will happen. Maybe your collision won't result in an injury, or maybe you will just have a near miss and scare somebody silly, but it *will* happen.

Will you be willing to "sack up" and take responsibility when somebody comes out of the trees right in front of you? Will you consider yourself fully responsible when you come around a blind corner or rollover and plow into a somebody who chose to stop and sit down there? How about on that cattrack when somebody comes over on you to avoid the rider that fell in front of them? If they are injured are you going to be willing to let them take everything you own because some piece of paper tells you that you are "responsible" by virtue of being the uphill rider?

Conversely, are you going to cling to the code if you suddenly change your line and crank a wide turn across the slope without looking up and close the door on somebody trying to pass? Or are you going to tell me you are perfect and you have never once forgotten to look uphill?

It doesn't matter how good you are--nobody is immune from this scenario. If you can't see that or aren't willing to accept it, you may want to consider a different sport.

SMJ I'm glad to hear you friend doesn't blame you. As I said, anybody with a modicum of experience knows how the game is played. Your friend clearly understands his role in this. If he wouldn't have ended up in the hospital, I bet he would have apologized to you for cutting you off. You would have been rightly annoyed at him.
post #41 of 59
Respect to SMJ for owning up and sharing a story that to me seems a good precaution. I ski like this all the time with kids, friends, and the occasional total stranger, probably with nowhere near the level of skill of SMJ and his friend. What I take away from SMJ's post is this could happen to anyone zooming around for fun, and it would really suck. I'll try to leave a greater margin of error. Not much else to say, other than I hope your friend heals well, and thanks for posting this.
post #42 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
This is not a "70 yo's skis" this is a world class skier carving deep trenches very fast across the hill cutting in front of me.

I do take some of the blame but there was nothing reckless involved, however I expect nothing less from you VS1 then to attack me, you do it every chance you get.
I'm not trying to attack you. What I am attacking is the attitude present in the next post that "accidents happen". Check out what you are saying: "this is a world class skier carving deep trenches very fast across the hill cutting in front of me." Now in your first post you said that you had been skiing with this guy all winter. So why is it that now the way he turns is a big surprise to you? You should have very easily factored that into your decision on line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post
Its called an accident when two skiers are skiing in control and responsibly collide. Warren Miller has this same scenario on film--two pro skiers side by side who arced into each other and took each other down.
WM filming and setting up a situation where two professional athletes know the risks is an entirely different situation than being on an open trail at a ski area. This argument is a non starter/

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post
Can you explain to SMJ *exactly* what he could have done differently that would have resulted in this collision being avoided. Or more importantly how any other skier would have acted differently? If you can't do that (and its even harder if you weren't there), perhaps you might want to cool your anger a bit.
Yes I can and I did. He skied with this guy all year following him. He knew the types of turn he made. He should have used that knowledge in his line choice and if he had there would not have been a collision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post
I guarantee that if you ride long enough, you will one day find yourself in this same situation. Maybe it will take 20 years, but eventually it will happen. Maybe your collision won't result in an injury, or maybe you will just have a near miss and scare somebody silly, but it *will* happen.
Well it's been 45 years and I have never hit anybody.


Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post
Will you be willing to "sack up" and take responsibility when somebody comes out of the trees right in front of you? Will you consider yourself fully responsible when you come around a blind corner or rollover and plow into a somebody who chose to stop and sit down there?
Geoff you have made the point of why there is a problem with safety on the hill better than I could ahve ever hoped to. You have no understanding of the code!!!! and I think that is true of most skiers. FYI, if someone stops where they can't be seen from above then they are the ones at fault! If someone enters a trail whether from the trees or a merge it is they who must yield to the skier who is above.

You might want to start your next ski day by grabbing a napkin or trail map and doing some review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post
How about on that cattrack when somebody comes over on you to avoid the rider that fell in front of them?
Everyone needs to leave a margin for error. Their error and the error of others.


Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post
It doesn't matter how good you are--nobody is immune from this scenario. If you can't see that or aren't willing to accept it, you may want to consider a different sport.
Geoff, it's really you that need to look for a new sport because you clearly do not have a basic understanding of the c ode for skiing or common sense for that matter. We need tog et people who are willing to risk THE SAFETY OF OTHERS out of the sport. If it was a simple matter of you going off trail and whacking a tree I wouldn't care but it's not.
post #43 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
If you run over a 70 yo's skis it's more than an error in judgment.

This incident just points out the reckless conduct that continues to plaque this sport. Even a so called "instructor" is apparently incapable of leaving a margin for error so how is the public supposed to.
I'm sorry. I had no idea the age of the victim had any relevance to the seriousness of the error. I always thought learning from our mistakes was a virtue. But I never thought there was a soft, sticky, whitish matlike film (i.e. plaque) on our sport. I guess this so called instructor should quit posting on the Internet because I'm apparently incapable of making a relevant point. Do you think I have what it takes to become a full time curmudgeon instead?
post #44 of 59
I'm really sorry to hear this. Best wishes for your friend's recovery.
post #45 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
I'm not trying to attack you. What I am attacking is the attitude present in the next post that "accidents happen".
That would be me.

Are you such a boring dullard in real life or is it just your on-line you ?
And did you have to work hard to sound so cluelessly self-righteous ?

Yes, mistakes are made and accidents do happen in real life. When you have a life, that is.
post #46 of 59
Thing is, this is all verbal masturbation, since no one has a slo-mo video of the accident from 12 angles to know what happened. Skiing over someone else's tails in a real world collision means zip as evidence of the almighty code when you consider closing velocities, terrain variation, reaction time, fact that a few hundredth's of a second determined who was "behind." I've been in a few arc collisions probably a lot like the one described. S**t happens, and often without one person being irresponsible or malicious. The code works fine for skiing on crowded slopes with various levels of skiers; have never heard it applied to two experts on apparently unpopulated slopes.

And as an older guy, I think it's patronizing to get all weird about the other skier being in his 70's. I suspect he would think so too. He's out there, being an expert, working at high speeds, he knows his risks and he's OK with it. Give HIM some respect.

So surprised some of you are getting so hot over assigning responsibility. Jeez Samurai and Volklskier1, chill a little. Go reread your own language. Would you talk to someone like that face to face, or is this all about the anonymity of the web?
post #47 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
He's in his seventies. "Buy him a drink!"

WTF?

Epicski will condemn people who start threads about the skier's code. Then, when some "respected poster" posts a thread about a collision, everyone is patting him on the back for having the guts to post it.

I'd fricking kick your ass for trying to overtake me, crossing my tails, forcing me to the ground, and giving me broken ribs... in my 70's.

How can passing somebody and not clearing it be called an accident?

You tried to pass him, you owe him way more than a fricking bottle of wine.

This forum sucks. You guys are all old and too young to respect your elders. How fricking lame is that?

"It's not my fault... really... he should have expected me to pass him and look over his shoulder."

clueless... and I'll call it out.

*edit because I can't let it rest. You should be heartbroken. I would be. We all would be. Now, sack up and admit fault and let's all move on. Until then, you're just feeding the forum with hypotheticals. Hey, rules exist because people fark up. If you didn't fark up, then there would be no rules. Acknowledge your contribution to the system and don't do it again. Period. Then... preach why it's important to know what the fricking-hell is going on around you.

If I was his age I would totally kick your ass... but I can't. So- forum abuse for you... because that's the code.
Maybe there is a reason that some people are "respected" posters, not that you will ever know. As far as a$$ kickin goes maybe you ought to kick your own, sounds like it's overdue.
post #48 of 59
NO One here feels worst about this than SMJ > I've been hit and hurt twice broken bones BOTH times I'm 64 ans was whacked this past Sunday -

IT Happens --it shouldn't BUT it does . I don't feel that kicking ass SOLVES anything . SMJ CONTINUE to give a damn about Tony --HE Needs ya bud !
post #49 of 59
It's a little disappointing that people are jumping on SMJ. The title and the first post pretty much say it all -- don't you think he knows what happened? I am sure he has replayed this over and over in his head trying to figure out if and how he might have been at fault. I think it's in poor taste to jump on his back. Or if you do, at least have better diplomacy skills than a charging rhinocerous.
post #50 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
I'm sorry. I had no idea the age of the victim had any relevance to the seriousness of the error. I always thought learning from our mistakes was a virtue. But I never thought there was a soft, sticky, whitish matlike film (i.e. plaque) on our sport. I guess this so called instructor should quit posting on the Internet because I'm apparently incapable of making a relevant point. Do you think I have what it takes to become a full time curmudgeon instead?
Of course the age of the victim matters. A broken Collar bone and broken ribs is far more serious and debilitating in a 70yo then a 40yo or 30 yo.

The point is not to slam SMJ but to slam people who continue to minimize the avoidability of these "accidents". They don't have to happen. They are not inevitable. People who think that most likely ski beyond their ability and out of control, dont have a real undestanding of what control is and do not know or undersatnd the code.
post #51 of 59
Quote:
FYI, if someone stops where they can't be seen from above then they are the ones at fault!
This actually ties into some of the issues discussed (in a more general context) in this thread:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=65889&page=2

Even in this case there may be blame on both skiers (and in the case of the "stopped" skier being physically unable to move, the fault may be entirely with the uphill skier.)
post #52 of 59
Thread Starter 
I sure would like to see this thread come to an end. This "so called instructor" has honestly benefited from the attacks on him. Based on what I saw and what others who were there that day told me, i felt fairly blameless at first. This thread has humbled me significantly.

Thank you all for your sympathy and support - and yes thank those of you (except for the poster who wanted my a$$ kicked) who criticized me.

I accept the criticism. I don't think that I could have definitely avoided this crash, Tony typically doesn't ski big arcs, preferring short swing turns - I couldn't have predicted this, but I could have looked to my left sooner and seen him coming and possibly avoided it.

In any case I will be seeing Tony tomorrow and will be helping him in the weeks to come with groceries and other things. He is not a lonely man, he has good friends, and a very good son.

If we could all put this aside now I would appreciate it. Believe me when I tell you that I will be doing all I can to both help Tony - and to be more careful in the future. I never want to see anyone hurt again on the hill.
post #53 of 59
SMJ,

My prayers go out to you skier friend for a speedy recovery.
post #54 of 59
In my opinion, cutting across the hill at high speeds is dangerous enough that the skier should look up and make sure nobody is coming. Placing responsibility in skiers that are above you regardless of the situation is a little bit short sighted IMHO.

I can imagine a scenario where I would hit somebody that was traversing the slope at high speeds and by the time I see them at my side (or slightly below me) it is too late. Hardly my fault alone.
post #55 of 59
Thought I needed to throw my $0.02 into this thread ...

I've skied regularly with SMJ over the last three seasons and had the opportunity to meet his friend Tony earlier this year. I know the skiers and know the trail and while I wasn't there I know that this was simply an accident of the type that can .. and does .. unfortunately happen to all sorts of good people.

SMJ is one of the more responsible and patient skiers I've met. I've never seen him rip through a traffic jam, or pass a foot away from a slower skier. I have seen him hold up and wait for the crowd to dissipate. I have seen him alter his line to give wide margin to a slower skier on the hill. I've seen him slow way up to match speeds with a slower skier ahead until it was safe to pass.

I've seen Tony ski ... I can't ski that well today, let alone hope to be able to ski that well when I'm 70. This is not a 70 yo man who can barely get up and down the hill, this is a skier of exceptional talent and grace. The most amazing thing about this man is his that he quite willingly shares his joy and knowledge of the sport with any and all who care to get to know him. When I met him for the first time, he was passing along some tips and techniques to a guy half his age ... who he'd apparently just met on the lift that morning.

Some accidents are tragic because they could have been easily avoided ... the kid killed by a drunk driver, a skier taken out by an aggressive fool. Some accidents are tragic simply because of the impact to the lives of those involved.

The tragedy here is that an elderly man with such an obvious love of the sport now faces an uncertain future. The second part of this tragedy is that his friend is now torn up with guilt over what he sees (rightly or wrongly) as his fault.

Two skiers of similar abilities converging on the same point from opposite sides of the trail. Different speeds, different lines .. peripheral vision impaired by goggles and helmet ... contact lost we make an assumption about the line of our partner that may or may not hold true ...

Hindsight is always 20/20 (apparently better for some) and we can all write a happier ending for ourselves. Some who KNOW EVERYTHING declare that there is no such thing as an accident and pass judgment based on knowing nothing at all. Some believe that their SUPERIOR KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL is the reason that they've never had a accident (implying, of course, that those who are involved in an accident are somehow inferior).

The wise skier passes no judgment, but takes a lesson and quietly incorporates it into his or her skiing. The humble skier recognizes himself in this situation and realizes that if it can happen to a respected member of our community it could happen to any of us. The respectful skier mourns for those involved, for the loss of the joy that is normally shared by those who love this sport.

My sympathies of course go out to Tony. My hopes for a speedy recovery and a quick return to skiing.

But my sympathies also go out to SMJ who I know is torn up by his involvement in this tragic accident. I know the respect and admiration that SMJ has for his friend and I know how this must be eating him up.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people ... end of story. No matter what might have happened, we need to recognize what did happen ... a simple, tragic accident that left 2 members of this community hurt.
post #56 of 59
Those placing guilt are being silly. Obviously unintentional accident. Ambiguous situation that without witnessing is impossible to assess, much less pass judgement. Keep the friendship going by encouraging the man's recovery.
post #57 of 59
I, too, am shocked at some of the responses on this thread. (samurai, volklskier1 particularly)

I gathered from the OP, and fairly easily, that SMJ described a situation where he and Tony were skiing pretty much side-by-side when Tony arced toward SMJ's side of the trail. And if that was the case, it's pretty easy to see how it's possible that neither of them was aware of exactly where the other one was, nor how the other one was skiing.


All this black-and-white application of a Skier's Code to gray areas of skiing situations, and assigning blame... especially when nobody else except SMJ was even there... is truly arrogant and obnoxious.


SMJ, I'm sending positive thoughts to you and Tony. Whether you buy him a drink, or visit him regularly, or encourage him to get back on the snow soon... just being his friend through your thoughts and actions, without shame or pride or embarrassment, is the most considerate thing you can do for him and yourself.


Such is the life of being a "so-called instructor."
post #58 of 59

Classy

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
I sure would like to see this thread come to an end. This "so called instructor" has honestly benefited from the attacks on him. Based on what I saw and what others who were there that day told me, i felt fairly blameless at first. This thread has humbled me significantly.

Thank you all for your sympathy and support - and yes thank those of you (except for the poster who wanted my a$$ kicked) who criticized me.

I accept the criticism. I don't think that I could have definitely avoided this crash, Tony typically doesn't ski big arcs, preferring short swing turns - I couldn't have predicted this, but I could have looked to my left sooner and seen him coming and possibly avoided it.

In any case I will be seeing Tony tomorrow and will be helping him in the weeks to come with groceries and other things. He is not a lonely man, he has good friends, and a very good son.

If we could all put this aside now I would appreciate it. Believe me when I tell you that I will be doing all I can to both help Tony - and to be more careful in the future. I never want to see anyone hurt again on the hill.
Now that's character. All I can say is you're a better man than me. I hope Tony recovers quickly and you do to.
post #59 of 59
At your request I'm closing the thread. Let me know if you want it to reopen at any time. Again best wishes to you and Tony.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
I sure would like to see this thread come to an end. This "so called instructor" has honestly benefited from the attacks on him. Based on what I saw and what others who were there that day told me, i felt fairly blameless at first. This thread has humbled me significantly.

Thank you all for your sympathy and support - and yes thank those of you (except for the poster who wanted my a$$ kicked) who criticized me.

I accept the criticism. I don't think that I could have definitely avoided this crash, Tony typically doesn't ski big arcs, preferring short swing turns - I couldn't have predicted this, but I could have looked to my left sooner and seen him coming and possibly avoided it.

In any case I will be seeing Tony tomorrow and will be helping him in the weeks to come with groceries and other things. He is not a lonely man, he has good friends, and a very good son.

If we could all put this aside now I would appreciate it. Believe me when I tell you that I will be doing all I can to both help Tony - and to be more careful in the future. I never want to see anyone hurt again on the hill.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
This thread is locked  
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › We collided and I'm heartbroken