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Mayhem On The Piste

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
MAYHEM ON THE PISTE

Europe's most popular ski resorts are considering bringing in tough new penalties to stop booze-fuelled Britons from causing mayhem on the slopes.

British tourists are being blamed for a sharp rise in the number of accidents on the piste and officials are considering draconian measures to restore order.


Breathalysers and speed cameras, already available in the US, are likely to be introduced in resorts across Italy, Austria and France.

On-the-spot fines are also being considered and local authorities will face stiff financial penalties for failing to enforce safety measures, The Times reported.

The head of the police Alpine training school in Italy, Alvaro de Palma, said the problem of drunk skiers was "becoming serious".

"It's become quite the fashion to bomb down the slopes in a drunken state," he said.

"Unfortunately more and more skiers seem to have no awareness of the risks they are running.

"There is too much undisciplined behaviour. One shot of grappa or whisky after lunch is one thing, but if you have a lot of grappa you lose control.

"It is just as dangerous as being drunk while driving."

More than 300 skiers and snowboarders have already been fined in the resort of Trentino this season, many for offences related to drinking.

Italian insurance company SAI said accident figures from the slopes last year had been "like the casualty figures from a small war".

There were 13,252 injuries - some 1,800 more than the previous year - and 17 deaths.

Sky News from UK


Last Updated: 11:03 UK, Wednesday March 10, 2004

[ March 10, 2004, 10:29 AM: Message edited by: AC ]
post #2 of 24
Phew, that's a big total. I haven't seen any drunks this season in Europe on the slopes thank goodness. Maybe I have been to more refined resorts. At £3.50 for a 25cl beer most of them would be broke before getting drunk.

In Andorra, the problem is not the 15% of British skiers but the 85% of Spanish who ski like they drive.
post #3 of 24
Quote:
posted by Nettie:

I haven't seen any drunks this season in Europe on the slopes thank goodness
Fox has been skiing across the Pond, Nettie. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #4 of 24
Here's more on the same from THE Times newspaper.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspap...032472,00.html


No idea how the Austrian's plan to police this outside the Krazy Kangaruh in St Anton. where it's almost law to ski down the last 1/2 mile cut in the dark whilst at least half cut.

Good point on the price side Nettie. The Swiss and French bar prices are nothing short of a rip off. Especially when you consider that a pint of beer in Park City comes in at $2.5 max (£1.30).

We even walked into one club that was in full party mood, ordered 4 pints only to be asked for a meagre $4 (£2.10). The same 4 beers in the Farm club in Verbier was setting us back £17 -£20 ($42?) earlier in the season. Thats not to mention the £75 litre of vodka in the same establishment.

The bars in Chamonix have also become very, very greedy. Unfortunately alot of this is a result of the huge numbers of... dare I say it 'southerners'..okay and a fare few northerners too.. who are like their apres ski and who will pay no matter what the price.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Bonni:
Fox has been skiing across the Pond, Nettie. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
Boy, I was slow on that one! [img]smile.gif[/img]

Freshtracks
The bars are expensive but I would imagine that most of the alcohol is gotten from the supermarket.
It is swings and roundabouts skiing in the US vs Europe.
I wonder if the beer is cheap in the USA to encourage the apres ski crowd? Be careful what you wish for...

[ March 10, 2004, 10:22 AM: Message edited by: Nettie ]
post #6 of 24
Quote:
wonder if the beer is cheap in the USA to encourage the apres ski crowd? Be careful what you wish for...
There's only three things I wish for when it comes to skiing. 1 More powder. 2. as many days on the hill as possible. 3 More powder and days on the hill. The rest can just happen around that! What can be more careful than that?
post #7 of 24
Youz guys need senator Hollings over there as in.
"Dheres too much consummin goin on out dhere"
post #8 of 24
Fritz's son went to elem school with me!
post #9 of 24
Sounds like "Canadian at Par" day at Holiday Valley. Used to spend all afternoon ferring people down the slopes cause of their drunkeness state. The rest of the time was spent picking up been cans and empty cigarette boxes under the lifts.
post #10 of 24
Ooooraahy!
I can recycle my posts from snowheads here...tee hee!
Quote:
In Italy there aren't only Italian skiers.
Watched on a german channel, some years ago, a report from Ischgl, where the conclusions were more or less the same, and guess what the offender were indicated as mainly German.
I think that the press has a good fun job stirring waters, sometimes. Do they think they're all on a perpetual crusade or something?
Quote:
re: speed camera, the Police tested it in Valle d'Aosta, and they showed it on TV, too, last december.
The policewoman explaining it, took good care to stress that it was only a test, just to see-out of curiosity- how fast people were sliding down the slopes.
She deined it would be used to actually clock people to fine them.
I tend to beleive it, because the law that has been passed on, makes no mentions of
parameters as "maximum allowed speeed" and so on...so it's left to the police jugdement (and to the ski instructors, who will be entitled to report people to the police).
Italian Police chiefs...
Bend over...


Last, I was wondering, since many of u Euro do frequent snowheads and Epic, how could be a forums twinning be carried out?
Is this a doable idea? absurd?
post #11 of 24
It seems to me that the problem with a posted speed limit is that no one has a speedometer on their skis, and most of us have no clue how fast (in kps, or fps) we are going.

15 mph equals 22 feet per second; much too fast for some crowded slopes, but hardly a reckless speed.

I told an Englishman I met in a bar about the breathalyzer use at ski areas - he told me that the last time he took a train to watch a soccer match on the continent, the authorities were breathalyzing Brits at the train station, and not allowing the drunken ones near the stadium.
post #12 of 24
I'll bet not more an' a handfull of those limeys were allowed in ... stadium must have been pretty empty?

:
post #13 of 24
I wouldn't be surprised if many of the drunken fans were let go by the police after a while, and made it to see at least part of the match.

The Englishman told me that a major problem was fans getting there early, and then getting even more drunk before going into the stadium. Local shops were willing to take their money for alcohol. Anything that slows that process is probably a good thing.

The areas mentioned in the report from Europe might consider looking people over at the lift entrance; striking up conversations with the ones who look very drunk. Taking them aside if their speech is slurred...

I saw a drunken man fall down a flight of stairs at Hunter. He was not visibly injured, but two witnesses and an employee grabbed him and led him to the First Aid station, over his protestations.
post #14 of 24
I actually had a guy show up for a first timers lesson at 9 in the morning .... totally hammered.

The good news was that he excused himself once he realized that I was aware that he was blind drunk.
post #15 of 24
I think that was a topic somewhere here... what do you do with someone who shows up for a skiing lesson drunk...
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by TheIceMan:
The Englishman told me that a major problem was fans getting there early, and then getting even more drunk before going into the stadium..
Sounds like American Football tailgating to me.
post #17 of 24
They could set maximum speed limits in those areas where they put "slow" signs. And if people claimed they didn't know how fast they were going, too bad. Slow means...slow.

I'm sick of people who think that they can put other slope users at risk.
post #18 of 24
My totally unbiased opinion is that the Germans are far more dangerous than the Brits after a drink on the piste. In general Brits don't have the talent to ski fast for any distance when they are under the influence, the Germans do.
post #19 of 24
So now we are elevated to the level of drunken incompetants, then.
post #20 of 24
nice post ant, agree entirely. Risk sports are about managing your own risk, but before that are the risks you may be to others. It's unnecessary.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by ant:
They could set maximum speed limits in those areas where they put "slow" signs. And if people claimed they didn't know how fast they were going, too bad. Slow means...slow.

I'm sick of people who think that they can put other slope users at risk.
I'd love this. I sometimes feel that I'm going slow when others think that I'm going fast. Makes it hard to comply, even though I want to!!!!
post #22 of 24
Big Brother continually creeps into our lifes. What's next?
post #23 of 24
snowdog5150: We live in a reactive society and law enforcement operates in that mode ... rarely and I mean very rarely, does it operate in a proactive fashion.

Believe it or not, 40 years ago, skiing was a polite sport with none of the "you were in MY line" BS. I could not imagine getting into a fight in the lift line, cutting was something done by little kids and the National Ski Patrol was respected and the percentage of stoned skiers was "0" (VietNam changed that). Today, everyone has the right to someone elses rights ... "no right, no rules no way?
post #24 of 24
Snowdrop, Big Brother will organise our lives for us if people fail to organise their own lives effectively, that is with due respect for all the rest of us. That's how it ought to work, and when it doesn't, other organising pinciples take a hold. It is our choice.
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