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High Speed Sit-Ski Collision

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yesterday afternoon at my home mountain, we're riding the lift up for our last run of the day. This particular lift is right over an "easy black."

The run has the steepest bit right at the start, and because it is right under one of the two lifts that come up from the primary base area, it is heavily skied by all skill range of skiers and gets scraped down early. Even with the 8" or so of new snow, by late in the day you had to slalom ice patches on the way down this run yesterday. As we're reaching the top 1/3 on the lift after coming down that run, my wife and I (the kids were on the lift ahead of us), see a guy on a sit ski shove off from the top. I recognize the guy as a regular at the hill, and he not only is an instructor in the adaptive program, but he is a very skilled skier. I've seen him there for years.

But for some reason, he starts bombing down the hill...doing little slip turns but not truly changing direction or controlling speed. It was weird, because as I said this guy is not a novice. There is an able-bodied adaptive instructor coming down behind him (not on a sit ski), and she is skiing with what appeared to be more awareness of the slope conditions.

Just as this guy gets under us, he overtakes another skier and blasts a turn right across the front of this guys skis, and it appeared at least part of the disabled skier's body and sit-ski contacted the legs/hips of the other skier as well. Wicked wipe out on ice. The other adaptive instuctor -- the woman who at least appeared able-bodied -- stops and asks this guy if he's ok, stays for a second, then skis on. They guy who got wiped out struggled up, slowly snowplowed down to the disabled guy who was getting up and I think checked to see if he was ok.

I was pretty incredulous. Disabled or not, I'd have been pissed off, not to mention hopped up on survival adrenaline. It would have been hard to not shout this guy down and then follow him down and take him to task with management. It didnt' appear that he slipped on the ice, although he might have...it appeared he just turned and never even saw the other skier -- who was not making any radical turns or changes in direction.

If he'd hit a child he could have easily caused a severe injury or even death. A more direct hit on the adult skier that he did hit probably would have resulted in hospitilization.

I'm not trolling. I''m not putting down disabled skiers or programs...I think they disabled program at my home mountain is one of the great things they have going. I'm sure the skier who got hit gut the guy some slack when he saw he was disabled.

What would you have done if you were the skier who got hit?

How heavy are sit-skis anyway? Just wondering how much damage they can do, in addition to what a collision with an upright skier or boarder can cause.
post #2 of 21
Before I even saw who posted this, based solely on the title, I had a feeling this may apply to a guy at my home mountain, which is also Billy's home mountain.

I didn't witness this accident yesterday, but have seen the same sit-skier around quite a bit. He is very very skilled and very fast. A few days ago, I saw him on Karayatis Way (a heavily populated, relatively narrow, green circle that is sometimes used as a connecting trail) going full speed and blowing the doors off of every other skier on the trail. he was pretty much doing gaper slalom at full speed.
I even commented to my girlfriend, "if he were at Blue on a day when Ski Patrol was being taped, they'd tear into him". ("but I was born to go fast, I'm from Philly, I just got out of the pen" or something like that)

Based on what I've seen, I'm really not surprised by this at all. I wonder if things would be handled differently if this were some kid on twin tips wearing bright aqua pants?
post #3 of 21
PS was this on Odyssey?
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
D - was on Iliad, right under Chair 1. Odyssey is to the right of Iliad looking up the hill.

It was a wicked collission, and I'm surprised nobody was hurt. What was most shocking was that the sit-skier didn't even appear to be looking or aware of who was downhill of him.

Edit to say that this run would not be a black at a lot of hills -- and even in relation to other hills at Greek Peak it's hard to see why they rate it a black. There is a blue almost adjacent to it - Elysian Fields - that because of a double fall line skis harder than this "black" run.
post #5 of 21
gotchya, I always get those two confused. yeah that trail is certainly not black worthy and (like most trails at GP) populated with skiers of less than "advanced" abilities, certainly not a place to be zipping around. Saw a (I'm assuming) beginner on snowlerblades in the glades there yesterday, kinda scared me, my buddy and I hid behind a tree until he was well on his way. Looked like a collision waiting to happen.

Is there more than one regular sit skier at Greek?? if there isn't and this guy keeps it up, he will quickly make a name for himself.
post #6 of 21
I've seen him before. It doesn't surprise me. I have been on that chair numerous times waiting for him to collide with someone downhill of him. Fortunately I've never witnessed it happening.

BTW - some history: Back in the "old days" Elysian Fields was the black diamond covered almost entirely with moguls, and Illiad was a blue groomer with no bumps anywhere.

Also... how do I not know you guys?
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post

Also... how do I not know you guys?


First year I've had a pass at Greek is my guess. Do you drive all the way to Greek from B-Lo?
post #8 of 21
I am good friends with a one legged skier and have always found it interesting how much people underestimate their abilities. From my experience at least, most disabled skiers are just as good if not better than the general population.

I just hope that ski patrol has the sense to hold people like this responsible for their actions. It sucks they are disabled but it doesn't give them a free pass to do whatever they feel.

You know now that I think about it I have never seen a beginner disabled skier. I wonder where they learn?
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post
You know now that I think about it I have never seen a beginner disabled skier. I wonder where they learn?
we went snowboarding last year at Bromley in VT, and they were doing lessons in the same area where we were. It was fascinating to watch, and frankly it looks a hell of a lot harder and more frustrating than learning to ski on two legs!
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dumpy View Post
First year I've had a pass at Greek is my guess. Do you drive all the way to Greek from B-Lo?
No. My family is from the area so I often find myself home on weekends. My girlfriend and I both have passes to Greek. I think next year we are moving over to Bristol though because it is a good mid-way point for everyone (we have family in Rochester and the Corning area).

I'll be there this weekend. If you see me, say hi.

Later

Greg
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
Also... how do I not know you guys?
I'm an anti-social b-stard?

We've been skiing GP as passholders for several years. I'm usually there with my bro-in law or my wife, or my wife and kids...depends on the day. I ski on the only blue and white spray painted PE's you'll see there -- so I"m not too hard to spot.

Thinking about cookout for next Sunday at Chair 5 -- will PM you and D if we do, and you can swing by for a cold one or two.

As for the sit-skier -- this guy is very experienced, and is an instructor in their adaptive program. The adaptive progam at GP is pretty large, and I believe pretty well respected, especially for a small mtn. I don't underestimate the skills of disabled skiers...no doubt some are very good. This guy was just flat our irresponsible.
post #12 of 21
The ski weights about 30-40 lbs, and has a very low center of gravity.

I have only hit one person in my sitski they cut in front of me and got blown out of there skis I fell down and was pissed, it's a dangerous thing to take one on.

From the sounds of what you saw the guy must think he knows the hill so well that he can ski however he wants, disabled skier or not does not give them the right to ski like an ass.

FYI when skiing a sit ski on an icy patch of snow it is tough, only having one edge is a pain I can see how he may have chosen to just hammer the run and not risk washing out.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
Thinking about cookout for next Sunday at Chair 5 -- will PM you and D if we do, and you can swing by for a cold one or two.
Definitely. I'll be there from very early-on Sunday because I'm meeting someone from another forum to make a few early morning turns. Send me a PM and I'll swing by. If not - I look like the picture in my signature and should be pretty easy to spot.

Later

Greg
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
Thinking about cookout for next Sunday at Chair 5 -- will PM you and D if we do, and you can swing by for a cold one or two.
I'll be there too. I've actually been looking for the blue and white PEs as I remember them from another thread.

I'm in all black and will probably be on the ugliest ski ever made by a company besides K2, the Scott Santiago Mission. I have an idea how the three of us can find each other, just look for other folks over the age of 19 on actual skis (not sowlerblades) that aren't rentals, it seems like that would rule out about 70% of the GP weekend crowd.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SitSkiGuy View Post
The ski weights about 30-40 lbs, and has a very low center of gravity.
Sounds like a real knee killer, for the other guy that is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SitSkiGuy View Post
From the sounds of what you saw the guy must think he knows the hill so well that he can ski however he wants, disabled skier or not does not give them the right to ski like an ass.
X2

Quote:
Originally Posted by SitSkiGuy View Post
FYI when skiing a sit ski on an icy patch of snow it is tough, only having one edge is a pain I can see how he may have chosen to just hammer the run and not risk washing out.
I bet you have to keep the suckers sharp as hell. It sure looks like fun, how do they handle in deeper snow??
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dumpy View Post
I bet you have to keep the suckers sharp as hell. It sure looks like fun, how do they handle in deeper snow??
I had a friend help out with the disabled program I teach, he tried it out and said it reminded him of a high speed tobaggon that has steering.

How deep? The problem with deep snow is the loss of turning ability, primarily the outriggers initiate the turns, in deep snow the outriggers just float so it can take a while to get the turn going. I use a little hip action to get a turn going in deep stuff.

Here is a video of a guy named Andy skiing some powder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFGH2gOuSFg
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SitSkiGuy View Post
FYI when skiing a sit ski on an icy patch of snow it is tough, only having one edge is a pain I can see how he may have chosen to just hammer the run and not risk washing out.
I can understand the difficutlty. Seen the same reaction to a lot of less experienced snowboarders. They also have only one edge and I can tell that's the disadvantage.

Though I would have thought being a "local", he would have know which trail NOT to go to late in the day...
post #18 of 21
Late in the day, hypothermic, confused, tired, - a common time for brain farts.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dumpy View Post
I didn't witness this accident yesterday, but have seen the same sit-skier around quite a bit. He is very very skilled and very fast. A few days ago, I saw him on Karayatis Way (a heavily populated, relatively narrow, green circle that is sometimes used as a connecting trail) going full speed and blowing the doors off of every other skier on the trail. he was pretty much doing gaper slalom at full speed.
Being a "very, very skilled skier" and "going full speed on a heavily populated trail" are two statements that simply don't go together.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
Being a "very, very skilled skier" and "going full speed on a heavily populated trail" are two statements that simply don't go together.
I said "very, very skilled skier", not "very, very considerate skier" or "very, very bright skier"
post #21 of 21
Most Adaptive peoples brains are just like abled body peoples brains,it's the body that's broke. I had to refuse to teach a young adult male because he would not listen or cared that he was dangerous. I heard that the next season he hit a light tower and damaged a sit-ski that was not his/loaned and injuried himself. I want no part of people like that. That was the only bad experience in 15 years of teaching Adaptive. Otherwise, every Adaptive person I've meet was a joy to be with.
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