EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Patrol Shack › Severity of accidents at ski areas
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Severity of accidents at ski areas

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Just wondering how shaped skis are effecting ski accidents, we have had fewer accidents in the past couple of years, but have had more Head, Neck, Back and Femur injuries where transport on backboard to Hospitals is urgent. 

I see beginning skiers parallel skiing at higher speeds than formerly on straight skis -  next thing they seem to 'lock up on edge' hit trees or lift towers and we end up giving them a ride in the toboggan where they are sent on to Hospital in ambulance. Are you guys seeing this at your areas?

post #2 of 10

We were just discussing this at my patrol a couple of weeks ago.  It's hard to say whether it's the result of newer skis and technique or not, but at least anecdotally, we think we've seen a lower overall rate of accidents but a higher proportion of more serious accidents.  In particular, those of us who have been around for a more than a couple of years were discussing how the trend seems to have shifted back toward lower extremity injuries. 

 

Back in the 90s, skis were just starting to become more shaped but snowboarding's popularity really took off.  Back then, we felt like we noticed a lot more upper extremity injuries - wrists, collarbones, etc., largely from beginning and intermediate snowobarders.  These days we feel like we're seeing more lower extremity injuries- knees, femurs, etc, and head/neck injuries than we remember seeing years ago.  We speculated that people seem to be skiing faster than they used to, and the fad seems to be for people to go out of their way to find virgin powder, no matter how many trees they have to hit to find it.   No one was really sure if these trends are real or imaginary, but they were fun to discuss.  Shockingly, we had trouble finding volunteers to look back through a few years worth of run forms to do a more scientific analysis. 

post #3 of 10

This is just seat of the pants so take it for what it is worth.

 

My area has had tubing for a number of years and for a long while it lead in sheer number of incidents.  Not a lot of really what I'd call serious stuff, but PLENTY of collisions, road rash and stuff like that.  About 4 years ago the area did a re-work ---lengthening the runnouts and controlling the flow from the top better.  now my shift gets maybe 1 incident every other week from that location.

 

Our snowboarding customers have gotten better over time(as has our snow sports school)  and we see less hand wrist stuff too, maybe some more upper body---hard to say.

 

We've had on again off again management enthusiam for terrain parks and area sanctioned features.  Changing locations over the years from the 'better terrain' for some features like table tops to under a lift for the "WOW" factor.  Our parks have gotten better and better as time goes on in terms of thoughful design and maintenance.

 

Terrain parks account for the---again seat of the pants---vast majority of incidents now.  Most again are scrapes, bruises, road rash, minor collisions --- but every now and them we get some pretty serious stuff.  like a broken pelvis once from side by side table tops and a "Hey watch this!" attempt to go from one to the other that come up 4 feet short.

 

I'd say that trauma parks account for way more injuries than ski design.

 

just my .02

 

 

post #4 of 10

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j View Post

 

I'd say that trauma parks account for way more injuries than ski design.

 

just my .02

 

 

 

I'd agree.  All injury calls I've been involved in this year with one exception were in the terrain park.

post #5 of 10

skier_j

 

I confirm your suspicions, most are terrain park related.

 

A lot of others are JUMPS on trails.

 

By the way, the accident rate in Tubing has dropped significantly due to risk analysis and risk mitigation programs the area established.  Pretty interesting stuff.  Wish they would do it on other aspects of the area. 

post #6 of 10

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan View Post

 

skier_j

 

I confirm your suspicions, most are terrain park related.

 

A lot of others are JUMPS on trails.

 

By the way, the accident rate in Tubing has dropped significantly due to risk analysis and risk mitigation programs the area established.  Pretty interesting stuff.  Wish they would do it on other aspects of the area. 

 

Bryan is my PR and its good to see you jump in here!

post #7 of 10

Interesting insights.  my question is specific to collisions- which seem to be the cause for the most serious accidents (or death).  I have heard many scary stories.  My question is- are skier to skier, or boarder, collisions more prevalent on beginner, intermediate or advanced slopes?  Most of the excessive speed with less control that I witness is on blues, or even green.  When it comes to double blacks- it seems most skiers or boarders are at heighten awareness, and generally less crowded (and generally less skiers jumping a level on what they can handle). (I actually feel more comfortable with my little kids skiing black or double black than blue or green at the base where i feel they are about to get decked at any moment- it is what scares me deeply while skiing).  I would greatly appreciate any feedback on this.  I can guess skier to tree is a bit different.  It would be great if someone really did harness all these stats and study!  thanks for any comments.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by vt skiier View Post

Interesting insights.  my question is specific to collisions- which seem to be the cause for the most serious accidents (or death).  I have heard many scary stories.  My question is- are skier to skier, or boarder, collisions more prevalent on beginner, intermediate or advanced slopes?  Most of the excessive speed with less control that I witness is on blues, or even green.  When it comes to double blacks- it seems most skiers or boarders are at heighten awareness, and generally less crowded (and generally less skiers jumping a level on what they can handle). (I actually feel more comfortable with my little kids skiing black or double black than blue or green at the base where i feel they are about to get decked at any moment- it is what scares me deeply while skiing).  I would greatly appreciate any feedback on this.  I can guess skier to tree is a bit different.  It would be great if someone really did harness all these stats and study!  thanks for any comments.


Why do you think collisions are up and why do you think they are responsible for "most serious accidents"? That was a 2009 thread.

 

If you follow the link below, National Ski Areas Association, does harness all the stats and reports on them yearly.

 

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by vt skiier View Post

Interesting insights.  my question is specific to collisions- which seem to be the cause for the most serious accidents (or death).  I have heard many scary stories.  My question is- are skier to skier, or boarder, collisions more prevalent on beginner, intermediate or advanced slopes?  Most of the excessive speed with less control that I witness is on blues, or even green.  When it comes to double blacks- it seems most skiers or boarders are at heighten awareness, and generally less crowded (and generally less skiers jumping a level on what they can handle). (I actually feel more comfortable with my little kids skiing black or double black than blue or green at the base where i feel they are about to get decked at any moment- it is what scares me deeply while skiing).  I would greatly appreciate any feedback on this.  I can guess skier to tree is a bit different.  It would be great if someone really did harness all these stats and study!  thanks for any comments.

 

I bet most deadly collisions happen on (or next to) blues, because there are more fast skiers on blues, because there are more blues that are easy to ski fast on.


Almost all blue runs I have been on are pretty easy to ski fast, no bumps to speak of, no make or die turns, no cliff drops, etcetera.  It's so easy a caveman could do it.

 

Quite a few of the blacks and double blacks I have been on are very difficult to ski fast.  They have bumps that can really launch you at speed or leave your skis impaled 4 feet into them if you err in your line, compressions that can squash you like a pretzel if you take them too fast or unprepared, mandatory tight turns at the bottom of steep sections right in front of rock cuts to avoid, choke points that plug up with slow-pokes, and a host of other impediments to speed.  There are a few double blacks that can be blasted full speed easily (for someone with adequate experience), and some that you can ski full blast once you have found the route if you are lucky enough to have a clear path in front of you (no slowpokes skiing it at two miles an hour leaving no room to pass just so they can brag about skiing it) if you have the strength and determination, but many more that you just have to ski slowly. 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by vt skiier View Post

Interesting insights.  my question is specific to collisions- which seem to be the cause for the most serious accidents (or death).  I have heard many scary stories.  My question is- are skier to skier, or boarder, collisions more prevalent on beginner, intermediate or advanced slopes?  Most of the excessive speed with less control that I witness is on blues, or even green.  When it comes to double blacks- it seems most skiers or boarders are at heighten awareness, and generally less crowded (and generally less skiers jumping a level on what they can handle). (I actually feel more comfortable with my little kids skiing black or double black than blue or green at the base where i feel they are about to get decked at any moment- it is what scares me deeply while skiing).  I would greatly appreciate any feedback on this.  I can guess skier to tree is a bit different.  It would be great if someone really did harness all these stats and study!  thanks for any comments.

 

I don't have any figures on hand but IME collisions are most common on beginner slopes, but people are often moving so slowly that they are no big deal and go unreported - since you asked.  The next most common scenario is on blue/groomed slopes <- more serious injuries than the usual green-on-green violence (tongue.gif).  And where I work the most common place for collisions is at junctions between trails, especially where blues funnel into green slopes but also where people come flying out of the trees onto groomed slopes.  Collisions are rarer on black slopes, but often more serious injuries result.  

 

However, collisions between skiers generally result in less severe injuries than skiers hitting trees or other objects.  These are generalizations and there are exceptions to all of the above.  



Edited to add: And collisions between skiers isn't the most common source of injury.
Edited by Bob Lee - 4/30/13 at 4:50pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Patrol Shack
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Patrol Shack › Severity of accidents at ski areas