Why don't we say it all, not only how many times we've been hit, but also how many times we have hit someone?
What lessons have we learned from the occurencies?
I've hit two persons in my skiing life and been hit, let's see, three times, two of which in one same night in the 2007-2008 season.
It means 5 accidents in nearly four decades of skiing.
For both my "hits" I am deeply ashamed because I should/could have done much better than only learn, after alI, I already "knew better". My two hits happened when I was in the "know it all, do it all" age range (early 20's) but both times, I profusely apologised.
To my defense, one of my hits was due to the fact that I was trying to keep an eye on everything around,behind and in front of me.
Too many people were starting to crowd the runs (it was during the "Tomba days" which filled the runs here in Italy of emulators)
Since one can't have everything under control...I ended up hitting a guy who was entering back the run from the side of the piste after having taken a "rest"...To my luck I was not skiing fast since I was in a slow down phase before stopping and waiting for all my group to arrive.
Lesson learned : never try to keep everything under visual control, keep under visual control whatever lies in front and on the sides, and let trust your ears to check what's behind
Second time it was a bit scarier...Entering the traversing trait of a blind "S" in a black run (used for the downhill race of military interforce national championship in Selva di Valgardena, and thus often closed to preserve it, and thus almost unknown to many, and thus 97% empty even when open) I found on one side of it a father and a daughter (of apparently less than 10 years) and on the other an instructor and an advanced beginner (obviously bpoth the daughter and the students were frozen in place by fear because of the steepness and icyness of that part of the run) Stupidly I decide to ski in the middle of the two groups...And hit a snow snake (a rock) right there...then rolled into the father, but I still have chills when I think what could have happened had I hit the girl instead.
A little altercation with the father followed by a stern lecture by the instructor's.
The fact that both the girl and the student had no place there, given the difficulty of the terrain, and the decision to take both down that difficult, iced and gnarly run was poor judgment from the father and from the instructor, does not lessen the fact that I should/could have known better, it's a generic, how do you say, "attenuative condition"?.
This is a paradox, isn't it? Not to make mistakes, one should have made some.
Lesson learned : expect the unexpected, plan ahead and if apporaching blind spots, always assume that someone is exactly there where you can't see them. But also, don't make your sons/friends ski down a run which is clearly too much for them.
The three times I was hit, all in recent years :
Glacier skiing, I start at the top of the run, other guys starts exactly at the same time (maybe a fraction after me). I traverse left, he traverses right. I don't see him he doesn't see me, don't know why, I decide to turn right, he decides to turn left, we both choose the exact same spot where to turn.
I am "there" a fraction of second before him, he is marginally faster, so he ends up colliding into me...results : Thank you so much, oh my hard backpack. We roll a couple of times, entangled, down the run, stop, check out for damages, I get an "excuse me, are you ok?" and restart.
Have I learned a lesson here? Yes, I try to learn from everything I do or happens to me, and here is, again, carefully check where is going/what is doing who is starting to ski down a slope at the same time as you...
The two times at night skiing, same run, same night, two different istances :
-Skiing arc to arc, while turning left, I feel soemone hooking me from behind, with my right eye I see a ski which is not mine right on back portion of my right one. Again, a skier had decided to turn, right, where I was turning left, but this time he was clearly faster and coming from behind. We both managed not to fall, after all I had already passed the turn mid point. And we were on a flattish part of the run, again in a slowing phase. He apologised (in English, don't know why but I decided that he must have been Swiss or anything else but not Italian, after all we were skiing at Corvatsch), I said no problem, then we parted (we continued our turns). All happened in seconds, we never stopped skiing, but again, my backpack was of help, absorbing the impact from behind...
-Next run, approaching almost the same area...I am hit again from behind, this time full force, by a guy coming donw from a portion of the run which is not alight, and thrown down. It's now the third time that my hard backpack absorbs the impact and "saves" me. Thank you mr hardpack. Guy stares at me, says nothing not even "esxcuse me" or "are you okay", then leaves. He is clearly Italian, by the clothes and by the equipment... I am a bit too dazed to react (at least verbally, as violently as I should/could/was entitled to), so collect my ski, take a couple of deep breaths, check if I can see the other guy but he's disappeared in the crowd, take another deep breath and restart skiing.
Lesson learned? Use a flashing redlight strapped to the back of my helmet (those that can be applied to bycicles or strapped to the waist by runners) to increase the chances to be seen.
Oh, another one, don't go night skiing when there are other Italians around (as if it were possible, we're everywhere! Ahr Ahr ahr)
A near collission which could have had bad consequences for either me or one of my sons, had we been hit, happened a couple of years before that.
But since it is not a hit, I won't recount it. What is worth recounting is that the altercation with the guy was so (verbally) strong that I ended up going to the ski patrol (which in Italy is either State Police or Carabinieri-Military Police) and describe the guy as potentially dangerous to other skiers. Because if there is a category of dangerous ppl, is those who are clearly wrong, won't admit it, and think to be right. That kind of people will learn nothing from their mistakes, and will cause, sooner or later, harm to someone.