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When people ski into you and THEY fall... - Page 3

post #61 of 86
If you are not blasting music on the slope, you are most likely to hear the idiots coming.  So, not too difficult to get out of the way.  You can't win arguing with idiots, can you?

Love Bob's post, simple and yet full of wisdom.  Took me a few seasons and off seasons to get it. 

Where is my Encyclopedia IV? 
Edited by whoever - 3/15/10 at 8:41pm
post #62 of 86
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by whoever View Post

If you are not blasting music on the slope, you are most likely to hear the idiots coming.  So, not too difficult to get out of the way.  You can't win arguing with idiots, can you?

"Getting out of the way" involves making unanticipated changes to your trajectory. I could see this kind of sudden movement causing more harm than good. Nevermind that in high traffic ski hills you're bound to constantly hear ice scraping all around you. And I find only a small minority of skiers overtake me--but I still hear the skis turning everywhere. This is the reality of skiing in southwestern Ontario. Judging a missile from someone who's staying several yards behind isn't easy. Your big mountain experience is likely completely different. I find myself surprised at Whistler when I hear someone behind me.
post #63 of 86
 I have been hit twice. Once I was standing on the landing of a jump (everyone stands there, it is the unofficial line up for the jump line at my home hill. There were like 15 kids standing on the table and a guy hit the jump and landed on all of us. The other time I was buckling up my boots at the top of a run and a snowboarder just full on ran into me. He got super pissed at me too when I was totally not in the wrong.

I have hit 3 people but only once was totally my fault. I nose buttered into some tourist, I felt pretty bad but picked her up and towed her across the flats and she was fine. The other times I was skiing moguls and lost control and hit people at the bottom.
post #64 of 86

I spent a few days after The Gathering skiing in Utah.  I went up to Snowbird for the day and managed to get hit.  Nothing serious but pretty aggravating.

I got off the tram and walked clear of crowded spots where everybody usually puts their skis on.  I was behind two 20 something boarders who were seated facing downhill.  When ready I looked (it was clear) and pushed off.  The boarders (6-8' below) stood up and took off without even a glance up or across the hill.  I quickly changed lines and headed down the other side of the trail and got away from them.

So now I'm on the catwalk out to Mineral Basin when I decide to scout some terrain.  I leave the general flow of traffic and move left near the avi control gun (plenty of space and well out of the way for those who don't know the terrain).  Next thing I hear WOAH.  Not right or left mind you but WOAH.  (I believe this to be some acronym for "dude you're in my way") Now I feel someone grab my left arm......mr. boarder again. 

Well believe it or not.....he uses me to push off and gain speed.  Flabbergasted I yell down to him, "Come on dude, this is twice now" (responsibility code violations).  Guess who gets flipped off?  I was about to go have a "discussion" with him when I noticed he was about to pass two patrolmen standing by the edge of the catwalk.  He managed to miss them.

Lesson learned.....you bet.  Next time it's pull along side and slightly ahead and explain the part of the code about the person ahead having the right of way followed by a very quick turn and a look back to make sure the offender went down.  Repeat as needed.

I for one have had enough of this kind of crap.

post #65 of 86
Originally Posted by whoever View Post

If you are not blasting music on the slope, you are most likely to hear the idiots coming.  So, not too difficult to get out of the way.  You can't win arguing with idiots, can you?

Love Bob's post, simple and yet full of wisdom.  Took me a few seasons and off seasons to get it. 

Where is my Encyclopedia IV? 

most likely? That isn't good enough. It is everyone's responsibility to respect others on the slopes. Avoiding someone approaching from behind means a) I hear them approaching, b) I turn my head (not useful to my own safety) to be able to see where they are approaching from, c) they are approaching slowly enought that I will have time to react and d) I have an 'out' that I can use to avoid them.

Any one of those four actions fail and I'm toast. I don't like those odds.
post #66 of 86
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

 And the code doesn't say "downhill" it says "ahead"

imo Skier B is "ahead" of Skier A.  They are coming right at me, putting me ahead of them.  I do not even see them as they are to my side and uphill of me until they cross in front of me.  At that point they are downhill and ahead of me.

I agree with your assesement, but defining 'ahead' is a lot harder than defining 'downhill'. 'Ahead' changes with each turn, 'downhill' is a matter of identifying the fall line.

Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

If skier A is headed pretty much straight down the fall line the only way for someone cutting directly across to get in front of them is likely to be that they were already ahead of them, by a lot. 

There is also the possibility mentioned above that they bomb the trial from behind skier A, then pass/overtake skier A, then cut right back in to skier A's path.  Reckless, careless, inconsiderate, stupid.  But, at the time of the collision it is skier A's responsibility to avoid unless skier B hits A on the back side before overtaking skier A.

I agree that it sucks that people fly across the trails way too fast and not working the fall line and that  really messes up a good run for those skiing/riding "normally".  But I still feel it is my responsibility to watch out for and avoid morons.


Skier 'A' is swooping, making big SG turns, not straight lining. Skier 'B' is doing SL turns down the hill. Skiers 'A' and 'B' can be crossing the same perpendicular line to the fall line at a point in time. Skier 'B' machs across the hill, skier 'A' is skiing much slower, essentially in the fall line. Who is 'ahead' when they are on a collision course?

Both skiers are in each other's 'line'. Neither is 'ahead' of the other in regards to distance down the hill. Skier 'B' could be seen as ahead of skier 'A' as skier 'A' can see skier 'B' at least parially in their frontal vision, whereas skier 'B' can only see skier 'A' in their peripheral vision.

If I were skier 'A', I'd alter course to avoid 'B' because I am going faster but there is nothing defined to break the tie in this scenario.

I realize that I'm picking nits here, but 'ahead' is a not a very clear definition of one's relationship to another.
post #67 of 86
Crgldart and SkiMangoJazz--

I'm glad you're discussing this point of real ambiguity with the current Responsibility Code. Whether it's the "downhill skier" (as in older versions of the Code) or the "skier ahead" (current language) who has the right of way, there are certain situations where neither wording makes the responsibility clear--and may well suggest that the fault lies on the skier who common sense says clearly is not in the wrong.

Imagine the scenario of a novice skier snowplowing slowly and in control down a wide groomed green run, when some idiot in a railed out carve swoops wide and carves a turn back uphill, clobbering the novice "from below" at high speed. Clearly, the reckless idiot was "the downhill skier" (at least at the moment of collision), showing the biggest problem with the old Code wording. And both skiers were "ahead of" each other, showing that the new wording is, at best, ambiguous. Common sense easily convicts the reckless skier, but "Your Responsibility Code" does not.

Another situation the Code fails to address suitably is much more common, but equally dangerous. Two strong skiers, carving well-controlled turns on a wide run, collide when both turn toward each other. Neither is "downhill." Both are "ahead of" each other. Both may be 100% in control, and skiing responsibly, aware of their surroundings and each other. Both may even have earnestly tried to avoid the collision, but since the law fails to define which one has the right of way, it provides no guideline to help make the right decision. You might suggest that skiing side-by-side like that is not being responsible in the first place, and that the "no-passing rule" (of common sense, not law) would have prevented the collision--and you might be right. But even there, both skiers might be trying to move "behind" the other at the same time, colliding even when doing their earnest best to avoid the collision. No help from The Code.

And that, in my opinion, is a real problem. There are situations where The Code, as it is written, is ambiguous. Nautical navigation rules clearly designate the "burdened vessel" in virtually all conceivable cases, giving boaters the information they need to make the necessary decisions to avoid collisions. In skiing, it might be as simple as designating the skier on the left as the "burdened vessel," all else being equal--which would tell the skier on the left side of the run in my scenario above that he is the one who should slow down and move behind, while the skier on the right should continue at current speed. Hard to say--many questions would still remain, largely because, unlike boating, skiers cannot easily (or safely) just stop turning and "maintain course and speed." But I do think that a good rewrite of The Code could help.

It's almost as if The Code was written to intentionally contradict itself. When the skier who fails to look uphill and yield gets hit (as the "skier ahead") by someone coming from uphill, the Code puts both at fault.

What does it mean to be "in control"? As I've long described, there are two things we can control with our skis: direction, and speed--but they are in real ways, mutually exclusive. The more you use skis to brake (skid), the less precisely they can control, or change, direction. The more your skis hold their line and carve (control direction), the faster they go on any given line. The more you try to control both direction and speed (with technique), the more you compromise both. (Sidenote: as I described in an earlier post, excellent skiers control direction with technique, and speed with tactics, as a habit, reserving "braking" for those situations where it is safe, or in an emergency.)

How many skiers, clearly responsible for a collision, insist that they were "completely in control"? I usually remind them that they'd better not have been in control, because that would make the collision intentional! But really, many of them really were 100% in control of everything they've ever thought of as control--and indeed, everything the Ski Patrol and resort signs tell them to be in control of. They are in control of their speed--perhaps skiing fast, but rarely skiing faster than they intended to ski. It is, ironically, often BECAUSE they were in control (of speed--and therefore not direction) that they caused the collision. Two separate times last season, I witnessed collisions that were directly caused by skiers obeying a Patroller's barked orders to "SLOW DOWN!"--hitting their brakes and skidding off their line into another skier. Two times!

This paradox--or "polarity" (to borrow Weems's term)--of speed control vs. direction control remains one of the least understood and biggest contributors to collisions on the slopes today. You really cannot fault skiers for it, since the "conventional wisdom" of skiing remains that turns are for controlling speed, and since the Responsibility Code, trail signs, Ski Patrol orders, ski school teaching, and virtually every other convention in the industry appear to recognize only speed as the culprit in collisions, and controlling speed as the only solution. This is incredibly unfortunate, because braking is really a dangerously bad habit, because braking is largely incompatible with precise direction control, and ultimately, because with good direction control (and common sense), collisions can be completely avoided. You'll never have a collision, no matter how fast you go, if you never go where another skier is (or will be). But "slowing down" often, at best, simply reduces the speed of the impact--and sometimes actually causes the collision! It disheartens me to see that many patrollers and speed-control employees (the very name is a problem) would rather see a skier making poor skidded turns through a crowd than carving clean turns that--even at low speed--"look" fast because of the degree of inclination and edge angle involved. I can be the slowest skier in a crowd, carving clean turns on a very slow line ("slow line fast"), yet still be the one who draws the attention and order to SLOW DOWN! from a speed controller. All it takes to avoid the issue is to degrade the turn (and thus the control) and let my skis skid on a straighter, faster line. But really, I'd much rather see skiers go where others aren't--at any speed--than collide, even at low speed!

In short, ironically, one of the biggest culprits in collisions is our industry's very obsession with "safety"--based on a misunderstanding that "control" means only "speed control." (This is not to suggest, by the way, that designated "slow skiing areas" are inappropriate. I am completely in favor of designating slow skiing runs where novices can feel safe, without being buzzed by high-speed skiers, even if they are in control. "School Zones" are a good thing. But even there, it's important for everyone to recognize that there are two ways to ski slowly: the "fast line slow"--braking--and the "slow line fast"--turning.)

It's worth noting that there is another Code that is used in many countries: the universal FIS (International Ski Federation) International Rules of Conduct. Although it covers many of the same points as "Your Responsibility Code," and still is not perfect, it is less ambiguous on some points than our Code and, most importantly, it addresses the reality that control involves both direction ("route") AND speed. Here, complete with cartoons, is one version of it (from the Slovenian Ski Federation):


I particularly like the wording of #3 ("skier coming from behind must choose his route in such a way...") and #4 ("A skier may overtake another skier above or below and to the right or to the left provided that he leaves enough space for the overtaken skier to make any voluntary or involuntary movement."). Understanding and heeding these two points would eliminate a great many collisions on our slopes. And understanding #4 would obliterate the insane "she turned in front of me" excuse. 

Best regards,
post #68 of 86
^^^^LOL, it's been at least 6 months since I've seen that version.  I guess in the end that I feel that since I am usually the more experienced and "talented" individual compared to the goons and geeks around me that talent comes with more responsibility to avoid catastrophe involving others.  It is usually far easier for me to make a minor tweek to my line selection than it is to be bothered with forcing my perceived "right of way".

In other words, when we include the last possible avoidance ability concept like car insurance, the fault in most collisions ultimately falls on the more experienced of the two.
post #69 of 86
+1  I do the same. I basically assume all responsibility of avoidance.

We are the minority, though. And it doesn't protect us from a blind side attack.

BB, thanks for the 'out' on 'ahead' vs. 'downhill'. Its been a while since I actually read the code.
post #70 of 86
In other words, when we include the last possible avoidance ability concept like car insurance, the fault in most collisions ultimately falls on the more experienced of the two. 

Excellent point, Crgildart.

Ultimately, common sense should rule, and any laws should simply reflect and underline common sense, as an aid to those who lack it, or temporarily suspend it.

All experienced and skilled skiers should do what they can to avoid collisions, even where not at fault. Where minor collisions or near misses that are truly innocent accidents result in no harm, and no more than a good scare and perhaps a lesson learned, I'm inclined to just say "no harm, no foul" and let it slide. But if the incident showed a flagrant lack of common sense, awareness of responsibility, and defiant lack of remorse, where I do not believe that any lesson was learned and that the guilty party has no intention of altering his behavior, that's where I'll have an issue. It takes neither skill nor experience to go fast and straight, with or without brakes. When inexperience combines with cluelessness and irresponsibility, I'll still do my best to get out of the way, but I'll probably show little tolerance!

Best regards,
post #71 of 86
 +2  I also do the same.  I'm in no hurry and if I see a slow and/or struggling skier ahead of me I often pull over and just stop and wait.  People think I'm nuts, but hey - why not?

Bob, you always amaze with your posts.  They look so long, but I usually enjoy reading them.  Some long posts I just ignore honestly - but not yours.
post #72 of 86
 This thread reminds me of advice my dad gave me when I got my license to drive:
Obey the traffic laws, but drive without making an assumption that everyone else is obeying them.

This advice has served me well in many areas of my life.
post #73 of 86
 Also reminds me of a great quote about fighting with your significant other.

"Would you rather be right, or happy?"
post #74 of 86
 Or... would you like to be right or dead right?
post #75 of 86
TREKCHICK.   Well at least that runaway idiot hit the trees and not you.  OUCH !!!!!!!!"Ski Hard Ski Fast - But never Hit a pretty girl" (Quote from a very infamous skier).
post #76 of 86
I got hit for the very first time a few weeks back ... the whole thing was so sudden and such a blur that I've spent some time trying to recreate what happened, mainly wondering what fault I might have played. Okay, not exactly fault -- I was definitely not in the wrong, I was cruising on a road and a boarder got too close while passing me and took my skis out from under me -- but how to make that NOT happen again.

There is no way I could have heard him coming, whoever said that. But on the other hand, I was sort of zoned out, looking at something ahead of me and thinking about something else when suddenly there was a beard in my face and a snowboard on my skis. He did not fall, nor did he stop. Oh well. Hope it doesn't happen again. I don't normally get overtaken, he must have been going pretty fast.
post #77 of 86

Hey Bob, I think they caught this guy on video!!


Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

I've been hit a few times over the years by people who definitely fared a lot worse than I did. While I'm always glad if they didn't get hurt, I still have zero sympathy for them, either way.

Two things amaze me these days. One is how few people actually know how to make a real turn--that is, a definite, precise, and controlled direction change, at will. The other, which seems to go hand in hand with the first (since few people realize that they don't know how to make a real turn), is how many people think that it's everyone else's responsibility to get out of their way. (It isn't--not legally, not ethically, and not by any rule of common courtesy or sense.)

"He turned in front of me" has to be the among the lamest excuses for a collision ever invented (other than the guy who once told me "you were in my carve"). It demonstrates a complete lack of awareness of the responsibility we all have to be able--constantly--to prevent collisions with anyone on the hill below--when overtaking, to "leave enough space for the overtaken skier to make any voluntary or involuntary movement" (from the FIS "International Rules for Conduct"--as good an expression of common sense as I've seen). "I was in front of you (you idiot)--where else could I have turned?"

Unfortunately, turning is becoming a lost art, at least in the United States. The overwhelming majority of skiers at most major resorts I've seen fall into two categories: those who think of their "turns" purely as techniques to control speed (which means that what they call turning is actually braking--gross skidding, with consequently minuscule control of direction), and those who have learned to do nothing but lock up their edges and ride around on their sidecut, with little control of either direction or speed. The "flat ski world" of freestyle terrain parks, and the onslaught of rockered, reverse sidecut, fat specialized powder skis, used out of their element on the "front side," have not helped the situation either.

And that is the problem--many skiers simply cannot turn! They don't realize that all they're doing is defensive braking, or edge-locked carves. They don't realize that braking is the antithesis of "going where you want to go"--that braking skids actually sacrifice directional control. I've long said that great skiing, as a habit, involves "skiing a slow line fast" (skiing a slow enough line as fast as you can, when you can--and braking when you have to). That means using technique to control line, and line (tactics) to control speed. Skillful skiers can thread a line safely through a crowd of people as easily as through a gladed tree run. "Ski the spaces between the trees" (and people), they say. It doesn't matter how fast you go--if you go where other people aren't! But the majority of skiers, at best, try to avoid obstacles and other people--which is very different from going where they aren't! It's like a driver looking for light poles, trees, mailboxes, and pedestrians and trying to miss them, rather than looking to keep it on the road.

I have often said that great skiers do not turn to control speed--they turn so they don't have to control speed! Skiers who ski well, using tactics (line) to control speed, obviously make direction changes. They complete turns of any chosen size as much as needed, carrying speed across, and sometimes even back up, the hill (if they're good enough, and need to reduce speed). Needless to say, that puts the most skilled skiers the most at risk of collisions with the out-of-control (of direction) skiers skidding and hacking their way down the hill at sometimes great speed. "You turned in front of me...." Well, duh!

It is ironic that the very efforts to control speed (brake) can cost us control of direction--and also that the faster you go, the more dangerous it becomes to hit the brakes. For these reasons, skiers who think turns are for controlling speed, and who develop the habit (and skills) of using their skis or boards primarily as brakes, inevitably become increasingly dangerous the "better" they get.

Eventually, they become the idiot who nearly killed one of our fellow EpicSki Bears the other day at Keystone. That Bear--a very strong skier--was linking high-speed, highly carved, consistent medium-short radius turns down a steeper blue pitch. Because he's also alert and experienced, he saw the idiot bearing down in a straight line--tails swishing uselessly left and right--just in time to abort a turn, leap out of the way, and possibly save both of their lives. The idiot skied over the Bear's skis, and continued on down the mountain, oblivious. Witnessing this egregious incident, I skied down and confronted the idiot. "Are you aware that you just skied over someone's skis and barely avoided a serious collision up there?" I asked. "He turned in front of me," the idiot replied. When I reminded him that the other skier was in front of him, and that turning is what good skiers do, and that it was his responsibility and legal obligation not to endanger skiers ahead of him no matter what they do, his reply become a slew of profanity that I won't attempt to repeat here. No recognition of his irresponsible behavior, of the risk he was exposing himself and others to, of how close he had just come to causing a serious incident for which he would have been 100% at fault, and for which it is very unlikely that he carried liability insurance to protect him (as in a car). And no apologies--just a string of profanity, and several repetitions of "he turned in front of me."

Would I have felt sympathy for this guy, had he hurt himself? No. I'd have been relieved to see him carried off the hill, off skis, where he couldn't endanger anyone else for a while!

Best regards,
post #78 of 86

Take responsibility for your actions. I lost a load of 48", 80 foot pipe on a side road last week. A Shackle pin broke which was equipment failure. After inspecting the broken pin I determined it was not seated properly which I did not observer in my pre-trip inspection. I could of lied and kept working. Driver error. They let me go.

post #79 of 86

Wow, sorry slider, you got fired for being honest?  That sucks.

post #80 of 86

Slider I'm extremely familiar with your type of job, just can't imagine letting a good person go over one mistake.


post #81 of 86

Bad economy and my guess is that many will be looking for excuses to let people go.  In NJ, it has a lot to do with paying unemployment.  There used to be a thing that if they lay off .. no penalty and you collect right away.  If you are fired for cause there was a six week penalty (you could not collect), and it did not come out of the employers account.

post #82 of 86

Sorry about the hijack and thanks for the replies. The upside is no one got hurt. It is a little hard to swallow since this is the first time I've been fired in 29 years of  CDL driving. There's a reason for this I just can't see it yet.

post #83 of 86

Many company's around me are letting long time people go, so they can be replaced with Temporary Empolyees - with No benefits. The smallest legal excuse for the company and your history, it's about money, not your loyality or ability. There hasn't be a week go by in a long time, that someone I know has be let go. It seems to be all company's.

Wish you luck in a job search -

post #84 of 86

I think somewhere in this thread or a similar one UL said to if there is a yard sale when someone hits you.... grab one of their skis and take off with it then leave it at the patrol shack

post #85 of 86

It's all the snowboarders fault!  Ban them!

post #86 of 86

Damn slider! That sucks! 


I've had some close calls and some very good luck. I remember glancing back at my load once. Engraved Tiffany glass bowls, bungee cord nowhere to be seen, the glass in the famous turquoise boxes stacked and bouncing on my flat bed on a downhill pitch absolutely nothing keeping it there but inertia. 


You play a higher stakes game that I do. Thankfully no one was hurt, but those stinking pipes weren't made of cut crystal for god's sake! WTF? Hope you find another, better gig soon! 

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