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Keeping on your own line

Poll Results: How would you safely organize a wide, steep face to create the safest skiing for 20 people skiing it at once.

 
  • 14% (1)
    The space on the slope which is directly in front of a skier linking turns in the fall line should be respected once he begins skiing it.
  • 85% (6)
    Nobody owns the slope, I'll turn when and where I chose; the uphill skier will just have to watch out for me.
7 Total Votes  
post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

a large, steep face that is being skied by many skiers at the same time has to function somewhat like a 6 lane highway, 6 lanes in the same downhill direction. loosely structured, but many parallel lanes, each lane established roughly when a skier starts to link turns down the fall line.

 

It is dangerous and leads to chaos when a skier, unwilling or unable to keep their own line, zoros the slope or suddenly goes into a traverse across everyone's line.

 

If you miss your turn and gain a lot of speed, it is a better idea to regain control with a sideslip or other speed control maneuver in your own line than to shoot across the slope out of control.

For safety sake, if you have decided to ski a slope crowded with fast skiers skiing in the fall line, try to be conscious of the pattern and the flow and blend in best you can.

 

The point being, when does the space in front of a skier become his, if only for a few seconds?

 

This is beginning to sound condescending, because everyone knows how to ski a big, steep, crowded face already. but are there ideas for other ways to organize it that work as well.

post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

a large, steep face that is being skied by many skiers at the same time has to function somewhat like a 6 lane highway, 6 lanes in the same downhill direction. loosely structured, but many parallel lanes, each lane established roughly when a skier starts to link turns down the fall line.

 

It is dangerous and leads to chaos when a skier, unwilling or unable to keep their own line, zoros the slope or suddenly goes into a traverse across everyone's line.

 

If you miss your turn and gain a lot of speed, it is a better idea to regain control with a sideslip or other speed control maneuver in your own line than to shoot across the slope out of control.

For safety sake, if you have decided to ski a slope crowded with fast skiers skiing in the fall line, try to be conscious of the pattern and the flow and blend in best you can.

 

The point being, when does the space in front of a skier become his, if only for a few seconds?

 

This is beginning to sound condescending, because everyone knows how to ski a big, steep, crowded face already. but are there ideas for other ways to organize it that work as well.



Flawed pole.

 

When skiing like to arc turns and will adjust my arc them to get the best compromize between g-force and speed thrills.

 

If another skier approaches me from above as I am skiing down (happens when I'm following someone who likes to ski slower than I do), I will cease my playing around and begin to ski in a narrow corridor and continue doing so until he has passed.  I will not ski into an area that I anticipate is an overtaking skiers line; I'm not stupid, and generally try to be polite and helpful.

 

If I am overtaking a skier, He has the right of way,  He can ski where ever, how ever, he wants.  I fully expect him to suddenly turn into my line.  I will not overtake him unless I am sure there is no physical possibility that he can intercept me no matter what he does.  If I have to I will shut 'er down and follow him all the way down the run.   That how I have been able to ski at speeds well over 60 mph for decades without hitting anyone, that and being lucky enough to have learned early on not to ski fast on unfamiliar runs or blind rollers.

 

 

post #3 of 15

If you want to ski a wide steep face with 20 people in a safe way you have to start at a 'safe zone' at the top where the group will not be in danger if the slope avalanches. You should then designate another safe zone at the bottom of the slope which will likewise be ok if the slope avalanches. Then your group should ski down one at a time being aware of any terrain traps of exposed areas and re-form at the bottom safe zone. The group should never ski together because it exposes more people to risk if the slope avalanches and it means more potential rescuers if something does happen.

post #4 of 15

At ski resorts however it is just every man for himself! wink.gif

post #5 of 15

And everyone knows at Squaw it's every skier for themselves

 

There's no etiquette at Squaw.
post #6 of 15

Is it better to leave your safety in your own hands or the hands of someone uphill from you who may or may not know, or care, about the skiers code?

 

It also depends on where and when you are skiing.

 

If you are skiing a place like Big Sky, where even at the busiest of times, the skier density is small and 20 skiers will likely be very spread out, you probably can go with option B with relative safety.

 

If you skill smaller resorts or anywhere in the East on a holiday week like this, where every run looks like hundreds of tiny ants running randomly in all directions over piles of spilled sugar, if you go with option B then you will likely be taking a sled ride down to the base.  

post #7 of 15

I voted option B but Mojo is probably right.  I would like to believe that I have the freedom to leave my line and cut over, maybe to explore a terrain feature that looks interesting, maybe to hit a patch of snow or whatever.  A couple of years ago I was skiing a low angle terrain park run at Jay Peak.  Not using the features, just skiing some powder off to the sides.  Only people on the run, I thought, were my son and I.  I cut hard right to hit the edge of a jump and smack some Qebeckois went flying across my tails and wiped out.  I stopped to see if he was OK and got hissed at, "Eet iss your fault."  So sorry but I'm in front you're overtaking.  I reserve the right to make a hard right turn.  Plus the run was practically deserted so why did he feel the need to crawl up my ass?

 

Sorry for the rant but it dows illustrate that you can't rely on other skiers to have any sense at all. That said - if the slope had been crowded I would have kept to my line, of at the least glanced over my shoulder before making the cut.

 

Maybe we should use hand signals so show a change of direction.  I'm going to go that way now, OK.

post #8 of 15

OK Ghost for once I have to agree with you. But don't let your head swell or the beam in your face last too long, i mean its only once!! hehe

If skiing the fall line consists of someone straight lining down a steep hill, lord help us all. I try to ski more like Ghost ( not cause he's my hero ,but cause it makes sense)

OK Ghost im with ya on this one!! ( only this one though remeber don't get carried away )

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanG View Post

And everyone knows at Squaw it's every skier for themselves

 

There's no etiquette at Squaw.


I appreciate your thoughts on this, AND I will respectfully disagree with your observations. It is Squaw's headwall under excellent conditions that inspired my thoughts on this. Not so much  on first lap, where I don't see much yielding happening, but on a midweek day with the usual suspects after first tracks have been got by all.

 

Mojo, I am actually thinking of a way to amend the skiers' code to broaden (and complicate unfortunately) the right of way concepts to be more inclusive of how the real world works on the hill.

 

The idea of lanes, corridors, lines is very, very broadly interpreted (skiers link turns in 20 feet or 60 feet) and if you can glance around while you vary your line, it's all good by me, and most skiers I'd think.

 

Crank, signaling has been talked about the last couple days, see where to stop thread and tragedy in Wyoming thread, with a minority already doing so, and a majority skeptical of usefulness and the adoption of signal forms that would work. I used cycling and rock climbing as analogous sports.

post #10 of 15

Well there are steeps and then there are steep steeps.  The top of The Wall at Kirkwood or some of the areas of the Cornice at Mammoth are much like you are describing.  Advanced skiers looking over the brink in such areas are not going to start going down at the same time unless they are familiar with each other's skiing.  It is easy for any steep terrain skier to occasionally loose it and then Z out a bit to save control. Thus two such skiers are not likely to get too close even when they are familiar with each other.  Additionally even on crowded days there is never so many skiers about to ski such steeps at the same time that such would be an issue.  

 

But if we are talking about a steep winch cat groomed slope, then yes sometimes more than one person will ski down at the same times.   Advanced skiers on such slopes will mostly be making medium to short turns down direct fall lines.  Less skilled skiers that have trouble in such fall lines know that and that they themselves may skid around or Z out through a longer path.  Accordingly those who are not foolish ought to be going down when others might not be in their less controllable path.   However there are a fair number of skiers that have the habit, probably subconscious, of starting to descend at the same time they notice others starting to descend.  I suspect that comes from skiing in groups of friends where everyone tends to ski together.    However those with such a habit ought to wake up out of such a habit when facing challenging steep descents on groomed above their level of comfort. Sometimes for laughs I have faked starting to drop only to see someone else watching me to drop solo...see yah haha. 

 

On The Wall is a ramp down to a platform of variable size from 20 to 30 feet wide that immediately drops at a brink to 70% to 90% grade pitches depending on snowpack etc. To make it worse, the immediate drop tends to get awkward bumps and traverse out tracks left that makes skiing the fall line irregular except at spots. Skiers jam up there like a bunch of penguins about to launch in a churning arctic sea with leopard seals.  At times there are a quite a number of tentative intermediates in the mix, over their head, and only hoping to survive a traverse out left to the easier areas further left at bowl center.  And yeah just like at Mammoth's Cornice a few fall and take the long terrified slide.  Those at the brink are often looking back and forth side to side to see if some other skier is about to drop because one doesn't want to have to cope with both the terrain and some other person next to them maybe out of control.    A trick I usually ply when it is crowded is to announce in a second before dropping something like "I'M GOING!", (small guy...loud authoritive voice) that always makes everyone else look towards me while also stopping anyone else that might have had a notion to drop at the same moment.   

 

David

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

how funny about The Wall. I had the exact same image while skiing there one day: from a distance, a row of penguins stretching across the top of the pitch and onto the traverse.

 

for people that think in degrees of a pitch, you are saying 35 to 45 degrees when you say 70 to 90%. At the point of 45 degrees, the concept of parallel lanes does not generally hold up, nor would it be safe.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

how funny about The Wall. I had the exact same image while skiing there one day: from a distance, a row of penguins stretching across the top of the pitch and onto the traverse.

 

for people that think in degrees of a pitch, you are saying 35 to 45 degrees when you say 70 to 90%. At the point of 45 degrees, the concept of parallel lanes does not generally hold up, nor would it be safe.


He went twice
 

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

I th_dunno-1[1].gifdon't follow^^ ???

post #14 of 15

I would vote BOTH options.

 

Yes, as the skier below, I would confine my path to a regular narrow path, provided I KNOW someone else is above me (not always possible in these days of helmets). I do so to maximize my own safety.

 

But as the skier above, I fully expect the skier below to turn whereever and whenever he wishes. Not doing so is detrimental to my own safety. Granted, if the skier below is doing a regular pattern already and seems to be in total control, I would expect him to continue doing the same. If he changes his mind, well, I would just have to deal with it. After all, even the best can hit an icy patch and end up going somewhere he didn't intend. One must be in a position to react to that.

 

When I see a line of penguins stopping at a rolloff (that I know was no biggie), I just watch as I approach if anyone is starting the 2-3 seconds before I reach the "line". Quite often, no one goes for half a minute! So I just go through the line (slowing but without stopping).

 

post #15 of 15

Dammit! I paid a lot of money for this lift ticket!! I'll damn well zorro whatever I want!!!

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