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Skier dies in La Plagne

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@dp, hear, hear
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@maggi, I have been boarding for 20 years and every time I have been wiped out by another slope user it has been a skier or group of skiers (usually in stupidly large groups). But I am just sayin.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Let's stop this stupid straw poll. It's useless and not correct or backed up by stats.
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Mjit wrote:
Levi215 wrote:
@SnoodyMcFlude, @t44tomo, @compostcorner, i 'heard' the other week that Schumacher had a modified go-pro mount with a bolt through the helmet... could be a load of bs but also could be true. The mounts with the 3M Gel i'm sure would come off under the level of force rather than go through and destroy the helmet... (anyway different discussion)


There's a lot of 'hearing' going on but the last report on the investigation in to his accident that I read stated he was travelling at a sensible speed and that the GoPro mount had no significant effect on either the accident of the outcome. Quite simply he was skiing normally, had an accident and just 'landed badly'.

I'm not sure where it got to in the end but GoPro were considering legal action against Formula 1 commentator and journalist Jean-Louis Moncet who was found to the source of the "the GoPro mount did it" rumor.


Thanks for that, hadn't seen / heard anything along those lines, i know GoPro went after people for it though, think they had significant impact to their sales. On the quotation of "hearing" i think it's because there is a lot of interest and no information. Without clarity people speculate, and no info allows for easy speculation. That said i fully respect the right for people's privacy, with that though comes an acceptance of the public eye on things and they will speculate. Happens in work / business all the time!
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mk28 wrote:
In Val D'isere last year I was coming down Piste M that goes down in to Val from the top of the Solaise. It was fairly busy. I watched a skier (young 20s french) take someone out. Him and his friend were then straightlining it until they fell over. They fell over maybe 4 times each in the space of 400 metres. Neither of them could ski. Both were completely out of control but they were laughing their heads off trying to go as fast as possible. These people should have their ski passes taken off them. Im a confident good skier. Other skiers dont bother me as if its busy i know i can just stick near the side and keep out of the way. My wife however is probably a weak intermediate so needs to use most of the piste to turn and get down. She also doesn't like going especially fast. We did 5 weeks in Val in 2014 and I would say she was taken off her feet at least 2/3 times per week by people trying to overtake on crowded runs that didnt have the necessary skill set to do so. In 90% of cases they have a quick glance back and then just ski off. Most cases it was a skier as well.

Snowboarders often seem like theyre out of control to skiers when in fact they arent. The sound the board makes also worries people. The fools that can do the real damage are the inexperienced skiers that are all going straight down everything with no means of stopping.


Same two years ago, 1 in Val end of a piste guy came through to try to get up to the lift at the top end of the Val valley (forget the name). Smacked into my poles / skis' in hand (i'd stopped short due to others stopping short). Had a go at him in his group of mates, obviously embarrassed, parents of one or responsible adults watched on asked son (mate) what had gone on.

Second in Tignes on Decente, same trip, off the lift powedery moguls, pottering down. Young chap (teens - 20's) comes down on fat ski's leaning back (deliberately) straight lining it. Personally worried for my Fiance at the time, down the piste. Passed her ok, stopped thinking about him. Then skied past someone in a pile with some people around them, thought (can't decide if i'm ashamed or not), hope that he's broken his legs, maybe he'll learn...
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In my experience, teenage/early 20s intermediates are the worst offenders on pistes and it doesn't matter whether they are on boards or skis. 10 years ago they were generally on boards - one of the reasons the anti-boarder prejudice arose I think - now they are generally on skis. Boarders do have distinct challenges (the blindside, the god awful scraping noise on icy pistes) but the former is can be handled with a little care and the latter is largely a psychological rather than practical issue.

One thing I do notice is that when the pistes are hard and fast even quite a lot of fairly experienced and competent skiers give in to the temptation of letting the skis run rather than take on the challenge of holding a proper edge. Essentially this means that they are not skiing in full control and doing so rather quickly - they are reducing the risk of falling (edge slips away when they try to load it) but increasing the potential consequences if something does go wrong (bang!). I think this is one of the errors that most people make at a point in their skiing ability and don't really recognise as such until they get better (and a lot never get to that level).
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Wise observations.

I plead guilty to paragraph 2.

snowHead
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Bennyboy1 wrote:
Let's stop this stupid straw poll. It's useless and not correct or backed up by stats.

Welcome to the Internet. I think the anecdotal evidence is mounting up though. Young men, mainly in France, on boards or 'park rat stylee' gear, possibly Dutch (don't know why but my chasing down of hit and runs has found a Dutch guy at the end of it twice) and ALWAYS convinced the person they just hit is at fault.
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Bennyboy1 wrote:
Let's stop this stupid straw poll. It's useless and not correct or backed up by stats.
Actually, I know someone in Winter Sports insurance whose business it is to have exactly those stats and all I can say is: his opinion of snowBoarders would not be out of place on this thread.
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jedster wrote:
One thing I do notice is that when the pistes are hard and fast even quite a lot of fairly experienced and competent skiers give in to the temptation of letting the skis run rather than take on the challenge of holding a proper edge. Essentially this means that they are not skiing in full control and doing so rather quickly - they are reducing the risk of falling (edge slips away when they try to load it) but increasing the potential consequences if something does go wrong (bang!). I think this is one of the errors that most people make at a point in their skiing ability and don't really recognise as such until they get better (and a lot never get to that level).
This, exactly.

I was hit by an out of control middle-aged skier last month. I don't have much recollection of the actual accident itself, but I'm pretty sure it was the result of the person concerned letting his skis run (or being unable to do anything other than let his skis run) on an icy red piste which had a long flat section at the bottom allowing plenty of of space to regain control. Unless you collide with someone else on the piste at high speed before you reach the sanctuary of the flat section, of course. There was enough grip available on that piste, but you had to ski well and with precision to find it, which for the vast majority of skiers means skiing a bit more slowly than you would normally do in good conditions. Too few skiers (there were hardly any boarders there) seemed to care about slowing down sufficiently to find the grip, so when added to the increased numbers on the slopes as a result of an Austrian Bank Holiday at the start of the season it was a recipe for accidents and collisions. It seems to me that when collisions happen in those conditions it is mainly as a result of a lack of respect for your fellow slope users, with not enough thought given to skiing in a manner which is safe for yourself and the other people around you. I don't think that lack of respect is determined by what you strap to your feet, nor your age or gender. It's more of a personality trait than anything else.
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dp wrote:
bar shaker wrote:
rungsp wrote:

It was snowboarder...just sayin!

Snowboarders..... Evil or Very Mad


For every skier who is hit by a boarder, there are just as many boarders who are hit by skiers.

There are plenty of us on here who ski and board.

Your out of date prejudices really make you look ignorant.


I think your "I'm a snowboarder , everyone hates me" complex is getting the better of you... Light hearted but I notice that snowboarders, even the careful ones, aren't able to take a joke at all

Everybody chill


If the powder is good, I prefer to snowboard, if the pistes are hard and/or icy, I prefer to ski. Are you saying that means I have a complex? Hate me for my preferences if you must, but I don't think rungsp was joking at all. Perhaps you should read your signature line.



We have no knowledge of the circumstances in this tragic case, all we know is that it ended tragically. That someone, who was enjoying doing what we all enjoy doing, lost their life makes me sad.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Fri 6-01-17 11:21; edited 1 time in total
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@jedster,
Quote:

One thing I do notice is that when the pistes are hard and fast even quite a lot of fairly experienced and competent skiers give in to the temptation of letting the skis run rather than take on the challenge of holding a proper edge. Essentially this means that they are not skiing in full control and doing so rather quickly - they are reducing the risk of falling (edge slips away when they try to load it) but increasing the potential consequences if something does go wrong (bang!). I think this is one of the errors that most people make at a point in their skiing ability and don't really recognise as such until they get better (and a lot never get to that level).


Skiing La Plagne / Les Arcs since opening day this is what has scared me most. I have witnessed three or four collisions, and numerous very near misses, some at high speed. Just before New Year we even decided not to go out for a few days as it was not much fun, and getting quite dangerous.
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@admin, is it because of the amount they pay out to snowboarders for their own injuries or the amount they pay out to skiers for injuries caused by snowboarders?
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You know it makes sense.
I don't know exactly - it's his game not mine but his opinion was that insuring boarders was far more costly than skiers: claims were both more likely to happen and more likely to be 'inflated'.

Although not proving anything in itself, it may be worth noting, as it fits this picture, that SCUK used to be quite proud of offering their dedicated boarders' insurance. I understand they lost their underwriter because the costs didn't stack up and couldn't find anyone to step in, hence 'tis no more. Of course there may have been other factors helping skew the calculations.

Clearly not all snowBoarders are irresponsible just as not all skiers are responsible (I know a few snowBoarders that are almost housebroken) but I think there are some quite clear reasons that skew the accident/collision likelihood towards boarders.
- The demographic it attracts is, on balance, younger and more risk taking.
- The well established tradition is to learn skiing by going to ski school. As skiers acquire the technical skills, instructors have the opportunity to impart the rules of behaviour/etiquette
I remember very clearly when my ski instructor pointed out that skiers are travelling as fast as cars and observed that we wouldn't stop for a rest in the middle of the road, would we? Of course, it immediately seems obvious but how many have never had that pointed out to them and so never considered the danger they put themselves in?
and convey a culture of appropriate respect for the mountain environment and its users (and most do). Boarding, being more 'tribal' in style, boarders are more likely to learn via 'a mate who's like proper really good' that can give them a few tips. These 'tips' may include the FIS rules of the piste or a healthy warning about off-piste risks, but let's face it, probably not - especially given the leaning toward 'cool'.
- The technicality of having to keep 2 skis working together means that a novice skier is very likely to wipe out quickly after exceeding their level of control. It is far easier on a board, after exceeding your limit, to 'hang on for dear life' and potentially covering far more ground and gaining higher speeds before wiping out.

I know many will have examples of skiers and boarders that exhibit opposite behaviours or have opposite experience to these cases but I suggest it is axiomatic that these tendencies exist and hence might form a basis for any attempts at making positive change somehow.
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admin wrote:

Although not proving anything in itself, it may be worth noting, as it fits this picture, that SCUK used to be quite proud of offering their dedicated boarders' insurance. I understand they lost their underwriter because the costs didn't stack up and couldn't find anyone to step in, hence 'tis no more. Of course there may have been other factors helping skew the calculations.


As I understand it, the demise of the SCUK insurance scheme was due largely to the costs relating to a serious injury sustained by a rider in competition. As you say: 'other factors'.

admin wrote:
- The technicality of having to keep 2 skis working together means that a novice skier is very likely to wipe out quickly after exceeding their level of control. It is far easier on a board, after exceeding your limit, to 'hang on for dear life' and potentially covering far more ground and gaining higher speeds before wiping out.


I'd suggest the opposite to be true. Plenty of "PIZZA!" videos on YouTube as evidence that kids don't struggle to go straight on skis.
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I think they are valid points. Injuries are more common for snowboarding versus skiing for various reasons and they tend to be upper body injuries which may be more costly to fix. The activity of the boarder may also be more park/trick orientated (although this has changed with twin tip skis). I would just like to see stats on injuries caused by collisions between the two types of slope user. I suspect the stats are not available but I wouldn't expect to see most collisions being caused or involving snowboarders due to the numbers of snowboarders versus skiers being so different.
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For example: https://mpora.com/snowboarding/which-is-more-dangerous-skiing-or-snowboarding

Further just because the snowboarder is involved doesn't mean it's their fault. But the injury may be worse as result of a board not coming off whereas skis will come off with the safety mechanism.
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@rob@rar,

I agree with your point about lack of respect. It does annoy me when I see it. That said I do think that quite a lot of people don't even realise they are doing something wrong.
The other thing that happens is that you can build up a lot of speed and then have three basic options:
1. Commit to setting edges and carving it out - requires some skill and the risk of the skis skidding away from you if you get it wrong
2. Bleeding off speed through a controlled skid/soft edge check - requires less skill but feels and sounds horrible and you still might end up on the hard snow
3. Just ride it out til you get to a flat spot - just as you say, easy to do but risks a collision
It is your responsibility to do 2 if you can't do 1 but not enough people accept that
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@admin, Whilst I think your points were 100% valid 5 years ago, since then our weed smoking 16yr old toe rag is far more likely debut on a pair of twin tips. He will also have learnt to ride them, with a bit of help from his super cool mates.

I can't remember when I last saw 6 beginner snowboarders in an ESF class. Snowboarding is, I think, in serious decline. It's no surprise, snowboard tech has given us skis that we could have only dreamed of 15 years ago.

The SCUK policy (wasn't it Dogtag?) was a financial disaster waiting to happen. Cheap as chips but covered park, competitions and off piste without a guide. It was a fraction of the cost of a similar policy outside of SCUK.
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i fell on the blue santons run in val d"isere fracturing my arm, i managed the fast downhill bit leading on to the flat bit and crashed on the flat bit, it was just a lack of concentration, i learned a lesson from that
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bar shaker wrote:
@admin, Whilst I think your points were 100% valid 5 years ago, since then our weed smoking 16yr old toe rag is far more likely debut on a pair of twin tips. He will also have learnt to ride them, with a bit of help from his super cool mates.
That is a fair point. I'd agree that there's been some of that, nu-sKool skis being somewhat less technical than olde schoole carvers.
Quote:


I can't remember when I last saw 6 beginner snowboarders in an ESF class. Snowboarding is, I think, in serious decline. It's no surprise, snowboard tech has given us skis that we could have only dreamed of 15 years ago.
I'd agree there too. Also, I believe that skiers, having put more into learning and striving than the typical boarder, are simply more invested in their sport and less likely to drop it without really good cause.
Quote:


The SCUK policy (wasn't it Dogtag?)
No it wan't - I know that much.
Quote:
was a financial disaster waiting to happen. Cheap as chips but covered park, competitions and off piste without a guide. It was a fraction of the cost of a similar policy outside of SCUK.
Indeed.
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Its a shame that snowHeads insurance never happened. Confused
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I'm not sure it is a shame @boredsurfin. Maybe it was a bullet dodged? Wink

Although it's a shame we never got to use the logo snowHead
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@admin, With all the experts on here I'm sure it would have been a great success - although there does seem to be a lot injured by other skiers Cool
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Old Fartbag wrote:
I stopped going to La Plagne over 20 years ago, because of the number of collisions....and regularly being knocked out of my skis, while waiting at the edge of the piste for members of the group


regularly? Shocked
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If snowboarders are more expensive to insure (and I'm not disputing or agreeing with that, I have no idea), why is 'standard' (i.e. en-piste, off the shelf) winter sports insurance non-discriminatory between skiiers and snowboarders?

I presume that for park activities and/or off-piste its extra anyway, but do you have to specify up front what you intend to ride?
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Thanks a lot @bar shaker for calling me "really ignorant"....nice!

Perhaps I am not exactly a fan of snowboarders as a species, perhaps my out of date (?) opinions are based on the facts as I have experienced them?

I already wrote of my own encounter earlier in this thread.

Yesterday my wife was standing still, right at the edge, of a piste just before it steepened a lot.
She was knocked off he feet by one of two out of control snowboarders, the other took out another lady.
My wife was tangled up on the ground with the snowboarder who was laughing and laughing.
My wife smelt alcohol...a lot of alcohol. She remonstrated with him (a lot!) and he just laughed more and the two boarders told their two victims that they were just Touriste and could Fek-You-Touristes!!

The went off....

Now I admit that two collisions in two days does not make an Alps wide survey....but for my family 100% of accidents have been caused by out of control, bad attitude, snowboarders. I would estimate that less than 5% of snow-sliders in Verbier are snowboarders.

Just sayin! Evil or Very Mad
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On my annual Skiing holiday last year I had four or five near misses each day from snowboarders coming past me very fast and close. Fortunately either by luck or judgment no actual collisions. I had no close encounters with other skiers. The slopes were relatively uncrowded and there were a lot more skiers than boarders. I am aware this is not a scientific sample and that a large majority of boarders were sliding in a sensible way but there do seem to be a few that are setting a bad example. Human nature being what it is we tend to remember the unusual.
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@rungsp, you couldn't make it up, could you?
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It's partly the laws of physics innit? In these two cases a skier would have easily avoided the collisions;


http://youtube.com/v/-CsPmWz7JSQ


http://youtube.com/v/PDwuHhaGemE
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@rungsp, you couldn't make it up, could you?
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I'm a skier, and have been injured twice by out of control snowboarders, but also I see considerably more out of control skiers, and got took out by one yesteday, my son can ski and board, and always considers others.

I think it's very sad that a thread about a fatality, ends up as a blame game based on limited knowledge.
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I've been wiped out by idiots on skis and on snowboards. The common factor is usually not what they have strapped to their feet, but that they are idiots.

Slightly unrelated, but still on a 'ski vs snowboard' safety theme - a dropped snowboard is a lethal item, much more so than a dropped ski. I saw a small child pushed out of the way of an out of control loose snowboard once, it would have almost certainly caused her a very significant injury if it had hit her.
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Pruman wrote:
It's partly the laws of physics innit? In these two cases a skier would have easily avoided the collisions


I'd argue that it's the competence of the rider that's in question in these cases, not the number of planks strapped to their feet.
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@HandyHand, totally agreed.
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@HandyHand, +1

And age/maturity
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@Pending,
I think what @Dave of the Marmottes means is those little trails to the side of the piste, typically on the high side of a road that kids just find too amusing to show off their "off piste" skills.
These tracks often contain a couple of big dips, that kids just love.

They also often terminate in small jump back onto the road.

Children live in a cocoon and they often consider that there is nobody else on the planet that matters.

They just don't realise that other people could be coming down the road and may well not be able to avoid them, they are just too wrapped up in their own sugar coated world.

Anyway ... we all have to take care all the time to reduce the possibility of an accident.
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Bennyboy1 wrote:
@HandyHand, +1

And age/maturity


Maturity yes

Age, no. There are some brilliant and responsible young skiers and plenty of totally senseless adults.
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@Pruman, stands to reason the second one was obsessed with his app. First one I'll be charitable and say it was an honest screw up, he got his board out of the way at least.
I got totalled 4 years ago in Tignes. Pulled at at the side of the piste to check on a friend who'd stacked it just off the side, next thing I'm upside down, then sliding down the piste sans skis. Young seasonaire boarder "didn't expect me to stop" and ploughed straight into me. Luckily (ha!) she hit me square board onto my boots so avoided compound fractures (my skis remained, perfectly aligned, exactly where I'd been standing), instead I did an involuntary triple salchow, styling it out with the more unusual shoulder landing.
After much blue language from yours truly, she said a meek sorry and sodded off sharpish.
If her name isn't Sophie or Lucinda or Emily I'll be very surprised.
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I'm 67 but not quite mature.
I must own up to crashing into another skier at 40+mph a couple of years ago, one of his daughters saw it happen from the lift above
I cracked a couple of his ribs,
But he was still able to drive me home. Madeye-Smiley
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