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Short turn, short turn, short turn, CAAAAAAAAAARVE....what's reasonable? A New Rule?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I don't want to clutter further the thread on the Deux Alpes accident, since it would be good leave that open for more details of the accident itself.

But a LOT of comment has focussed on the issue of people suddenly changing from short turns to fast carving arcs, and the danger which this poses.

I think it IS an issue. I am entirely capable of doing this AND occasionally forgetting to check fully behind me before changing my 'space occupied' as I go down the hill. It is another example of 'objective fixation' I think - is focussing on what you are doing and not accommodating adequately the context around. I see this switch from short to big arc very often in others, and not always executed with due consideration - it's just so easy to let go and rip.

I certainly try to leave enough margin when overtaking someone to allow them to do a sudden change of rhythm, but its not always easy, due to the acceleration which comes from moving from short turns to a full edge carve - like an afterburner, whoosh you're off....and potentially into someone's path, when they have assigned you to 'doing short turns so can pass closely' category.

The FIS Rules are getting a bit antique now, and maybe should incorporate something like:

'Do not dramatically change path or overall 'space used' unless it is clearly safe to do so, both in respect to those beneath you and those who might be alongside or overtaking you'

Poor drafting, but you get the idea.

Of course 'never be an inconsiderate tw+t would cover it too, but isn't quite specific enough.
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@valais2, considering the difficulty many people have with the current rules I'm not sure more rules will help. If I want to practice short turns then open it up why shouldn't I? Similar to your comment, all the FIS guideline could be summarised with 4 words: "Don't be a d!ck"
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@Dr John, I like the approach. Quite Swiss.

Situation 'beware that very large drop to the side of the piste about 100m past the top station'
Rule: 'don't be stupid'
Situation 'don't traverse onto slopes with wind-blown slab from before Christmas'
Rule: 'don't be stupid'
Situation 'don't enter a junction at high speed hitting my son who happens to be crossing carefully
Rule: 'don't be stupid'
Situation 'don't ski at night on a slope where there are wire-tethered piste machines operating or you could be decapitated like the two Italians in 2012'
Rule: 'don't be stupid'.

(Last two sits are real btw)
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Y'know if you're following someone then you can normally tell if they're about to break-step and do something different. Their body position changes or they'll make an bigger turn in or something minor that'll indicate it.

Although one thing I do if I know I'm going to switch from just going down the hill to a traverse or something is to point where I'm going to go so anyone following can clearly see i'm doing something different - at least it gives them a chance to anticipate what I'm about to do.

As for Ze Rules, frankly they just promote the bickering about who was more right than who - you could just replace 'em all with "Respect other people" and "Ski and ride responsibly."
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Richard_Sideways wrote:
As for Ze Rules, frankly they just promote the bickering about who was more right than who - you could just replace 'em all with "Respect other people" and "Ski and ride responsibly."

Ain't that Rule 1 and Rule 2 anyway?
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Current rules work fine for me. Uphill skier look out for downhill.
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@essex, er....that's not in the FIS rules 1-10. Yer makin it up...
I think you're referring to rule 4, which is quite good re 'leave enough space for people to do unpredictable things'
I guess the problem I am referring to s a very common one of the sudden sharp acceleration of moving to a wide arc - difficult to interpret the exact signs of someone about to do this although earlier posts suggests that there are some things we should look out for...


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Fri 17-03-17 17:45; edited 1 time in total
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@essex, quite, this stuff really isn't tricky. If you start trying to suggest the downhill skier is responsible for those above then you have people looking round all the time and not looking where they're going. You worry about what's in front to you, as will the person behind you and so on up the hill, and we'll all get along fine. Accident will happen, always do, they'll never be eradicated but they can be reduced.
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Richard_Sideways wrote:
... As for Ze Rules, frankly they just promote the bickering about who was more right than who ...

No. In the event of a serious accident / fatality, they indicate who is the more likely to be sued / prosecuted / claimed against.
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valais2 wrote:
@essex, er....that's not in the FIS rules 1-10. Yer makin it up...


Essex isn't making it up, well kind of

Rules 3 and 4 cover this - Don't be a dick, give each other enough room if your over taking

https://www.stantonamarlberg.com/media/794/download/10FISRulesofConduct_A4.pdf?v=1&inline=1

That said I TOTALLY agree with your sentiment.

Im about as careful as it gets when over taking other - I ski fast and wouldn't want to injure myself let alone others. And with that said I always look over my shoulder and indicate with my hand if I'm going to change direction, and would really appreciate it if others did the same. Prime example, your narrow connecting slopes where everyone is skiing straight to keep speed and 1 silly sod is making unpredictable turns, pees me right off rolling eyes
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I always try to have a shoulder check before swapping sides on the piste or going to the side to stop. It's not always possible to read body language particularly in the "sit up and beg shoulder heavers" who wouldn't know a dyanic turn if it smacked them in the face.
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I think the suggested rule might be good oractice, but it would immediately blur the lines of responsibility. I think that would be a mistake.

Out of interest , do the FIS rules have any legal status or are they just guidelines?
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@foxtrotzulu, i believe they are just guidelines, but may be used as such in court as definitions of reasonable behaviour.
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Maybe I'm just too much of a motorcyclist but I do find myself doing regular shoulder checks especially if changing position or at a junction. If said shoulder check reveals that I need to change position or speed then so be it. It feels like common sense.

In fairness I have never witnessed a collision but I have seen a few examples of people who are not in total control or not fully aware. This is where I draw the comparison with motorcycling, I always assume that I am sharing roadspace with a whole host of myopic morons.
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
I think the suggested rule might be good oractice, but it would immediately blur the lines of responsibility. I think that would be a mistake.

Out of interest , do the FIS rules have any legal status or are they just guidelines?


They have legal status in some places like Colorado where a version is codified into state law.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@queen bodecia, + 1 Smile
Even on a snowboard (and skis, just in case someone takes umbrage) you can turn your neck a long way round and get good peripheral vision; enough to notice movement, anyway (unless you just fell off and smacked up your back and shoudlers and it's blinking stiff! But even then...)

[b]@essex[/], trouble which I have with such a simple version, even if it is very nice and simple and easy to remember and apply for the overall greater good, is this: what if there's some bolshy bug, having been held up and generally annoyed by some other person in front of them, whether idiot, child, learner or whatever, taking up the whole piste/traverse, slowing them down, doing wide, wild and unpredictable turns etc. Said bolshy uphill person, having oh-so patiently waited for ages behind them, at some difficulty to themselves perhaps, then finds the space to execute a very wide and safe overtake of the formerly-downhill idiot cum non-aware learner cum not fully in control piste user. At which point, BB is now downhill and in front: and promptly decides to ride or ski like an utter idiot, performing wide and wild unpredictable turns, sharp hockey stops and all the rest of it, right in front of the now uphill person, just to let 'em know how it feels. But it doesn't matter, because they are 'in the right' according to the very simple version of the interpretation of the rules.
I accept that the rules are not legally binding but guiding, and that I have also ignored Rule 1 for a start (but so potentially have both parties in this scenario): but personally, I just don't like to think that anyone could believe that things are this simple that this scenario could occur and that someone could get away with endangering the other person (even if they did deserve it) on that one simple downhill premise without taking into account all factors and context and circumstances, including ability, experience, education and intention. I hope, therefore, that if any such incident was examined and there was a need to apportion blame, then such considerations would be taken into account.
Or is this just induced karma in action?
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@queen bodecia, I always do a shoulder glance whne swapping from one side of the piste to the other. The particular danger is when two people are skiing on opposite sides of a wide piste. To both of them the ground ahead can look free of skiers as they are in each others blind spots, if one is a metre ahead of the other then does a long turn across to the other side and they collide then fault is difficult to establish.
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Scarpa wrote:
@queen bodecia, I always do a shoulder glance whne swapping from one side of the piste to the other. The particular danger is when two people are skiing on opposite sides of a wide piste. To both of them the ground ahead can look free of skiers as they are in each others blind spots, if one is a metre ahead of the other then does a long turn across to the other side and they collide then fault is difficult to establish.


I've seen two friends do this, smacking together like the swinging balls of Newton's cradle. Personally, I think that the trend towards goggle wearing increases the risk of situations like this quite considerably.
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
Scarpa wrote:
@queen bodecia, I always do a shoulder glance whne swapping from one side of the piste to the other. The particular danger is when two people are skiing on opposite sides of a wide piste. To both of them the ground ahead can look free of skiers as they are in each others blind spots, if one is a metre ahead of the other then does a long turn across to the other side and they collide then fault is difficult to establish.


I've seen two friends do this, smacking together like the swinging balls of Newton's cradle. Personally, I think that the trend towards goggle wearing increases the risk of situations like this quite considerably.

This is exactly the point I was making in the other thread.
If you are skiing with rhythmic, predictable turns then decide to cut to the side to stop, whilst you may have the right of way over the skier behind / above you, it is basic, common sense to glance behind you before doing so.
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@tangowaggon, Actually, in the example I quoted above neither made any significant change in their movements. Their paths were nearly parallel, but not quite. They both continued with rhythmic, predictable turns that just got closer and closer until ......Bam!!! The problem was largely down to reduced peripheral vision caused by goggles.
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Goggles shouldn't reduce active situational awareness. You need to move your head a bit more if your goggles are a bit crap.
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The newer goggle models with spherical oversized lenses reduce vision very little.
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I can't see how goggles make any difference to sunglasses in terms of peripheral vision. If anything goggles are better as they encompass a larger area and are more likely to stay in position. But in any case unless you have some form of disability the human head is able to pivot to increase visual area... wink
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Quote:

I think that the trend towards goggle wearing increases the risk of situations like this quite considerably.

What trend? Goggles have always been worn.
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More situational awareness is required for all people full stop. Just because a downhill skier thinks they are in the right, doesn't make it a good reason to get a preventable injury....

Also as above goggles are a really dumb excuse. Practice turning that evolutionary device that moves the head.
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@johnE,
Quote:

What trend? Goggles have always been worn.

True, but not to anything like the extent that they are now. 20+ years ago goggles tended to be worn when necessary (in poor weather) with sunglasses being far more popular than they are now.


@queen bodecia,
Quote:

But in any case unless you have some form of disability the human head is able to pivot to increase visual area...


[@kioksor, quote]
Also as above goggles are a really dumb excuse. Practice turning that evolutionary device that moves the head.
[/quote]

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but:
1. I wasn't suggesting that goggles were an excuse for these sort of accidents, but a minor contributory cause. Or to put it another way, if you are skiing down a piste and not looking around you then without goggles you are slightly more likley to pick up that flicker of movement at the edge of your vision that just might make a difference.
2. Surely any decrease in peripheral vision is a bad thing? Would you want to drive through a city centre viewing everything through a pair of binoculars?
3. Moving the head will obviously minimise any loss of peripheral vision, whatever the cause. The problem as we have already establish is that people don't look enough. They don't move their head enough.

I don't have a pair of spherical lenses to try, but sitting at my desk wearing a pair of non-spherical goggles (and feeling a bit of a wally) then the results of my unscientific tests suggest the following:
a. Without moving ones head, just ones eyes, you can detect movement in an arc of approximately 200 degrees. (Googling seems to suport this theory).
Quote:
For both eyes combined (binocular) visual field is 100° vertical and 200° horizontal.

b. With goggles the field is reduced to around 170 degrees at a guess. Certainly below 180. Spehericql lenses may help a bit, but bearing in mind that the frame still meets the face in a pretty similar place then I'd be surprised if it made a huge difference.
c. Sunglasses - I've tried two pairs. One pair is no different from the naked eye as one can see 'through' the arms. The other pair is padded and has a FoV similar to goggles.
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I must say that my non-scientific observations of the generally rather poor level of skiing up the Brevent this afternoon very clearl indicates that wearing goggles does not make you ski like a lady's front bottom.

Being a lady's front bottom who can't ski as well as you think you can, does.
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@under a new name, I dread your ever seeing me ski. Shocked
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@Hurtle, why?

I am very uncritical.
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@under a new name, ....that's right I think. (not the post immediately above...the one above that...) .... I was hit from behind twice in the last 4 years, both times minding my own business doing tight turns and not behaving unpredictably. I don't think goggle-limitations were at play, but cr+p behaviour was. BUT....let's not dismiss the importance of small performance issues which can be invoked by equipment. Carving skis have upped speeds, we know that. Small things such as peripheral vision DO play a role in sport, we know that from studies of ball sports, and other things such as mountain-biking. So let's just stick with the goggles stuff and not just dismiss it. It is NO excuse for bad behaviour or dangerous actions, but we do need to know whether a reduction in peripheral vision of even 10deg total is significant - and I think FTZ's experiment which gives a roughly 20-30 reduction is important. That's actually a massive reduction in capacity to respond to threat of collision. I will tonight look for research on this, I seem to remember something from road accidents, but I will do some searching. Why is it important? Because if we know it is a factor, then we can do something about it - it's something for the designers (yes, I use BIG goggles all the time now (Oakley Canopy; Bolle Emperor; Bloc Evo4) and something for behaviour - remember to swivel your head that bit more and make it automatic to check behind when doing certain things, like changing to big swings. So I think it IS relevant - not the sole issue in accidents - but something to think about, and find out whether we need to take it into account. This is the kind of approach which has made things like medicine safer, flying safer, and driving safer.
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@valais2, while reasonable points, I don't think goggles will change.
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@valais2, my personal view is that goggles are a tiny safety issue, but in a very small number of incidents the reduced FoV can be an issue. That's not to say that the benefits of good goggles (compared with sunglasses or nothing) don't sometimes/usually outweigh the negatives.

In the incident I mentioned above, where two teenage boys clashed together as their turns got closer together, I think goggles probably played a fairly significant role.

@under a new name, Goggles already have changed considerably over the years. When materials improve enough it might be possible to include a small sideways lens in the goggle. A bit like you have with some door mirrors on cars. Of course, however sensible not all safety improvements are likely to catch on. Can anyone see the sort of rear view mirror that some cyclists attach to their helmet ever becoming popular? Makes sense, but it's not going to happen.
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Googles are about as responsible for safety as Sunnis wearing vainly trying to catch their reflection to affirm how cool they look.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Googles are about as responsible for safety as Sunnis wearing vainly trying to catch their reflection to affirm how cool they look.
Not sure I can quite unravel the grammar of that sentence. Surely the point is that all kit has its drawbacks and it's just a question of recognising the risks. E.g, modern skis are much easier to use, leading to fewer falls, BUT perhaps also leading to higher speeds. So, use modern skis but focus more on controlling your speed and overall you will be safer.

As an aside, I think goggles are probably more for the fashion conscious now than sunnies.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sun 19-03-17 19:20; edited 1 time in total
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@foxtrotzulu, no, you wear goggles with helmets. You don't wear sunglasses with helmets.
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@under a new name,
Quote:

You don't wear sunglasses with helmets
And yet another reason to avoid being spotted by you on the slopes!
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under a new name wrote:
Goggles shouldn't reduce active situational awareness. You need to move your head a bit more if your goggles are a bit crap.



"I can't see how goggles make any difference to sunglasses in terms of peripheral vision. If anything goggles are better as they encompass a larger area and are more likely to stay in position. But in any case unless you have some form of disability the human head is able to pivot to increase visual area... wink"

I'm still someone that hates wearing goggles and only wear them when too cold for sunnies. I'm practicing my skiing backwards and find it impossible to swivel my head far enough to see where I'm going with goggles on but have no problem with frameless sunnies.
One of the many reasons that I stopped wearing my helmet was that it reduced my hearing, I find the sound of another skier close by, is an essential warning to avoid collision. The helmet is much better since I cut holes in the ear pieces that are not removable.

Should I ever be persuaded to return to wearing a helmet, I'll be wearing sunnies as soon as it's warm enough, regardless of whether some pointless knobber says its uncool to do so. Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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@tangowaggon, I have to protest that, whatever his views on the wearing of sunnies with a helmet, @under a new name is not a pointless knobber. Laughing
Happy Birthday!
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under a new name wrote:
@foxtrotzulu, no, you wear goggles with helmets. You don't wear sunglasses with helmets.
I'm not sure I mentioned that anyway, but quite frankly you can wear what you like. Nobody suggests a cyclist should only wear goggles with a helmet so I can't see why a skier can't wear what they want with a helmet.




If they can, why can't we?
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@tangowaggon, you pointless knobber you.

Wear what you all like. See if I care wink

I had sunglasses on today with my helmet. But only walking to and from the lifts, that is acceptable. Oh and maybe a bit more but no-one could recognise me so I don't care. Phew!

But seriously, I can totally see that goggles do restrict vision, but as a responsible individual participating in a dangerous sport then you mitigate your risks. Turn your head.

And as for skiing backwards?
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