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Ski/boarding signals

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
During the recent Birthday Bash, a group of us were merrily whizzing down a run in the Hidden Valley. I suddenly spotted off to the side of the run, two people sitting a safe few metres away from the run but with two skis pushed into the snow forming an X on the slope just above them. My brain had a fuzzy memory that crossed skis meant something and I stopped. Turns out they were snowHeads and one had badly injured his leg (sadly, he wasn't able to ski the rest of the Bash, poor guy).

If I hadn't seen the crossed skis, I wouldn't have stopped. As it turns out, they didn't really need our help as their friends had skied to a nearby refugio and a piste police officer and medical were already on the way. Someone else in my ski group that day said they had seen the two people sitting off piste, and thought they were merely having a sit down. For that reason, I'm posting about this as it could help someone else.

I suspect there are more signals than the crossed ski signal but I haven't got a clue (what do boarders do???). So if you know any signals, please post here whether you're a skier, a boarder, or somewhere inbetween.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@skidipity, not an easy question, I normally carry a (perhaps too much according to my instructor this week) pack that includes a proper emergency/rescue blanket heat pads and at least 1 flashing red led lamp . . . perhaps the tourniquet, compression bandages and Bactine and red flare are a step unnecessary Embarassed

Crossed snowboards should mean the same as crossed skis but I'm sure that most people in the hill haven't a clue what either mean rolling eyes
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I was always told that if you were in 'trouble' the snowboard equivalent of crossed skis was to wedge the board up on toe edge with the highbacks out so it stands up if you're working on someone - stops the chance of the board falling over or running away. But frankly, as it's barely going to be more than 12" off the snow it's more for safety than marker, and trying to get a board to dig a board into a hard piste nose on and stay upright is nigh on impossible.

Best thing is to have a whistle on you to attract attention (3 short blasts, wait, repeat) or stand up clearly with arms crossed above your head or get on the phone to piste patrol.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
auntie masque wrote:
@skidipity, not an easy question, I normally carry a (perhaps too much according to my instructor this week) pack that includes a proper emergency/rescue blanket heat pads and at least 1 flashing red led lamp . . . perhaps the tourniquet, compression bandages and Bactine and red flare are a step unnecessary Embarassed
:


OTOH with your track record perhaps you'd better pack a medevac heli in there too wink
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
auntie masque wrote:
I'm sure that most people in the hill haven't a clue what either mean rolling eyes


Ah, but after reading this thread, snowHeads will!

Thanks @Richard_sideways good to know.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I've always understood crossed poles and/or skis, situated above and away from the injured party, to indicate a skier down, and a snowboard on purposeful horizontal edge, in the same place, to be the same signal. We used this when I was the said unfortunate embarrassed party last year. Most people managed to avoid crashing right into us...

Obviously this assumes that help is already at hand in some form. Otherwise, loud screaming is usually a good signal. Gasping silent whimpering on the other hand is much more difficult.

Looking at the post title, I would also favour hand signals to indicate left and right turns and intentions to slow down. But I think I'm being a bit optimistic rolling eyes
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Grizzler,
Quote:


I've always understood crossed poles and/or skis, situated above and away from the injured party, to indicate a skier down


When you say 'away from the injured party', what do you mean? I always thought that the crossed skis should be, say, directly in line with the victim and about 5 metres uphill. It's partly meant as a symbol and partly as a visual barrier. If you put it away from the victim then surely you risk another skier avoiding the crossed skis and then coming close to the victim.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
How about the classic - ski poles held, grips against the helmet, with tips extending skywards in a 10 to 2 style. Like moose antlers.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
foxtrotzulu wrote:
How about the classic - ski poles held, grips against the helmet, with tips extending skywards in a 10 to 2 style. Like moose antlers.


I'm a bellend?
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:


I'm a bellend?


That's an interesting question...! I shall refrain from answering as I really don't know you well enough (also, you're bigger than me. I mean, a lot bigger.)
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snow name wrote:


That's an interesting question...! I shall refrain from answering as I really don't know you well enough (also, you're bigger than me. I mean, a lot bigger.)


Yeh but I'm a lover not a fighter as well as being a bellend.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Having attended a few accidents on piste I’d say you can never have too many pairs of crossed skis above you. Do your best to make a physical barrier to stop idiots buzzing you while you are on your knees as you wait for piste rescue.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I actually did use left and right poles as indicators a few times recently; it was crowded on a fairly narrow piste.
I had a strange feeling of moral superiority for several days afterwards.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Richard_Sideways wrote:
... Best thing is to have a whistle on you to attract attention (3 short blasts, wait, repeat) or stand up clearly with arms crossed above your head or get on the phone to piste patrol.

In Europe the agreed distress signal is 6 blasts within a minute, wait, repeat. 3 blasts is the acknowledgement / getting help / coming to help response. Someone hearing just 3 isn't necessarily going to respond if they can't hear / locate the 6, because the logical interpretation is that assistance is already in progress.

I think the US and elsewhere use 3 as the distress signal, which can be confusing.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I crossed the skis up slope of @masque at the EoSB when he crashed and burned; protects the injured and anyone with them and indicates to the medics where you are on the mountain. X marks the spot!

I was taught this and all slope/ski etiquette on my first ski holiday many years ago and cannot believe there are people out there that don't know this stuff/don't get taught it when it is such a potentially dangerous sport.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Crossed skis above the patient is what I've seen. If you can get more than one pair to form crosses so much the better.
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