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Jackson Hole lays down the law on reckless skiing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The US resort of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has issued a public statement warning of the consequences of dangerous skiing. In repeat cases offenders face a lifetime ban from the ski area.

Under a system of penalties, unsafe skiers or snowboarders could lose their pass for up to two weeks for a first offence. Two offences in a 3-year span will result in an automatic one-year loss of lift use. After a third violation, offenders could face permanent exclusion.

Five skiers have died in accidents over the past two seasons at Jackson Hole. One of them was 29-year-old woman who died last winter when she was struck by a 16-year-old snowboarder reportedly traveling at high speed on an intermediate run.

This report from Billings Gazette.

There are also reports from Aspen in Colorado of similar sanctions against reckless skiers and boarders: The Aspen Times.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hurrah. I think that consequences like this are long overdue.

BTW, it's a coincidence that you happened to post this. I just posted a message in the "Piste Rage" thread that recounts a story of reckless behavior I first told on Epic in their thread about the JH accident.

Tom / PM
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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?
interesting,
having been a victim of an accident (boarder hit me on first day of first skiing holiday) I think it's quite a good idea to have a system of control / monitoring though at some resorts i can image it might be difficult to enforce / monitor
especially on those slopes that are for beginners / slow areas.
just my thoughts
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Physicsman, good post over on the 'Bear.

It's rather sad IMHO that we've come to this. And I would echo Tommy Moe that I hope the control is over recklessness rather than simply "speed".

rob and sharon, actually, on beginner's/slow areas its easier to police. You just make sure people actually slow down! Unfortunately, you can get "monitors" who's own knowledge of other's capabilities can lead to over-zealous policing. Better that than folks getting hurt though.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
People seem to be acknowledging the dangers of skiing and taking more precautions against personal injury as evidenced by the increased use of helmets.

However, it is now time for people to carry on those same thoughts that got them to think about self preservation and start thinking about their responsibilities for others preservation too.

Once you have arrived at the conclusion that you should wear a helmet skiing becasue you do when riding a bicycle or motorbike, how hard can it be to also see that you should ski responsibility and not recklessly just as you should drive?

It's sad that policing needs to be introduced into this great leasure activity, but necessary.

Maybe I have unresolved issues and should be posting on the 'Piste Rage' thread ... Hi all, my names agavin and I suffer from piste rage when confronted by reckless skiing Confused
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I have only skied in canada and I have seen plenty of speeding reckless skiers. However, they are almost always on green slopes. Anytime I venture onto blues or blacks, the speedsters (along with most other people) are gone. That leads me to assume that those who are a problem are not actually confident enough to ski in the same manner down steeper and more interesting slopes..... surely returning to the original idea that those causing trouble are probably not under control (and deep down they know it).

Adam
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Excellent - good on them. It's just a pity that there's no method of enforcement we can use in France. Sad
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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!
Breckenridge (& maybe Whistler) I am almost sure has handheldspeed guns for the lower slopes and puts out speed cops at high traffic periods. When seeing them you certainly slow down regardless of what speed you are travelling. Its quite a good gimmick for getting the message across.

Incidently on a confirmed empty green run (A person below in radio contact spotting) a friend once did a GPS test and clocked almost 30mph max, I don't know if I believed the GPS but it was quite sobering that that could potentially be the speed of travel. I suspect this doesn't compare to serious racing speeds.
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fatbob, I once clocked just under 100kph on a schuss on the world cup corse in Wengen (they've a speed gun attached to a big display unit) but this is slow compared to the speeds achived by downhill racers
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agavin,
Quote:

Once you have arrived at the conclusion that you should wear a helmet skiing becasue you do when riding a bicycle or motorbike,


This always brings out the worst in me. I DONT wear a helmet, I see no need for me to wear a helmet skiing is fairly safe. Other people may ski dangerously and if they wear a helmet it is up to them. But it really irritates me the number of people I see wearing a helmet and skiing at speed on crowded pistes with a cavalier disregard for other snow users because they feel their lid gives them immunity from injury. This no doubt never applys to helmet wearing snowheads who I am sure all ski sensibly with their helmets on. wink

I also ride bikes and motorbikes sans helmet, though not usually nowadays as the safety fascists and my wife have stopped me. Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I agree with Tommy, if someone can see that the entire run ahead of them is empty, why shouldn't he/she be allowed to ski fast? The only person he/she is endangering is him/herself. If they get it wrong, someone will soon find their lifeless body, as happened last season on Blue Ox (Vail).

Skiing fast over a blind rise or on a busy run is quite another matter, and should be ruthlessly cracked down upon. For that reason, handheld speed guns aren't really relevant, and I must say I have never seen them being used in my past 6 seasons in Colorado. The patroller must judge whether that person is skiing too fast for the conditions and traffic at that moment.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
T Bar, I used to feel that way, but just think: it only takes one idiot to clock you from behind - perhaps one of those people with a "cavalier disregard" that you say you yourself have seen...
On the other hand, people who feel that their helmet gives them immunity from injury should remember that a helmet is no guard against a broken neck. The Uli Maier tragedy demonstrated that.
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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
Martin Bell, I agree it only takes one idiot, I hope these idiots can be educated. But the same arguments can be advanced for wearing a helmet at all times, it only takes one idiot in a car etc.

To put my risks from skiing into perspective I ski approx 25 days per year, drive approx 30,000 km and cycle approx 1,000 miles on roads in a year.

In a million years I could expect to be killed approx 90 times through driving, 30 times through cycling and 16 times through skiing, when does it make most sense for me to wear a helmet? wink

PS The statistics for mortality are the best I could find but the calculations are my own so interpret as you wish. I have just edited the skiing one as I copied the wrong figure initially.


Last edited by 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 on Fri 11-11-05 12:10; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
T Bar, in your car clearly!

there is a whole argument over helmet wearing as some statistics suggest that the critical injury rate increases when helmets become mandatory...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
There is a real dilemma in this argument, It's not the level of personal protection you wear (I err to the big amour side), it's the education and skills level of the rest of the people on the hill.

To some extent it should be beholden to the resorts to filter the more able skiers/boarders away from the wedgies and bulldozers. All too frequently you find that fast reds and blacks feed into cruisy(sp?) greens full of bobbleheads . . . recreating those suppressed memories you lie to yourself about . . . or those same fast runs are intersected by what are basically footpaths cutting straight across. That's not too bad IF you're very familiar with the resort but it's not trafic management that's designed for safety, it's been developed for maximum occupancy.

Given that the resorts are not going to redesign the hill runs to I maximise safety and segregate skier ability, I still favour a simple system of FIS administered licensing for the general public that is delivered to the public through accredited ski schools and instructors. There can be both benefits and penalties simply administered, ie. The higher your skill level the better the discount on your lift pass and if you misbehave there would be a global reference to keep the worst offenders from just migrating to a new scene of carnage.

I'm being simplistic, but the concept itself does not require rocket science to make it work, just a will to try to educate ourselves and to make the slopes a safe environment for everyone.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Masque, your last two paras could well be a pointer to the future.

The resorts are really really concerned about a growing public perception of vulnerability, particularly in family ski areas.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Masque, A good idea, but it supposes that resorts will co-operated with each other both in the same country and in other countries. I think that's going to be a very hard one to win. Little Angel
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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?
And don't forget what skier licences would mean - downturn in casual visitors :

" What I've got to take a test to go skiing? Maybe I'll skip it this year"

Testing wouldn't test attitude - presumably most teenage boy racers have passed their driving tests.
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easiski, I'm not certain that the resorts themselves are in a position to object, particularly since the promotion of safer pistes and a structured liftpass price system will increase revenue to the resort schools to offset any reduction in pass revenue. The insurance industry could also benefit in this idea.

It doesn't break down with the schools themselves. The standards for 'licensing do not have to 'writ in stone' just to certify that given conditions A B or C, a skier/boarder can negotiate the slope or hazard in control and without needing to halt the scale is simple and progressive. Basic slope safety procedures (pretty much the same world wide) is skiing 101 and the first tick on the license (and to my way of thinking should be re-tested at every level)

The drive needs to come from the top. The Insurers, the FIS and the Ski school associations. I'm certain that within all the above, the basic mechanisms and structure already exists to implement this and for it to be self funding.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Masque, what an awesome post. Good one!!

easiski, I suppose one simply makes it economically advantageous to do so? Would reduced accident rates make a difference? or marketing - a la "ski les deux alpes, the safe place to ski?

fatbob, you're right, it would need to be an international, universally recognised bit of kit. But also, you could have a scale of 1 to whatever so people could brag about their level rather like golfers? "Do you ski?", "yes, I'm scratch" sort of thing. (Golfers say that don't they?) It would also sharpen up the S&R ability scales... wink
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Quote:

The insurance industry could also benefit in this idea.


Acutally I'm astonished that the insurance industry isn't already the driving force. There's massive industry interfere (i.e. insistance that the insured party shells out on safety guards to do what it can to reduce the risk of the insured event occuring) in other areas of insurance, and it's done simply to prevent collapse of the entire insurance industry. For example these days manufacturing employers have to spend a vast amount of time and money in order to demonstrate a proper workplace safety education and enforcement systems before any insurer will contemplate covering them for work-related accidents suffered by employees.

Resorts must be insured by someone. Time for "someone" to become pro-active, methinks.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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T Bar, tell that to my brother, 18 months in to a life with no limb movement other than his right hand (bit of a bitch given that he's left-handed).

As it happens, a helmet saved his life, riding a motorbike at 30mph; quite correct that your family have cracked down.

Fyi, there was no other vehicle involved in his accident.

Although I have never worn one before, from this season on I will always be wearing a helmet. It would simply be selfish to risk life-threatening / -changing injury for the sake of a few beads of sweat. The impact of injury on your family, is simply not worth considering (which, given that I'm not very 'family' is something of a startling comment).
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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!
zammo,
Deepest sympathy to you and your brother on his tragic accident.

I was not meaning to imply that one should not wear a lid when riding a motorbike, but that I used not to from time to time. Motorcycling is a fairly dangerous activity with or without a helmet and with a family I no longer ride a motorbike, though I still cycle.
Recreational skiing at the level I do it is not a particularly dangerous activity; with my own propensity to go faster with a helmet I consider myself and other piste users safer if I do not wear one.
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zammo, Sad. You say this was 30mph - this is a speed skiers can achieve relatively easily nowadays.
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