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Almost Daily Piste Accidents in Austria

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Almost daily now in Austria Serious Piste Accidents.

This one in Zurs Sunday. 5 Year old kid almost a severed head.

http://www.wetter.at/wetter/oesterreich-wetter/Ski-Unfall-Bub-5-fast-Kopf-abgetrennt/317446723
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Austria is not safe.
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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?
Thats absolutely horrible.
Unfortunately skiing is a high risk sport and these sensationalist headlines are getting ridiculous, dont you think?
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@Kooky, ...yes and no. Behaviour can change the risk. Information about accidents can change behaviour. I think the press should report. It is difficult to estimate the objective risk, and many people have tried to do it. Riding has a higher rate of serious injury. A lot an be done to mitigate risks in skiing, the majority of it to do with individual actions.
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A 5 year old on a red run?? Regardless of their ability surely they would never have the mental capacity?
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An appalling accident. I agree with valais2 that publicity can change behaviour, and so the media was justified in reporting this.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Well sh***t happens. Skiing has certain degree of risk in it. If it wouldn't it would be as interesting as sitting on sofa drinking coffee, just way more expensive. Most of us do this, because it gives you some thrill, and sometimes things go wrong. From time to time someone gets injured and some even die. It's life.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
DJL--what a ridiculous statement.
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Kooky wrote:
..these sensationalist headlines are getting ridiculous, dont you think?


Depends on the rationale. Changing risk perception, changes behaviour; fear-based nudges in the ‘right’ direction? Madeye-Smiley
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@Roscoe, ...er...it all depends. At 5, my son could just about ski anything, and did. But this was done in a VERY specific way with very tight control. A lot of constant discussion: '...OK, we'll head over there, look before you start, keep doing short turns, I will be just behind you..'; or 'stay close, keep in my tracks....we'll ski over to that pylon...'; and so on. We benefit from a set of small resorts with very uncrowded pistes, which helps. His coaches were excellent, instilling really safe behaviours as well as great technique. I knew we were getting somewhere when, at the bottom of the heavily-mogulled black Pol du Pochet, in terrible visibility, I asked Alex (then eight) '...was that OK Alex?...' and he said '...er...it's only skiing Dad, it's fine...'. I did at that point think to myself '...my job is done...'.

By contrast, I have described on here a bad accident which we saw, where an 11 year old was on a piste they should never have been on.

It all depends on the child, the context, and so on.

The Austrian accident on the thread here is terrible and very sad.
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the piste it happened on indeed is a rather challenging one; would not have a taken a 5 year old on it.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Old Man Of Lech wrote:
DJL--what a ridiculous statement.

He was taking the wee wee out of stanton who is always posting the message that UK/England/London is unsafe based on occassional incidents.
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@valais2 - Understand all children are different both physically and mentally. Terrible accident and hope all involved make a full recovery.

A few incidents spring to mind from my skiing past including my first ever school ski trip, when a friend dropped suddenly and took a ski directly to the face. Not a pretty sight.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Groomed Pistes are Dangerous

More Dangerous with equipment that make you feel safe & ski beyond your ability.

Helmets & Carving Skis are net contributors to dangerous Piste skiing.

Stop the Brutal Grooming.

Stay OFF Piste to Stay SAFE
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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 were Three more seperate accidents yesterday in the same region (Arlberg) . Two of them were quite Serious , the third just a busted knee
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Old Man Of Lech, Irony - haven't you seen the cr@p he usually posts?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
more injuries, etc from toboganing than skiing...
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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?
Oh for fu***ck sake Stanton... if you want to ski off piste, you have whole bunch of terrain to ski off piste. I'm actually perfectly happy for "brutal grooming" on ski runs.
PS: If you make some statistical research, I'm pretty sure there's more injuries and deaths per 1000 skiers off pisten then on piste. But yeah whatever fits your current agenda. rolling eyes
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primoz wrote:
I'm pretty sure there's more injuries and deaths per 1000 skiers off pisten then on piste.


Not a Chance. Wrong Wrong Wrong.
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Most reports I read of fatalities in the Alps are of people who were skiing off piste and then caught under an avalanche. I havent read many reports of fatalaties due to avalanches on an actual piste.

Reports I have read of fatalities on the piste tend to be because someone has gone into a tree or gone off the actual piste. Don't see how removing helmets and carving skis would have helped these people?

As for actual injuries, I suspect the total is higher on-piste, which would make sense as I'm sure the number of people skiing on-piste is higher. A true reflection would be the % of people injured/killed on each piste type (off or on).

And just to clarify, I have nothing against off-piste skiing.
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The press/media reporting of accidents is very selective. I get the impression that in France reporting ski accidents is frowned upon, our group witnessed a very serious accident in La Plagne - medical team flown in by helicopter to waiting skidoo's to take them to injured skier. Finally heard helicopter take off again well after lifts had closed. No mention in the press or on the radio news at all.
To this day we don't know what had gone on, the local bar owners etc hadn't heard anything either.

How many serious accidents go unreported beyond the resort officials we just don't know.
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How awfull. I hope the child makes a full recovery.

It's not uncommon for 5 year olds to be on reds or even blacks. Usually with a lot of caution and guided carefully by their parent or instructor. It sounds as though it was just a terrible accident.

What worries me more than a 5 year old on a black, is people skiing straight down the beginner runs at the end of the day in a manner that wouldn't allow them to stop if a child were to fall in front of them. It's easy for advanced skiers to forget that beginners can, and will, fall anywhere, even below a crest. I'd much rather take my 5 year old down a red than a blue full of idiots...
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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!
@boredsurfin, completely agree. There often seems to be little or no reporting of deaths in the more, pardon my use of the word 'routine' accidents where people are badly hurt in locations where to put it, admittedly rather simplistically, they shouldn't really be exposed to that level of danger? I feel the story is different for accidents where the skiers/boarders are more likely 'at fault' and this is why we always hear more about avalanche deaths. Yes of course the resorts should use it as an example and to educate and caution others but imho they are far too guilty of covering up anything that can be even partially blamed on the likes of bad infrastructure or poor piste management or maintenance or even careless pistenbully or skidoo drivers, or my pet hate of recklessly dangerous skiers or boarders.

It has got to the stage with some peoples behaviour where an active and legally competent ski patrol has to become a feature of every resort. I don't want the police on the slopes but the range of action and sanctions should be from friendly advice right through to restraint and detention whilst awaiting the police for the most serious stuff.
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primoz wrote:
PS: If you make some statistical research, I'm pretty sure there's more injuries and deaths per 1000 skiers off pisten then on piste.


That certainly seems to be the belief of the insurers, who do have the statistics.
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Given that the child is now stable I do question that he 'almost severed his head' Is 'wetter.at' trying to rival 'Kronen Zeitung'? As for the 78 year old man that's tobogganing on icy tracks for you. I do wish British TO's would stop marketing tobogganing evenings as some kind of jolly gentle pastime for all the family. Some of the tracks I have seen would rival bobsleigh for danger in terms of the skill and experience of the participants relative to the severity and condition of the run!
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dogwatch wrote:
primoz wrote:
PS: If you make some statistical research, I'm pretty sure there's more injuries and deaths per 1000 skiers off pisten then on piste.


That certainly seems to be the belief of the insurers, who do have the statistics.


You might well think that is conclusive, however stanton thinks he knows better than the the insurers....
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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.
@Alastair Pink, You only have to live in a Ski Area for the season "s" & your realise...
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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
@dogwatch, can't be... @stanton knows better, as he's never wrong.... rolling eyes
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
How about we use some real numbers. From 'Fatalities on Austrian Ski Slopes During a 5-year period'

http://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(11)00158-X/pdf

(the link seems to break, copy and paste into your browser should work)

Causes of traumatic deaths, N (%)
Fall during skiing 40 (41.2)
Collision with other skier 18 (18.6)
Impact with solid object 34 (35.1)
Avalanche on slope 4 (4.1)
Unknown 1 (1.0)

The major cause of non-traumatic fatalities were heart attacks.

Causes of Non-traumatic Deaths, N (%)
Cardiac arrest during skiing 51 (47.2)
Cardiac arrest while riding on lifts 12 (11.1)
Cardiac arrest while standing on the slope 14 (13.0)
Cardiac arrest in ski huts 2 (1.9)
Unknown 29 (26.9)

based on this it looks to me as if:

- You're just as like to die from a heart attack on the slopes as from a traumatic injury
- Of the fatalities from traumatic injury, 76% were the results of a fall or 'impact with a solid object'.
- Death from Avalanches is just 2% of total fatalities.

Regarding non-fatal ski injuries. I'm sure I saw another report recently that said that something like 87% were self inflicted. ie no-one elses fault.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
That rescue team gets about...
http://www.salzburg24.at/obertauern-kollision-auf-skipiste-mit-fahrerflucht/5181072
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
flangesax wrote:
That rescue team gets about...
http://www.salzburg24.at/obertauern-kollision-auf-skipiste-mit-fahrerflucht/5181072


Yep, some crew that...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@olderscot, My wife has had a 'ski accident' in a carpark by the piste. I took her to the hospital where they initially logged her broken wrist as a ski accident- dressed for skiing wearing ski boots therefore ski accident- but when she added that she slipped on ice in the car park by the side of the piste the ski accident section was quickly crossed out!
So accurate records are kept in France but I suspect they are not published.
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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?
@olderscot, Interesting study. Given the number of Austrians in the traumatic fatalities, I wonder if a number of them were competitive, either competing directly or training. Certainly the inference for me is that there is a very small chance of traumatic fatalities occurring to inexperienced overseas tourists who don't know their own limits.
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@olderscot, There are more Mountain related accidents (injuries/fatals) in the summer than the Winter Happy
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@olderscot, Unfortunately those statistics you quoted seem to be the totals for all skiers/snowboarders using the Austrian slopes in a 5 year period and don't distinguish between on piste and off piste. Since the number of skiers/snowboarders on piste is a lot more than those off piste, those statistics don't tell us anything about the relative individual risk (or risk per 1000 skiers as promoz said) between on piste and off piste.
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@stanton, no!!! Really? Must have something to do with winter season being 4 months long and summer 8. Not sure you would believe, but I'm pretty sure there's also more car accidents in Wien then in Koschach in Maltatal.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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olderscot wrote:
How about we use some real numbers. From 'Fatalities on Austrian Ski Slopes During a 5-year period'

http://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(11)00158-X/pdf

(the link seems to break, copy and paste into your browser should work)

Causes of traumatic deaths, N (%)
Fall during skiing 40 (41.2)
Collision with other skier 18 (18.6)
Impact with solid object 34 (35.1)
Avalanche on slope 4 (4.1)
Unknown 1 (1.0)

The major cause of non-traumatic fatalities were heart attacks.

Causes of Non-traumatic Deaths, N (%)
Cardiac arrest during skiing 51 (47.2)
Cardiac arrest while riding on lifts 12 (11.1)
Cardiac arrest while standing on the slope 14 (13.0)
Cardiac arrest in ski huts 2 (1.9)
Unknown 29 (26.9)

based on this it looks to me as if:

- You're just as like to die from a heart attack on the slopes as from a traumatic injury
- Of the fatalities from traumatic injury, 76% were the results of a fall or 'impact with a solid object'.
- Death from Avalanches is just 2% of total fatalities.

Regarding non-fatal ski injuries. I'm sure I saw another report recently that said that something like 87% were self inflicted. ie no-one elses fault.


You seem to be equating the number involved with a percentage of traumatic injuries with the number for a similar percentage of non- traumatic injures. On what basis?

And are you suggesting that the number involved with the 13% non self-inflicted injuries is insignificant?
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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!
@primoz, Actually it is not the summer season in Austria is June till September Happy However, it is higher due to the age group (summer much higher) hiking in the mountains (injuries,fatals)
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@achilles,

Quote:

You seem to be equating the number involved with a percentage of traumatic injuries with the number for a similar percentage of non- traumatic injures. On what basis?


I'm not I understand what you're asking but 97 traumautic versus 108 non-traumatic fatalities are approximately equal.

Quote:
And are you suggesting that the number involved with the 13% non self-inflicted injuries is insignificant?


Nope. I don't think I said anything along those lines. Everyone who skis needs to make their own risk assessment but the numbers do suggest that any ski accident is far more likely to be the individuals fault than anyone else's.
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@Alastair Pink,
Quote:

@olderscot, Unfortunately those statistics you quoted seem to be the totals for all skiers/snowboarders using the Austrian slopes in a 5 year period and don't distinguish between on piste and off piste. Since the number of skiers/snowboarders on piste is a lot more than those off piste, those statistics don't tell us anything about the relative individual risk (or risk per 1000 skiers as promoz said) between on piste and off piste.


True. I haven't seen any numbers that cover that specifically but they would be interesting.

I suspect the insurers probably have the best insight into that. We could use insurance price as a basic proxy for risk but that really only covers the financial risk and is that even relevant to what we mean by individual risk where I guess we care most about risk of a serious injury (life changing) or fatality rather than minor injury.

I would add that in my own experience the skiers I know who have had 'Be Nice please! I'm going to die' moments were both skiing off piste. One skied off a cliff and survived, the other thought he was about to ski off a cliff so made an emergency stop and bust his ACL.
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