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Is this crash my fault?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
dp wrote:
I really don't think there's any actual doubt it's the OPs fault.


I mean there clearly is actual doubt, hence the difference of opinions. I'm not saying it was or wasn't his fault, but when there is such a divide in opinions then just because you feel one way about it, doesn't mean there isn't any doubt
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@dp, Very Happy Another phrase I recall from my days as a bridge watchkeeping officer is "Assumptions shall not be made on the basis of scanty information"
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@Bennisboy, indeed. At the very least, there is doubt about what the camera footage is actually telling us. See Scarlet's post at 22.52 yesterday.
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Has anyone checked Wisden's Laws of Cricket to see where that stands on the issue?
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@Richard_Sideways, Laughing
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Wow, this is causing a lot of debate which is what the OP was looking for.

Like many have said, well done for being brave enough to post this and ask for critique.

My 2 pence worth is not looking up hill / around you before setting off is akin to pulling out of a junction in a car without looking both ways and then when another car crashes into you, saying well nothing is usually coming, I thought it would be clear.

Lesson learned, move on.
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dp wrote:

You can't take an approach, which Blackblade seems to be suggesting, that providing you can squeeze past and get ahead of the other skier, you now have right of way and it's their role to compensate. I understand what Blackblade is saying, but if you are close enough that this is able to occur, you are TOO CLOSE. Just because you can physically fit past somebody, it doesn't mean you've passed by a safe distance. And that, IMO, is the critical thing. You need to leave a nice big space between you and the skier you're passing... so if they make a sudden turn, or they lose an edge, or suddenly fall... they're not heading straight into your path.

The OP didn't leave enough space. End of. The OP passed too close. In some situations, it'd have panned out OK. In this case it didn't, and it reminds us why we need to leave plenty of room.


I'm not quite suggesting this. I'm simply saying that if you can overtake, within the rules, and complete the manoeuvre whilst giving space to the OS then, once it's complete, a different situation then pertains.

My read of the video - but I've said many times it's inconclusive given that the angles can't be accurately discerned - is that the overtake was complete probably around second 4 in the video thus giving the OS 2 seconds and plenty of space to react to the OP's presence.

You can see from the video that the OS is a considerable distance away and, at around 4 seconds, would not have had to look uphill to see the OP - he would have been comfortably within the 180 degree arc.

So, I'm not suggesting the OP was not at fault - but I am suggesting that the OS failed in his duty to keep good observation. Whilst you have a right to ski as you wish right NOW without worrying about uphill skiers you DON'T have an inalienable right to a piece of piste in the future when the situation has changed - provided it has changed legitimately.

The contention between the 50/50 bunch and the 100/0 bunch is simply whether you think the overtake was completed or not at the point of impact. And, as I said, there is insufficient evidence to support either position from the video conclusively so none of us knows conclusively.
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Richard_Sideways wrote:
Has anyone checked Wisden's Laws of Cricket to see where that stands on the issue?


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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I think sometimes discussions about right of way miss the point somewhat and I think this is due to the legal role the FIS rules play. I think it's true (is it not?) that in a court they would be one of the things that would be used to help to determine liability for an accident.

Nevertheless, the reason for the FIS rules isn't to assign blame but to avoid accidents. I wouldn't want the OP to blame himself, I don't think there was any intent.

So putting that question aside, I've found myself in similar situations where there are slower skiers in front of me who do unpredictable things.....and I've been the unpredictable skier too. When you are skiing, dealing with what is in front of you is as much as anyone can deal with and thats the reason for the downhill rule. Don't worry about what is uphill, you need to look after the people in front of you, and the people behind you need to look after you.

So in this case, there's been an accident and the question is only "could I have looked after the other skier better?"

I think the answer to that may be yes although it may not have been obvious at the time. I can't tell whether the other skier could have looked after you better also, but regardless of whether they do, you should still look after them as best you can. You may have more experience or simply a better awareness of your surroundings, they might look better than they are for the brief period you see them.

The approach I take is to assume that every other skier is a lunatic intent on tricking me with their random turns and liability to fall over at anytime....and don't start me about snowboarders who just decide to sit down wink


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Wed 28-02-18 15:37; edited 1 time in total
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tangowaggon wrote:
If it’s tosh then prove it. Refute the argument. Simply calling it tosh is pointless and infantile.

Okay, the os is traversing across the slope quite legitimately, looking across/down the slope as you would expect, the op is skiing straight down the slope, straight into the path of the other skier and gets T boned but lucky for him, it's the os that loses it. Being the uphill skier, the op has the os in his field of vision for a couple of seconds and fails to take evasive action. The op does not enter the os's field of vision untill they a few cm from making contact and it is impossible for the os to take any evasive action.


Let me get very specific then. My assumption, based on an inconclusive video, is that the overtake was completed by second 4 thus providing the OS with two seconds, and plenty of space, to react to the OP. That, I would contend, is more than sufficient time to react and is legitimate since at 30mph that equates to 26.67m of distance (no, I don't know how fast either was actually travelling, I'm making a guess).

As someone will probably point out, at 4sec, you can't actually see the OS in the video. That's what I meant about angles - I tried to work backwards from impact and degree of approach to figure out when the two of them were parallel on the slope. The geometry suggests around 4s BUT without knowing the actual speed of each skier and having only one viewpoint and not being entirely sure about the plane of the slope it is inconclusive. Ultimately, no one knows for sure.

It's quite clear, from the video, that the OS doesn't notice the OP until the very last split second BUT, and hence why I call it 50/50, that is his failure to keep proper observation. I don't think it is reasonable to expect that you can plot a line down a piste, which is shared with other skiers, and assume that because you are NOW the downhill skier it is your right to your entire planned route into the future. If another skier overtakes legitimately, giving you sufficient room, then in the future they now have a right to space too and the onus passes to you to modify your course.

Looking at the OS in the video, my distinct impression is that this is someone who is not looking where he is going ...
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BoardieK wrote:
@dp, Very Happy Another phrase I recall from my days as a bridge watchkeeping officer is "Assumptions shall not be made on the basis of scanty information"


But in this case we only have scanty information ... so it's fun to speculate but we can't know with any certainty.
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dp wrote:
Rubbish. As I previously stated, the rule with regards to uphill / downhill skier is not to be taken absolutely literally, whereby the second you pass you become the 'downhill' skier with automatic right of way. If you start the manoeuvre as the uphill skier, you are responsible for ensuring the manoeuvre is safe until the completion of said manoeuvre is complete - IE you are on the other side of that skier with a safe gap between you again. There is no transfer of responsibility at the immediate moment that you pass.


Quite. A failure of understanding of the skier who once overtook me on a cat track, but never got all the way past, and then headed my way which would have pushed me over the "cliff" edge - so I fell over towards the mountain and knocked him over. In retrospect, I should have taken a bit of speed off to let him past more quickly, so I was idiotic for not looking after myself properly.
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dogwatch wrote:

By "six seconds" I meant the six second point in the video. I think that given a few moments of thought, that is obvious from what I wrote, since the interpretation you have followed is indeed nonsensical. If you look at the video at six seconds, you will see the skiers are a split second from impact.


OK, I agree, at six seconds in the video they are split seconds from impact.

BUT, at the point of impact, the OP is at 0 degrees in the OS's vision - dead ahead or as near as makes no difference.

Therefore, the OP MUST have appeared in the OS's field of vision some time before the collision. Since we don't know the speed or the angle of approach and can only guess them we can't be sure but using simple geometry and working back I would suggest that the OP would have been visible to the OS at around second 4 in the video. The fact that the OS failed to observe properly despite the fact that the OP was now within his 180 degree arc or vision is what makes it partly his fault.

I think that because the OS didn't make proper observation and clearly only reacts to the OP at the very last split second is what is causing some to wholly blame the OP. They're arguing that since he was surprised by the presence of the OP the OP clearly didn't give him enough room and hadn't completed the overtake. I'm arguing that the OS would definitely have had more time to see the OP and take avoiding action and that, since he didn't, he is partly culpable.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
...and in frames 313 to 367, you'll clearly see the OPs uphill skitip move back, and to the left...back, and to the left... back... and to the left...
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Quote:

Let me get very specific then. My assumption, based on an inconclusive video, is that the overtake was completed by second 4 thus providing the OS with two seconds, and plenty of space, to react to the OP. That, I would contend, is more than sufficient time to react and is legitimate since at 30mph that equates to 26.67m of distance (no, I don't know how fast either was actually travelling, I'm making a guess).

OK, if the op had completed his overtake of the os by second 4, short of the os taking a leap in space / time, how did he then appear ahead of the op by second 6? by which time, the os is clearly downhill of the op.
Even if the os did clock the op, he would then be faced with a decision, stick to my line that the op is predicting (not, in this case) or take evasive action which may put me straight into the evasive line that the op might take.

Lesson for the op is to never underestimate the unpredictability of others.
Lesson for the os is to keep eyes AND ears open at all times, even if you think you have the slope to yourself, it might save you from someone else's mistake.
Both of the above are lessons for us all.
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@tangowaggon +1
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How about another perspective, could it be argued the OS was actually the overtaking (uphill) skier?

At start of video he was certainly behind/uphill of OP, although maybe that's not classified as overtaking as OP is (possibly) stationary.

And from another perspective I am struggling to characterise OP's actions as an overtake anyway. At 6s OP appears to be fractionally behind OS, a position he appears to maintain right up until impact. It looks to me that OS was travelling faster than OP, but following longer track.

Not to say there isn't blame on OP, but as others I'd say 50/50.
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Just read through this thread and whilst it has got a little heated and personal at times, I’m willing to partake. As a relative beginner, who has only got 50 hours in a snow dome and recently a week on the mountains, as experience; my view is the op is at fault. Let me re-phrase it, I wouldn’t have hit the skier coming across me. The op looked in his direction, as shown by the camera footage. It only takes a second for the human brain to calculate converging paths. It’s not as if there were loads of other people below him whose paths he had to also consider and calculate. If I’d seen a guy whose direction of travel appeared to cross my path, albeit from a brief glance at him; I would have looked at him again for longer, to see if our speeds would have resulted in our paths possibly converging and would have been ready to change direction or slow down. It’s as simple as that in my mind.

Maybe the op had switched off, as the piste appeared to be empty. Or maybe he was thinking about trying to get good video footage instead of concentrating on those around him. Either way, he looked at the guy, didn’t look at him again and carried on regardless. Flame away. Toofy Grin
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Both are slightly at fault although one is more at fault than the other.
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@Awdbugga,
http://youtube.com/v/kQFKtI6gn9Y
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From the POV of the op’s camera, the os went into him. From my POV in my garden, the sun moves in space while the earth is still. Perspective is everything. I can’t help feeling that the questions which the op asked have actually been answered and that the video doesn’t contribute that much to the answers. But as they say, please pass the popcorn Cool
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All we need is for @CallumDA to please let us know as to whether he was stopped on the slope to start his camera, as is evident from the footage. At zero hours he sets off without looking left and up to see who's behind. From that point on he's uphill. Everything else is filler.
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Awdbugga wrote:
If I’d seen a guy whose direction of travel appeared to cross my path, albeit from a brief glance at him; I would have looked at him again for longer, to see if our speeds would have resulted in our paths possibly converging and would have been ready to change direction or slow down. It’s as simple as that in my mind.


Whilst your overall point isn't wrong IMO, this is not the right approach.

You do not need to question whether your paths converge. The FIS rules make it clear that you need to allow for the skier to make an unexpected turn or have an accident and you to still avoid them.

In short, you need to give ample clearance when overtaking people - regardless of whether you anticipate that their line and yours actually cross.
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Kudos to the OP for asking the question. But imho he is at fault. Clip starts with OP stationary, slowish moving traverser (the only other piste user in sight) skis past. OP takes off (as has been said- not looking) within 6-7 secs there is a collision.
Whether or not the OP (as it looks) is taking the fall line, and the OS is skiing edge to edge. 7secs from setting off to colliding is unacceptable
For those that say the OS is behind. is it possible to start skiing after the Os, then catch up and overtake, then slowdown enough for the ‘new’ uphill skier to hit him?
All within 7-secs.
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Quote:

In short, you need to give ample clearance when overtaking people


Precisely. Beware also of anyone above or below you wearing or carrying a camera, especially the snowboarder I saw last week using a selfie stick at some speed.
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@dp, +1

And minus 1 for all the pedants who simply trot out the ‘uphill skier’ mantra.
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dp wrote:
Awdbugga wrote:
If I’d seen a guy whose direction of travel appeared to cross my path, albeit from a brief glance at him; I would have looked at him again for longer, to see if our speeds would have resulted in our paths possibly converging and would have been ready to change direction or slow down. It’s as simple as that in my mind.


Whilst your overall point isn't wrong IMO, this is not the right approach.

You do not need to question whether your paths converge. The FIS rules make it clear that you need to allow for the skier to make an unexpected turn or have an accident and you to still avoid them.

In short, you need to give ample clearance when overtaking people - regardless of whether you anticipate that their line and yours actually cross.


The FIS may well correctly make it clear that you have to allow for the skier to make an unexpected turn, but in this case it was clear that if the skier below didn't turn, their paths may well cross. Either way, the op should have looked again at the skier to see if - A) their paths would in fact collide, as his current direction of travel suggested, or B) he would in fact make an "unexpected" turn and all would be well. He didn't look again and the skier didn't make the turn, he didn't fall and crash, instead he carried on the same path; and from the collision, I think it safe to say the op didn't give him "ample clearance".

Maybe it's because I'm still a relative beginner at skiing, or maybe it's because I used to be a motorcyclist where we are taught to assume that everyone on the road is a myopic idiot; but as soon as I glanced the downhill skier coming in my direction, I would have assumed the worst and kept my eye on him. After all the op didn't have anyone else to look at and consider. Had the piste been heaving with people of all abilities, skiing different lines at different speeds, with some falling over, then I'd give the op the benefit of the doubt; as that would be lot to take in an process quickly. In this case the piste in front was empty, he glanced the downhill skier and ignored him. No brainer to me. But fair do's to the op for asking the question on a forum like this; where people are not shy in expressing their opinions. I sincerely doubt he'll make the same mistake again, so some good has come out of it. Toofy Grin
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Awdbugga wrote:


The FIS may well correctly make it clear that you have to allow for the skier to make an unexpected turn, but in this case it was clear that if the skier below didn't turn, their paths may well cross. Either way, the op should have looked again at the skier to see if - A) their paths would in fact collide, as his current direction of travel suggested, or B) he would in fact make an "unexpected" turn and all would be well. He didn't look again and the skier didn't make the turn, he didn't fall and crash, instead he carried on the same path; and from the collision, I think it safe to say the op didn't give him "ample clearance".


Absolutely - hence why I said I didn't agree with you.

BUT. The point is that the OP should have given him ample clearance, regardless of whether their lines would have crossed, or not. The fact that they do is moot in the context of this scenario. Because the overtaking skier needs to take into account that the other skier might carry on in their same line, but they might also turn (not necessarily away from danger - see Weathercam's video of a skier turning back up the mountain), or they might decide they want to stop suddenly, or they might yardsale their skis and equipment in 6 different directions whilst face-planting the piste. You have to allow ample room for any of these things to occur.

Quote:

Maybe it's because I'm still a relative beginner at skiing, or maybe it's because I used to be a motorcyclist where we are taught to assume that everyone on the road is a myopic idiot; but as soon as I glanced the downhill skier coming in my direction, I would have assumed the worst and kept my eye on him.


I've always said I think everyone should ski with the assumption that everyone else on the mountain wants to kill you, which is the motorbike logic.

You don't need to assume the worst though. You just keep your eye on them because you're the overtaking skier and it's your responsibility to do so.

Like I said I'm not suggesting your overall assessment of the situation is wrong - the OP is in the wrong, especially - as you said - in a situation where a piste is so empty! But all I was pointing out is that basically, whether or not the OS was actually going to cross paths with the OP is a totally moot point. The OP should have passed in a manner where the OS could have done absolutely anything, without affecting the OP. That's the point. Too many ski accidents happen because people pass other skiers, assuming that said skier will stick to the path they're currently skiing. Then that skier puts a wide turn in, stops suddenly, falls over... etc etc and Bam! There is no time to react to the change.
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 You know it makes sense.
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Awdbugga wrote:
But fair do's to the op for asking the question on a forum like this; where people are not shy in expressing their opinions. I sincerely doubt he'll make the same mistake again, so some good has come out of it. Toofy Grin

Do you mean that he'll not make the mistake of asking for opinions? wink

If nothing else, reading all the different interpretations of how one should behave on piste is illuminating and the reason why, as someone said, you need to have a swivel head at every opportunity.
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No wonder it takes so long for VAR decisions in footy Very Happy

My penny worth - both could have been more aware - but although a bit unfortunate on the op I do think he was the uphill skier and therefore would probably be blamed if legal proceeding took place
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