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Bunny hill and green runs more dangerous than blue and black

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
New here, old guy, new skier - intermediate.

I'm going to argue that the bunny (training) hill and green runs are way more dangerous than blue and black runs especially at the beginning of the season. Here's why...

At the beginning of the season, the blue and black runs are mostly empty. Everyone is on the bunny hill and green runs getting their ski legs back. I ski out of Vancouver BC and our ski season runs roughly December to April.

I too spend the first couple of weeks on Bunny and green. They're crowded. I'm going to argue that a novice skier is way more dangerous than an experienced one. If they can even stop, they can unexpectedly stop in the middle of the run, at the trough / base of a depression / hill or at the blind spot of a corner. My only collision this year was also on the bunny hill from a novice that couldn't turn, I was smoked from behind. On the bunny hill this year, I've heard instructors going full bore SCREAMING at their student barreling down the slope unable to stop. Also on bunny this year, I've seen snowboards with no snowboarder whipping down the hill.

Now that we're in mid season, the traffic is lower on green and bunny. But at the end of my last ski, I did a green run ... I respect novices, we were all there at one point but they are hard to deal with.

What do you guys think?

Also trying to break my record of how many times I can say "bunny" in one post (bunny)
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@daddytroopa, I'm inclinded to agree with you. The greens and bluse are more dangerous than the reds and blacks. Whenever I have seen a blood wagon on the piste they are always on the blues. You rarely see them on black pistes.

Not sure you should call them "bunny runs" however. "Marmot runs" may describe the mountain fauna better.
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Yup. There’s a couple of runs in the resort I go to most where, by the end of the day, some of the blue runs (that are bottle necks) are harder to navigate than the more difficult reds or even blacks because the end up being icy mogul fields due to over exaggerated turns.

The only two times that members of my family (1 x my FIL and 1 x my son) were also taken out were on blue runs
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@johnE so red runs are more advanced runs? In the corner of the earth, RED runs are the ones that denote a shortcut or bypass that leads to another chairlift (I think). At least that what I've noticed... and "Marmot" runs are beginner runs? Are you skiing out of Europe?

@Timmycb5 I'm a bit confused by your color coding haha so BLUE runs are the easier runs?

Designing a novice run with a bottleneck sounds like a bad idea. At Cypress Mountain where I do most of my skiing, I noticed that the green or beginner runs have sections where it is clearly a blue / intermediate judging by the uneven terrain and steeper grade. It lasts for about 20-30 meters maybe. Also on the blue / intermediate runs, there are sections spanning roughly 40-50 meters that are clearly black runs. And the advanced "black" runs there are many levels. I can do some of them, but others I swear looks close to a vertical drop. Who the hell can ski that? lol like it scares me to just look down at it.
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@daddytroopa,

Ah Cypress Mtn.
I have a pass for Cypress this year as dilligently listened to Dr Henry's advice to not go skiing at Whistler.
I feel a lot more nervous at Cypress, as I don't think the level of skiing/boarding is quite the same.That said, neither are the levels of runs; there is nothing particularly hard at Cypress.

I think pretty much all the times someone has skied/boarded into me (fortunately not too many times) has been at Cypress - and I've not skied anywhere near as many days there! This wasn't on green runs, and not by beginners - just careless/thoughtless people, or people who had a perceived-ability to actual-ability mismatch.

That loose snowboard thing is crazy - super dangerous. Your probably right about the green/blue runs being the danger zone! Shocked
I did have to convince someone on a bit of icy blue run going down to the Eagle chair that she'd be better off with her skis on, than trying to carry them down and relying on her boot edges!
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@daddytroopa, re colour coding. In the alps the grading goes green, blue, red and then black. Green are mainly the nursery slopes. Blues tend to be the "go to" runs for most low intermediates for getting around the mountain. Reds-are that much steeper, and blacks tend to be steeper and/or ungroomed and allowed to turn into mogul fields. Grading the runs isn't always an exact science-maybe it's a bit of an urban myth, but resorts like to ensure there are blue runs to attract the novices, when in other resorts they might be graded red to show that they have more challenging skiing on offer when in fact they aren't always that difficult. Anyone who has been to Val d'Isere as a novice will know that a couple of the blues back down to the resort are really hard and no fun at the end of a day when you're skied out.

I agree that often it's the easier runs that present more danger. They can be more crowded, with a mix of nervous wobbly beginners and faster self styled "experts", the snow can get skied out more quickly -leading to ice and bumps too. Knee injuries after often caused by falls at slow speed where the bindings don't release too.
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Simples - easier runs are "more dangerous" because there are more accidents on them. Why are there more accidents - because less good skiers fall/crash MUCH more frequently than experienced skiers. When I was learning to ski - european blues and easy reds I fell several times per day, nowadays I fall about the same number of times in a season as I originally did in a day. Black runs are safer because the majority of people know what they are doing.
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Quote:

Simples - easier runs are "more dangerous" because there are more accidents on them.

Easier runs are "more dangerous" because there are more people on them.....
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It depends how you defined "dangerous".

I'd agree you are more likely to have an 'incident' on a green or blue, because they tend to be frequented by less confident/less skilled/skilled-but-inconsiderate skiers (the latter being the ones who believe it's acceptable to take a crowded beginner blue at full speed in the tuck position, using nervous skiiers like slalom poles) but would say they are less likely to end in serious injuries as they tend to happen at lower speeds, so less forces involved than a similar incident on a red or black.

Of course that doesn't mean you see the blood wagon less on green/blue runs - if say black accidents require the blood wagen twice as often as blue ones but you have 4x the number of people on blues than blacks you're going to see a greater number of blood wagon accidents on blues, just because there are a greater number of accidents in total.
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@daddytroopa,
Quote:

@johnE so red runs are more advanced runs? In the corner of the earth, RED runs are the ones that denote a shortcut or bypass that leads to another chairlift (I think). At least that what I've noticed... and "Marmot" runs are beginner runs? Are you skiing out of Europe?

I have skied out of Europe a few times but the vast majority of skiing has been in Europe. As others have pointed out green runs (with the exception of Val d'Isere) are mainly flat and will require some polling, blue runs are easy runs invested with nervous beginners and wanabe racers who haven't yet learnt to turn, red runs are intermediate runs and blacks harder.

It is the combination of crowded pistes and poor control that appears to cause most accidents. Since black runs attract compotent skiers and the moguls that build up on black pistes decrease speeds accidents tend to be less frequent.
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

Simples - easier runs are "more dangerous" because there are more accidents on them.

Easier runs are "more dangerous" because there are more people on them.....


This for sure, heck at the end of a day, taking a black run down slowly is much safer than following the hordes on the blue runs, especially as they are sometimes less cut up due to the lower traffic throughout the day.

I also wouldn't necessarily put it down to less experienced skiers. Yes, they'll play a part, but the number of times I've seen a better skier travelling way too fast for the condition and busy-ness of the run, cutting people up as they zig-zag through the crowds causing people to have to suddenly react.
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Sitter wrote:

I also wouldn't necessarily put it down to less experienced skiers. Yes, they'll play a part, but the number of times I've seen a better skier travelling way too fast for the condition and busy-ness of the run, cutting people up as they zig-zag through the crowds causing people to have to suddenly react.


Yes I tend to agree. Obviously accidents effect all levels, and beginners fall more so might twist something. hurt something in the process. But generally beginners are going so slow that the consequences of their falling is normally harmless (I have a video of myself as a beginner falling on a blue - I swear at the time that I felt like I was going 100mph, but viewing the video I was barely going walking pace!).

Those busy blue runs back into resort always worry me - especially the better skiiers flying down, 'using the novices as slalom poles' as someone perfectly put it. They are horrible runs. I've often recommended downloading to friends in Morzine rather than get the crowded and narrow blue down to Pleney at the end of the day, especially when you hit the man-made snow at the bottom.

Low intermediates can be an issue, as they are starting to get the hang of it but only have a week or so under their belt - as low experience but high confidence equals trouble generally!!
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Quote:

Yes, they'll play a part, but the number of times I've seen a better skier travelling way too fast for the condition and busy-ness of the run, cutting people up as they zig-zag through the crowds causing people to have to suddenly react.


I class these skiers as "less good" skiers. A skier who has the technical skills, but not the awareness and control to be safe for themselves and others cannot be classed as a good skier.
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@RobinS, yes fair point
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Yup, hence using the word better rather than good. And often it comes from people who really should know better, having had a group of Staatlich candidates following their trainer chasing a line that cut my group up when the opposite side of the piste was empty...
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 Poster: A snowHead
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johnE wrote:
@daddytroopa, Whenever I have seen a blood wagon on the piste they are always on the blues. You rarely see them on black pistes.


You tend to slide to the bottom when things go wrong on the true blacks Cool

I think it is more the mixture of new learners, reckless experienced skiers, and the overcrowding that makes the learner runs more dangerous - I also find that alot of the easier runs tend to get over skied - so less ideal conditions and also some end up as bottle necks as they are either transit slopes or slopes feeding back into the village or main gondola station
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@Perty, Also......every resort has a ‘back to base’ run that is graded blue, even if it is a horrible, cut-up red!
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Matt1959 wrote:
@Perty, Also......every resort has a ‘back to base’ run that is graded blue, even if it is a horrible, cut-up red!


Chantemerle, Serre Chevalier.....black run (and sometime race piste) back to valley. There is a ‘green marked piste’ that winds back and forth, occasionally crossing the black that one can also use Shocked . It’s often horrible and one runs the gauntlet of crossing a fast piste in several places. Hideous planning. Fortunately one can download.
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johnE wrote:
...and the moguls that build up on black pistes decrease speeds accidents tend to be less frequent.


Until you cock-up one of your turns and bounce your way over the rest of the mogals to the bottom of the slope.

Of the total number of people who have accidents in the Portes du Soleil each year I'd expect the majority are on blue runs. I'd also expect that of the (thankfully small number of) people who die each year skiing in the Portes du Soleil I doubt many/any of them are on blues, but either off piste (mostly without a guide) or cocking-up a turn near the top of an ice mogal Swiss Wall.
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I find Truite, (Mottaret - Meribel 1450) a deeply unpleasant green 'home run' at the end of the day. Suffers from all the 'bunny' problems - a friend was taken out from behind and suffered such significant injuries to hips and shoulders that his wife has never allowed him back on the slopes again Shocked . Usually just preceded by a steepish blue into Mottaret that I can't remember the name of but always too seems packed.
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suec wrote:
I find Truite, (Mottaret - Meribel 1450) a deeply unpleasant green 'home run' at the end of the day. Suffers from all the 'bunny' problems - a friend was taken out from behind and suffered such significant injuries to hips and shoulders that his wife has never allowed him back on the slopes again Shocked . Usually just preceded by a steepish blue into Mottaret that I can't remember the name of but always too seems packed.
My FIL (who was about 70 at the time) was taken out at the bottom of the bowl in Les Gets by some idiot skiing whilst looking over his shoulder and doing about 35/40mph. This was in the confluence of 8 runs and 5 lifts and is a "slow" zone. There was a yellow stain on the snow around his midrift where he fell, and before my brain could work out what was going on, I had visions of his bladder having burst out of his stomach. Turns out it was just a carton of orange juice he had in his pocked. How he wasn't badly injured is probably more luck than anything else.
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I think the area for most serious injuries per number of users is The Park.

As a pisteurs chum said to me in Tignes, if you are going to have an accident that needs 1st Aid then have it in the Palet Sector (where the parks are) they get far more practice at serious 1st Aid. Shocked
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It all depends on the time of day and conditions. I would love to know anything more dangerous than narrow section of the black run Trolles in Tignes, about 4pm on an icy mid Feb day.

It's not just the carnage on the piste, but some go higher above the run and falling onto the run, scattering punters like tenpins
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@Frosty the Snowman, Trolles may be scary, but Henri is perhaps more so. I just looked at a piste map of Tignes. I thought there was a red run from the top of Tommuse to Val Claret, but cannot find it any more. That used to be a bit scary
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Worst run has to be Santons in Val d'Isere for me. It used to be blue (thankfully now regraded to red) and the only other runs down to resort are black. That means it attracts novice skiers. The run starts as a gully with sides that are too steep / close together for a novice to link their turns together, so in that section you'll regularly come across novices stopped right in front of you, possibly sliding backwards down from the sides. About 3/4 of the way down the gully opens out and you can see the flat valley floor below you. However fast you go you'll be polling by the end, so it's becomes a competition to build up as much speed as possible and dodge round the novices who have already lost their speed. Personally I'd choose the other route down, even if it does happen to be a World Cup race piste.
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There's a blue down to the bottom at Sauze (Clotes?) that's a nightmare at the end of the day. Narrow, slushy, and heaving.
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@daddytroopa, reading this I think we should be grateful for what we have! Kind of forgot (or blocked out) some of the joys of skiing in Europe Madeye-Smiley
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daddytroopa wrote:
@johnE so red runs are more advanced runs? In the corner of the earth, RED runs are the ones that denote a shortcut or bypass that leads to another chairlift (I think). At least that what I've noticed... and "Marmot" runs are beginner runs? Are you skiing out of Europe?

Hello! This is a UK based ski forum! Where do you think most people ski? Canada??? rolling eyes
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stuarth wrote:
@daddytroopa,

Ah Cypress Mtn.
I have a pass for Cypress this year as dilligently listened to Dr Henry's advice to not go skiing at Whistler.
I feel a lot more nervous at Cypress, as I don't think the level of skiing/boarding is quite the same.That said, neither are the levels of runs; there is nothing particularly hard at Cypress.

I think pretty much all the times someone has skied/boarded into me (fortunately not too many times) has been at Cypress - and I've not skied anywhere near as many days there! This wasn't on green runs, and not by beginners - just careless/thoughtless people, or people who had a perceived-ability to actual-ability mismatch.

That loose snowboard thing is crazy - super dangerous. Your probably right about the green/blue runs being the danger zone! Shocked
I did have to convince someone on a bit of icy blue run going down to the Eagle chair that she'd be better off with her skis on, than trying to carry them down and relying on her boot edges!


Oh hey another local! You must be the only one listening to Dr. Henry, Whistler has been hit pretty good with COVID and they've been selling out tickets. But me too, I'm following guidelines too and restricting travel. Cypress, Grouse and Seymour are local to me Smile

Yea nuts, I was on the chairlift when I saw the first one and I was near the bottom of the slope for the second one. Its the bunny hill so its a long straight stretch, picked up some impressive speed. People yell down the line almost like they knew what to do ... I'm guessing this isn't the first time haha

I just find it way more dangerous to ski with people who can't control themselves / stop / turn rather than someone who's experienced but being an idiot. Well being a novice skier I haven't skied Whistler. At $2K for a season pass and ~$200 for a day pass it kind of prices me out - too expensive plus the extra travel time. Three day passes are reasonable though.
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From a European perspective, wildly inconsistent piste grading increases the risk of collision, injury and unpleasant experiences.

It should be the one change that would be easiest to implement. More consistent piste grading. But as long as the individual resort marketing people have a big influence on it, then it won’t change much.

Might upset a few people who make a good living out of dealing with the consequences of collisions and injuries too.
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abc wrote:
daddytroopa wrote:
@johnE so red runs are more advanced runs? In the corner of the earth, RED runs are the ones that denote a shortcut or bypass that leads to another chairlift (I think). At least that what I've noticed... and "Marmot" runs are beginner runs? Are you skiing out of Europe?

Hello! This is a UK based ski forum! Where do you think most people ski? Canada??? rolling eyes


Yep, where else would anyone want to ski? Madeye-Smiley wink
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abc wrote:
daddytroopa wrote:
@johnE so red runs are more advanced runs? In the corner of the earth, RED runs are the ones that denote a shortcut or bypass that leads to another chairlift (I think). At least that what I've noticed... and "Marmot" runs are beginner runs? Are you skiing out of Europe?

Hello! This is a UK based ski forum! Where do you think most people ski? Canada??? rolling eyes


Well, yea actually!

This will probably get me banned but I had to look up the definition of "piste" haha
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Mjit wrote:
It depends how you defined "dangerous".

I'd agree you are more likely to have an 'incident' on a green or blue, because they tend to be frequented by less confident/less skilled/skilled-but-inconsiderate skiers (the latter being the ones who believe it's acceptable to take a crowded beginner blue at full speed in the tuck position, using nervous skiiers like slalom poles) but would say they are less likely to end in serious injuries as they tend to happen at lower speeds, so less forces involved than a similar incident on a red or black.

Of course that doesn't mean you see the blood wagon less on green/blue runs - if say black accidents require the blood wagen twice as often as blue ones but you have 4x the number of people on blues than blacks you're going to see a greater number of blood wagon accidents on blues, just because there are a greater number of accidents in total.


Well I was defining "dangerous" as danger to ME from other skiers! Being hit by a loose snowboard, collisions from novices ... never ski under a char lift on a novice run!
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abc wrote:
daddytroopa wrote:
@johnE so red runs are more advanced runs? In the corner of the earth, RED runs are the ones that denote a shortcut or bypass that leads to another chairlift (I think). At least that what I've noticed... and "Marmot" runs are beginner runs? Are you skiing out of Europe?

Hello! This is a UK based ski forum! Where do you think most people ski? Canada??? rolling eyes


But then it is a .com site so not quite as obvious as if it were .co.uk
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daddytroopa wrote:
never ski under a char lift on a novice run!


Geez, what resort do you go to that has separate lifts for the cleaning staff! Do the charwomen (/charpeople) keep dropping their mops? wink
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The blues going into Plagne Bellecote are a horrible bottleneck. I've seen a skier going too fast, losing control and landing in a hotel balcony adjacent to the piste. Also somebody losing it and going smack into one of those artificial snow blower things. The green through Plagne Centre isn't much better - a mix of beginners practising their snowploughs and faster skiers using it as a rat run between lifts.
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Quote:

This will probably get me banned but I had to look up the definition of "piste" haha

Though a lot of users of this site ski in Austria the word "piste" is used here almost universally. For some reason the alternative "fahrt" is rarely used
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I spent a week in late Feb in Tignes Levachet/Lac a few years ago and a chopper had to land on the piste from the Val d'Isere side back into the village almost every day to collect someone. At the end of the day, the top part was horribly narrow and crowded (still French school hols), then there was a long straight schuss which flattened and rose slightly before the front de neige so people were going full pelt down it. I wouldn't stay in that part of Tignes again TBH - or have they fixed it? Checking the piste map out just now it doesn't look quite how I remember it.

And @Captain Snowpants, my mum broke her collar bone on one of those blues into Bellecote, but I think that was poor light/snow rather than other skiers. And some of the fiddly runs just above Plagne Centre (from Soleil/Villages) are worse than the green in the middle, I think!
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I think it is absolute nonsense that greens (I loathe the soppy yankism "bunny slopes") are more dangerous inherently - how can they be?
The cause of any danger is the users.
Beginners, because they lack control and therefore we should all allow them space to develop. But mainly because more experienced skiers switch off and fail to concentrate on "easy" terrain. It is that simple.

I speak from experience and a propensity to fall over stationary and while on flats for this very reason
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RobinS wrote:

I class these skiers as "less good" skiers. A skier who has the technical skills, but not the awareness and control to be safe for themselves and others cannot be classed as a good skier.


Hum,
http://youtube.com/v/ygxufRprWpY
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