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Another who's fault is this question?, snowHeads ski forum
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Another who's fault is this question?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I saw this on social media and following on from the debate around FIS rules etc. I thought it was interesting (the collision is 6 seconds in) as its rare to see this captured from a helpful angle like this.


http://youtube.com/v/z7W7d0cN49g

The person posting the clip on social media (I think the video is from a camera at the resort, rather than anyone's personal camera) clearly had a strong opinion who was to blame, but most comments had the opposing view, so I'm curious to see what the consensus is here (I don't know either party for the avoidance of doubt so don't hold back).

Of course everyone has a duty (and presumably a strong desire) to avoid a collision, but in instances like this, is it possible one party could do nothing, or are both responsible?


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 26-01-22 18:51; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
If you take out the bracketed stuff and just post the YouTube link it will work better.
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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?
Ah cool, thanks, that works much better!
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looks like skier responsible to me? Snowboarder crosses their path but downhill from the skier and nothing unpredictable in their movement and they can't see behind them (maybe a more experienced snowboarder would look over their shoulder). To be honest I would partly blame the skier in front - they chose a very close line to the snowboarder and it looks like the kid was just following them although the one in front does not appear to be an instructor and there isn't a snake or anything that would have the snowboarder on alert. the rest of the kids in bibs are all over the piste doing their own thing. Curious to know what the consensus was online!
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@susieq78, I'll let people have their say here first and then will summarise the comments for comparison.
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Ideally the boarder would have looked over their shoulder but ultimately the skier is the one uphill. Looks like their view may have been blocked by the skier in front, but then they shouldn't have been so close leaving little time to react? Puzzled
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The skier. It should have been clear the snowboarder was traversing across the slope. Skier should not 2nd guess when the SB is going to turn back across the slope. The speed the snowboarder is going compared to the skier, also highlights the inexperience and lack of awareness due to concentrating on their own manoeuvres. Skier showed lack of judgement reading the slope due to being over confident by straightlining on what looks like 2 slopes joining into one


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Wed 26-01-22 19:14; edited 1 time in total
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50/50
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Looks like 50/50 blame on both. The snowboarder was a bit higher and on such a crowded slope there really isn't space to go that wide on the blind side. The skier looks like quite a beginner that is focused only forward with no spacial awareness. On such a crowded piste you should look to the sides more. So while the snowboarder hit the skier from behind,, there is plenty of blame to go around
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As above, I would file that as one of the unavoidable/intrinsic risks when skiing on crowded beginner slopes. Hopefully nobody was hurt/lost their temper.
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@sugardaddy, i think the skier hits the snowboarder from behind? Smack in the back?
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Racing incident in F1 terminology
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Technically, clearly the skier as they were uphill. However, in this instance, I’d say there was less culpability given the third party intervention of other non-colliding parties. As such, one of those things with not much blame to anyone. If the skier was more capable then more blame but, as commented already, they are clearly less able and therefore more affected by other events. Hopefully, one of those crashes where no-one hurt and everyone apologises and carries on.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Arno wrote:
Racing incident in F1 terminology


Stole the exact words I was thinking. How much to get them back?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Either of them could have avoided it by looking more carefully, neither of them did and reacted to avoid, but neither of them caused it by some random or ill-advised change of direction. So no-one to blame. Don't blame and carry on.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Both wearing goggles

No peripheral vision...
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On a busy piste, which likely has beginners on it (given the terrain) and what appears to be a lift loading area, why is the boarder cutting across the piste blind side up hill and subsequently colliding with the skier who appears to be well over to to right hand side of the piste (skiers right). The skier doesn’t look to be speeding, hard to tell, but they certainly didn’t have much piste left to move towards (to their right) at the point of impact.

On balance, I’d say 50:50 but I would question a long turn, blind side uphill, in a congested area where there should be uncertainty about other slope user’s ability/experience.
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Dad and kid at fault. Dad for being totally oblivious to downslope boarder. Kid for blindly following dad.

Boarder didn't help themselves as above by wide turns on a high traffic area near base of lift but under the code responsibility with the skiers.
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Technically, by the letter of the law, the skier is at fault by being higher up the slope.

But it’s actually the boarders fault for choosing to snowboard in the first place.

NehNeh
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The boarder looks to be a beginner too. And may be boarding across the width of the piste to build up courage to make a turn.

In this case I think the skier should have avoided the boarder who was clearly traversing the piste.

The skier seems more interested in watching the one in front who narrowly avoids the same boarder.
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Jagerbull wrote:
The skier seems more interested in watching the one in front who narrowly avoids the same boarder.


“Follow me, and turn where I turn”….possibly an oft used instruction….and one that narrows focus, possibly….
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@Jagerbull, exactly what I thought - definitely looks like a nervous boarder putting off a turn.
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I'd say it was the skier's fault - he should have slowed down, and waited to see what the boarder below him decided to do.
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Both of them are a danger to others. They can't expect everyone else to look out for them.

There were three people in that: the left hand pair of snowplough skiers look like a pair, a snake.
The skier at the back of that pair was likely focused on the one in front... who led her into the line of the snowboarder.
The leader of the pair didn't stop, which is a bit odd. But then the pair's previous turn, just before this
collision, looked to cut up another skier, so I think the leader may have been completely gormless.

  • The snake leader needs to take more care.
  • The snowboarder needs to watch out for others, especially on heel side turns..
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I blame the boarder - busy piste like that he should take a look up before traversing. Skier had no chance.
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On a piste like that, all slope users should be trying to anticipate the movements of the others.
Especially as there appear to be a lot of beginners.

The boarder should look round more but as I said earlier they are clearly a beginner and are probably focusing on not falling.

The skier needs to appreciate typical movements of snowboarders and adapt their lines accordingly when uphill like that.
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Quote:

The skier needs to appreciate typical movements of snowboarders and adapt their lines accordingly when uphill like that.


and even if the skier had never seen a boarder in his life, he was heading into a situation where he had no idea where the other guy was gonna go. So he should have slowed right down and been in control of his speed and direction.
I don't think it's reasonable to expect a beginner snowboarder, travelling slowly, to anticipate the movements of people on the hill above.
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 You know it makes sense.
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Road traffic accidents are usually caused by one person doing something they shouldn't do and another not paying attention.

Transpose that to this ski slope, and you could say the snowboarder should not have been making that turn and the skier should have been paying more attention.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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So interestingly (I did try to paste the Facebook link, but it seems to demand you login, even though its on a public page so didn't bother, happy to if people want it of course), the majority thought the boarder was to blame (I'd estimate roughly 9/10 took that stance). However I feel that part of the reason for that is because the poster (an online ski portal) slightly unprofessionally perhaps took it upon themselves to blame the child.

Many people, possibly disliked their attitude, rather than the message (if that makes sense). The portal eventually amended their post to remove reference to blaming the child, but stating they felt it was unforgivable they didn't stop to help, which drew much more sympathy.

I must confess after my first viewing I thought it was clearly the boarder's fault...then I thought actually 50/50 and now I can see the case for the skier being at fault (which is why I posted here as I suspected people would be able to articulate a sensible view better than facebook and I was quite keen to get perspective), although it looked like both were beginners, so it makes it tricky to apportion full blame (or maybe not I guess, it just feels that there was no reckless intent here, just sheer bad luck / limited skill and awareness).

What is very frightening is that the lady in question (the boarder) ended up with a broken spine, as from the clip I didn't think it looked as severe as that.

Personally I have always worn a back protector when boarding, but not when skiing. The rest of my family ski and although the lady here was boarding, after seeing the pictures she posted of pins in her back I'm kitting them out with back protectors ahead of our next trip (and wearing one if whether I board or ski)!!
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 Poster: A snowHead
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That is very sad indeed from looked like a fairly innocuous accident. I watched the video right to the end and thought it was a bit wrong that the skier just dusted down and went on their way while the boarder was still laid flat out (also that the adult they appeared to be following didn't stop)... but then no idea how old the child was and if they were part of a class (with bib on) they probably felt they needed to be going. If the child was supposed to be following the adult and the adult was fully aware they were following, then personally I think the adult really has a lot to answer for. They cut a line far too fine near the boarder, inexcusable if they knew they had a kid following behind. You could see it coming a good 15 or so metres before the collision.
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Based on the FIS rules, the skier is coming from behind (uphill), so contravenes rule 3, and as they ski off without checking on the snowboarder, also contravenes rules 9 and 10. I don't think the snowboarder contravenes any of the rules (though you could take a broad interpretation of rule 1, but that would apply at least as much to the skier).

Some have said the snowboarder should 'look around more' or 'look uphill before traversing', but that seems somewhat idealistic given how many more experienced skiers/boarders don't look at all before starting off (rule 5)
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susieq78 wrote:
They cut a line far too fine near the boarder, inexcusable if they knew they had a kid following behind. You could see it coming a good 15 or so metres before the collision.


There is no question, in my book, whether skiers or boarders, in congested areas, near up-loading areas, on benign pistes where there are likely to be learners, they should not be making big sweeping turns across a piste, especially (in the case of a boarder), where that turn exposes their blind/uphill side to potential collision.

Having looked at the footage umpteen times, it also looks as though the skier in front executed a right turn. If the skier behind was indeed following, then their field of vision may well have missed the boarder.

Again, I reckon it’s 50:50.

Very sad to hear of the awful injury. Dreadful Sad
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I wouldn't really say that's a big sweeping turn across the piste though really, more like traversing until they are comfortable enough to turn - very typical of a novice snowboarder who is still learning themselves and not doing anything in breach of the rules. I don't think you can expect much more. That said, I have in my time on my snowboard crossed paths with skiers where blind spots and peripheral vision have undoubtedly played a part for us both and just thank my lucky stars never to have hurt anyone or have been hurt myself in a collision. Sobering stuff.
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Can you explain why, @Whitegoldsbrother?
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Either of them could have avoided the collision, therefore they must both have some responsibility for it.

I think it's a mistake to (a) assume there's always one individual to blame; and (b) that "rules" are useful in all cases.
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@philwig, yes, I don’t know why it need to be all or nothing. They both made mistakes and got unlucky
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On the road, no matter how "suddenly" someone in front of you stops, it's always your fault if you run into the back of them.
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I think there is some bias from skiers in making up additional responsibilities for a beginner boarder that they would never seek to impose on a beginner skier. The vic could have been a beginner skier just as easily and the 2 skiers would have the same culpability because they just weren't looking.

More practically however that area was a clear warzone and everyone choosing to enter it should have been hyper alert with a clear plan B and C.
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