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Do you appreciate pole clicking?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
people keep likening it to a bike bell. If so then both are an instruction from the one behind requesting the one in front to move to one side or make space.
If you're the one behind me, and don't want me to do anything.. here's a clue... don't do anything. Then I probably won't change course, which is what you wanted anyway.

Sure if someone is being a total dick/menace on a cat track and blocking everyone off, then some kind of audible warning might be in order. But otherwise, just go with the flow, pass if there's space, don't pass if there isn't.
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Richard_Sideways wrote:
Eliminate any confusion over misinterpretation with quick series of blasts on an air horn, or the simple universally accepted scream of "ACHTUUUNG!!"
Normally gets the point across...


That only works well on any Frenchies in the way, which they usually are.

However, what you fail to comprehend, is the depth of unspoken fear and dread that the humble pole-click has on your average middle aged Brit.

There is an element of PTSD when such a sound is heard and the number of pages on this topic is a testament to that.


http://youtube.com/v/sDLcKqV_WjA&pp=ygUlSGlzdG9yaWMgbWlzdGFrZSBsb25nZXN0IGRheSBib2x0IGFjdA%3D%3D

BTW, it works very well on Yanks as they usually swerve quite violently out to the sides, perhaps looking for cover. Blush
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When I ring my bike bell it is mostly just a warning, not because I want them to "do" anything different. When you are walking along a quiet path it's startling to have a bike pass. I have sometimes been chided for NOT ringing the bell. So I ring my bell to warn them. If they have a dog dashing around it also warns them that they might need to gather up the dog and keep it under control. Too many of them are completely uncontrolled and it's worrying for a cyclist (I am perhaps mentally scarred for life by a dog which dashed out and bit me - drew blood through my denim jeans - on Heol Gwyrosydd across the notorious Swansea housing estate, the first day I rode my Honda 90 motor bike to Uni). And when there are small kids - it's reassuring to see Dad put his hand on the 2 year old's shoulder, and point out the bike coming.

I'm not a whizzy cyclist but it's not feasible to slow down for 4 miles behind a couple of pedestrians strolling along! I always pass slowly and say thanks.
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rob@rar wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
The polarised answers on this thread will depend on how one personally sees the usefulness/effectiveness of any action taken. If you think it can make an overtake safer.....it could be argued that you are fulfilling your duty to pass another skier as safely as possible. If you think it doesn't, is rude, or even worse, unsettle the skier in front - then you take the opposite view.
I don’t think that’s the differentiator. Some people seem to think they have the right/duty to indicate to the person in front of them that they should take a particular course of action to help avoid a collision. Other people think that the person behind bears sole responsibility for passing the person in front of them.

If you need/want the person in front to do something you provide them with some kind of signal. If you are passing them without needing them to take a particular course of action then there’s no need to give them some kind of signal.

We can argue this all day from different perspectives.....and those perspectives have pretty much divided the forum down the middle.

In order to to support the "No" side of the debate, to argue against points I (and others) have made, it has been said that:

- This is about wanting the D/hill skier to "Get out of my way"....It's not.
- It's wanting the D/Hill skier to change what they are currently doing to let me pass.....It's not
- It's used no matter the level of the skier in front....It's not
- It's used all the time; including on wide Pistes.....It's not
- It's performed as a rude entitled gesture......It's not
- It's pointless and ineffective.....Not in my experience with the couple of times I've used it

So IMV, it does come down to whether one views the usefulness of gesturing your intention, as making an overtake safer (or whether it doesn't)....and that effectiveness very much depends on when, where, how, how often and to whom indicating your intention is used.

I would rather know what the U/Hill skier's intentions are, if they have the potential to impact me - and if they want to pass, I will make sure they have room.....so I don't think it unreasonable for it to happen the other way around....provided the skier in front is competent and has been skiing consistently up to the point where I think it is safe to overtake. All that this means, is that they will continue "as is", for the few seconds it takes for me to pass. If there is no sign that they are going to radically change what they are doing at the last minute, then there is no need to say or do anything but quietly pass them by.

I'm not sure debating this further will be helpful. However, there is little argument about the duty of the U/Hill skier to avoid the D/Hill skier. You see my argument as conflicting with this; but I (and others) see it as (on the very odd occasion) as making an overtake safer.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sat 20-01-24 16:22; edited 1 time in total
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Old Fartbag wrote:
- This is about wanting the D/hill skier to "Get out of my way"....It's not.
- It's wanting the D/Hill skier to change what they are currently doing to let me pass.....It's not

If it doesn't do those things what is the point of making some sort of signal to the person downhill of you? That's the bit I don't understand. It doesn't happen often, in my experience at least, so it's not a big deal and I'm sure most people who do it will have the best of intentions in mind. But I can't see any other conclusion than it's an indication to the skier in front that they should do something. That something will probably be don't change course suddenly, more "stay out of my way" rather than "get out of my way". The argument that it alerts the skier in front to the presence of a skier behind doesn't make sense to me. Skiers, especially those who ski slower than average, are always being passed. It really isn't a surprise that there is someone behind them who will soon overtake. I suspect the number of people who need a warning, in order that they don't do something unpredictable because they are alarmed, is vanishingly small, and importantly the person doing the pole clicking will have no idea of whether the person in front wants to be warned or would find it an unwelcome distraction.

You've said you've clicked your poles less than a handful of times in many years of skiing. If it's a useful thing to do, why don't you do it all the time you pass somebody on a slow speed piste such as a cat track? If you are saying that you've warned the skier in front on those few occasions because you've made an error of judgement and you think there's a possibility you might collide with them, well fine, you do what you need to do in that situation. Stuff happens when we ski in a dynamic environment, and it's not always ideal but at least recognise that when you feel a warning is necessary it's because the overtaking skier has misjudged the opportunity to pass. But some of the comments here and in the other thread seem to indicate that warning the skier in front is a matter of routine because it's impossible to pass a skier in those circumstances without it (really?!), or an entitled warning to the skier in front of them not to ski to the edge of the piste because someone doesn't want the door closed on them as they pass by.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sat 20-01-24 12:30; edited 1 time in total
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The average punter should have their poles taken away anyway. Would improve their skiing ability. Wink
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Quote:

The argument that it alerts the skier in front to the presence of a skier behind doesn't make sense to me.


Which is why "on your left/right" is better.

It's really no different to walking behind someone in a busy kitchen and saying "watch your back".

Quote:

at least recognise that when you feel a warning is necessary it's because the overtaking skier has misjudged the opportunity to pass.


Again, flat cat track, everyone moving at pretty much the same pace there is a lot of times you are going to be side by side. So it's not even "overtaking" per se, more sharing a piste. I'd rather someone let me know they were there so I don't decide now is a good time to do a nose butter, or suddenly stop, or make a sharp turn to try and get to a little side hit etc. of course as the downhill skier I'd be in the right, but id rather not crash, and it's just a bit of common sense to work together.
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To all the clickers haters, do you cycle? If so, do you have a bell on your bike? Do you use your bell? Do you find cycling bell use “arrogant”?
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rob@rar wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
- This is about wanting the D/hill skier to "Get out of my way"....It's not.
- It's wanting the D/Hill skier to change what they are currently doing to let me pass.....It's not

If it doesn't do those things what is the point of making some sort of signal to the person downhill of you? That's the bit I don't understand. It doesn't happen often, in my experience at least, so it's not a big deal and I'm sure most people who do it will have the best of intensions in mind. But I can't see any other conclusion than it's an indication to the skier in front that they should do something. That something will probably be don't change course suddenly, more "stay out of my way" rather than "get out of my way". The argument that it alerts the skier in front to the presence of a skier behind doesn't make sense to me. Skiers, especially those who ski slower than average, are always being passed. It really isn't a surprise that there is someone behind them who will soon overtake. I suspect the number of people who need a warning, in order that they don't do something unpredictable because they are alarmed, is vanishingly small, and importantly the person doing the pole clicking will have no idea of whether the person in front wants to be warned or would find it an unwelcome distraction.

You've said you've clicked your poles less than a handful of times in many years of skiing. If it's a useful thing to do, why don't you do it all the time you pass somebody on a slow speed piste such as a cat track? If you are saying that you've warned the skier in front on those few occasions because you've made an error of judgement and you think there's a possibility you might collide with them, well fine, you do what you need to do in that situation. Stuff happens when we ski in a dynamic environment, and it's not always ideal but at least recognise that when you feel a warning is necessary it's because the overtaking skier has misjudged the opportunity to pass. But some of the comments here and in the other thread seem to indicate that warning the skier in front is a matter of routine because it's impossible to pass a skier in those circumstances without it (really?!), or an entitled warning to the skier in front of them not to ski to the edge of the piste because someone doesn't want the door closed on them as they pass by.

Right, let me try again:

- We are only talking Paths at slower speeds
- If the skier/s in front are skiing nervously/erratically/are in a class/are learners/kids....you hold back until the Piste widens
- The plan is to overtake without disrupting the skier in front....so it is not about "Get out of the way" or "Change what they are doing"
- So, where you have a skier, who has been competently and very consistently skiing down one side of a path, to the point where it is reasonable to assume they will continue "as is" - you decide that it is safe to pass on the other side of the path (so no disruption or rudeness intended). If in that couple of seconds when you are overtaking, they completely change what they have been doing all along, to the point where there is a possibility of a collision - then at that point I would let them know I'm there. Given we are on opposite sides of the path and not skiing quickly, there is room to react.

If at all possible, it would be me that would react, but if that is not possible (maybe due to having a drop/wall of snow at the side), then that is when I might say something to avoid a collision.

If there is a collision, it would be my fault. Given how the other skier has been skiing up to the point of the overtake, it would be my judgement that an overtake would be safe. If that judgement proves wrong, then that is when letting my presence known is used.

The reason I don't regularly use it, is because there has been no need, as I make every reasonable effort to ski safely (whether above or below). My judgement about when to pass/not pass has over the years proved reliable....but I can (very occasionally) get it wrong. That is why I used the expression of "Last resort", to explain the circumstances in which I would let the other skier know I'm there.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Sat 20-01-24 13:55; edited 4 times in total
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Must admit I'm surprised at the depth of feeling over this subject. Maybe pole clicking is just a metaphor for the more fundamental differences between people like introvert/extrovert, Type A/Type B, helpful/selfish, entitled/humble etc. Toofy Grin

Must be someone on here doing a psychology degree who needs a subject for their dissertation.... Laughing


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Sat 20-01-24 13:00; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:

do you cycle?

yes
Quote:

do you have a bell on your bike?

yes
Quote:

Do you use your bell?

very rarely
Quote:

Do you find cycling bell use “arrogant”?

yes
I'll use it very occasionally only if I need to, but 95% of the time someone will hear me coming or there's plenty of space to pass safely. ringing it often makes them jump, or do the swap sides of the path dance, even when it's very clearly a cycle path and they are completely surprised at a cyclist coming past even though they stepped aside 30s earlier for someone coming the other way.

Quote:

I have sometimes been chided for NOT ringing the bell

ditto, even when I have rung it, but usually by someone pulling earphones out of their ears.
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You already know my view!

+1 for clicking where I believe its appropriate
+1 for being clicked at without taking offense irrespective of it being appropriate or not

Can we include cracking an offending skier on the back of their calves with ones pole in this poll? Toofy Grin
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Old Fartbag wrote:
If that judgement proves wrong, then that is when letting my presence known is used.
Fine, as I said, when the uphill skier misjudges an overtaking move then you do what you need to do to avoid a collision. I think putting in a hockey stop is probably the best option if you have the space to do that, but if it’s judged that a pole click or some other verbal warning is the only option then I think it should be followed by a small apology to the downhill skier for getting closer than you would have liked and acknowledging that they helped avoid the collision. It seems to me that a bit more respect and courtesy between slope users wouldn’t go amiss.
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rob@rar wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
If that judgement proves wrong, then that is when letting my presence known is used.
Fine, as I said, when the uphill skier misjudges an overtaking move then you do what you need to do to avoid a collision. I think putting in a hockey stop is probably the best option if you have the space to do that, but if it’s judged that a pole click or some other verbal warning is the only option then I think it should be followed by a small apology to the downhill skier for getting closer than you would have liked and acknowledging that they helped avoid the collision. It seems to me that a bit more respect and courtesy between slope users wouldn’t go amiss.

No issue with any of that....and have indeed apologised where I feel it is appropriate. It is Never my intention to disrupt the enjoyment/safety of other skiers.
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I think the difference with a bike bell is that on the bike you are almost always dealing with people who have fully acquired the skill of walking, so they can move to one side or whatever without freaking out or crashing.

I do click my poles occasionally but it’s usually to let someone who is clearly a competent skier know that I’m coming past on a cat track. I find others clicking at me fine - I may be thinking about stopping to check my map or have a faff and it lets me know to have a look before doing so. If the subsequent overtake is dickish, the pole click doesn’t make it any less dickish
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rob@rar wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
If that judgement proves wrong, then that is when letting my presence known is used.
Fine, as I said, when the uphill skier misjudges an overtaking move then you do what you need to do to avoid a collision. I think putting in a hockey stop is probably the best option if you have the space to do that, but if it’s judged that a pole click or some other verbal warning is the only option then I think it should be followed by a small apology to the downhill skier for getting closer than you would have liked and acknowledging that they helped avoid the collision. It seems to me that a bit more respect and courtesy between slope users wouldn’t go amiss.

Clicking of pole at short distance doesn’t work too well. Nor did shouting “verbal warning” at close range. Both simply startle the front skier into doing something erratic.

The only time pole clicking should be use is as a signal to announce one’s presence far enough back so the front skier has time to register your presence and make his intention known (continue as before vs turn/stop with sufficient advance notice).

To achieve that aim, a verbal warning could also be use. I found “verbal warning” far more intrusive. Hence prefer pole clicking. It’s entirely personal. If some snowflakes choose to read far too much into either signal and take offense, I frankly don’t give a toss.

After all, plenty of people find passing without notice annoying. So you can’t possibly please both side anyway.

Best to ski in places without a lot of crowded traverse tracks. (Far more importantly for those who are easily annoyed wink )
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This is quite a fun discussion, but I, like several others, have commented that we have rarely come across pole-clicking as a thing. But avoiding those crowded tracks is certainly a good idea. There was one in Pila, which was difficult to avoid, and having not encountered one for years, I remembered how horrid they are.
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Gonna have to make all skiers wear bibs with "yes click" or "no click" on the back. Wink
Click me and I'm probably more likely to look around and swerve both ways trying to work out who's trying to barge past and on which side, which was probably not your intention. So you've slowed me up and slowed yourself up trying to work out which side is now the safer side, when there was probably a clear side before.
As I say, if you want or expect me to do nothing, then just doing nothing is more likely to make me do just that Wink
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abc wrote:
… I frankly don’t give a toss.
I’d noticed.
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abc wrote:
If some snowflakes choose to read far too much into either signal and take offense, I frankly don’t give a toss


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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boarder2020 wrote:
I'd rather someone let me know they were there so I don't decide now is a good time to do a nose butter, or suddenly stop, or make a sharp turn to try and get to a little side hit etc. of course as the downhill skier I'd be in the right, but id rather not crash, and it's just a bit of common sense to work together.


+1

Just common sense risk mitigation.
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Arno wrote:
I think the difference with a bike bell is that on the bike you are almost always dealing with people who have fully acquired the skill of walking, so they can move to one side or whatever without freaking out or crashing.


Not sure I'd agree with that witnessing some of the chaos on our local canal towpath where cycling can be quite interesting.
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Shared path use can be problematical. There's a shared pavements where I live- just a short stretch, clearly signposted as shared. Most people are sensible and considerate. There is plenty of room for a walker and a biker to pass each other. But if two people are walking on the pavement, the usual distance apart, there's NO room to pass. Pedestrians seem to think it's their right to walk abreast, and take the whole pavement (as they often do on much longer paths too) but they would be terribly affronted if they saw a wall of four bikes coming towards them, and expecting them to jump out of the way. Of course there are knobhead and arrogant cyclists but this habit of pedestrians to walk abreast in restricted areas is silly. They do it on pavements too. My natural walking pace is quite fast. On busy pavements I just slow down. But when two people, possibly both with a dog, are just ambling along I generally say "Excuse me" and generally they do. But they are sometimes stroppy. One huge guy the other day, with a harem of women, dogs and pushchairs sprawling over the whole pavement, said "What's the big hurry?" Laughing I wonder how patient he would be following a car doing 15 mph in a no-overtaking zone.
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rob@rar wrote:
abc wrote:
… I frankly don’t give a toss.
I’d noticed.

Courtesy goes both ways. I don’t bother to please overly sensitive, easily take offends from everyone else kind of people.
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abc wrote:
rob@rar wrote:
abc wrote:
… I frankly don’t give a toss.
I’d noticed.

Courtesy goes both ways. I don’t bother to please overly sensitive, easily take offends from everyone else kind of people.
I think other people have noticed as well.
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@stevew, ha, fair - busy towpaths aren't really ideal as bike routes because they are often too narrow. Doesn't stop some dickheads treating them like a slalom course though
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I suggest a non-binding referendum on the issue.
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AL9000 wrote:
I suggest a non-binding referendum on the issue.

The Will of the Clickers! Skullie
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It's surprising how many opinions we have on the matter when most of us assert that we've hardly ever encountered it! Laughing
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Old Fartbag wrote:
AL9000 wrote:
I suggest a non-binding referendum on the issue.

The Will of the Clickers! Skullie


TBf, there are times when I restrain myself from clicking; for instance, when passing snowboarders on their blind side. Spoils the surprise.
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I don’t agree; it’s useful on narrow cat-tracks to just let people know you’re there so they don’t suddenly deviate from their current path. You’re not asking anyone to ‘let you past’, just warning them that you’re there so they don’t suddenly get a surprise.
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Blackblade wrote:
I don’t agree; it’s useful on narrow cat-tracks to just let people know you’re there so they don’t suddenly deviate from their current path. You’re not asking anyone to ‘let you past’, just warning them that you’re there so they don’t suddenly get a surprise.


Seems sensible, but not always necessary when passing a boarder's blind side. A gentle double pole tap across their glutes usually suffices.
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Blackblade wrote:
I don’t agree; it’s useful on narrow cat-tracks to just let people know you’re there so they don’t suddenly deviate from their current path. You’re not asking anyone to ‘let you past’, just warning them that you’re there so they don’t suddenly get a surprise.


I don't need to know you are there, if I suddenly deviate its up to you to slow down and I still don't know you are there. Its not in the least bit useful. You might think it is as the clicker, but as the clickee...nope
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holidayloverxx wrote:
Blackblade wrote:
I don’t agree; it’s useful on narrow cat-tracks to just let people know you’re there so they don’t suddenly deviate from their current path. You’re not asking anyone to ‘let you past’, just warning them that you’re there so they don’t suddenly get a surprise.


I don't need to know you are there, if I suddenly deviate its up to you to slow down and I still don't know you are there. It’s not in the least bit useful. You might think it is as the clicker, but as the clickee...nope

If you already KNOW someone is behind you, do you still suddenly deviate your path?
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There is some consistency here. Several who support pole clicking do so on the basis of letting other know they are there. But crucially so they don’t deviate from their current path. Which is distorted logic at its best. You don’t expect the downhill skier to do anything different as a result of the pole click, but you also DO expect them to do something. Weird.
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I ignore it , its pointless, confusing, communicates nothing, and is rude ( it doesn't matter what the clicker thinks they are doing, its the perception in the "clicked " that is important) . Its a fundamental communication failure.The downhill skier has no need to know someone is behind them, they can ski how they like, they are kings of the road. Simples.
If you do it, you have no idea what the effect is going to be, so gonnae no, as we say up north.
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pam w wrote:
It's surprising how many opinions we have on the matter when most of us assert that we've hardly ever encountered it! Laughing

I encountered it enough. So I disagree on the “hardly ever encountered”.

I actually think our opinions are so different BECAUSE we don’t encounter it often enough. As a relatively infrequent thing, we’re left to interpret it in every which way.
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I came charging down a cat track / trail / Chemin today and was amazing to see how skiers were totally oblivious to us as we flew past them.

I honestly thought the speed we were doing was quite OTT but I was following the nutters in front of me, and usually I can go past most skiers but I was having trouble hanging on to their tails!

As we ripped round bends on the trail I was stunned as to how they weaved their way through the traffic, without any pole clicking.

We eventually got to the bottom after they ripped down a piste after the Chemin and the ambulance had just arrived.

It was one hell of an experience following the blood wagon down with my daughter inside, the skills of the pisteur secours were immense, and the speed they skied at!

We did all have quite a back slap afterwards, tremendous skills and like I say not one pole click Laughing
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@abc, yes except by your own words you like to pole click so that downhill skier “does not deviate” form their current trajectory.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Sat 20-01-24 22:31; edited 1 time in total
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abc wrote:

If you already KNOW someone is behind you, do you still suddenly deviate your path?

zikomo wrote:
@abc, yes

So you suddenly change trajectory despite knowing it’s likely to put you in the path of another skier close by???

Your trust on their ability to avoid your sudden change of trajectory is total. rolling eyes
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