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Pistes are getting more dangerous, more people out of control

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Blackblade wrote:

Could be confirmation bias of course; I’m a motorcycle trackday instructor (as an amateur, not professional) and have observed that nearly all the accidents happen to individuals who are just starting to ‘get it’ and are therefore now going a bit too fast for their current level of expertise. The beginners and the experts crash far more rarely; the former as they know their ability level and are suitably cautious and the latter since they know what they’re doing and don’t get themselves into trouble.


Funnily enough I actually thought the exact same thing, on track days the intermediate group was a nightmare, everyone wanted to get out of the novice group as they thought it demeaning (but like you say was very safe), but then equally you had the ones that preferred to be a “big fish in a small pond” and not move up to the fast group.

So in the inters some people would brake last minute and some 150meters before the braking point, whereas the fast group people were way more consistent on braking and line choice.

I think this applies to blues and reds, people don’t want to be thought of as green run skiers, and equally we all know the type that likes to charge a blue run buzzing close to people to show how fast they are.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
As usual, the experiences here are mostly in France. Which interestingly has a higher proportion of UK skiers than other skiing nations. I wonder if there is a corelation?

My experience is there are idiots everywhere. There always have been. What has changed is the willingness to confront and intervene when others don't follow social norms. I have even seen this at Glenshee with people sneaking into the queue to join friends. Something that simple would not even have been allowed to happen in the past. When challenged these people are either incredulous or aggressive, when the later there is not the immediate herd response that there used to be. I think in the past idiots were challenged, shouted at, chased, and occasionally feel foul of someone bigger/tougher than they expected which kept a lid on it to an extent.

My experience is also that the major French resorts popular with the UK market are the worst places when it comes to dangerous skiing. And I am sorry to say but our fellow countrymen are part of the problem, especially over-weight, unfit, intermediate (but think they are expert), entitled and boorish ones. Of which there are a large number. Switzerland and Austria are in general more civilised, especially those areas that do not attract a big international clientele. Italy even more so.
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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?
It’s been bonkers in Madonna Di Campiglio so far this week.
Somebody skied over the back of my husbands skies on the huge wide blue on Pradalago area on Sunday.
Today on the same area I was taken out from behind by a snowboarder
We moved up to Groste area, huge wide quiet pistes and a lady skied over the front of my skiis and another lady took our our friend from behind.
Other collisions and blood wagons everywhere and it’s lovely spring snow and clear conditions.
Anecdotal but I’ve not seen it like this before and it’s not half term yet

Nobody parked in my party but I’ve had to buy a new helmet, not wanting to start that debate but glad I had one on today
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zikomo wrote:
When challenged these people are either incredulous...


So true.


zikomo wrote:
And I am sorry to say but our fellow countrymen are part of the problem, especially over-weight, unfit, intermediate (but think they are expert), entitled and boorish ones.


My experience is the visiting French 16-25 year olds are main culprits (not locals who can actually ski) I am particularly careful around the one leg tucked into the ski-boot brigade, no helmet, with jacket open and flapping in the breeze.
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For many years I mainly skied in a French area with very few of the Brits so memorably described above (overweight, unfit, underskilled) and vanishingly few groups of French teenagers. Overwhelmingly a family area with very little aggro, and very little nastiness in queues - generally people looking out for kids, and friendly and smiley. I'm sure there are similar areas in all the Alpine countries. In many, many, months of skiing I saw very few nasty incidents.
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The number one cause of skiing accidents worldwide is defective vision.

One German study attributed 70% of all skiing falls to poor eyesight.

Inability to see clear terrain at near, mid, or far distance.

Fuzzy bumps + fuzzy dips + fuzzy people = lots of falls and collisions.

You could halve ski and board accidents overnight by making people pass an eyesight test before purchasing a lift ticket and before getting on a base lift.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
zikomo wrote:
My experience is also that the major French resorts popular with the UK market are the worst places when it comes to dangerous skiing


Yep to this . . .although be careful of all the numerous Francophiles on here lest you upset them! Suggesting some are also part of the problem = heresy LOL Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Precisely why I prefer Austria . . . .
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I think it's just that there are more old people skiing. Old people are scared of young people, and they whine all the time about the good old days.
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Or that the good young people of the old days who’d have fun blasting down the blues are now whiny old people?
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Bring back National Service.
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Husband had a convo on the lift at Vallandry today..
2 young (f)bucks asked where were the fastest pistes as they were having a speed contest.
The conditions today were super icy, rain hardened slopes...he explained that most of the reds where they were are crisscrossed with blue junctions frequented by skischools and baby skischools - he emphasised that it isn't about how fast you can go - it's how fast you can stop!!!
I wonder if they even cared....
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Scamper wrote:
Husband had a convo on the lift at Vallandry today..
2 young (f)bucks asked where were the fastest pistes as they were having a speed contest.
The conditions today were super icy, rain hardened slopes...he explained that most of the reds where they were are crisscrossed with blue junctions frequented by skischools and baby skischools - he emphasised that it isn't about how fast you can go - it's how fast you can stop!!!
I wonder if they even cared....


WTF are Convo & fbucks?

I swear we used to speak English on here
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Convo = conversation
Bucks = lads (The B presumably can be replaced with the (F) in order to better describe said lads))

It’s dat new Inglish bruv innit like
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
roguemazza wrote:
It’s been bonkers in Madonna Di Campiglio so far this week.
Somebody skied over the back of my husbands skies on the huge wide blue on Pradalago area on Sunday.
Today on the same area I was taken out from behind by a snowboarder
We moved up to Groste area, huge wide quiet pistes and a lady skied over the front of my skiis and another lady took our our friend from behind.
Other collisions and blood wagons everywhere and it’s lovely spring snow and clear conditions.
Anecdotal but I’ve not seen it like this before and it’s not half term yet

Must be a party of Brits fckd up their booking to Meribel wink Laughing
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
jirac18 wrote:
Convo = conversation
Bucks = lads (The B presumably can be replaced with the (F) in order to better describe said lads))

It’s dat new Inglish bruv innit like


Thank you, perfectly explained. Only an idiot wouldn't have understood.. Or perhaps, only an idiot would have responded with an entirely unhelpful or un pertinent comment...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Bring on the public liability insurance and consequential action.

In all seriousness, the person above who suggested proper ski patrol is bang on the money.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Moorzee10 wrote:
BIn all seriousness, the person above who suggested proper ski patrol is bang on the money.

#1 - I don't see how that can work.

#2 - Or if it did the personnel and/or equipment it would require would make lift tickets much more expensive

#3 - Culturally I can't see the French buying into it. Actually, I'm not even sure I buy into it.

#4 - I my have missed it but I still haven't seen any stats on the severity of the problem.
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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?
Moorzee10 wrote:
Bring on the public liability insurance and consequential action.

In all seriousness, the person above who suggested proper ski patrol is bang on the money.


I absolutely agree with you

Do ski resorts also have a duty of care?

This is purely anecdotal, but I do trust my husband's report.

He said the lower slopes in Vallandry were sheet ice (I know it rained most of the evening in Bourg), he said the depth of "corrugation" from the piste bashers was barely discernable.

Loads of comfortable blue skiers looking out of their depth on benign slopes and 2 bad accidents -helicopter rescue
and the other involving many pisteurs next to a lift base ....

Ought there to be more of the "conditions are dodgy, not what you might expect" info for recreational skiers???
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Layne wrote:
Moorzee10 wrote:
BIn all seriousness, the person above who suggested proper ski patrol is bang on the money.

#1 - I don't see how that can work.

#2 - Or if it did the personnel and/or equipment it would require would make lift tickets much more expensive

#3 - Culturally I can't see the French buying into it. Actually, I'm not even sure I buy into it.

#4 - I my have missed it but I still haven't seen any stats on the severity of the problem.


#5 - I don’t see how (given the different legal systems and their implications, specifically that it’s effectively impossible to remove someone’s lit pass) any instructions given by such a ski patrol would be enforced.
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Decided to delete


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Wed 24-01-24 8:48; edited 1 time in total
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@Layne, re ski patrol. In Champoluc teh ski patrol are usually paired with a Carabinieri ... no question of legal provision there! (I've seen them intervene on out of control skiers).
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Lessons are too expensive / seen as uncool
Pistes are too smooth
Helmets isolate the surroundings
Whilst I totally reject the claim that risk compensation does not occur, in regard to helmets and other protective equipment, the biggest culprits/victims being young men, I expect that they will be just as reckless. Though, having said this, as a young male, I used to ride a motorbike around the family farm without a helmet on occasions, but I always rode far more carefully if I didn't have my helmet on.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I think there is an optimum skiing speed that will generally keep you clear of accidents. Too fast and you’re going to cause an accident, too slow and you’re likely to become the victim of an accident.
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under a new name wrote:
@Layne, re ski patrol. In Champoluc teh ski patrol are usually paired with a Carabinieri ... no question of legal provision there! (I've seen them intervene on out of control skiers).

And what do they do, roam the pistes all day, looking for trouble makers?

That's what I mean by "how it would work"?

Genuine question. I'm not closed to the idea.

But... it does seem to me a combination of education, piste design maybe and the threat of prosecution will be more doable, effective, cost effective.

But as I also I'm yet to be convinced things are any worse than 15 or 30 years ago.
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@Layne, Piste patrol exists in a very real way in the US. And also to some extent in Italy. It works the same way as the police patrolling the roads, i.e. mostly as a visible deterrent. They do indeed roam the pistes looking for trouble makers, as well as being visible at high risk areas, e.g. slow zones. In the case of Italy it seems they do quite a bit of posing in sunny spots, but that does make them visible and everyone know it is a bad idea to mess with the Carbinieri, so the deterrent effect is there for sure.

I don't see why it would be difficult to implement piste patrol with powers of enforcement more widely. Most lift tickets already have a requirement to follow directions and instructions of lift company employees on pain of the lift ticket being withdrawn, that seems a sensible mechanism to build on.

Although I like the Italian model where if you have a problem you can call the police. And they will likely turn up, on skis, quite quickly. And I can assure you they will be more than willing to take action where warranted, I have seen them arrest a skier who was clearly not sober and had crashed into the back of a kid. They took witness statements, including from me, were deadly serious (actually somewhat angry) and carted the miscreant off. The same as would have happened at a road traffic accident, which makes a great deal of sense to me.
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@Layne,
Quote:

And what do they do, roam the pistes all day, looking for trouble makers?


Sort of, pretty much, basically keeping an eye out as they go about their usual roaming duties.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Does anyone have a photo of Carabinieri in their slopeside gear? I bet it's pretty fancy.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Origen, not so much, but they do have funky skis with 112 clearly marked

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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Last week in Wildkogel a skier jumped out from skis at the side of a piste and landed on the front of my mates skis, had he been a millisecond later the outcome would probably have been very bad. There is nothing my mate could have done to protect himself. Another in our party noted the same guy having a pee in the trees beforehand, so quite possibly intoxicated. A passing pisteur (or the Austrian equivalent) read him the riot act, but having established that my mate was ok, let him go.

On Friday in Zell-am-See, we came across a late teen/early twenties lady in tears, as she could not make progress down a piste, she had hired skis, headed to the top of the hill on her own, never having been on skis or had a lesson. We guided her to the next lift down the hill and suggested that she might be best to get some lessons.

These were just a couple of moments, throughout the week we noticed a number of near misses, and TBH we don't hang around.

So I agree with the OP.

I think the key thing for self preservation is to follow the FIS rules, don't assume that everyone else is.

And to get some Oakley Prism pink or high pink goggles!

By the way it was Dutch week Very Happy
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@under a new name, very chic!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
jellylegs wrote:
I think there is an optimum skiing speed that will generally keep you clear of accidents. Too fast and you’re going to cause an accident, too slow and you’re likely to become the victim of an accident.


++1
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under a new name wrote:
@Layne, re ski patrol. In Champoluc teh ski patrol are usually paired with a Carabinieri ... no question of legal provision there! (I've seen them intervene on out of control skiers).


And in France, at busy Atlantic coast beaches the Gendarmes sit (in tricolour uniform budgie smugglers!) and work alongside the life guards. There is no question of disagreement with them. So it is not difficult in a leisure environment, it is just a question of public resources and a willingness to go down the route of management / enforcement.
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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?
Carabinieri were certainly out and about last week in the Dolomites.
It was busy Sunday and Monday
There were a few injurie's in our hotel but I'm only aware of one that was due to a collision with another person.
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Quote:

I'm only aware of one that was due to a collision with another person.

This is a useful point. Many of us manage to injure ourselves without any help from anybody else.

Quote:

tricolour uniform budgie smugglers

Laughing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Sitting out the afternoon having been hit quite hard by someone literally following the fall line despite me being the sole other skier on the stretch of wide piste obviously and very visibly making a traverse towards the entry point to the Aollets drag lift at Plagne Villages. And no, I hadn't just made a turn.

I saw the uphill skier in peripheral vision at point of contact, or a fraction of a second before - no clear recollection of the next few moments but now nursing a right shoulder rotator cuff injury.

I'm pretty sure he didn't stop - I think one of his group did stop to check that I was ok... I say this in that there was a group of young men at the top of the slope, all wearing mustard colour bib tops bearing numbers of the style of US football teams - the guy who hit me was wearing one, as was one of the people who stopped to assist, check that I was still breathing, etc., retrieved my right ski...

Now slightly disoriented by co-codamol and ibuprofen but the recollection is pretty clear.
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@Mick_Br, have you considered reporting it to the police/authorities?
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Its worrying how dangerous its become, even in the quite months , possibly linked to alcohol and drug intake
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Origen wrote:
Quote:

I'm only aware of one that was due to a collision with another person.

This is a useful point. Many of us manage to injure ourselves without any help from anybody else.

Quote:

tricolour uniform budgie smugglers

Laughing


It was odd as conditions were as good as you are ever likely to get.
Perhaps a downside of the Dolomites people admire the views to much and are not concentrating on the skiing. Puzzled
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Data?

Anyone???
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Layne wrote:
Data?

Anyone???


Some of the data mentioned in the article can be found here. For some reason the pdfs aren't opening for me...

Some more recent and consolidated snapshots here as well.
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