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Skiers skiing faster, often too fast

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So we are out and about for the week in Monterosa and we have all noticed, more than previously, the numbers of skiers skiing too fast for their ability.

The 3 of us have all skied extensively for >40 years each. We have a reasonable idea of what we speak. We all ski fast, and in the old days would have been in the upper echelons of speed.

This morning I was passed by someone, barely in control, as i was going at a fair lick. The difference being that I could stop within my visual limits. He would not have been able to.

My brother observed that many of them do not appear to be engaged with their skis, the skis doing all the work.

Discuss.
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That's technology for you....gives people a confidence beyond their ability.
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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?
@under a new name, ....oi uanm...you’ve just hijacked the ‘dangerous straightlining’ thread....ah...maybe they weren’t straightlining......
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The “GnarBuG, Gnarly But Gnice” mob are there this week....maybe someone we know?
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Only ever seen some plonkers on the Pistone Betta/Betta 1 sections.
Usually youngsters and what look to be teenagers with mini-skis!
Moos (or Nera and Olen) tends to get the more skilful and slightly accomplished speeders (rather like Mrs Skimastaaah and my good self). But generally I've found Monterosa much less busy than a lot of other resorts and therefore tends to have less plonker speeders.

However, I have also found St Manton plagued by go-faster-plonkerettes, especially on Piste 2, Piste 17, and Stupid Valley.

Perhaps the younger skiers rely too much on ski-ing gear rather than ski-ing skill to get down the mountain. Hence "dis-engaged" with their skis. HeyHoh...... the youth of today!!!

*sits back ........* Toofy Grin
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@under a new name, sounds like sour grapes that you can't hack it with the young 'uns anymore. Move over grandad.

Laughing Toofy Grin Evil or Very Mad
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don't think its a new trend. there have always been inexperienced mostly male 15-25 y/o skiers that ski way out of their skill zone. i saw 2 guys on the solaise red run in Val D (notoriously busy and fairly narrow on the section i saw them on) They straightlined until they fell over (which was about 5 times each in 400m) Got up laughing every time and went again. It's just a matter of time before these clowns injure themselves. Unfortunately often its someone else they injure.
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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!
@under a new name, we were out there at Feb half term, (thanks for the tip btw, glowing TR to come) and observed a couple of things: that our peak speeds were way higher than they had been at New Year in Saalbach, much more variable gradient terrain perhaps with more likelihood of misjudging how much speed you'll pick up? Then we both noticed that the overall standard of skier was a lot lower than we'd seen in Austria.

Neither of these explains why anything's changed since last year. Loads of Swedes when we were there, blame them.
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@Layne, nope.
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Simone Origone for sure....
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My observations at the PreBB in the Dolomites (of all people there, not snowheads in particular):

- People going too fast, evidently not in control, exhibiting poor technique... clearly unable to stop in time if necessary, relying on clear piste.
- People trying to emulate race technique, really badly. Leaning over a long way whilst clearly being in the back seat, etc.
- People with no spatial awareness, not looking when joining the pistes, stopping in the middle, existing in their own world and that world only.

I think a common problem with skiing is people get a few lessons then they take the 'comes with practice' approach from there. They get faster and they interpret going faster as a sign of technical improvement. They continue to ski fast on the basis that their assumed technical improvement gives them the confidence that they have the skill required to ski at that speed.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Layne,

I started a similar thread a couple of years ago and I received an identical response to yours above. I can't recall if it was you, or not, but there can't be many serious Snowheads who would reply in such a P155 taking manner.

Don't you think reckless skiing is a problem these days? Shocked
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It ain't gonna change. Avoid pistes. If you are skiing pistes stick to the margins where the mentals don't go and keep your head on a swivel. Shoulder check before any wide turns to check for a mental.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
My point is not that there are mentals, but that there are way more of them than, say, 10 years ago, travelling way faster...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
So what else has changed in the past ten years? Because I don't believe that people in general have.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

I think a common problem with skiing is people get a few lessons then they take the 'comes with practice' approach from there. They get faster and they interpret going faster as a sign of technical improvement. They continue to ski fast on the basis that their assumed technical improvement gives them the confidence that they have the skill required to ski at that speed.


This
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new in the last years are GPS apps that give top speed and videos of guys on fat skis straightening steeps. Coincidence that all the yoots want to hit a >100k ?
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Bergmeister wrote:
Layne,

I started a similar thread a couple of years ago and I received an identical response to yours above. I can't recall if it was you, or not, but there can't be many serious Snowheads who would reply in such a P155 taking manner.

There are two sides to this:

1) My comment was meant to be a light hearted joke and not meant to be taken literally/seriously. Hence the smilies. The fact that you and @under a new name failed to get that suggests to me a slight sense of humour failure. But let's move on.

2) On to the 'serious' issue raised by @under a new name. The statement "the numbers of skiers skiing too fast for their ability" made by @under a new name in his first sentence is entirely subjective. I am not saying it's incorrect. But really, how would we know. I have been skiing for 27 years. When I started in my mid-20's my only experience of skiing was watching downhill and slalom races on Ski Sunday. I very much doubt I went out fully conscious and clued up about safety on the mountain. Now in my 50's and skiing with two children I'm pretty paranoid about safety on the mountain. Have I noticed in a marked difference in others behaviour or in particular that there more people "skiing too fast for their ability". You know what, I can't say it's something I've really noticed. There was the occasional skier in 1991 who was and there is certainly the occasional skier in 2018. Is there are marked increase. I'm not so sure there is.

And here's the rub.... maybe statistics can help... are there any statistics showing skiing collisions or accidents now as opposed to 10/20/30 years ago. I suspect such statistics are a bit thin on the ground, not quite well defined enough to draw a proper conclusion. Which leaves people with annecdotal evidence and individual viewpoints.

And finally... the question comes, what do you do about it. Traffic cops? Speed traps? I'd prefer education and self policing as I always think rules and regs are a slippery and sanitising slope. But let's be clear I am all for maintaining/improving safety on the hill, whatever is deemed appropriate.

Bergmeister wrote:
Don't you think reckless skiing is a problem these days? Shocked

In answer to that direct question and just to summarise my reply above. I think reckless skiing will always be a problem, just as reckless cycling and reckless driving will always be. People in motion is a potential recipe for danger period. Do I think it has become worse in the last 20/30/40 years. I'm really not sure. So much as changed, including me.
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Ski holidays more widely accessible nowadays maybe? Lower costs/easier holidays --> More people --> More people out of control?

So maybe the proportion of out of control skiers hasn't increased, but the absolute number has?


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Fri 9-03-18 11:14; edited 1 time in total
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if this is a concern, maybe you need to plan where and when you ski to best avoid this type of skier.

Is there a good case to going on more reds and blacks, which tend to be less crowded and less suited to straight line blasting?

As a regular visitor to the Meribel area, I think the area below the Rond Point is potentially lethal after 15.00 because of the diverse range of abilities of the skiers returning to base, particularly if they have been to the Folies Douce or Ronnie. Interestingly, on a recent trip to Ischgl it was clear that they wanted you off the mountain while still sober and clearly preferred you to drink in town.

The ski app issue is not just about recording a maximum speed, but also a distance on the day, so there may be a pressure to clock up the miles.

As well as ski apps, I think some of the problems are the unintended consequences of faster lifts, for a given time, more people are on the slopes than on the lifts, and more people come out in waves at the top.

Finally, I really wonder how many people on the slopes have any awareness of the FIS code, let alone pay any attention to it.
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You’ve basically just described my husband when we first got together. I never knew if he was going to be alive when I got to the bottom of a run. The moment we got back from that first holiday together I booked him into dry slope lessons. I told him I couldn’t ski with him again if he didn’t learn to ski properly. He had no idea that he wasn’t!

Just our 9 year old son to sort out now! His ability definitely does not match the speed he try’s to go at.
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The equipment has changed, less skill is required to go much faster than 30-40 years ago.


http://youtube.com/v/y8iukJojlAc


http://youtube.com/v/Jrom1-_ULAo

Both the skier and snowboarder in this Clip have very little control

http://youtube.com/v/-CsPmWz7JSQ
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That second one was simply the most retarded crash I've ever seen. Skier for standing still in the middle of the piste not paying any attention to what's coming down... and snowboarder for... well... just seeing the crash coming from half a mile away and going through with it anyway!!! Shocked

The third one I've seen before... obviously somebody thought it'd be a good idea to just straight line into a group of people, what could go wrong Puzzled
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My daughter is going on Bristol Uni Ski trip with 2000 people and for the reasons in this thread I'm terrified! She is a slow but competent skier, but if ever there was a trip that was going to fill the slopes with idiots it's something like this!
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dp wrote:
That second one was simply the most retarded crash I've ever seen. Skier for standing still in the middle of the piste not paying any attention to what's coming down... and snowboarder for... well... just seeing the crash coming from half a mile away and going through with it anyway!!! Shocked

The third one I've seen before... obviously somebody thought it'd be a good idea to just straight line into a group of people, what could go wrong Puzzled


In the second one, the snowboarder fell on steep hard pack and couldn't stop himself. Judging by the amount of snow flying up into the camera before the crash, it looks like he was certainly trying.

In the third one, I think the snowboarder was either just watching his buddy or was focusing on keeping him on camera. Either way, his eyes were on his buddy and not where he was going.
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Penry wrote:
So what else has changed in the past ten years? Because I don't believe that people in general have.


I disagree, I think people in general have. I think we live in a far more selfish society than we used to.

People are doing far more things to impress their friends, to impress social media.

Blame the people not the tools I'd say.
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The debate on whether we are innately selfish has been going on since the dawn of time.

It's very doubtful - assuming the problem even exists - the reason is that we are becoming more selfish.
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I suppose societies can evolve that quickly, but biology can't. It's more likely that you're just turning into old people.

Do you have any actual evidence? It sounds somewhat unlikely. Anecdotes win elections and destroy economies, but they don't substitute for evidence.
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You know it makes sense.
I have not noticed more out of control skiers or crashes, but what I have noticed is...snowboarders causing crashes. One numbnuts hit my 9 year old daughter, who is a good skier, a few weeks ago in Val G., didn't even stop. He's lucky I didn't see it, or there would have been one fewer snowboarder on the slopes. And don't get me started on the whole sitting in middle of the piste thing.

I try to keep an open mind and remind myself that snowboarders have paid for the same lift tickets, but why do so many have to act like idiots? Kind of like Audi drivers, only a little offense intended....

Interestingly, I think it was far easier to go fast on straight skies than on short floppy supershaped skis that most beginnners rent now.
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@Pasigal, as someone who skis and boards it's interesting how my perspective changes. On a board I'm more aware of skiers who are out of control and vice-versa on skis.

Certainly worth everyone IMO having a switch for a day or so as you do get a whole new understanding of why skiers/boarders turn or may turn
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Boris wrote:
@Pasigal, as someone who skis and boards it's interesting how my perspective changes. On a board I'm more aware of skiers who are out of control and vice-versa on skis.

Certainly worth everyone IMO having a switch for a day or so as you do get a whole new understanding of why skiers/boarders turn or may turn
I'm not sure a day's switching by me will do anything but increase the number of on piste casualties. But I must admit boarders take me by surprise with their, "Oh look he's stopping. Oh no he's not, he's just setting off in the reverse direction straight into my path."
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@Boris, I know that, just being a bit grumpy. I do know how to board well enough to know that there are some control limitations, at least for non-experts. It's much easier to see where you are as a skier. I also know that snowboarding on a hard packed piste is tough going. To be honest it's not fun at all for me.
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The data from US ski areas for both fatalities and serious injuries (neither of which is particularly likely, compared to other risks people regularly face) are easy to google.

They are kind of bumpy, probably because the risks are so low. However the 10 year rate looks to have trended downwards, not up.
Possibly that's because as the demographic ages, they ride slower. And complain more.
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So... thinking about this and taking@philwig’s comment on board, with apologies to Layne for not taking his comment seriously enough...

There may be an element of age related criticism. Possible. I don’t think so. But I have no data. I’ll see what I can find.

However, this season I have skied Chamonix valley most weekends (first was Dec 10 I think), Grand Massif, where I have noticed this for years, Courmayeur a few days, PdS and Monterosa.

The factor linking “bad” skiing is areas or resorts that would “naturally” score highly on a factor of “good for intermediates”...

It’s not so apparent in Cham, but Grand Massif I find that I want to at least be side piste to reduce external risk.
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DB wrote:
The equipment has changed, less skill is required to go much faster than 30-40 years ago.
The kit has changed but the force of gravity is the same. I see very few people skiing fast because they are using their kit well, but many, many more people skiing badly and going too fast. A quick pivoted skid, then a bit of a straight-line before another skidded pivot to sort of change direction, but not really control their speed. Nothing in that is related to the kit they are using as they aren't really using the kit. They would be going just as fast on an older pair of skis. The only thing which would make a difference is going back to wooden skis without metal edges, which would slow down the out of control speeders (perhaps suddenly).

I'm not sure if there is a higher proportion of irresponsible skiers on the slopes. My judgement on that is somewhat skewed by me being a better skier and having a better eye for good & bad skiers (which might account for uann's perception?), but it seems to me that there are relatively few dangerous collisions, so I try not to worry about it too much. I've seen more accidents related to ski lifts in recent years than I have as a result of high speed collisions, maybe we should do something about those dangerous things... wink
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I suspect its also because a lot of kids see videos of brilliant freeriders just straightlining down an empty mountain and they want to emulate it, but try to do it on a piste because they are not good enough to go off piste.
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[quote="rob@rar"][quote="DB"]. My judgement on that is somewhat skewed by me being a better skier and having a better eye for good & bad skiers (which might account for uann's perception?), wink[/quote
and maybe when you were younger (and less able) you were the person that seems to inflame the ire on this thread ...I'm pretty sure i could have a fairly good guess at the average age of most of the participants.
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@Super Steezy, as a relatively young skier, I am not entirely inclined to agree.

There are A LOT of young, over-confident skiers on the mountain who have little sense of responsibility who ski dangerously because they're immature, irresponsible, and probably not as good as they think they are.

However, in my experience, it is the middle age to older skier who's far more likely to (a) stop in the middle of the piste around a blind bend and believe that they have some sort of righteous entitlement to be there and for others to ski around them; and (b) ski with shoddy technique under poor control that they have no interest in correcting because they've been doing it for 20 years and it's never gone wrong before (much).

It's easy to blame all dangerous skiing/boarding on young care-free 'dudes' trying to impress the girls and/or each other... and there's definitely many solid cases of that. But assuming that dangerous skiing is exclusive to them is inaccurate. The kids are probably dangerous due to their disproportionate confidence, lack of sense of responsibility, and lack of attention to what's going on... but the older generation can be just as dangerous through a sense of time-served entitlement; a belief that they've not had an accident in 20 years (of which they've probably skied no more than 20 weeks) so therefore are personally immune; or frankly, like I said, just through having sh*te technique that they have no interest in correcting.
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The more I ski the more I realise how bad I used to be. Skiing an odd sport, unless you're actually racing you're mostly judging your own abilities against how you used to be. So a 3-week skier can think himself quite competent because he's a lot better tha he was on last year's holiday. Another factor is that often the only way to find your limits is to exceed them. I'll deliberately go fast on a tricky run just to push myself and develop my skills. I only do this with an empty piste and a clear run out but learning to cope with high speeds is an essential part of learning to ski. As a boring old 50 year old I'm happy to get my speed kicks early in the morning and then throttle back when the crowds appear, but that's got to be harder for the youngsters. Can't get first lift when you've been drinking all night!
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DP I'm pretty sure this thread was rattling on about people skiing at speed with no discernible control, you have just listed the more obvious fails of the elder skier and by your own rational not likely to be hooning about at high speed.
This thread needs to be renamed " no one can ski but me"
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