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My current worst skiing flaw

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I have no telepathic skills, so will only make my mind up on what was the intention after the passing event. The scale goes from "polite intentions but unnecessary" at one end, to "impatient idiot that wants to force me to give up my right of way on a narrow piste because he can't control speed to match the flow, and is probably so fat he'll probably have a coronary if he has to start poling afterwards" at the other end of the scale.

My hearing is substandard on one side, so feel free to click away, but if your intention of clicking is to indicate which side you intend to pass, then please do it on my best side.


Now if someone can invent a pole clicking / bicycle bell ringing equivalent that causes iPod music to be overridden, then I'd be happy Smile
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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I tend, in the language of the country I'm in, to say on which side I'm about to pass. I kinda feel that if people don't even know the words for left and right of the country they're skiing in, that's tough. At least that should be relatively clear, a pole click is open to too many interpretations.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Pedantica, I hope you do not ski in Meribel, as 90% of people would only understand left/right for left and right.
Saying it in French would be of no use to them.
Better off using fluent south London. Smile

Smiley denotes Meribel users not you.
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Filthyphil30k, good point, well argued. Laughing
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I often whistle tunelessly when passing.
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Sofia, to answer the original question, what I do is slow down, wait until the individual executes a turn and then dive directly at them so when I arrive at where they were, they have moved on. If they very suddenly change direction and I have room then I reverse direction to pass them on the side they have just turned away form. Usually works. The other trick is to bomb in a straight line down the side of the piste. Although I adopt that tactic sometimes, to my mind this has a flaw in that if you are on the side of a drop off it does not leave you many options if someone decides to ski on to the same line without looking up slope.

I find the above to be better than giving loads of room becasue experience tells me if I do, some other nerk will then try to claim the space meaning there will be less room than if I just ski as described. It's a damage limitation exercise. I skiied through a gate in front of a lift without stopping recently - only one couple was waiting - and the woman in the couple jumped a mile and started to glare at me. Now, I grant you I may have scared her, but if she's going to get scared in a lift queue, what hope do I have on a slope? Better to ensure one of you is knowingly safe and clear rather than to give a wide berth to someone who might react if they know you are there and possibly cause other problems.

foxtrotzulu, having only just found out about the clicking thing I would say that it lacks a little clarity as a signal. There's a bunch of kit contacts that occurs when learners are on the slope, any amount of which could lead to clicking so, on reflection, I think it's a signal that has a high percentage of possible confusion. Also it seems to me that it's the gloved equivalent to snapping ones fingers to get attention which never goes down well. I shall not be adopting the practice.
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Well, glad to have learned something from a thread. In future, instead of politely clicking my poles to let people know I'm there, I will use them to push the skier in front out of the way jousting style. I'll probably change to a more metallic, full-face helmet and more interesting body armour at the same time. Anyone got a cod piece I could borrow?
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wow, nicker-twisting pole-clicking discussion! i do it very occasionally on 'transport tracks' and that's the only place i've ever encountered it. probably due to the nature of them - they're long and boring and if you've spent 100s of metres building up relative speed on a gradient of 1/100, you'd rather not lose it. strangely enough, i've never seen a catastrophic crash as a result. i use it as a courtesy, not to announce that i'm about to blast past because nobody blasts anywhere on transport tracks. if someone did it to me on a proper piste, i'd have a word but a transport track is a very different situation.
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tiffin wrote:
I often whistle tunelessly when passing.


So it's you in that cubicle at work!!
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I agree with foxtrtotzulu on the pole clicking, it is good to know someone is there before they pass you. I give a few taps to my poles as I approach a slower skier, I give them a wide space but sometimes with beginners they don't turn when you expect them, so just so they know you are there and won't turn in your path. It isn't needed on wider steep runs where you can just avoid them .
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@biddpyat, you do know this thread is over 4 years old?
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@Rabbie, I suspect it's as relevant now as it was then Madeye-Smiley
Personally I prefer to have any sort of indication that someone is behind and considering passing or is about to. I don't really care about whether they are correct or incorrect, as long as I can take into account that I am no longer the sole occupant of this ski corridor.
On the BB last year, the blue track returning to the hotel was quite crowded and as someone nudged me I took very slight evasive action which was sufficient to allow him to pass on the outside of the track. I couldn't work out what he was up to as he skied on - arms outstretched forwards, he then went into another skier ahead in such a way that I thought it was someone he knew - but no, he was simply out of control, in a very weird way!
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This is an interesting thread. As a relative beginner who is going on his first skiing holiday on the Birthday Bash, I’ve never heard of clicking poles as a form of warning. With poor hearing in one ear and tinitus in both, the chances of me hearing clicking poles whilst wearing a helmet would be practically zero. As for me clicking my poles to warn others; I’d more than likely loose my balance and end up on my aris.

I thought the rule was; it is the responsibility of the person approaching from behind to avoid the person lower down the slope with their back to them. But it sounds as if this is not always possible or that simple

Hopefully my first skiing holiday will be incident free. Very Happy
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I recommend skiing off piste. Less people.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
a.j. wrote:
clicking on cattracks is very common and has been for as long as I've been skiing - i appreciate it as a warning myself, and do it from time to time, where the closing speeds are so slow you are going to be alongside each other for a while. I would never do it on a normal run, but on cattracks I don't think it's practical for us all to wait for the normal amount of space to open up, instead you have to assume everyone will continue to straightline and knowing who is where is handy.

I am aware it always causes a snowheads civil war though *fetches popcorn* maybe someone should make a poll snowHead


It is not only practical, but a requirement that you wait for the "normal" amount of space to open up before you overtake another slope user. I really dislike this attitude that maintaining a higher speed than others is more important than anything else, including the safety of other slope users. Please read and understand the FIS code - you are required to allow for any voluntary or in-volantary movement by a downhill skier (i.e. you must make allowance for them to do the unexpected), and should never, under any circumstances, assume everyone will continue to "straightline". Kids in particular can be unpredictable and I can't count the number of times I have seen one suffer a fall due to this sort of irresponsible and inconsiderate attitude. In my experience, the skier who caused the issue simply carries on skiing, often not aware that they have caused a fall. Reading your post, it is very likely you fall into that category.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Quote:

I thought the rule was; it is the responsibility of the person approaching from behind to avoid the person lower down the slope with their back to them. But it sounds as if this is not always possible or that simple


No it is that simple.
If they lack the space or skill to safely pass then they have to wait.
Pole clicking etc is superfluous as the skier in front should have to take no account of the skier behind.
Personally, if I am skiing slowly on a narrow piste I will stay in a narrow corridor towards one side of the piste but I am under no obligation to do that.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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The advice to pass as the skier is turning away from you is correct IMO. If they are straight lining it's clearly not an issue. In certain situations, quite narrow, steep dropoff one side, snowplough behind until safe.
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There are also the times when on a narrow trail, that tends to flatten out or worse go uphill and you have got your schuss in control, but there are two buddies having a chat side by side in their snow plough and if you slow down then you have to pole up behind them, when a little please leave a piece of piste for those who don't want to have to pole because you two want to natter..... Twisted Evil . A pole click is far more polite that yelling at them to cop the f on. ( sorry but I met a few like this last week. )
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what is wrong with "excuse me" or "excuse moi" etc?
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When you pass boarders, try to pass them on their front side not their blind side - they way they might see you.

As boarders have no poles to click, the normal way of alerting people in front of your presence is to make loud scraping sounds with the edges of your board as close as possible to the skiers back. If you can do this with an increasing cadence and volume it lets them know you're serious.
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WindOfChange wrote:
When you pass boarders, try to pass them on their front side not their blind side - they way they might see you.

As boarders have no poles to click, the normal way of alerting people in front of your presence is to make loud scraping sounds with the edges of your board as close as possible to the skiers back. If you can do this with an increasing cadence and volume it lets them know you're serious.


How do they manage that when they're sitting in the middle of piste?? Puzzled

Toofy Grin
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The only safe way to pass is to leave plenty of space so that you can react in time if the skier you are passing suddenly heads into your path. If the space isn't there then don't do it. It really is that simple.
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just to confuse further.... when we (my family) ski together, the person at the front of the group will use pole clicking as a way of indicating to the person(s) following that they can see that the bit coming up is flat and we need to straight-line it for a bit.
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When you pass boarders on skis or board if they are sitting just below a ridge then you could always attempt to pass over them. Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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@jamescollings,
can't the followers just see you straight-lining it?
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You've not met my family, have you? Embarassed
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
I'm speechless with astonishment at the responses to the issue of pole clicking, although I note that most people who are against the idea don't seem to have ever had poles clicked 'at' them.

My view is that pole clicking is not only a sensible idea, but highly considerate. It is only relevant on those flat, narrow pistes when some skiiers will, in contradiction of all Galileo taught me, travel fatser than others. Politely clicking ones poles a couple of times as you slowly approach is not a signal for anyone to get out of the way it's just a way of saying "just so you know, I'm here". You don't expect anyone to get out of your way or do anything unusual. It's just a polite warning.....like the bicycle bell.

As an overtaker I will always give people masses of room, but I'd still be grateful they thought twice before putting in a sudden turn to the very edge of the piste.

Having been on the other side of the equation I can vouch for the fact that having a skiier, whom you hadn't realised was there, suddenly overtake you is extremely distracting/disconcerting.

Of course, it all depends how the pole tapping is done. In much the same way as a flash of car headlights can mean 'after you', 'just to warn you, I'm here', or even 'What the **** do you think you are doing'. Certainly the way I click my poles has never engendered anything so much as a dirty look.


Totally agree. I use it as a polite I’m passing you with oodles of room but just so you know I’m to your left so please don’t randomly turn into me. If you do I’m travelling at a suitable speed to change direction or slow down. Like people have said it’s like a polite cycle Bell.

Andy
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Gotta say I think people overcomplicate these things. In all my time skiing I don't recall any major incidents/issues.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@anderoo, Next time I am stuck behind your white van in St Jeroire will you pull over and let me thru if I politely click my poles?
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Been skiing with a beginner for part of this week. She is extremely anxious about what is behind her. Somebody clicking their poles would be incredibly selfish (‘click, click, get out of my way’), entirely disrespectful of a fellow slope user, and more likely to cause a unexpected move, possibly contributing to an accident.

Just don’t do it.
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hear hear

was going to say, we had that argument before. then realised that this is actually ye olde threadde.

don't waste your time clicking me.
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@andy, I had somebody wave a little cowbell at me recently (which was attached to his ski pole). It was an unusual noise so I looked around. When people look around there is a big chance they veer to one side. I was tempted to ski in to him as he passed, but contented with “don’t jingle that fucking bell at me again” as he slid by. No idea what nationality he was, but I thought an international profanity would convey my irritation.

Just don’t do it.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
rob@rar wrote:
Been skiing with a beginner for part of this week. She is extremely anxious about what is behind her. Somebody clicking their poles would be incredibly selfish (‘click, click, get out of my way’), entirely disrespectful of a fellow slope user, and more likely to cause a unexpected move, possibly contributing to an accident.

Just don’t do it.

I respect your opinion rob but gotta say on this occasion I find this a bit bizarre. This beginner is surely going to be hearing the noise of ski's and board behind her all the time. As well as other noises. Poles tapped gently together is not a loud or alarming noise.
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Layne wrote:

I respect your opinion rob but gotta say on this occasion I find this a bit bizarre. This beginner is surely going to be hearing the noise of ski's and board behind her all the time. As well as other noises. Poles tapped gently together is not a loud or alarming noise.
Indeed, hearing those noises all the time, and they are scary enough. But a pole click or a shouted warning is an unusual and deliberate noise which she would assume is directed at her. And will cause her to panic. If you can't pass a person with a big enough margin of safety that you need to alert them to your actions in some way, then you should pause a moment until it is safe to pass in that manner.
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Layne wrote:
Poles tapped gently together is not a loud or alarming noise.
I respectfully disagree. I was distracted by the sound of a mini cowbell a couple of weeks ago, and I'm a fairly experienced skier of 30+ years standing (and occasionally falling over).
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rob@rar wrote:
Been skiing with a beginner for part of this week. She is extremely anxious about what is behind her.

I am too, and I don't know what I can do about it.

On more than one occasion on my last trip, I ended up freezing to a halt until the slope (and my head) cleared and I was able to reset and restart. (Thank you to Claire for being there)

Clicks don't bother me, edges being scraped do.

Perhaps there is something to be said for plugging in a headset so I can't hear anything.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Thu 1-02-18 14:39; edited 1 time in total
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motyl wrote:
rob@rar wrote:
Been skiing with a beginner for part of this week. She is extremely anxious about what is behind her.

I am too, and I don't know what I can do about it.
It's a tricky one and you are not alone even though you are a good and experienced skier. People like me saying that you should focus on what is ahead of you rather than what is behind you is not a strategy that is going to have much success. One thing you can do is to hope that the people behind you have enough respect that they don't send you audible warnings of some kind which require you to take action of some kind.
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Thanks Rob, it has to be a work in progress on my mental state. Admittedly it's worse when I'm struggling a bit myself.

Speaking entirely for myself, I don't treat pole clicks or vocal signals as a request for evasive manoeuvres, and am normally reassured by them (depending on the tone of any vocal alert!) as it indicates to me that my presence is noted. Sudden scraping on the other hand... I like snowboarders but their ability to freak me out is on another level!

On the other hand, imagine a slope where everyone is pole clicking or calling out Shocked or even all singing different songs! Very Happy
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motyl wrote:
Speaking entirely for myself, I don't treat pole clicks or vocal signals as a request for evasive manoeuvres,
Often they aren't, it's a sort of 'continue as you are' so I can get past you (although my friend with the cowbell recently was definitely 'get out of my way').
motyl wrote:
and am normally reassured by them (depending on the tone of any vocal alert!) as it indicates to me that my presence is noted.
If you don't hear a pole click are you constantly wondering whether they is someone on your shoulder about to crash in to you?
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rob@rar wrote:
Indeed, hearing those noises all the time, and they are scary enough.

Sorry but I don't get why they [noises] are inherently scary.

rob@rar wrote:
But a pole click or a shouted warning is an unusual and deliberate noise which she would assume is directed at her.

OK.

rob@rar wrote:
And will cause her to panic.

Why?

rob@rar wrote:
If you can't pass a person with a big enough margin of safety that you need to alert them to your actions in some way, then you should pause a moment until it is safe to pass in that manner.

Seems to be a bit of a contradiction here. You've already said that you have a nervous skier, who is liable to panic and to react in an extreme and unusual manner. What is the margin of safety under such circumstances. How can you actually pass safely in such circumstances? And how are you to know a skier is nervous and likely to panic?
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