Skier Dies From Injuries Sustained On Cup Run
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The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
January 2, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
The following gives some details about the horrible accident at Snowshoe. http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/charlotte/news/breaking_news/10503015.htm
The Colonel
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
January 2, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Additional details:
http://wvgazettemail.com/section/News/Other+News/2004122617
From the Charleston WV Sunday Gazettemail News
December 27, 2004
North Carolina teen dies after Snowshoe ski mishap


By From staff, wire reports


A 14-year-old North Carolina boy died Sunday from head injuries suffered skiing Wednesday at Snowshoe Mountain Resort in Pocahontas County, officials said.

The Jacksonville, N.C., resident was airlifted by a HealthNet helicopter to Charleston Area Medical Center after the accident, resort spokesman Joe Stevens said. He died at the hospital Sunday.

Stevens declined to identify the boy, saying the resort has a policy not to name accident victims.

- advertisement-

The accident, which was not witnessed, occurred sometime after 2 p.m. Wednesday in the middle of Cupp Run, an expert slope, Stevens said.

The surface was groomed and skiing conditions were normal, he said. The boy was wearing a helmet which was intact and still on his head after the accident, he said.

It was the first skiing death at Snowshoe since February 2002, when a 17-year-old Georgia boy suffered multiple injuries on the same slope.

"It's an expert trail, and through the years, there have been unfortunate accidents on that trail,'' Stevens said.

"It's an unfortunate situation, and the bottom line is our thoughts go out the family that this happened during the holidays.''

The resort does not control access to slopes of higher difficulty, Stevens said.

"All the trails are clearly marked, so it's the responsibility of the skier to participate on the trails that are within their limits,'' he said. "It's a personal responsibility.''
The Colonel
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
January 2, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
And from the Jacksonville, NC Daily News of 30 Dec.
http://www.jdnews.com/SiteProcessor.cfm?...mp;Section=News
Loss in the Northwoods family
December 30,2004
DIANE MOUSKOURIE
DAILY NEWS STAFF

Three days before Christmas, Jordan Koonce Shepard zoomed down the expert slope at Shoeshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia.

Jordan was an expert skier, and the ski trip was an annual event for the Shepard family, one he looked forward to with anticipation, assistant principal Allene Batchelor at Northwoods Park said Wednesday.

Jordan, an eighth-grader at Northwoods Park Middle School, died early Sunday from injuries he sustained during a skiing accident around 2 p.m. Dec. 22. Friends remembered Jordan during a service Wednesday afternoon at Jacksonville High School.

Another skier, maybe not as skilled or as prepared as Jordan, lost control and slammed into him on the slope, she said. Following the accident Jordan was airlifted to the Charleston (W.Va.) Area Medical Center where he was treated for brain injuries, Batchelor said. He was in and out of consciousness, but by Saturday his condition had deteriorated to the point where the doctors could do no more.

"We had a prayer chain going for him at home," she said. "We knew his time was limited, but we didn't want him to die on Christmas day. He died at 12:15 a.m."

Jordan had been wearing a safety helmet, and he followed all safety precautions, Batchelor said. He had just celebrated his 14th birthday one week earlier on Dec. 16, she said.

"It was just such a tragic accident," she said fighting back tears.

Batchelor has known the Shepards personally and professionally even before their oldest son, Jordan, was born, she said. Kathy Shepard teaches language arts at Northwoods Park and has for at least 16 years. Larry Shepard teaches math at Richlands High School. Jordan has two brothers, Carson, who is a sixth-grader at Northwoods Park, and 4-year-old Peyton.

Jordan was considered a part of the Northwoods Park Middle School family from the beginning, Batchelor said. For such a young person, he had a grasp on life many adults never attain.

His faith in God was rock solid. He was "any teacher's dream." And he loved sports, especially skiing, Batchelor said.

"Jordan was always at school - after school, for staff meetings or teacher workshops," she said. "And he was always offering his assistance."

He was active in nearly every extracurricular activity available. He played trombone in the school's jazz band. He was on the baseball and soccer teams. And he was an officer in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

"Jordan was very much a Christian, and his responses to questions on the application for FCA clearly indicated his strong religious beliefs," Batchelor said. "He was all about sports, a big Carolina fan."

When Jordan was not in class or busy practicing he was helping others, whether they were teachers or peers, Batchelor said.

"He was a great student, every teacher's dream, always smiling and always willing to help," she said.

Even though the Shepards attend church in Beulaville and live in Richlands, a memorial service was held Tuesday afternoon at Jacksonville High School. That was arranged so all who wanted to could attend, Batchelor said.

"Even though they lived in Richlands, we knew a lot of his friends from school would want to be there," she said. "We're expecting some of the kids to ride their bicycles since their parents will be working."

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made in his honor. A Jordan Koonce Shepard Memorial Fund has been set up at RBC Centura and deposits can be made at any branch, she said.

"They haven't established where the money will go yet, but I'm sure it will be worthy," Batchelor said.

Onslow County Schools has organized a Crisis Intervention Team with counselors who will be on campus Monday for teachers and again Tuesday for students as they return to classes.

"It will be the first time they will all be together, and there will be a void because Jordan won't be here," Batchelor said.


Contact Diane Mouskourie at dmouskourie@freedomenc.com or 353-1171, Ext. 235.
Please, ski in control....and ski defensively.
The Colonel
canaanman
January 3, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
358 posts
This incident was all over the news when it happened.

Maybe it will drive-home that Cupp is for experts only. The kid seemed to be a great skier, its unfortunate that another, most-likely less-experienced skier slammed into him. It's incredibly tragic that I know someone who suffered the same fate, not on Cupp but at Timberline. She survived (wasn't wearing a helmet either), but broke every bone in her face. Months later her surgery was impressive... she passed the next two years of highschool with excellence only to die her freshman year in college from complications which arose when she came ill with meningitis.

Skiing above your ability is like drinking and driving. It's not the fact that you can hurt yourself; it's the fact that you have the potential to hurt others, possibly fatally. It's a BAD IDEA! People, if you don't have the ability, don't ski the trail! It not only puts everyone on the trail at risk, but those who are already attending to other injured skiers.

Another distant friend cracked several ribs and sustained a concussion on Cupp New Year's Eve. He hit the bottleneck too fast, couldn't control it, and swerved uphill into some trees. It wasn't pretty, but that sort of accident is common. He's lucky he didn't take anyone out... he was skiing slightly above his ability and slightly out of his control.

Don't ski above your ability... prove your IQ is above room temperature.
DCSki Sponsor: Massanutten Resort
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
January 3, 2005
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,370 posts
I think the ski industry has to take a more aggressive role in discouraging inexperienced skiers from sking on slopes that they should not be on. I was skiing at 7Springs, North Face on 12/28 and with the kind of crowds that are there during the holidays it amazed me at the speed some of the skiers (and especially snow boarders)were sking. It was actually frieghtening at times. I hate to say it but I feel that most snow boarders are rude and irresponsible when it comes to skiing etiquite. On 2 occassions they clocked my wife and didn't even bother to help her up. It also concerns me when you see some jerk skier who obviously doesn't know what he's doing just point his skis down hill, assume a contorted tuck position and then just fly down a crowded slope with out any concern for fellow skiers or boarders. I had one hit me in the back at Roundtop and I tumbled and slid at least 100 feet before I stopped. How I or the idiot weren't hurt amazed me. There was a group of boaders just sitting at the top of the slope just pointing their boards downhill and then seeing how fast they could go! This ain't Montana...it's Roundtop for gods sake. I think the Ski Patrol should be looking for dangerous situations like this. Is it testosterone that makes males do such stupid things?
Denis - DCSki Supporter
January 3, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,228 posts
In my opinion the most dangerous runs are the blue runs, and these are also the runs where the greatest proportion of the skiers are over their heads. True expert runs have a much better skier ability level and are much less densely populated. Also IMO, the most dangerous spots in the mid-Atlantic are the "S-curve" on Salamander at Timberline, and the "mixing bowl" area at Blue Knob, just above the base station of the triple chair. We all just have to be very careful out there. In this part of the country, many people really have no experience base and no clue of what they are getting into when they start down a trail. Couple this with a big population base and throw in teen and young adult testosterone poisoning and you have a dangerous mix.
JohnL
January 3, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
I'll add to what Denis said. As a generalization, speed is what kills. Whether it is you going fast or another slider going fast. Most skiers can't go fast on a true expert run such as Extrovert or Lower Shortway, but just about anyone can go fast on a basically intermediate run such as Cupp Run, Widowmaker, Exhibition, the slopes/trails on 7 Springs' North Face, etc. The labeled intermediate runs have even more skier traffic, so the chances of someone zigging into someone else's zag increase even more.
JR
January 3, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003 🔗
276 posts
That is why I don't like all the grooming that goes on. Sure, groom all the green stuff and most of the blue but not the black trails. Do them every so often to keep the moguls down to a respectable size and to clean up the ice but the reason people fly down trails is because they can. Put them on lower Shay and they learn quick you can't just go, same effect as speed bumps. Lower Cupp was starting to bump up pretty good the day I was there and it kept speed down on most of it becuase people either had to slow down and hit the bumps or they were sliding on their back after falling over one. It actually kept things safer. The problem came at the bottom when the bumps stopped and everyone was flying through the bottleneck. You don't see beginners going on any of the bump runs there more than once because they don't like them because they don't give them the false sense of ability that a groomer does. How many people snowplow down a groomed Widowmaker and think, hmmm, I must be an expert cause I didn't fall. Nobody goes down Lower Shay and thinks they're an expert unless they really are.
MadMonk
January 3, 2005
Member since 12/27/2004 🔗
235 posts
The one problem I have w/ snowboarders is that many seem unaware of the increased blindspot that their sideways stance creates. It's not a big deal if they're skiing slow, but I've seen several fairly proficient boarders going fast just wipe out skiers that were in their blind-spots.

Truly a sad story. If anything good comes from this I hope it is a crackdown on reckless skiers/boarders and perhaps spurs Snowshoe to build a couple of blues on the western territory.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
January 3, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,228 posts
Excellent point JR. I am waiting for some lawyer to pick up on this and sue because the mountain made it possible for their client to go fast enough to injure themself by providing wide grromed boulevards. Too many mountains in the mid-Atlantic are an invitation to speed and too many accept the invitation. (BTW I used to race and have no problem with people going fast in control and out of heavy traffic.) To my knowledge Mad River has never had a fatality since opening in 1947. Almost everything is narrow and twists and turns, and all but the beginner slopes are NEVER groomed.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
January 3, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,938 posts
I read a book a few months ago called "Right on the Edge of Crazy: On Tour with the US Ski Team." There is a lot of good material in that book about why Kitzbuehl's Hannekam course is so dangerous, and what the resort has done to make it a little safer. One of the major new safety features is netting. This prevents skiers from going into the woods. I've always wondered why Snowshoe has never installed netting along some of the more dangerous sections of Cupp. The trail has huge embankments and if you wipe out incorrectly on one of those embankments, you end up flying down a 20-foot high artificial ravine.

I also agree with John about speed. Good skiers do not ski fast. They just don't. Skiing fast is for over-confident intermediates who don't understand what a high-speed fall is like-getting your breadth knocked out of your lungs and wondering how many bones you've broken.

Another problem is bad skiers, but skiing slowly is a better way to avoid them than accelerating. I'd rather be hit hard from behind than run into someone because I was skiing too fast and got cut off. Remember folks, no matter how bad the skier is in front of you, he has the right away: the down slope skier ALWAYS has the right of way.
JohnL
January 3, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Quote:

I am waiting for some lawyer to pick up on this and sue because the mountain made it possible for their client to go fast enough to injure themself by providing wide grromed boulevards. Too many mountains in the mid-Atlantic are an invitation to speed and too many accept the invitation.




Let's not talk about suing ski areas. I have a friend who used to work for a company that reinsured liability policies for ski areas; ski areas and other businesses get sued for rediculous things now-a-days. This only adds to the cost of our lift tickets and cafeteria food.

Why not sue the Federal Government for designing highways safe at 80+ mph when the speed limit is 65? Is this not encouraging speeding?

I hate groomed runs more than just about any poster on this board. But there is a very good reason why many ski areas in the Mid-Atlantic (and elsewhere) groom runs; most sliders prefer groomed runs and there is very limited terrain to handle the crowds. All I ask is that 1-2 runs at each area be left ungroomed.
Norsk
January 3, 2005
Member since 05/13/2003 🔗
315 posts
But there is one legal action we should talk about here...potential charges against the out of control skier who caused the accident. Some might recall the fellow in Vail who is now in jail or killing another skier by skiing recklessly (skiing too fast, unable to stop at the bottom of the slope, slammed into him in a liftline).

What's wrong with holding the offending skier responsible? Everyone here seems to instinctively focus on the resort -- either it "allowed" the skier to go too fast by too much grooming, or by not controlling access to expert slopes, or perhaps failed to prevent collisions with trees by installing netting. C'mon! If you are skiing above your ability, too fast for control, and you cause an accident, you are the one primarily at fault, not the resort. Responsibility should be placed where it belongs. It won't deter all reckless skiers, certainly, but it can't hurt and might help.
JR
January 3, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003 🔗
276 posts
Amen to THAT!
JohnL
January 3, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Norsk,

What you propose certainly makes sense for extreme cases of skier negligence. But most cases involving skier death are probably a grey area where it is not clear whether or not someone was reckless. How do you define reckless? Just because you happen to collide with someone doesn't make you reckless. What if you weren't going too fast, lost control, and picked up speed while you were trying to regain control? What if a skier got cut off by an illegal action by another skier (not looking uphill before proceeding) and swerves to miss the offending skier but hits someone else? Who defines reckless: the snowplower on Cupp Run or an expert skier? Rarely will Ski Patrol witness an accident, so their definition of reckless has to be applied through the filter of others. Plus, I'm not sure whether Ski Patrol's definition of reckless would stand up in a court of law. A non-skier may consider anyone who skis to be reckless.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
January 3, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Let me jump back in. I notice several posts indicating that expert trails should not be groomed and allowed to bump up naturally. I disagree. I am an older skier (63 years young) and a good skier for 34 years. I can ski most any black, here or out west. And I enjoy skiing difficult slopes. But my knees do not do moguls anymore...if they ever did! I like to cruise the blacks and occassionally take on a bump run like Shays, but I can only do this once or twice a day. So, leave some of the steeps groomed for folks like me, or take a wide black trail and leave half with natural bumps, but groom one side for others, or those who need a bailout, or those who tire and need less strenous way down, not an easy way down.
The Colonel
Norsk
January 3, 2005
Member since 05/13/2003 🔗
315 posts
JohnL,
I hear you, but those same questions can be asked, and are asked, day after day in car accidents that result in the death of one of the motorists. Rarely do police witness the accident, and yet police and prosecutors must determine whether the offending driver was driving recklessly or merely a bit too fast, whether he appropriately swerved to avoid another car or not, what role alcohol might have played in the crash, etc etc. They gather information and make a determination, as best they can, whether or not to charge the driver with vehicular manslaughter or not. And then a court and jury sorts it out.

But no one suggests, when a driver gets drunk and kills another driver, that it was somehow the fault of the Department of Highways for having the road open at night. Why should it be any different at a ski area?
tromano
January 3, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Quote:

<snip> I hate groomed runs more than just about any poster on this board. But there is a very good reason why many ski areas in the Mid-Atlantic (and elsewhere) groom runs; most sliders prefer groomed runs and there is very limited terrain to handle the crowds. All I ask is that 1-2 runs at each area be left ungroomed.




I agree, ungroomed trails are a "snow preserve" for those who have earned the right to ski there by years of practice. Most local ski areas do leave at least 1 or 2 trails or sections of trails ungroomed. Thsi depends on how convoluted their trial map is. But I don't hate the groomers. They keeps the hordes off the rest of the mountain. Not to mention groomed are fun for cruising, checking out the sights, and taking it easy. And are a great palce to get first runs and practice new techniques. You have to warm up for all those bump runs some where.

And the groomed blue cruiser is almost necessary for family friendly ski areas. That is the bread and butter for local ski palces. If they didn't groom those runs then 50% of those people who pay wouldn't ski because "it's too hard" with all the %$^&@! moguls, crud, etc... Wah! Wah! Wah! And local areas would then be labled non-family-friendly. And they woudl take the kids ice skating or something like that in the winter. Look at how many families ski blue knob. If every local area stopeed grooming thats about what all midatlantic local skiing would look like in a few years.

I wanted to add on: the amount of ice that we get arround here. Especialyl at places like whitetail and liberty with their almost daily freeze / thaw cycles, grooming is a necesity to keep the machine made snow workable for most skiers. I don't think most intermediates could ski limelight it were inch thick ice. Which is what it will be once temps come down, if the don;t groom it.
Ullr
January 3, 2005
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Quote:

Most skiers can't go fast on a true expert run such as Extrovert or Lower Shortway, but just about anyone can go fast on a basically intermediate run such as Cupp Run




The stuff at Blue Knob is just as much of true intermediate terrain as cup is! This is the mid-atlantic for crying out loud.
rmcva
January 3, 2005
Member since 01/28/2004 🔗
187 posts
Hate to hear such sad news as this accident. If someone takes action against the resort, we all will end up paying. I was also at Snowshoe on New Years Eve and Cupp was very hard-packed ice with small ungroomed bumps near the bottom. I saw many people that had to really work just to make it thru those icy little moguls. The better skiers were having some fun but the others, based on the expression on their face, realized they were way over their heads. Like some of the other comments, I like making ungroomed runs but those groomed ones sure make for some nice carving and playing as I get older.
JohnL
January 3, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Quote:

The stuff at Blue Knob is just as much of true intermediate terrain as cup is! This is the mid-atlantic for crying out loud.





Have you ever skied those trails? I'd like to see any poster on this board make high-speed GS turns down those trails in their typical (ungroomed) condition. On Extrovert, you'd have to jump two cat tracks and time one of the leaps between moving chairs on the lift overhead.
JohnL
January 3, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Quote:

I hear you, but those same questions can be asked, and are asked, day after day in car accidents that result in the death of one of the motorists. Rarely do police witness the accident, and yet police and prosecutors must determine whether the offending driver was driving recklessly or merely a bit too fast, whether he appropriately swerved to avoid another car or not, what role alcohol might have played in the crash, etc etc. They gather information and make a determination, as best they can, whether or not to charge the driver with vehicular manslaughter or not. And then a court and jury sorts it out.





Except that traffic laws are more clearly defined: how to signal a turn, where you are allowed to turn, where you are allowed to pass, how fast and slow you can go, how close you can follow another car, the level of allowable blood alcohol, etc. Plus, drivers are following clearly defined lanes. Ski slopes don't have clearly defined lanes on them.

Drivers have speedometers on them and can tell precisely how fast they are going; skiers don't. Plus, accident reconstruction is very important to getting factual information on a crash. Skiers don't leave skid marks or have well-specified crumple zones.

Quote:

But no one suggests, when a driver gets drunk and kills another driver, that it was somehow the fault of the Department of Highways for having the road open at night. Why should it be any different at a ski area?




That was my point exactly.
SkiBumMSP
January 3, 2005
Member since 12/8/2004 🔗
224 posts
Quote:

I think the Ski Patrol should be looking for dangerous situations like this. Is it testosterone that makes males do such stupid things?




Being a member of the ski patrol, I have to comment on this thread.

Oh, believe me, we do everything we could to try to curb dangerous situations like this. Unfortunatly, like the cops looking for bad/dangerous drivers, we just cannot be everywhere everytime. And often, if I do see a dangerous skiier on the slopes, it seems by the time I can react and go after him, he is already down at the bottom of the hill, and nowhere to be found. We are often radioing descriptions of such skiers to each other, i.e., "Be on look-out for a skier wearing a blue jacket, black pants, red hat. He has been seen skiing out of control".

I also agree it should be like the car wrecks. The only problem, is, who should investigate these things? The ski patrol? I'll have to ask at Massanutten what the protocol is if a collision of skiers results in a fatality (which, as far as I recall, has never happened at Massanutten. Fatalities, unfortunatly, have occurred, but I've never heard of one involving skier vs skier collision)

From another post in this thread:

Quote:

People, if you don't have the ability, don't ski the trail! It not only puts everyone on the trail at risk, but those who are already attending to other injured skiers.




I've darn near got creamed just this past Saturday, while I was helping an injured snowboarder. Despite all the crossed-skies and the like marking the scene, some snowboarder still nearly hit both me and the person I was helping. He wiped-out immediatly above us and slid into the crossed-skies.

From another post in this thread:

Quote:

Rarely will Ski Patrol witness an accident, so their definition of reckless has to be applied through the filter of others. Plus, I'm not sure whether Ski Patrol's definition of reckless would stand up in a court of law. A non-skier may consider anyone who skis to be reckless.




Sometimes, I do witness an accident, but it is rare. And yes, we pretty much have to go by the word of any witnesses that may have seen the accident, as well as the person(s) actually involved own accounts.

As to what we use as a "definition" of recklessnes? Pretty much the Responsiblity Code. If it is determined that they are violating any of the Responsibility Code, i.e., witnesses stated skier was clearly out of control (arms flailing, screaming, "I can't stop!", etc), that is pretty good bet the individul was skiing in a reckless manner. As if it can hold up in a court of law? I cannot answer that, as (1), I am not a lawyer, and (2), I've fortunatly never actually had to testify. I would not be surprised if the ski patol does have some merit, though. Of course, that is why we document everything, and even take pictures, if necessary.

From another post in this thread:

Quote:

Remember folks, no matter how bad the skier is in front of you, he has the right away: the down slope skier ALWAYS has the right of way.




That is not always the case. Normally, yes, the downslope skier has the right of way. However, if somebody has stopped and is starting again, they have to yield to the traffic coming down slope. Same if they are merging into another trail - they must yield to the traffic coming down the trail they are merging into (one instance at Massanutten, where Mass Transit comes back into Rebel Yell).

Also, if somebody does stop, they need to be off to the side, and where they can be seen. I've had one instance where I nearly ran into somebody, because they were stopped immediatly below a headwall, in the middle of a trail, where I could not see him coming down the slope. He may have wiped-out, but how could I know. That is why now-a-days, I often slow down when approaching a headwall, so I can look down and check if anybody has wiped-out or otherwise stopped on or immediatle below.

And my opinion on groomed slopes. I agree with several of the others. Yes, it is nice to have a couple two or three ungroomed slopes for those of us that want the extra challenge. But it is also nice to have the groomed slopes to cruise on, or otherwise find a less stenous way down. And, of course, the whole "family-friendly" aspect is spot-on. Lets face it, nearly all of the mid-atlantic areas pretty much have to cater to families in order to stay afloat around here. After all, look how many now have tubing areas.

And to get back to the original topic. Believe me, my heart-felt, sincere prayers and condolances to the family of that boy. A fellow skier has fallen, and I am truly sadden. My God bless his soul and he rest in peace.

Enough of my ramblings, but something like this does hit close to home, as I am very much concerned about skier safety and the consequences that result if good safety practices are not followed. There is a reason why the NSAA and NSP came up with The Resposibility Code. Like they say - "Know the Code!" Please be careful out there. I do not want to see anymore news stories such as this.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
January 4, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,228 posts
Well said SkiBumMSP. I too send my condolences to the family and friends of that young man and hope never to read of another such incident. My remark about suing ski areas for having "invitations to speed" was half tongue in cheek and certainly not meant to provoke or to raise anyone's ire. It is a many faceted problem and the only thing that works is for all of us to take responsibility for our own actions and to leave enough margin for error to protect others.
Ullr
January 4, 2005
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Quote:

Have you ever skied those trails? I'd like to see any poster on this board make high-speed GS turns down those trails in their typical (ungroomed) condition. On Extrovert, you'd have to jump two cat tracks and time one of the leaps between moving chairs on the lift overhead.




Just stating that those runs are just as much of an expert slope as Cupp Run is, that's all.

TerpSKI
January 4, 2005
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
Ski areas around here should put gates and signage at the entrance to all "expert" runs.

The best sign I have seen is at Liberty at the entrance to the double black trails which say that "rental equipment is not allowed on this trail" or something like that.

Banning rental gear on expert trails would eliminate a lot of bad skiers and it would be pretty easy to police since ski area equipment is very recognizable.
snowcone
January 4, 2005
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
... and Liberty does police its no-rentals policy.

My adult niece, an expert, skiing from age 5 on the toughest of European mountains, was visiting and rented for the day. She was turned away at the top because of the rental skis. Needless to say she was NOT happy and stomped off the hill.

I think the idea of limiting rentals to green/blue runs is a very smart move. Although it won't solve all of the badboy problems, it will reduce them significantly. How hard is it to have someone at the top of black runs to check for rentals? If it saves one life, its worth it.
SkiBumMSP
January 4, 2005
Member since 12/8/2004 🔗
224 posts
Quote:

Ski areas around here should put gates and signage at the entrance to all "expert" runs.

The best sign I have seen is at Liberty at the entrance to the double black trails which say that "rental equipment is not allowed on this trail" or something like that.




At Massanutten, there used to be a sign at the base of the #6 lift (the quad going up to Diamond Jim and Paradice) that said that rental ski lengths must be at least 160cm or tip must come at least up to the skier's nose before being allowed up. However, that policy was obsoleted with the trend for the newer shaped skis that tend to be shorter. There is still a sign that says "This lift services expert terrain only!".

Also, at the top of upper Dixie Dare, there is a sign that says "For Experts Only". The ski patrol does have the descretion of booting anybody off these slopes if we feel they do not belong on there, with the warning that if we catch them up there again, the pass will be yanked.

Unfortunatly, there really is only so much a ski area can do to prevent people from going onto slopes where they do not belong. It really does come down to personal responsibility of the skiers. After all the warnings posted on the trailmap, in the lodge, on the lift pass itself, at the base of the lifts, and at the trail itself, you would think one would get a clue, but alas, from personal experience, I know all to well.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
January 4, 2005
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,370 posts
Quote:"The best sign I have seen is at Liberty at the entrance to the double black trails which say that "rental equipment is not allowed on this trail" or something like that."
TerpSKI, you hit the nail on the head. This would help keep the Yahoos off the steeper terrain. I would make it more threatening though, something like "No rental skis on this trail or you will loose your lift ticket"
JR
January 4, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003 🔗
276 posts
While the no rental policy seems like a good one you will really annoy alot of expert skiers that just happen to be using rentals. This would especially be a problem at Snowshoe since half of the rental equipment is from demo shops like 4848 and Full Tilt. Some people probably go up there that are experts and either can't transport all of the poeple and their ski's or they just want to demo some stuff. If they do that they definitely need to make it abundantly clear at the time of booking reservations or renting skis that if they only use rental equipment they will be limited.
TerpSKI
January 4, 2005
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
I think the idea would be to prohibit just the ski area's rental fleet, not demo skis. I doubt seriously whether most expert skiers would want to demo those bombs. I think that is Liberty's MO.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
January 4, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,228 posts
Replying to nobody in particular - and to everybody;

It's happening elsewhere too.

http://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050104/NEWS/501040405/1002

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/Stories/0,1413,101~7514~2633424,00.html
(Cut & paste the URL into the window.)

The Jiminy Peak one looks like another beginner or low level rider who may have not done anything wrong other than getting extremely unlucky at the wrong time and place.

The Killington one looks like it could perhaps have turned out differently if the skier used better judgement or knew how to self-arrest.

Be careful out there!
tromano
January 4, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
The unfortunate thing about this or any policy is that with out enforcment it really means bupkis to some people. Skiers are told many times to follow the skiers code, stay in control, etc... The signs are literally everywhere, its printed on the lift ticket, its on the lift house, its on the ski rental form, on resort websites, trailmaps, Most Black or double black trails are marked [Experts Only], etc... Despite this repeated warning you everyday see skiers out of control / above their ability level / doing dumb things / going crazy on slopes there they don't belong.

I am not really sure who is responsible for enforcing this kind of thing. I was always told that ski patrolers are trained for first aid and rescue; not security. Also I am told that in general managment is not always supportive of ski patrol when they do enforce things. These sors of problems can be helped by people like us telling managment that we want safer slopes. And I can imagine new technology such as electonicly activated lift access (via barcode type lift tickets) could be easily used to give skiers time out and clip the tickets in more effective ways.

I don't see a sign doing much without enforcement and positive action taken by resorts. I don't think that enforcemnt means necessarily anything as extreme as clipping a ticket. But it has to start some where. It can be as simple as asking people to write out and sign a copy of the safty pledge (like the honer pledge as many schools) before issuing lift tickets. It can be a simple as pulling a guy out of the lift line and having him watch a 15 minute safety video. But the resorts have to take the time, be creative, and they have to make that a priority.

I don't see this a zero sum game either. Safer slopes reduce costs in the long run and also will increase the attractivness to families of any ski area. Quantas was well known for many years as the only international airline that never had a person kiled in a crash. Well, not anymore, but it shows the value of that sort of reputation.
snowcone
January 4, 2005
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
I'm not talking about the performance rentals from 4848, MAC and the like, I'm talking about the ski school rentals that you can spot a mile away. Theres a big difference between paying $24 p/day for basic rentals and $45 p/day for high performance. Chances are that you probably won't ante up the tab for performance skis if you don't know how to ski.

One of these days I'll post a shot we took last winter of 3 girls wearing their rentals struggling their way north along the -paved- and -cindered- (no snow cover) road on the west side of Rimfire. I think someone should have told them you need to place the skis on the snow (or at least ice) in order for them to work. We nearly died with laughter. I don't imagine the guys at the rental place were laughing when the ski were returned totally shredded. Anyway, my point is here that, controlling where rental skis/boards are allowed could probably go a way in reducing accidents. Those girls were clueless and could easily have gotten on Cupp and gotten in trouble. I often wondered which runs those girls ended up on ... must have been interesting
SkiBumMSP
January 4, 2005
Member since 12/8/2004 🔗
224 posts
Quote:

I was always told that ski patrolers are trained for first aid and rescue; not security. Also I am told that in general managment is not always supportive of ski patrol when they do enforce things.




I cannot speak for all ski patrol, but from what I got from my own training, part of our job is prevention as much as first-aid and rescue when the inevitable does occur. Part of that prevention is pulling people that are clearly in over thier heads or clearly skiing in an out-of-control or reckless manner. We would rather much prevent an accident from happening in the first place, instead of having to respond to one.

EDIT: Also to add: It is also not our goal to go around and see how many lift tickets we can yank. I would much rather educate the person on proper skiing etiquette and safety, hoping, in the end, it'll be a more enjoyable experience for them. I would rather they get a full day of skiing instead of wiping out, injuring themselves, and ruining thier day (and possibly the day of somebody else) after spending $50 on a ticket and another $30 on rentals. People make mistakes, and after a little explaining of the rules and where they should, or shouldn't be, they are often one the wiser. If after a warning or two, and somebody still chooses to ski in an unsafe manner, possibly jeopardizing the safety and enjoyment of others, then I'll yank the pass.

It would actually not a be a bad idea if first-time, never-evers are required to watch a short video on ski safety as part of thier first lesson (do any areas actually do this?). Much like when I went white-water rafting, they made us watch a safety video before setting out.

Also would not mind if resorts starting making lessons required for never-evers.
There were numerous times when I pulled skiers off the bunny slope for skiing out of control, and I ask them if they have taken a lesson. More often than not, the answer is no. I would suggest they take a lesson and why, and often times, they will agree. Every once in a while, I'll get one that'll give me attitude such as "I don't need no lessons! I can figure it out!" I just simply tell them that people have been killed for assuming the same thing. I'd rather they learn how to properly stop, instead of a tree or another skier stopping them.
pwillysim
January 4, 2005
Member since 09/2/2004 🔗
38 posts
When I first started skiing over 25 years ago ski patrollers were very aggressive at policing the slopes. If they saw someone of lower ability on a more advanced slope they would escort them off.If the person ignored the warning they were thrown off the mountain. We need some policing on the slopes. There are people who ski with a reckless abandon that spells certain injury to someone. Ski within yourselves not above yourselves.
Roy
January 5, 2005
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
In a beginner lesson, we do not require anyone to watch a video. However, part of the PSIA lesson does require us to explain the Skier's Responsibility Code. I try very hard to put the responsibility code in every level lesson I do. On upper level lessons, it general is in real time situations (merging trails, look uphill before taking off, etc.).

I also like to use upper level lessons to teach students how to ski our mountain. There have been many students that I've taken to Dipsy Doodle (yes it is very scary for novice skier's) and teach them how to ski it before their friends force them down it.
MadMonk
January 5, 2005
Member since 12/27/2004 🔗
235 posts
You know what might help at Snowshoe is having some type of safety video air on Resort TV right before the morning's snow report w/ Joe Stevens (then again it would be nice if they got the report done a little earlier too). It doesn't have to be a "Blood on the Highway" type of video but simply one talking about responsibility and situational awareness.
snowcone
January 5, 2005
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
According to a blurb on Snowshoe's website, anyone using the terrain parks has to watch a safety video before getting a park pass which is in addition to the lift pass. Hopefully that will help. I suggest it might be a good idea do that for everyone who rents skis too ... while waiting for your din to be set, skis fitted to boots, you watch the video. Where's the problem?

Having a high quality fun cartoon on safety code on resort tv would be smart for all resorts. As it is now, about the best you get on resort tv is a static screen listing the safety code ... big deal.. most people ignore it. Even in a day resort like Liberty which has no in-house resort tv, a nice big screen in the food service area showing the code cartoon plus maybe some Warren Miller in a loop would be a plus. Even if the cartoon is a Road Runner sort of thing, the point is still driven home that you can get hurt.

I also think that the terrain parks should have their own dedicated rope tows or lifts; that would significantly reduce the outrageous Saturday lines at lifts like Ballhooter. Liberty, at least, has the tow for its West Side Park. I think that takes substantial loadage off the Alpine Quad, plus allows the park riders to get back to their favorite features much quicker.
SkiBumMSP
January 5, 2005
Member since 12/8/2004 🔗
224 posts
Quote:

I also think that the terrain parks should have their own dedicated rope tows or lifts; that would significantly reduce the outrageous Saturday lines at lifts like Ballhooter. Liberty, at least, has the tow for its West Side Park. I think that takes substantial loadage off the Alpine Quad, plus allows the park riders to get back to their favorite features much quicker.




Massanutten has a dedicated J-bar for its "main" terrain park. They also have a dedicated rope-tow on its "Easy Street" terrain park. In addition, Massanutten also limits terrain park use to snowboards, snowblades, and twin-tip "trick" skis. That means no "regular" alpine equipment is allowed. Funny the comments I get sometimes when I have to ski through there on occasion: "Hey, you can't take skis in here", my reply, "This red jacket and white cross says I can!". They usually reply back, "Oh, sorry, did not realize you were patrol." But gotta give'em credit for policing themselves over there, and I do politly thank them for pointing it out. Makes my job easier.
MRPLOW
January 5, 2005
Member since 12/23/2003 🔗
27 posts
I can't help but think that snowshoe should due something about the bad skiers on cupp.

There's a good reason a lot of people end up over there head on cupp. Its cause there tired of the lines and 600 vertical drop on the basin side and want to ski the 1500 vertical that's advertised and that they payed for.

They need to add a green or blue run off the western territory. A lot of people also get dragged down cupp cause that's where the people they came with ski, If they had an alternate way down the western territory they very well may choose it.
Mountain Masher
January 6, 2005
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
I agree, Cupp Run seems to attract skiers of limited ability and experience like a magnet. An easy way down to the bottom of the Cupp Run lift (like Lost Boy Trail at 7-Springs) would be a possible solution to the problem.
canaanman
January 6, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
358 posts
Quote:

According to a blurb on Snowshoe's website, anyone using the terrain parks has to watch a safety video before getting a park pass which is in addition to the lift pass. Hopefully that will help. I suggest it might be a good idea do that for everyone who rents skis too ... while waiting for your din to be set, skis fitted to boots, you watch the video. Where's the problem?




That's all fluff and no substance. So far there's been no regulation of who can/can't ride the park... no issuing of park passes, and no mandatory safety video. It is a good idea... but it would get OLD every day you wanted to ride park.
snowcone
January 6, 2005
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
Has anyone ridden in Snowshoe's parks and have they been required to watch the video? I would be interested to know if SS is just blowing smoke and PR blathering or are they really trying to institute some sort of standards.
BushwackerinPA
January 7, 2005
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
I never had to, i was there twice last year
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