Interesting trend at Timberline
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TerpSKI
March 6, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
I noticed a lot of disturbing skiing at T-line this past weekend. There seems to be a trend of young "skiers" tucking White Lightning almost the whole way down. Turning seems to be either elusive or the enemy to these folks. We're talking the mad bomber type in a nervous intermittent wedge skis chattering and wandering all over the place.

And it seemed to be catching on with others. In the morning I saw a few kids repeating this and then as the day went on the numbers gradually increased. Wow.

This was my 4th weekend of the year at T-line this year and I never noticed it this bad before. I really think that sooner or later some kid is going to get killed or kill someone else.

Do you think that the Ski Patrol has a duty to try to stop this?
BushwackerinPA
March 6, 2006
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
When I was there friday, I saw none of this infact 95 percent of the people on the more advance terrain there should of been there.

tucking any of those slopes would be very scary in my opinion.
TLaHaye
March 6, 2006
Member since 02/9/2005 🔗
136 posts
Yup!
therusty
March 6, 2006
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
Monkey see, monkey doo.

There are a couple of spots (SnowPark)at Whitetail where we see '11' makers on a regular basis. I was teaching on my board 2 weeks ago and got clipped by one of them. Since I outweighed the little bugger by a large margin, he got the worst of it and a lecture. At Whitetail, the rule for instructors is that we can lecture in such situations, but otherwise we are to point out the worst offenders to the patrol/safety staff. Needless to say, not many get stopped that way. However, when we're busy, we often station safety personnel at hot spots to slow reckless skiers down. Patrol and safety don't have a duty to prevent all reckless skiers, but they do have a duty to manage the risks that they pose.

It's a tough call to make. As long as you leave enough space so that you can give the downhill person the right of way (and you're not in a slow skiing zone), you're not violating Your Responsibility Code. The problem is the monkey see, monkey doo doo effect. The copy cats don't necessarily have the skills or awareness to maintain safe separation from other folks on the hill. I try to let kids have fun until I see them definitely getting too close to other people. Since I wear a uniform, I usually get a little respect. If you're a civilian, attempting to solve the problem directly is usually fruitless. The best you can do is complain to patrol. If they get enough complaints, they'll station someone to catch the miscreants. If you do get hit, however, there is one nasty trick you can do. Feign injury to require the bugger to stick around until patrol arrives. They'll have to get a description of what happened and name and contact info. That and being forced to sit for 10 minutes is usually enough to change behaviour. If they don't stick around, patrol will put a much higher priority on finding the guilty party.
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Murphy
March 6, 2006
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Quote:

When I was there friday, I saw none of this infact 95 percent of the people on the more advance terrain there should of been there.

tucking any of those slopes would be very scary in my opinion.




I gotta agree with TerpSki. I've seen a lot of this recently. While at Snowshoe last week I saw a guy flying down Cascade at Silver Creek in the Bode Miller tuck. As he approached us I told my wife he was either really good or really stupid. Shortly after he past beneath us I heard the tell-tale sounds of a yard sale. You gotta hit snow pretty hard to make enough noise for everyone within 100 yards to turn around and look. Guess he was just stupid.

Similar story at Winterplace earlier this year. I was in line to ride the lift to the top and I see this guy in a full tuck coming off of The Drop, the easiest of the blacks there but still steep enough to generate plenty of speed when straight lined. NASTAR races were going on one run over so I just assumed it was one of them goofing off. As the person got closer to the line I started to get nervous. At about 100 feet out he started screaming. At about 50 feet he started draggin his butt on the ground, skis still on the ground pointed straight ahead, cloud of white smoke trailing behind. Can you say wedgie? He probably decelerated to 20 mph before he crashed into the cargo netting. Good thing there was no one in the lift line. He probably would have submarined 1/2 a dozen people.
kennedy
March 6, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
I saw one kid on Limelight, she must have been about 6, striaghtline the whole run but despite outward appearances was completely in control. I think we have a new Picabo in the making. In the meantime I saw the usually midday madness. One guy with the bare concepts of turning skis comes flying off Ridgerunner at full tuck then woble turns his way onto Home Run. I made eye contact but I dont think he saw the fear in my eyes through the mirrored lens. I had a nice one at the park too where this kid stands up and starts sliding into my line, while looking at me, to hit one of the rails at a 90 degree angle. Either way it wasn't going to end well for him. Overall though it was an awesome day and the crowds were not bad. Snowdancer and Farside were fantastic.
TerpSKI
March 6, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
Quote:

When I was there friday, I saw none of this infact 95 percent of the people on the more advance terrain there should of been there.

tucking any of those slopes would be very scary in my opinion.




Bushwhacker: Were there a lot of kids there on Friday?

Invert that 95% and you would have it right on Sat. & Sun; but thats OK by me as long as they don't endanger others.

It was definitely NOT a zoo this weekend (except for White Lightning)
TerpSKI
March 6, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
Quote:


It's a tough call to make. As long as you leave enough space so that you can give the downhill person the right of way (and you're not in a slow skiing zone), you're not violating Your Responsibility Code.




But Rusty, isn't one of the first sentences in The Code something about "always ski in control"?

One kid that I saw seemed like he might have had skills, but without seeing any turns it was hard to tell. It was funny because I watched two "bombers" pass a couple girls their age. The girls were having a real hard time on the slope (trying to make turns & stay in control). One of the girls stopped & said to the other "how can they just go straight down"?

Sure enough I saw these same girls straight lining the same slope a couple hours later!

Ay Caramba!!
pagamony - DCSki Supporter
March 6, 2006
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
838 posts
I'd like to flip this and ask about new skier orientation. From entirely casual observation, it looks like most beginner ski classes go straight into (1) how to step into the skis, (2) how to sidestep, (3) how to wedge and stop, and (4) how to turn. I don't see anyone getting a "Welcome to skiing, here is the lingo, the equipment, the rules" type of material. Sort of a driver's ed for skiiers. Then ski patrol could make problem skiiers go to this program - sort of remedial driver's ed. Does anyone do a program like this - is that supposed to be part of a beginner skiier class?

Caveat: 25 years ago, I just rented the sticks, put them on, and headed for the rope tow. Lesson? never heard of it. I wonder how many beginners take lessons now?
kennedy
March 6, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
I kind of feel like 1 hour is a little short for a lesson, especially by the time you cover equipment and basics. I agree that it's a shame there isn't a 2 - 3 hour intro course designed for beginners. Take one of those then go back to the 1 hours. Rusty would this work or do you think you'd just end up with information overload?
BushwackerinPA
March 6, 2006
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
When I see girls in distress on steep stuff, stopping to help them out is usually your best course of action;).
TerpSKI
March 7, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
Quote:

When I see girls in distress on steep stuff, stopping to help them out is usually your best course of action;).




If your married and she's skiing with you your best course of action is to ski on by (and try real hard not to notice)
Otto
March 7, 2006
Member since 11/19/1999 🔗
176 posts
Quote:

I'd like to flip this and ask about new skier orientation. From entirely casual observation, it looks like most beginner ski classes go straight into (1) how to step into the skis, (2) how to sidestep, (3) how to wedge and stop, and (4) how to turn. I don't see anyone getting a "Welcome to skiing, here is the lingo, the equipment, the rules" type of material.




You are correct. Your observation is entirely casual and no more. Teaching the responsibility code is required for beginner lessons where I teach and, I venture to guess, every other ski school.

Of course "in control" is in the eye of the beholder and over many years of near misses and solid impacts - since what I do often involves traverse exercises on runouts - I have observed that the demographic is near universal - male between the ages of 14 and 28 and able to stay up on a board or skis at speed.

I wear a helmet and try to keep an eye open uphill. One night I got lucky and while doing a traverse, sensed one coming. I got into a crouch with my edges set just in time.
It was so gratifying to go over to him post impact just to see the snot bubbling out of his nostrils and ask him if he was alright.

Feigning injury is, IMHO, a waste of time. Bombers don't stick around. Not when they hit you, not when they hit one of your students.

Ski patrols are usually sensitive to the bomber threat. Don't complain about bombers here. Complain at the resort you are at and management will get the patrollers out or put up speed fences. I don't like speed fences either, but they work.
kwillg6
March 7, 2006
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,030 posts
I noticed the increase in scuds as well. Sunday was particurlarly bad. My reminder to all is that you don't have to be going fast to get a serious injury. My spousal unit was skiing on the flats to the lift Sunday AM when she cauget an edge (wide shovel on her skiis), the power steering kicked in, she did a nasty forward, twisting fall, almost taking me out. Bottom line, her season is done with a broken fibula. Soooooo....if you want to become a projectile of mass destruction, the law of averages will catch up to you. It even does to the good skiers.
kennedy
March 7, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Sorry to hear that. Thats a horrible way to end a season.

Was that at Whitetail on Sunday? because I was heading up the quad and saw someone get sledded off the hill from very near the base.
BushwackerinPA
March 7, 2006
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
I guess I fall into that demographic:\, but I respect myself and others too much to ski that stupid

Yeah all the kids I saw on the steeps, even some of them wedge turns were all in control.

FYI I hate teaching beginner lessons for the all the reasons sited, cause people are assholes and just straight line Continetial. It is very scary, I had someone asking me to watch out, left my class chased him down called a patroler on my cell phone and that kid got talk at the very least.
kwillg6
March 7, 2006
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,030 posts
No, it happened right in front of the lodge at t-line. My neighbor at t-line, a retired ER Dr., did a quick assessmwnt and we hobbled her back to our condo for the rest of the day. I wasn't going to let her broken leg keep me from some great skiing! (Actually, she told me to get in some runs since I had driven up late Saturday, and we only got in four runs before her accident occurred) She's a great gal!.
kennedy
March 7, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Wow she is a keeper. If that were me my season and maybe next season would be done.
TerpSKI
March 7, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
Quote:

Ski patrols are usually sensitive to the bomber threat. Don't complain about bombers here. Complain at the resort you are at and management will get the patrollers out or put up speed fences. I don't like speed fences either, but they work.




I actually looked for patrollers on the mountain to mention this to, but I never saw one. This irritated me as well.
RidelikeaRhino
March 7, 2006
Member since 01/31/2006 🔗
42 posts
Well the bomber topic is bug with me since I spend a good portion of the season keeping these guys from killing someone in a lesson. Recently attended to a girl who launched herself thirty yards down range after hitting a cushion with both skis. Good luck saved her from eating a snowmaking tower in one swallow. Since I have had some of these goofs for students, here are some insights 1) they usually think they can ski because they can remain standing at high rates of speed. offering to show them how to actually ski or suggestions that they may be get hurt are often met with indignant looks. 2) The reward system is based on status gained by exchanging near miss stories to other bombers. It is all great fun till someone need surgery. 3) Skill is measured by the size of the hill that can be claimed with or without a narrow escape. The claim "I did a black diamond!" gets many hive fives. The minor fact that I don't remember any of the four seconds it took is overlooked. Any mention of real skill is not in the equation. For the most part they are un-aware of real skill. 4) the responsibility code, if it was even heard, is forgotten within seconds after your discussion of the topic. I have had three near misses this season alone. One guy took a romp through fifty feet of tree limbs before re-entering the groom and almost killing me. I have not the illusion that he did not make that same run again five minutes later. Sadly it boils down to just plain stupidness. Un-aware or un-concerned with how hurt they can actually get. As a point in fact I think any kid going to a resort should have to be certified to ski. The certification would require two hours of ski video featuring (no disrespect) Sony Bono, Michael Kennedy and a few others. I also believe in "you bomb, your gone". This is very slow to get it group. The bigger the stick, the higher the learning curve. How I hate to be this way....
Jim
March 7, 2006
Member since 11/22/1999 🔗
317 posts
Terpski - patrollers are not hard to find, especially at the Snowtime Resorts. At Liberty Mountain, if you ever have a problem, especially on the backside, ride up one of the backside quads to the top. There is a Patrol Top Duty shack right there. On weekends that shack is ALWAYS staffed. In addition, the Liberty patrol is well aware of the hotspots. On busy days, you should see patrollers stationed at the intersection of Heavenly and the Heavenly Chute and the bottom of the backside quads. I will admit that sometimes they are hard to spot as the patrol no longer wears the rust and blue uniform with the yellow cross. Instead, they are in red jackets and black pants (like about half the skiing population!). Mountain Safety, in particular, will blend in with the crowds as their uniform is a similar color sans the big white cross. But rest assured, they are out there and you can find them if you need them.

As for the comments in this thread, I can tell you from my perspective that there are simply some people out there that will never learn. At the risk of stereotyping, this seems to especially apply to a certain younger age group that has been raised with a sense of entitlement from parents who think nothing of dropping them off at ski resorts and leaving them out there on their own. Sometimes, instructors and patrollers feel more like babysitters than skiing professionals. No, its not every kid that bombs down the run, but after getting a lot of lip back from the ones I've stopped, it sure as heck seems like it!
TerpSKI
March 7, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
Quote:

Terpski - patrollers are not hard to find, especially at the Snowtime Resorts. At Liberty Mountain, if you ever have a problem, especially on the backside, ride up one of the backside quads to the top. There is a Patrol Top Duty shack right there. On weekends that shack is ALWAYS staffed. In addition, the Liberty patrol is well aware of the hotspots. On busy days, you should see patrollers stationed at the intersection of Heavenly and the Heavenly Chute and the bottom of the backside quads. I will admit that sometimes they are hard to spot as the patrol no longer wears the rust and blue uniform with the yellow cross. Instead, they are in red jackets and black pants (like about half the skiing population!). Mountain Safety, in particular, will blend in with the crowds as their uniform is a similar color sans the big white cross. But rest assured, they are out there and you can find them if you need them.

As for the comments in this thread, I can tell you from my perspective that there are simply some people out there that will never learn. At the risk of stereotyping, this seems to especially apply to a certain younger age group that has been raised with a sense of entitlement from parents who think nothing of dropping them off at ski resorts and leaving them out there on their own. Sometimes, instructors and patrollers feel more like babysitters than skiing professionals. No, its not every kid that bombs down the run, but after getting a lot of lip back from the ones I've stopped, it sure as heck seems like it!




Jim- I am not speaking in general, but specifically about Timberline this past weekend. I know where the patroller shack is and I was not going to make it my personal crusade to make the slopes safe for humanity. I simply avoided White Lightning.
kwillg6
March 8, 2006
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,030 posts
Ditto that avoidance of thescud firing range. When I get off any lift I always look to see how may lower level skiers are heading for the more difficult terrain. They are usually easy to spot....rental skis, half open jackets, usually half snow covered from a previous fall. They're the ones usually loudly talking about doing "a black diamond." Watching them from the lifts is always entertaining...flying wedges, yipping and hollering, occasional screaming, and always a few #%&!**#. They generally graduate to the advanced terrain after becoming bored with green and blue terrain AND always bomb the hill in the afternoon, when the snow is either pushed up or off resulting in an even more entertaining event. They never cease to amaze me!
Jim
March 8, 2006
Member since 11/22/1999 🔗
317 posts
Quote:

Jim- I am not speaking in general, but specifically about Timberline this past weekend. I know where the patroller shack is and I was not going to make it my personal crusade to make the slopes safe for humanity. I simply avoided White Lightning.




TerpSKI:

I understand your reaction, but let me ask you this - if you hate the fact that bombers are taking over a trail, but aren't willing to do anything about it, then why complain?

In an ideal world, everyone would take responsibility for themselves and we wouldn't even be having this discussion. But we're far from that ideal and there are a lot of selfish, unthinking people out there. However, letting those people continue to act recklessly without even taking a minute or two to report it only allows the behavior to continue.

Mentioning problems that you see to an area's patrol may get you a good reaction. I know that when complaints are received at Liberty Mountain, they are taken very seriously and if there is not active policing going on at the time of the complaint, watch how fast it appears after a complaint!!

I understand your frustration and can sympathize (really!). I can't tell you how many times that I've witnessed patrollers nearly being run over, and this while in uniform with a big white cross on their backs!! And I also agree its the patrol's responsibiltiy as part of its safety mandate to help police the slopes along with departments like Mountain Safety. However, just like cops, patrollers can't be everywhere and it certainly helps when other skiers let them know what they see!
TerpSKI
March 8, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
Quote:

Quote:

Jim- I am not speaking in general, but specifically about Timberline this past weekend. I know where the patroller shack is and I was not going to make it my personal crusade to make the slopes safe for humanity. I simply avoided White Lightning.




TerpSKI:

I understand your reaction, but let me ask you this - if you hate the fact that bombers are taking over a trail, but aren't willing to do anything about it, then why complain?

In an ideal world, everyone would take responsibility for themselves and we wouldn't even be having this discussion. But we're far from that ideal and there are a lot of selfish, unthinking people out there. However, letting those people continue to act recklessly without even taking a minute or two to report it only allows the behavior to continue.

Mentioning problems that you see to an area's patrol may get you a good reaction. I know that when complaints are received at Liberty Mountain, they are taken very seriously and if there is not active policing going on at the time of the complaint, watch how fast it appears after a complaint!!

I understand your frustration and can sympathize (really!). I can't tell you how many times that I've witnessed patrollers nearly being run over, and this while in uniform with a big white cross on their backs!! And I also agree its the patrol's responsibiltiy as part of its safety mandate to help police the slopes along with departments like Mountain Safety. However, just like cops, patrollers can't be everywhere and it certainly helps when other skiers let them know what they see!




My intention was to notify the first Ski patroller I saw, but I didn't see any. This is also an important issue IMO. I couldn't believe that I didn't see ANY patrollers where I was skiing.

Other than that what can I do? I don't think it is my responsibility to get in the face of everyone who I think is doing something stupid and dangerous.
bawalker
March 8, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I'm curious, does ski patrol use a certain radio channel on the mountain? A couple of times I've encountered bombers and out of control people on the slopes. By the time I can chase them down, they are gone or there is no patroller in sight. I carry a GRMS radio on me when I'm on the slopes and if ski patrol uses a certain channel or frequency I'd call it in and report it asap with a description and details of what happened.
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