However, for groups and individuals that rent their ski equipment at the resorts, renting helmets may not be an option. Most of the smaller resorts do not carry rental helmets and those that do carry only a few with a limited range of sizes. Larger resorts such as Snowshoe generally have rental helmets available.
It would probably be a smart idea to require helmets with rental boots and skis but I don't see it happening as long as the resorts are not responsible for accidents; remember that document you sign that indemnifies the resort when you rent equipment? The only way I see resorts tying helmets to rentals is if there is some sort of safety promotion with awards. So until then I think the only option is for parents to demand that helmet rental is mandatory for a ski/board outing otherwise their child will not participate.
Very nice posts.
Parents should always remain more reponsible than ski areas concerning their children's safety. If a good helmet can be had for $20, isn't it a parent's responsiblity to ensure that they buy a new helmet for their children at the start of every ski season? Proper fit (and lack of previous damage to the helmet) are critical for proper safety. Proper fit can take a bit of time and ski areas may not know if a previous user was involved in a collision.
>> What are the ski patrol doing at Whitetail that it continues to be such an unsafe environment?
You need to provide more specifics on your claim. I personally have not seen Whitetail to be an unsafe environment. I'd like to hear some more on this one.
As for counting the amount of times your head has hit pavemnt or ice or the ground: Can you also remember the amount of times a seatbelt has saved you? I would imagine that is a low number as well. Does that mean seatbelts are not needed?
When I was at Whitetail over the weekend my buddy who is learning to ride had just bailed and was getting hislef together to go again. I parked directly uphill from him to act as a sort of visible blocker. It was like sitting in the middle of 95 at rush hour. I'm usually rarely scared when I go riding but that was really kind of frightening.
In another thread I mentioned the ski school instructor bringing in a bunch of underexperienced kids. It had the effect of a cluster bomb, they spread out and wreaked devastation far and wide. All kind of amusing until you have someone cut across your take off or landing. Excuse my ranting, I think I just really get annoyed with the subject of etiquette.
I have only been skiing in it three times, but I would feel weird going without it.
Plus it doesn't seem to interfere with my hearing.
Such a sad, sad ending.
I didn't say anything about helmets not being desirable. Please reread my post.
Comments like Myrto's "kids have seen out-of-control skiers careen into other skiers" and Kennedy's "When I was at Whitetail over the weekend my buddy who is learning to ride had just bailed and was getting hislef together to go again. I parked directly uphill from him to act as a sort of visible blocker. It was like sitting in the middle of 95 at rush hour. I'm usually rarely scared when I go riding but that was really kind of frightening" seem preventable to me if the patrol is really patrolling the slopes.
Just makes me wonder...
At least the Beltway has designated lanes. On a ski slope, you have people making different size turns (the turns may be irregular), moving at different speeds and sometimes having to abruptly stop or fall. Skiing Angel Drop @ Whitetail is always a surreal experience for me.
Don't blame ski patrol on this one. I rarely see out of control skiers/boarders on the slopes.
Ski safety -- my opinion is that resorts could improve safety on many LOWER slopes by simply issuing some form of TICKET, Either by cutting lift tickets and making the skier/boarder go back to the main office to get their lift ticket renewed (possibly at with a time penality), or some other means. I believe UPPER slopes are largely self regulating! :-)
Whitetail -- my observation as a frequent visitor is the largest problem area is Upper Angel Drop and in particular the transition area to LOWER AD where the snow park is.. the problem is that you get a large number of teenage male borders with LIMITED ability, who, given the relative slight grade of the run, go straight down the thing, before checking their speed using big slides at the transition area... mix this in with random jumps, arving, and high traffic and you get a bit of mess.
I think one solution to this problem would be simply have the ski patrol in this area and have them actually yell at, or ticket the offenders.
Another solution I suggested in a previous thread was that whitetail could install a rope tow, poma lift still system from the main area up into the snow park, and thus remove the need for the vast majority of these customers to go to the top to get to the park, which they clearly don't have much interest in to begin with....
This would cut the traffic in the main lift area as well as on upper angel...
"Eckerman was airlifted from the mountain with skull fractures, and he died Tuesday. Relatives and friends said he almost always wore a helmet while snowboarding, but he wasn't wearing one Monday because he wasn't planning to take risks, said his girlfriend, Lisa Ha of the District. "
"Wasn't planning to take risks...." No one plans to crash head first into a tree, no one expects to crash head first into a tree, but some people do nonetheless. That is why helmets are necessary, for precisely when it happens and you are not expecting it. Skiing is inherently risky and all risks can not be eliminated. But you can anticipate the known risks--crashing into trees--an guard against them by the simple act of putting on a helmet.
[This message has been edited by dmh (edited 01-16-2004).]
Yes, I knew her very well. She and I attended the same high school, around the same time. We were riding up the lift with her right before the accident, and she was making fun of us for wearing helmets and how dorky we were. The irony there is amazing.
Anyways, I took a few minutes strapping-in at the top of the mountain, and the rest had already headed down. I come down Thunderstruck, over the edge at the top and there she is, headed right for the woods... head first. Such an ugly wipeout... blood everywhere. It felt like somebody had slammed me in the gut with a 50 pound dumbbell.
So anyways, help was summoned, and she was taken down the mountain to the waiting helicopter. We didn't see her for a good 3 weeks. She spent 2 of those weeks in a hospital in Maryland, where she underwent many surgeries. She broke every bone in her face and crushed her skull on the top. I don't remember how long she was here in the hospital in Charleston, but it was a long time. Her recovery was amazing. Many doubted that she'd live.
Rumor has it that when they were loading her into the helicopter she was actuall concious. I can't begin to imagine the pain. And the part that was the hardest for many to stomach... the doctors stated that if she had been wearing a helmet, she would've suffered from probably a minor concussion.
Tragically Christina passed away in the fall of 2002. In her freshman year of college she contracted meingitis, and as the tissue swelled, she went into the hospital. Because of all the deformities in her skull and inorganic objects still in her skull (wires, plates, etc) she died before the sunrise of the next day. That still doesn't sit well with me. Just thinking of all the pain she went through, all the suffering those close to her underwent, and then her surviving and actually looking almost back to normal again, only to die 4 years later is horrible.
Just think, if only she'd been wearing a 'brain bucket'.
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