a death at Whitetail
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camp
January 12, 2009
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
596 posts
Didn't see this anywhere on DCSki,
happened Friday,
this is from our our local paper local paper today.

Be sure to check out the typical asinine comments that accompany any story in the online version of this newspaper.
SteveC
January 12, 2009
Member since 10/24/2005 🔗
145 posts
I was there Saturday and thought I saw a Medi-vac helicopter coming up the valley. Wonder if it was in response the kid who is mentioned in the article who hit his head on Saturday?
KeithT
January 12, 2009
Member since 11/17/2008 🔗
383 posts
I was there on Saturday and they were bringing the kid down from the terrain park on Stalker in the sled while we were boarding the Snowpark lift. Looked like a head injury and it happended at the first jump based on the color of the snow and the patrol was finishing up the report paperwork as we went by. By the time we skied Sidewinder and were going up the HSQ, a chopper flew over, so this was probably the medivac.
Clay
January 12, 2009
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Terrible news. Keep the family in your thoughts and prayers. The gentleman was 35 years old with a wife and 5 kids.
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comprex
January 12, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Originally Posted By: KeithT
I was there on Saturday and they were bringing the kid down from the terrain park on Stalker in the sled while we were boarding the Snowpark lift. Looked like a head injury and it happended at the first jump based on the color of the snow and the patrol was finishing up the report paperwork as we went by. By the time we skied Sidewinder and were going up the HSQ, a chopper flew over, so this was probably the medivac.


I remember that. I remember it closer to 11 than noon, so it wasn't really overcast yet. Doubt visibility was a factor.

There were all sorts of weird things going on.

Right after the medevac chopper, I had to escort an older lady down Sidewinder. She had lost one pole and was so terrified and so off her game that she couldn't snowplow 20 feet without falling over.

Then the lost-and-found bonanza started. Gloves, jackets, poles, on the hill, in the lodge, in the parking lot, eeesh.

Did anyone see the big muskrat running in and out of the creek bed skier's right of Bold Decision?
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
January 12, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Amen!!!
Amazing that no one saw what happened to the man that died on Friday.
God Bless!!
The Colonel
comprex
January 12, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Originally Posted By: camp
Be sure to check out the typical asinine comments that accompany any story in the online version of this newspaper.


Wow. Just wow. shocked
kwillg6
January 13, 2009
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,032 posts
It didn't say if the man's death was ski related of if he died of other causes. I remember a similar situation happening at the shoe back around 90 when a guy had taken his "significant other" (not his wife) on a weekend ski trip and died from a heart attack. whistle I guess it created a really ackward situation for all involved. Deaths related to skiing/boarding are very rare indeed. Probably more deaths due to avalanch than collisions with trees or other skiers. Does anyone know what those statistics are?
therusty
January 13, 2009
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
I've heard several variations of speculation about exactly what happened. An autopsy may be required to know for sure. Mr. Thiessen was not responsive when he was found on the trail. His 2 daughters were on the Whitetail race team and were waiting at the bottom of the trail for him. The Washington Post reported his age to be 35. It was a very sad day for the Thiessen and Whitetail families.

The Snowpark accident victim was flown out as a precaution. He won't be getting any modeling contracts for a while, but he should be fine.

Whitetail patrol has been very busy and doing an outstanding job. Let's do our part to make their jobs easier (thanks Comprex).
Snow Crash
January 13, 2009
Member since 12/4/2007 🔗
12 posts
Hi All-

I was at Whitetail on Saturday. Was going up the Easy Rider Quad
when I saw the accident scene in the terrain park.

The guy was face down downslope of the jump and a Ski Patroller looked like she was
trying to feel for a pulse on him. Didn't see him move the whole time I was going up.
I also didn't see a helmet on him.
Fishrock
January 15, 2009
Member since 01/15/2009 🔗
2 posts
I called 911 for the gentleman on Bold Decision. It was very sad...he was dead on the slope.

I would guess that he broke his neck, by my observation of the crash area. I have been skiing for 39 years and have never seen anything like what I saw on Friday.

My prayers go out the family...
SteveC
January 15, 2009
Member since 10/24/2005 🔗
145 posts
Wow. I was wondering if we'd ever hear what happened. Thanks for posting the info. Very sad. Oh, did he have a helmet on? (I hope it is ok to ask that.)
Clay
January 15, 2009
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Very sad to have this as your first post. Welcome aboard - I hope we can discuss more pleasant things in the future.
Fishrock
January 15, 2009
Member since 01/15/2009 🔗
2 posts
No helmet...

The following is conjecture based on my observation of the accident scene...
The slope was 3/4 covered with a thick base of man made snow....the other 1/4, on the right side, going downhill, had no snow making cover but was covered in a thick coating of ice from the freezing rain.

The gentlemen appeared to gain speed on the steep pitch possibly getting back on the tails of his skiis. He left the snow pack and traveled onto the portion of the hill uncovered by man made snow. Rapid deccelaration occured causing him to face plant.

The crash scene was skiis, followed by a large depression in the snow/ice, which contained his hat and googles and then his body.
SteveC
January 16, 2009
Member since 10/24/2005 🔗
145 posts
We skiied there (bold decision) Saturday and my wife - who I have never seen fall - almost lost control on that same strip of trail to skiiers right.
Bumps
January 17, 2009
Member since 12/29/2004 🔗
538 posts
I really feel for the children. Sounds like they were just waiting there and then had to see all the activity. Must have been terrible for them. I also just think about how random it is, an awkward landing with just the right angle and force, very sad. There but for the grace of God....how many "yardsales" have we all have during our times on the slopes. Some of these very icy slopes can get so hard they are like cement. Although it is a very rare event, it does make you think.
MichaelB
January 17, 2009
Member since 11/20/2000 🔗
61 posts
I haven't fallen in two or three years and I caught an edge and popped my inside ski off on my last run of the day on Limelight last Saturday. I was honking when I lost it and I went down the mountain head first facing the sky airborne for what seemed like an eternity. I relaxed and tucked just before I hit and when my shoulders planted, my head whiplashed and I heard bells and saw stars. My head hit terribly hard on the bullet proof stuff. It was a sickening sound.

After all the other wonderful skiiers came to help me collect my stuff and I cleared out the cobwebs, I did the standard body parts inventory <grin> and then gingerly skiied down to the lodge, clipped my skis off and headed to the van. When I got to the van, I unbuttoned everything and pulled off my helmet and set it on the seat and there was a huge gaping crevice running up the back of the helmet from the nape of the neck to the crown of the helmet. I cracked that puppy open like an eggshell, all the way down, including foam and plastic. It was astonishing that I was even conscious.

No concussion, no headaches, no dizziness. I was fine. Went up to the ski shop in Frederick that evening (Under the Sun) and bought a new helmet......that helmet is on display up there with a note on it that says: "this could be your head". The shop guys were amazed when they saw it they asked if they could display it in the window.

Bottom line.....my wife made me wear a helmet two years ago after skiing for 10 years without one. I hated the idea of a helmet, but it kept my ears and head warm so I began to like it. Now, I would never ever ski without one.

I HOPE YOU WON'T EITHER!
therusty
January 18, 2009
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
I tried to post only confirmed info, but I've been corrected. The gentleman's daughters were not on the race team. We're still sad.
Clay
January 18, 2009
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Yes we are. What a terrible thing for the family. I'm sure the Whitetail workers are grieving as well even though they did everything that they could.
kennedy
January 19, 2009
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
I need to break my bad habit of not wearing my lid. I think my upcoming trip to CO is the one to do it. I have it ready to go. By the way what is the useful lifespan of a helmet. Obviously after a serious wreck you are supposed to replace it regardless of visible damage or not. If you don't wreck though you are still supposed to replace it after a certain period of time. Anyone know what that is?? 3 years, 4, 5???

As a side note, helmets will prevent you splitting your skull in half but they don't protect you from a broken neck. I had a horrible wreck in Tahoe last season, I didn't have a helmet on but it was more like I nearly snapped my neck than smashed my head up. My goggles took the brunt of the face plant and I had some abrasions to my face but when I stopped tumbling I actually thought I had broken my neck just because of the way my body scorpioned over my head.
therusty
January 20, 2009
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
Kennedy,

As long as you're not "using" the helmet (i.e. impacts) and keeping it out of sunlight during the off season, a helmet should last for "many" (e.g. >10) years.
kennedy
January 20, 2009
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Wow that is a lot longer than I thought. I was thinking more like every 5. But that's assuming you're not smacking your head off the hardpack every time you ride.
RSparer
January 30, 2009
Member since 12/27/2001 🔗
13 posts
Please use a helmet. We see more head injuries these days than anything. If you bust a helmet due to a fall or crash send it back to the manufacturer.They do impact studies on crashed and will most likely send you a coupon for a replacement. Since the bike companies have gotten involved, helmets are lighter and more vented then ever.
k_alice
January 30, 2009
Member since 11/22/2005 🔗
92 posts
Wow, I haven't been reading DCSki postings much this year, but now I am depressed. And questioning my own judgement for letting my kids ski race. I know there is risk inherent in pretty much all sports (probably more kids drown each year, right?) but watching your kids travel at high speeds on a hard surface - after reading these posts - is kind of freaky.
Jim
February 3, 2009
Member since 11/22/1999 🔗
317 posts
Generally, its good practice to replace a helmet every five years (as recommended by the Snell Foundation - a third party testing organization that certifies helmets for a variety of sports). That said, more than replacing the helmet every five years, its more important to WEAR the helmet regardless of your skill level. That point was brought home to me last weekend when I got conked on the head with the safety bar of a chair left. Felt the impact on my helmet - thankfully! - and not on my bare head!
Fleetwood
February 3, 2009
Member since 12/6/2008 🔗
69 posts
I didn't wear a helmet when I started snowboarding, but I wear one now. I came to the realization one day that I wear a helmet when I go speeding down a mountain on my bike, so why wouldn't I wear one when speeding down the mountain on my board?

It also sends the right message to my 5-year old son who started skiing last year. I've had a helmet on him since day one. He sees me wearing one. No questions asked.
lmmlaw
February 3, 2009
Member since 03/3/2008 🔗
18 posts
Originally Posted By: Fleetwood
It also sends the right message to my 5-year old son who started skiing last year. I've had a helmet on him since day one. He sees me wearing one. No questions asked.


This was what brought it home to us. Our son couldn't take a lesson without a helmet and we make him wear one all the time. How do I justify that the husband and I don't? Besides that, the one time so far <knock on wood!> that I was really thankful that I had one on didn't involve my skill level at all - I got flattened from behind by an out of control skiier who was nearly twice my size - I was much more concerned with getting my kid out of harm's way and unfortunately, wasn't able to manage the same for myself.
langleyskier
February 5, 2009
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Sorry to diverge from this topic... seemed kinda dead but what I am posting is kinda related... but I wanted to comment on the high number of injuries I have witnessed this year.

Our first race of the year,at wisp, a racer from WVA flew off the run that merges with the lift at the base of main street and had a compound fracture in his leg. Unfortunately, the bone nicked an artery and two weeks later, doctors had to amputate his leg a few inches above the knee.

The same weekend, a racer at Denton, PA; from the roundtop team; flew off a green and died upon impact with a tree.

Two weeks later, during a Giant Slalom race at Elk Mnt in PA; two racers from my team tore their ACL's and another from my team stressed their ACL and is out for the season.

And just this past weekend, at Timberline, another racer from my team had a compound fracture in the lower part of his leg and the medivac had to be called (i think they in the end took him to the Oakland hospital by ambulance). Another kid from another team, on the same day, tore his ACL.


Has anyone else noticed a greatly increased number of injuries locally? Or is it just centered on local racers? Kinda nerve racking
kwillg6
February 5, 2009
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,032 posts
Were the injuries to your upper level or A team racers? A lot of injuries to college and USSA racers are due to the racer "loading up" the ski and really using the edges with a line that takes them close to the gate. Also, those racers tend to ratchet their binding up to the max so the ski doesn't come off with a fall. Several years ago, I was at one of my son's races at Bryce while he was at JMU and the top racer in the region caught a gate with the tip, flipped, and fell only 50 feet from where I was watching. I heard the snap of his compound tib/fib fracture at the boot cuff. We had a hell of a time getting his boot loose to allow circulation in his broken leg's foot, let alone getting the other ski off so patrol could get him down the mountain. In this case, the patrol was ill-equiped to handle the injury because it was at night and most patrollers were of the snow-bird variety. According to his coach, he had "loaded his skis" which is what you are suppose to do, but caught the gate. A serious flaw with his dins set on 18. My son injured his shoulder in a pooly set race course at a mountain which shall remain annoymous. It's all part of the sport of ski racing. A former race director told me that ski racing was the only sport where you will get injured if you do it long enough. Those who don't ended their careers early.
JohnL
February 5, 2009
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
Quote:
And just this past weekend, at Timberline, another racer from my team had a compound fracture in the lower part of his leg and the medivac had to be called (i think they in the end took him to the Oakland hospital by ambulance). Another kid from another team, on the same day, tore his ACL.


Quote:
Were the injuries to your upper level or A team racers?


I believe the serious injury was to the fastest male skier in the first GS run. I saw the very end of the fall from the lift (I was distracted by another fall near the bottom of the course which was closer to me.)

First of all, I hope the injured skiers recover quickly and completely.

I've seen a lot of very good skiers across the country. The top five or so in the race on Sunday (along with the pacesetters) were very, very impressive skiers. Those guys were hitting the course haaaaaard! At those speeds, any fall risks a serious injury, no matter how fit the skier is. Plus, if as Kim mentioned, they're cranking the DIN ...

I would have paid money to watch the top five or so.

There was a big drop off after the very top skiers in both speed and technique. I could see how some of the B team skiers could really screw up on the course and injury themselves.

Hope I didn't insult anyone's skiing.
FreshPow
February 5, 2009
Member since 01/2/2008 🔗
174 posts
As a patroller I can't say we've seen a greater frequency, but skier days are quite high this year, thanks to all the cold weather. That will invariably increase the quantity...

That said there seems a few observations, casually (such as my own) as well as formally within the industry. Chief is that equipment is so good, combined with an increased improvement in grooming, that many skiers quickly find themselves in tight situation at too much speed and bam!

Instances such as these aren't as common as tweaked knees or the momentary knockouts in the terrain parks, but do result in the more significant trauma incidents, such as ones mentioned above.

When you look at fatalities, the numbers have recently risen (nationally), with the biggest uptick in middle aged males. Think John McWethy, the retired ABC reporter who went off trail on a blue groomer at Keystone last year. Typical scenario. Perhaps not too far removed from the situation at the lead of this thread.

..and for what it's worth, in some of these worst case scenarios, a helmet isn't going to matter. It won't stop blunt force trauma. Still, it's a smart idea to wear one.
David
February 5, 2009
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Langley, so you were there this past weekend? I thought you may have been. I was looking around for you, then realized I had no clue what you even look like.
langleyskier
February 5, 2009
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
All the injuries this past weekend were to A team skiers. The other acl injuries were to a b team girl and A team guy. I am very close to the top of the b team and had my dins on my be skis at 12 before sat but moved them down to 10 to be safe. The problem with the number of injuries we have had this year is that there are so many that you can't discount them as a freak accident. I had my second run right after the injury on sun and was completely freaked out... Had an absolutely horrible nerve wracking run. Hopefully I can get over the fear this weekend
kwillg6
February 5, 2009
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,032 posts
I watched a lot of those races on both Saturday and Sunday. The slalom's 2nd run was 62 gates. I don't care what level you're at, that's a long race. WL, although a good race hill has the headwall in the middle of the race as it was set Sunday. Carry too much speed into it and watch out. The second run looked to be faster with the two through gates. That, along with the faster conditions in late afternoon, can present a challenge. Where on the course did the accident occur? There were several Timberline locals racing for WVU this weekend who did well. Actually, my son had coached them as USSA level 1 racers but that's another topic.
Advice... take it as I do my golf game. Each hole is a new game and each run is a new race. Survival is the key and you survived.
langleyskier
February 6, 2009
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Ya that slalom course was ridiculous, i was completely dead by the end. The GS on sun was fast but we have raced faster this year. The first course was really easy, fast and fun. The second course was likewise but the two through gates proved to be the problem because people were getting late through them. My guess is that the injuries were a result of the warmer weather and the thick sticky snow that bunched up just to the outside of every gate (course itself was nice hardpack). The result was that if you got late, you hit that muck and your skis either popped off or you wend head over heals down the hill.

Really cool that so many ppl were out there watching the race on sat/sun! I liked the fact that we were right there next to the lift... actually had spectators for once.

This weekend we will be at camelback, hopefully we can escape injury free.
kwillg6
February 6, 2009
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,032 posts
I was told that they wanted to have the racers have an "up north" experience. Guess you did. In ski racing the saying "better late than never" doesn't apply. frown
GGNagy
February 6, 2009
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
451 posts
Originally Posted By: kwillg6
A former race director told me that ski racing was the only sport where you will get injured if you do it long enough. Those who don't ended their careers early.


Motorcycle racers would probably argue that point, but they both share the characteristic where the competitor often becomes a high speed projectile whenever somethng goes wrong.

I wonder if there is a bit of extra DIN cranking going on recently, given that binding release crash Bode had and the fact that Universal Sports has been running a commercial with the clip in heavy rotation, over, and over, and over.

kwillg6
February 6, 2009
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,032 posts
Din cranking can be the main issue here. Normally, I free ski with my dins in the 7/8 range. If I know the conditions are going to be bumped up crud, I may set them one number higher, especially if on steeps. Sort of like the time I couldn't stay in my bindings in a crud filled chute in Austria. My mistake for not taking the precaution before I leaped in.
But let's just say that if I was a elite level racer and didn't want my skis to chatter off in ruts, I'd set my dins higher to avoid the potential loss of ski only to accept the potential of the ski not releasing if I crashed... It's a choice a lot of racers make. The lesser of two evils? This would be a good topic of its own.
catskills
February 19, 2009
Member since 06/29/2004 🔗
53 posts
Originally Posted By: FreshPow
As a patroller ....

When you look at fatalities, the numbers have recently risen (nationally), with the biggest uptick in middle aged males. ........
..and for what it's worth, in some of these worst case scenarios, a helmet isn't going to matter. It won't stop blunt force trauma. Still, it's a smart idea to wear one.
Freshpow, fatalities have been averaging about 43.6 per year. Last 2007-2008 season there was a spike to 53 fatalities but the previous 2006-2007 season had abnormally low 22 fatalities.

Here is the full 2007-2008 season NSAA Ski/Snowboard safety report statistics link that is published every year.

I agree with you on the helmet. Most fatalities the Helmet is not going to save you. Trauma to chest area for example is not going to be prevented with a helmet. I agree that wearing a helmet is a good thing. For safety, best to keep the speed down.

My condolences to the family and the children. I am truly sorry for their lost. Very sad
FreshPow
February 19, 2009
Member since 01/2/2008 🔗
174 posts
Just checked in and saw this latest continuation. Good link. Some interesting quotes, including:

"For those who die while wearing a helmet, only about one-third have a head injury as the first cause of death. It seems that while the use of a helmet may shift the distribution of the first cause of death, it is not sufficient to reduce the overall rate of death. In incidents leading to death, it appears that the severity of the incident simply overwhelms the ability of the helmet to prevent death."

Another one that perhaps gets to some of the injuries referenced earlier in this thread:

"Unfortunately, at the same time that knee injuries are starting to decline, we are now seeing an increase in both mid-shaft tibial fractures and injuries due to inadvertent releases, many of which would be preventable if skiers were more attentive to taking their skis into a qualified ski shop for an annual inspection and readjustment as needed."

As for the year over year fatality stats, that sounds about right. The context of learning about the recent spike was during our annual pre-season "On the Hill" training sessions. We usually see the prior year stats, and that spike scared the industry. I've not heard any season-to-date, but will be interesting. Usually gets more attention when someone known or famous is involved.

Still the best sport. Just be smart.
PS my signature line seems out of place after this. Movie quote. Anyone?
JohnL
February 19, 2009
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
Quote:
PS my signature line seems out of place after this. Movie quote. Anyone?



Well, since it was my signature until a month or so ago wink , I may be guessing but I'd say it's from Better Off Dead.
camp
February 19, 2009
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
596 posts
Originally Posted By: FreshPow
...many of which would be preventable if skiers were more attentive to taking their skis into a qualified ski shop for an annual inspection and readjustment as needed.
Wondering (for real). What is the reason for this? Do shops perform release checks to the foot-pound any more? Or do they set bindings to a DIN setting? I've been a tele skier for a while, but am curious for my kid's skis now.

I can see how binding parts and springs could wear out requiring regular release checks. The only way to increase your DIN setting is to gain weight or move up a higher skill level. If neither of those occur, what is the shop going to do to the binding in an annual inspection?
FreshPow
February 19, 2009
Member since 01/2/2008 🔗
174 posts
Originally Posted By: JohnL
Quote:
PS my signature line seems out of place after this. Movie quote. Anyone?



Well, since it was my signature until a month or so ago wink , I may be guessing but I'd say it's from Better Off Dead.


Oops. Sorry about that. No infringement intended. Had I seen you still using it, I would've dug deeper. Plenty of gems from the guy also known as Booger.
Jim
February 20, 2009
Member since 11/22/1999 🔗
317 posts
Couple more thoughts from my end.

1. Helmets - they are not a panacea, but they do help! Over the past several years, my helmet has taken a number of hits (mostly from chair lift safety bars)! Would I have died from any of them without the helmet? Doubtful. But I was spared a painful injury or concussion at the very least. Wearing a helmet is a smart idea! And the funny part was that I was convinced to do it about three years ago when my son got on skis (if he had to wear a helmet, so did mom and dad!). What should have done it was the motorcycle crash that I walked away from (helmet saved my noggin') and the innumerable bicycle crashes that I've survived thanks to a series of helmets! Funny how you can care more about your offspring's safety than your own!

2. Injuries - FreshPow hit the nail on the head in that more injuries may be a result of the greater number of ski days we've had. That said, I can tell you that at least one resort is actively working to minimize injuries - Liberty Mountain. You will see both Ski Patrol and Mountain Safety actively "policing" slopes nearly every weekend to keep speeds reasonable and minimize reckless skiing ("minimize" because you can't catch everyone everytime!). Does it work? YES! Liberty's accident rate is substantially lower than comparable areas (e.g., Whitetail and Roundtop). Management is committed to providing as safe and family-friendly experience as possible. It doesn't mean that Patrol is out to stop a good time - but if your only idea of fun is straight-lining runs, you have have to rethink that idea!
KeithT
February 20, 2009
Member since 11/17/2008 🔗
383 posts
Jim, nice discussion but I have one significant beef with Liberty. Yes, I see patrol out on the slopes for traffic control but mostly at the bottom of the backside blues and occasionaly at the switchback on Dispy Doodle. My beef is that Whitney's Way is marked as a family friendly zone (or something of similar import) and I took a nephew there to work on his first blue runs and other skiers were wizzing by with no patrol in sight. This is not a one time occurance. It has happened to me two other times this year and mutliple times over prior years when my daughter was starting out. The point is if your going to label the trail, patrol the trail as labeled. I've probably been to Liberty 15-20 times over the past 5 years and have never seen this trail patrolled for speed.

I am thankful every time I ski that my daughter, my wife and I can all stay away from the beginner and intermediate slopes at the local resorts. I am certain that our chance of injury is greatly diminished.
SteveC
February 20, 2009
Member since 10/24/2005 🔗
145 posts
KeithT, I once got pretty upset with the ski instructors doing their "instuctor" training (i.e. it was a bunch of instructors with one of them acting as the teacher to the rest of them) on Whitney's Way.

When I raised it with them that this was for slow skiing, they're reply was that they were good so they were in control. My reply was something to the effect that the signs say "slow skiing" not "only in control skiing".

Having them whizzing by was freaking out my kid who was learning - he had no clue they were "in control" just that they were sailing past him at a high rate of speed.

I haven't been back since.
RodSmith
February 20, 2009
Member since 10/22/2004 🔗
318 posts
President's Day, I saw a race course taking up half of Whitney's Way. At the bottom of the trail, seeded moguls took up more than half of the remaining width leaving a corridor maybe 15ft wide between the race course and the bumps! This is on the easiest run to the backside of the mountain, a designated family skiing, slow zone. Do racers and mogul skiers really need to be on the easiest trail!? Come on Ski Liberty, a little common sense goes a long way!
Jim
February 21, 2009
Member since 11/22/1999 🔗
317 posts
Steve/Keith/Rod:

Its really good to hear this type of feedback on how the patrol at Liberty can improve its safety ski efforts. Typically, patrollers post on Heavenly just above Whitney's Way, mid-way down Ultra/Eastwind, the base of the back side lifts and at the Dipsy cutback (also an entry point for Whitney's Way). These tend to be the highest traffic points where we have found slowing people to be the most effective. That said, patrollers WILL respond to reports of reckless skiing elsewhere. If you see a problem - PLEASE feel free to tell a patroller. We will get out there and do something about it. Believe me, we would rather be out helping folks understand safe skiing and slowing skiers down versus treating injured skiers!

The feedback is ALWAYS welcome and helps us to make your visit more enjoyable.

Steve C - I would ask that you give Liberty another try. You are correct in that the instructors should not have been skiing on Whitney's Way in such a way that it intimated your daughter. I'm sure that Ski School management would be just as upset to hear about your experience as I was when I read it. I suspect you saw a clinic in action. If there was a problem, please let patrol or management know - especially if the instructors are not being courteous or taking seriously your concerns.

RodSmith - Liberty does let the race team use part of Whitney's Way on occasion. Afterall, they do need to learn technique on moderate pitches. However, that must also be done in a safe and effective manner that does not cause problems with your use of that trail as well. Again, hate to sound like a broken record, but let patrol or management know! We can (and have) asked the race team to adjust courses, move to other trails or stop altogether if there is a problem.

Bottom line is that Liberty Mountain takes very very seriously the safety of its customers. Patrollers want everyone to have a fun time in a safe manner. If there is anything we can do to help with that, please let us know! And - thanks to Scott and DCSki, please also feel free to ping me directly with concerns. I will definitely pass them along to the right people!
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