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OU812 03-17-2013 09:07 AM

Safety on the hills
Maybe its because I'm a noob boarder, but ever since I started riding on a snowboard I've noticed how unsafe a lot of things are on the hill. Not mentioning other people running into you, both the ones that have no idea what they are doing (etiquette mostly) and the ones that hot dog on blue runs with their GoPro cameras on their helmets and almost kill themselves and others.
I've noticed I recognize or am more aware of dangers quicker. On skies I was as well, but I feel like I'm more aware of my surroundings on my board. Skis almost give you a false sense of security, cause you can escape some bad situations more easily however when shit hits the fan....

Anyways a few examples I noticed, such as not having enough room when you get off the lift. Yesterday I was on a lift that had a fairly sharp bank down when you dismount and maybe 2m if that with a fence right in front of you. People running into the fence, spilling all over, crowded. Didn't help the fact that it was icy as hell. Never seen so many skiers wipe out and boarders....forget it. About half the boarders opted to carry their board in their hand on the lift which I've never seen before.
Ice all around when you get on the lift as well, lift attendants pointless. I went with a skier friend, who wanted to check out a run and in one section it was about 3m wide, so icy people were sliding down sideways only and it was packed wit people to the max. I understand hills are trying to make a profit but come on take care of your shit.

The thing that pissed me off the most yesterday was I was going down a run that was ridiculously wide, I went to the left side and found myself in an area with about 5cm of snow, frozen ground and rocks. Normally that side is rideable, but they didn't bother to add new snow or take care of it cause its late in the season and thats fine, yet didn't close it either. From a distance it looks rideable. Basically the whole left side of the run was like this. I noticed a bunch of other people made the same mistake as I, including some boarders. Ended up scratching the bottom of my new board. Shit happens but its not difficult to put up some sticks with a rope attached to it or warn people with a sign or two up top if they're cheap and don't wanna put up a full on fence.

Maybe I sound like I'm whining and I'm used to being on hills but sometimes just sit at the bottom of a run with a beer and watch people go down and it makes you wonder how there are not more injuries.
I'm actually more vary on blues than reds. Red's are less crowded for the most part and you don't have to contend with having Alberto Tomba showing off while grazing your ass as you try and avoid a father teaching his little girl to ski.

EastCoastChris 03-17-2013 10:42 PM

I'm right there with little (or big?) brother. I came back to boarding after a 10+ year hiatus . before that I had like 12 seasons of 40-50 days so I've seen a LOT on the hill.

I'm from the east coast but riding in Cali for most of the that could have an impact but I'm backing up your frustrations with my own. I seriously hate these effing cameras. Its not just boarders either. Every third person has a camera and I hate them. You get families videotaping their li. le ones. Hot dogs straightlining while looking at a view screen. Two weeks ago I almost plowed a gaggle of people under a roller (not on the side of the trail.) They were waiting for their buddy to hit it with a damn camera. But he was sitting above them when i went over it taking his sweet ass time with the drop in. 99.9% of us won't go pro and back in the day people found ways to improve form without video.

But I guess its just the culture. People are addicted to their own awesomeness nowadays. Its the Facebook-ification of America. Similarly...entitled parents seem to be a problem. Hauling their kid on blacks to edgie wedgie their way down after creating a human shield of 50 ft wide turns above the kid and across half the trail. Parents are so neutoric nowadays they probably heard their neighbors little Jimmy was doing blacks last season and flipped the hell out.

Or worse they dump em with ski school for the babysitting and one instructor herds a pack of 10 year olds across the mountain. Ever see an instructor without the presence to get kids to listen and mind instructions. Its like the madness on the back of the bus of your 4th grade field trip...only barreling at you at high speeds.

I dislike iPods/iPhones. I never saw anyone snowboard with music in their ears before. Relieving yourself of one of your major sensory inputs while going 40 MPH with no padding makes no sense to me. You wouldnt put headphones on in the car mostly because its illegal in most states.

And the hill staff not marking hazards is unnacceptable. I dont know where you are but there should be and probably is a code in the town or county statues. People can get seriously hurt that way. Same with lift ice. Ice happens but at most mountains the attendants are expected o shovel snow on the ramps between chairs. Chair, shovel, chair, shovel. Flatten. Not rocket science. But not doing it is sheer laziness. People fall off chairs. Lifts stop. Lines get bigger.Landings get more crowded. At least no one is going fast of the chair.

And overselling is not in the vocabulary of anyone in outdoor recreation management. There's no such thing as too crowded.

I totally agree. Snowboarding is dangerous enough. If you can support the hills that do a great job with safety and equipment reliability. The place I was at today did an excellent job with this and it was noticed and very appreciated. I will def be going back there.

MarshallV82 03-17-2013 10:54 PM


Originally Posted by OU812 (Post 845474)
Maybe I sound like I'm whining and I'm used to being on hills but sometimes just sit at the bottom of a run with a beer and watch people go down and it makes you wonder how there are not more injuries.
I'm actually more vary on blues than reds. Red's are less crowded for the most part and you don't have to contend with having Alberto Tomba showing off while grazing your ass as you try and avoid a father teaching his little girl to ski.

East coast rider? Overcrowded resorts full of begineers can be a death trap I suppose.

I feel fine in Colorado, I've almost had one serious accident this year, little girl popped out of trees onto a steep groomer. Luckily the snow was soft and I was able to stop quickly. Fast =/= Out of control. Most of those guys can avoid traffic better than you think. Most people seem to be good about following the skiers code. I always blast my music while riding, I don't see how it distracts anyone.

t21 03-17-2013 11:35 PM

There will be always danger on any ski resorts and i agree with you, some could be preventable. I've a lot of skiers/boarders who has no clue how to ride and skipping the bunny hill because their friends are on the greens. JUst today while riding with my 4 yr.ols grandson, a newb goes mach speed right towards me and my grandson so i went right behind him so i can protect my GS from this fool,luckily he just sat down and slid to about 3 ft. of me. about music, i ride alone on saturdays, and i have my mp3 on but with only one earpiece on. I can hear people behind me, i can have conversations with someone on the lift, and i just have to have music with almost everything i do:). I watch people in front of me and even glanced up just in case someone might just be right there before i turn. so yeah, i basically ride defensively as i do driving.

snowklinger 03-18-2013 12:38 AM

rocks > ptex

AcroPhile 03-18-2013 12:51 AM

72 Attachment(s)
This thread is not what I thought it was about.

behi 03-18-2013 02:05 AM


Originally Posted by MarshallV82 (Post 847330)
Fast =/= Out of control. Most of those guys can avoid traffic better than you think.

Having gotten run over by expert skiers a few times (fortunately only board contact), I'm not so sure I agree. Each time, there was ton of space to pass me.

There are a lot of morons who think they are cool if they zap by you leaving maybe 1ft of room. Not that they are completely out of control, but carving at 50+mph, they aren't going to make sufficiently quick course corrections.

OU812 03-18-2013 03:56 AM


Originally Posted by EastCoastChris (Post 847298)

I'm Canadian but currently live in Prague, Czech Republic. I would say the conditions here are similar to the east coast as you guys describe it. Icy quite a bit, powder? forget it. One of the reasons why I bought a board with Magne-Traction. Austria next door though is completely different, I skied in Kitzbuhel and it was awesome, well taken care off, different vibe.

I found that boarders here are pretty cool for the most part. Cruising down, having a good time, slowing down ahead of time before coming up to the lift line up and not showing off like skiers do here. Here's a photo from Saturday on one of the runs. 15+min wait at the lift, about 1:30min to get down. Line got even longer after I took that photo.

Soul06 03-18-2013 07:50 AM

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Nothing personal but this does sound a lot more like whining than valid complaints.

1) I, from time to time, record while I ride. I have a Contour camera that mounts to the side of my helmet. Allows me to watch later or share with friends who may be interested. Don't see the problem with that. Thats the purpose for them. To record memories that can be watched later.

2) If you were talking about people ski/riding fast down green (beginner) trails then I could understand. But down Blues (Intermediates)....sorry but no. You can't expect everyone else to slow down for you because you want to cruise down an intermediate trail. Riding out of control is one thing. Everyone should be in control. But I could just as easily complain when I'm trying to ride fast/hard, in control, and there are two or three people who want to ride 10mph taking up the entire trail randomly carving back and forth forcing me to have to either shoot closely by them or stop all together till I can make out which way they are about to turn.

3) Rocks in trails. Thats youre job to avoid. You can't expect resorts to search every trails marking or fencing off exposed rock areas. Thats part of riding and your responsibility to avoid.

4) As for the place you road being icy....well not much they can do about that. As someone said before, its a weather dependent sport. You can only make so much snow and obviously the lift offload area is going to be ridden down to virtually nothing.

mhaas 03-18-2013 08:28 AM

stopping to have a safety meeting every now and then might help ease your concerns.

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