Stirring The Pot: Reaction To Ski Collision Article Signals Concern From Senior Skiers.

We get letters. Do we! Well, not letters, but comments. A couple of weeks ago, we published an article by SeniorsSkiing.com correspondent and XCSkiResorts.com publisher Roger Lohr recounting a hit-and-run collision that left him with ongoing back pain. Obviously, that article struck a sore point: Our readers had a lot of passion about on-slope safety.

Out-of-control skiing was also a top grievance we identified through last spring’s Annual Survey.

Based on the energy expressed in your responses, we decided to ask the National Ski Patrol what the official policy was regarding speeding skiers. At press-time, we have learned the NPS and NSAA are coordinating to respond. We will publish their response as soon as we receive it. On the other hand, we did hear from some readers who were in fact current or former NSP patrollers. The general drift of their comments was: We warn when we can, we can’t be everywhere, policing is not a primary role. So, role clarity is apparently missing here; many readers expressed that they expected the NPS to lift tickets. Clearly, clarity is needed.

On the other hand, our readers had many interesting and novel ideas for controlling the inconsiderate and rude skier. Here is a loose summary of some of those ideas:

  • Put up signs warning against speeding and its consequences
  • Indoctrinate new skiers to rules in ski lessons
  • Update the Skier’s Code of Responsibility
  • Bring the issue to resort owners at the NSAA (National Ski Areas Association)
  • Put in speed bumps at run-outs and trail intersections
  • Practice personal situation awareness; check your six
  • Enforce the rules
  • Sue until it hurts

Meanwhile, SeniorsSkiing.com co-publisher Jon Weisberg has connected with Dr. Dan Gregoire, head of the SnowSport Safety Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to encourage concerned skiers to advocate for skiing safety. The organization issues safety report cards for selected resorts. See Jon’s Short Swings article this week for more details.

We have some other ideas about raising consciousness about this issue in the ski industry. One of those is asking our readers to share their experiences with others in a new feature tentatively called “Incidents and Accidents”. We will keep you in the loop as this develops.

This Week

Last
time you skied?

We hear from UK-based Bob Trueman about his advice for seniors returning to skiing after a hiatus. We know there are many newly retired seniors who want to get back to the sport they loved before career and family drained away their time. With new and open calendars, they are checking out what’s new. Bob’s advice is most interesting, different, and useful.

Co-publisher Jon Weisberg reviews the Apex boot, an innovative change to the classic ski boot. The Apex is proving very popular with seniors because it is comfortable. But how does it ski? Check out his thoughts here.

Our Mystery Glimpse this week goes apres ski. Check out the picture and the answer to last week’s mystery. We told you those guys shooting M1s in the snow wasn’t what you thought. Find out here.

John, Where’s Your Helmet?

Thanks to SnowBrains.com for pointing this next one out. We are publishing a retro music video of John Denver singing and skiing “Dancing To The Mountains”. Check out his groove as he skis what we think is Aspen, sans helmet but with a lot of hair spray.

Thanks again for reading SeniorsSkiing.com. Get ready to head to ski shows and grab some bargains: gear, clothing, ticket deals.

Please tell your friends, and remember there are more of us every day, and we aren’t going away.

Apex Boots

7 Comments

  1. Avatar Catherine E Meyer says:

    I am also concerned about out-of-control skiers but there are some problems with the suggestions.
    There are already signs and the responsibility code stresses skiing in control.
    Ski instructors (I am one) do stress skiing in control and the responsibility code. Unfortunately, many people don’t take a lesson or get into situations they can’t handle after a lesson.
    Speed bumps are dangerous and CAUSE skiers to lose control. They can become airborne and land badly, injuring themselves or others in the process.
    Working with NSAA and personal awareness (skiing defensively) are useful tactics.
    The question with enforcing rules – who will do the enforcing? It is NOT the primary role of the ski patrol. Some areas have safety patrols or other employees at intersections and slow skiing zones to enforce behavior but not all areas do this. It costs money.
    Lawsuits might make someone feel better but the damage is already done!
    I don’t think anyone goes out with the intention of crashing into another person, but it happens. More incentives to take lessons and clarifying rules might help.

  2. Avatar Peter McCarville says:

    Did Seniorsskiing.com put in the “speed bumps” suggestion just for a laugh? If they did, you can count me in on the laughing. I about fell out of my chair. What a fantastical image that created for me!

  3. Avatar Martin Greenberg says:

    While all of the replies seem to be aimed at skiers, a large part of the problems is caused by boarders. they do not see anything on their back side and turn without looking. They hit you and just keep going.

  4. From the 60s into the early 80s Oregon areas had “speed monitors” who would warn, require the watching of a safety movie or just jerk tickets. None of the areas have them now. And ski patrollers just sit on the top of the area and respond to skiers & snowboarders who need help—either hurt on in over their heads. It’s strictly economic; areas don’t want the extra payroll.

  5. I ski and snowboard (I’m 81) I demoed Apex boots. They’re ok if you just ski low intermediate groomed runs. They don’t hold an edge.

  6. Avatar BRIAN DUBIN says:

    A couple of years ago my wife was literally run over from behind by an out of control handicap “sit skier” whose guide and rope handler couldn’t control the sled on a beginner run in Park City..a shattered proximal humerus was the result and a reluctance to return to skiing…wondering if others had a similar occurrence?

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