How close is too close?

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by Mikey, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. Mikey

    Mikey Putting on skis Skier

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    Many of us stop on the trail for one reason or another. Of those, I'm sure most of us here try and be cognizant of where we are on the run and if we stop, we stop in, hopefully, the best place possible. Some place over near the side and in plain site.

    20190208_135332.jpg

    That's a track from a snowboarder that had just passed us, barely missing my wife's skis. He flew by us at a high rate of speed, probably 190 lbs or so. We were off to the side of the run with 4 or 5 feet to the edge of the run. Our location was at the bottom of a steeper section and in *clear* view so no reason to endanger us by skiing so close.

    Same run, on *two* different occasions, a skier that was with an instructor was flying down this particular run at a high rate of speed with the client barely able to control himself. Bigger, stocky guy probably went about 230 or so. My wife was skiing in a controlled way working on rotation skills on side of the black/blue run. On both encounters, the guy came up to close to my wife and, being out of control, crashed both times, luckily didn't hit my wife. I'm not sure what the instructor was thinking or trying to teach.

    I swear, we are some of the more conscientious skiers on the mountain. Constantly have our heads on a swivel and have overall excellent SA giving appropriate room and consideration to those below, beside and above us, but I have a feeling that sooner or later both or one of us is going to get taken out. Not sure how I'm going to react if that happens.
     
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  2. headybrew

    headybrew surrender to the flow Skier

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    That's way too close! I didn't think collisions were all that common till I started reading some of the threads on here, then my partner was hit by a guy from Kansas City while she was sitting on the ground next to a lift in a base area. I saw it happen and wanted to do a slashing turn right onto his face with my skis but managed to keep a cool head. Crazy times.
     
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  3. KevinF

    KevinF Gathermeister-Stowe Team Gathermeister

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    I’ve learned that there is no gap too small that somebody won’t try to squeeze through it.

    I could be standing next to the tree line with 100 feet of open trail on the other side and someone will squeeze in between me and the trees.
     
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  4. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    If the skier ahead, usually the downhill skier, is able to intercept the skier behind while obeying the laws of physics, that's too close. Clearly the line in your photo is too close.
     
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  5. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor, Subaru driver and winter lover Skier

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    I was coming down this rather steep headwall at Magic last Monday and there was this guy RIGHT behind me that according to Michael and our friend was just stupid close. I was only taking up a small portion of the trail and there was no need for him to be up my backside like he was. Do people think it's a challenge to ski that close to someone, do they think it's fun, do they not care or are they just oblivious.
     
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  6. Yo Momma

    Yo Momma Out on the slopes Skier

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    It's getting crazier out there. Almost like some are possessed by some Speed Proximity Demon. I tend to stop above my GF to block anyone, even in perceived safe zones. If I happen to lead and stop, she knows that I'm more comfortable if she stops downhill of my position. Kind of a spin off old school city walking etiquette of gentlemen walking on the side toward the street. Is that still a thing? :huh: Maybe passe by today's standards.


    Also I tend to avoid the mega ski areas that draw the big crowds. I tend to like the smaller more mellow resorts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  7. Coach13

    Coach13 Out on the slopes Skier

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    What @Kevin F said, I’ve learned no space is too small. If I stop now I try to stop on the underside of a lift tower, tree, snow cannon, etc. Anything to protect myself and get as far out of the way as possible.
     
  8. geepers

    geepers Getting off the lift Skier

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    It can be as dangerous to stop on the side of a trail as in clear site in the middle. For a certain type of skier/boarder, the edge of the trail offers terrain features for doing tricks and by golly gosh they are going to get the trick in on that bump just above your group. Even though it's putting several people at risk and even though there's 200 feet clearance on the main trail and many more bumps and dips downstream.

    Mind, I was once on an incredibly crowded High Noon at Thredbo on a day where every lift on the mountain bar the Gunbarrel chair was on wind hold. Just pulled up next to a party of snow boarders in a lesson when an instructor and his female student in close proximity came through the very dense crowd at GS pace. Even the snow board instructor let out a string of expletives at that one. It was the most idiotic piece of skiing by a supposed professional that I have yet witnessed.
     
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  9. Thread Starter
    TS
    Mikey

    Mikey Putting on skis Skier

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    Absolutely. It happens to us so many times. I used to stand over next to the tree line, now I move out ~5' or so to give a little extra room for *that person*

    That happened to me yesterday as well. My wife and I were talking about that last night. Wasn't steep, just a blue, but there was a guy skiing *right* behind me. I eased up over to the side and stopped to wait for my wife. Not sure it's oblivious, I think humans have that chase instinct. Like in traffic, you'll see people speed up to get behind and tail someone that just passed.

    More often than not I try and position myself where I am blocking/shielding my wife as well. Yesterday was not the case and I thought about that at the time. They have a congested merge area here with chicanes (big slow signs). It's a blue run that is usually really slick leading into the chicanes. Snowboards especially seem to love flying through there, so I'll usually position myself behind as a blocker. We try and avoid that area but then the only other way down is a black run that yesterday was in really bad shape (very slick) and super crowded.

    It's been so aggressive here that I told my wife make sure she takes a very consistent line and if she is going to deviate, make *especially* sure she takes a quick look uphill. I don't think I've seen anyone on the hill turning their head or given any indication they are worried about anything other than what's in front of them.

    I felt safer riding our motorbike in Thailand when we were living there...and that's saying something ogsmile
     
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  10. Jenny

    Jenny Out on the slopes Skier

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    This drives me nuts!
     
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  11. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    That!
    That is too close!

    It seems to be happening more and more, especially on the weekend and holidays. Such a head scratcher.
     
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  12. pete

    pete not peace but 2 Beers! Skier

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    Something I practice especially with my kids. Like to look uphill and glare at skiers/boarders nearing. I've noted before folks go wide, not as often now. Had a red/black jacket that up until 4-5 yrs ago ski patrol and instructors wore .. so maybe they thought I had a class? Instructor jackets have changed away from red/black
     
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  13. AlpsSkidad

    AlpsSkidad Getting on the lift Skier

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    Way too close.
    The " trend" I've seen in many European resorts is many teen/twenty something skiers literally sitting on their tails and bombing down the blue runs as fast as possible, no control since they are sitting back so far and occasionally they crash into unsuspecting people downhill who are just practicing their skiing. Poor ski etiquette all around.
     
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  14. Yo Momma

    Yo Momma Out on the slopes Skier

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    Last time I skied in Europe it was insane! Esp on the lift lines. I simply stopped getting upset about pple standing on the backs of my skis in the lift line bec, I was wasting my breath and would end up being raging mad the entire day. My 2016 Mantra's have a special "Euro Top Coat" built w/ the expectation that the topcoat of your skis will be completely trashed. I've detached from it all now and could care less about my topsheets. Now I look at the positive........ if your topcoat is trashed, the skis won't get stolen!
     
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  15. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    That boarder was/is an A-Hole. That was reckless. He really deserved to be stopped.

    Where was this? (resort/run)
     
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  16. Thread Starter
    TS
    Mikey

    Mikey Putting on skis Skier

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    Steamboat/Longhorn run. It happened really fast. I think I was looking downhill then swung my head around as the boarder blew past us. Nat looked down and looked at me and said "Really?" I saw the track and was surprised and pissed but asked her to stay put while I took a photo. Just looking at that straight track, it looks like he totally lined us up to slide as close as possible. Steamboat has asked me for comments about the overall stay, so I'll send this picture with a description and my overall thoughts.

    Overall, we *really* like it here. The folks seem fairly friendly and the skiing/runs are great, but Fridays (we won't ski the weekends) are dangerous.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  17. Old boot

    Old boot Getting on the lift Skier

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    If I stop I try to stop behind a sign , behind a snow gun and if all else fails behind phil!!
     
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  18. Old boot

    Old boot Getting on the lift Skier

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    JohnL might tell ya I stop in the trees or near a cliff but that's only when he leads!
     
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  19. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    I go right up to trails edge and will holds my poles as far out as possible to my rear and front.
     
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  20. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    Thats a good idea. Someone gets too close they get auto-smacked :D
     

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