Skier responsibility code

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by Big J, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. rocdoc

    rocdoc Booting up Skier

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    It is quite frustrating and a bit scary to see entire threads where people dissect this very straightforward rule. If the other skier is ahead of you, it is your responsibility to avoid an accident, the end. "I'm an expert and this guy suddenly veered right into my line". If you couldn't avoid them, then, you are not as much an expert as you thought, and you were too close to them. If you are bothered by the fact that you have to ski too slowly and avoid slower skiers ahead of you, you need to enter races, that would be more appropriate for your amazing skills, and have a course to yourself.
     
    Tricia, Horsemouth, Sibhusky and 3 others like this.
  2. Seldomski

    Seldomski Paralysis by analysis Skier

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    Code is good to know, but it won't actually protect you from someone who does not follow it. There are few things I do to try to minimize chance of injury on crowded runs.

    - Ski at the speed of traffic. If this is too fast for you, pull over and wait until there is a gap to ski the speed you want to.
    - If you hear someone behind you, ski 'predictably'. This means doing short rhythmic turns or otherwise minimize the amount of trail you are using. This makes it easier for someone to go around. Even better if you can find someone else doing this, just get behind them and ski like they do.
    - If you notice a herd of 'bros' coming down, best to just pull over and assume a defensive pose. I like to stand with my poles pointed as weapons uphill with the grip braced against my pelvis. Basically like a pikeman against cavalry. This will keep them from buzzing close. YMMV - I am 6' and 210lbs, so this works for me. If they run into me and my poles, they will get seriously injured.
    - If you have the skills and know the area, get off the trail. Go in the trees or traverse to an adjacent run. Alternatively, if there are bumps on the run, ski there instead of on the groomer.
    - On top of all of these things is you can wave your poles around wildly. People are less likely to try to cut near you if they are likely to get whacked by a pole.

    The general theme here is if someone is ignoring the code, you need to appeal to base instincts (i.e. fear of injury) to avoid getting hurt yourself. The more dangerous you can make yourself appear, the more others avoid you.

    And then of course there's the basic 'don't ski there' advice... not super helpful if you find yourself in this situation.
     
  3. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    ....
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  4. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    The "skier responsibility code" is not only a guide to behavior, it's the law in most states that have much skiing. Anyone "caught" violating it can be subject to legal ramifications.

    The operant word is "caught". If you can't identify the violating slider, you have nothing. Most homeowner insurance will provide some protection for violators.
     
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  5. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    ... orrrrrr, perhaps it isn't as straightforward as many think.
     


  6. headybrew

    headybrew surrender to the flow Skier

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    With RFID passes it would be easy from a technological standpoint to limit peoples access to certain lifts and or terrain. The challenging parts would be how to classify each skier correctly and it would need to be a national standard that was transferable across all resorts in N America preferably. It would take a ton of manpower at first but should be relatively easy once the backlog was worked through. Passes like IKON and Epic could lead the charge on this if for no other reason than to make their own resorts safer. Anyone can rent a car IF they have a valid state drivers license and a CC. Anyone in CO can shoot a deer IF they buy a tag and pass hunter safety. Anyone can sell insurance IF they pass their states licensing exam. Maybe it's time we implement some requirements on skiing too? I'm not usually advocating for more oversight but this is kinda selfish of me as I think it would nearly halve the amount of skiers on blue and black runs. More room to dance!
     
  7. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Out on the slopes Skier

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    Without disagreeing with the code for self preservation it helps to look behind you before making a move across the trail.
     
  8. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    ..............
     
  9. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    I'll respond.

    If the woman was beside you, neither uphill nor downhill from you, then it was your responsibility to avoid running into her as you travelled sideways. The odd definition of "ahead" in this instance means she was in front of your sideways-moving direction, even if you were looking downhill. It was your responsibility to look sideways before changing "lanes" to be sure no one was there "ahead" of you.

    But if the woman was uphill of you over there, and you moved over almost into her line, you get a break from being fully responsible. You were below her, totally "ahead" of her, fully in her line of vision. So it was her responsibility to move away from where you were headed.

    However, it's always a good idea to check before changing lanes.

    When Red vs Gray happened back on Epic, I didn't realize that the word "ahead" had been used to replace "downhill" in the Responsibility Code in order to clarify this type of situation. I argued what turned out to be the wrong interpretation of who was responsible. I think another line needs to be added to the Code that talks about changing lanes, since this area remains so fuzzy to interpretation. Many copies of the responsibility code still say "downhill" instead of "ahead" and nowhere does the sideways travel issue get directly addressed, except when you've stopped and are entering a trail.
     
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  10. KevinF

    KevinF Gathermeister-Stowe Team Gathermeister

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    What do you do about lifts that serve a variety of terrain?
     
  11. Thread Starter
    TS
    Big J

    Big J Putting on skis Skier

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    I agree with you. It always read downhill now it says ahead. I also agree it is always best to avoid a collision if possible regardless of who has the right fo way.
     
  12. Thread Starter
    TS
    Big J

    Big J Putting on skis Skier

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    I agree. Common sense prevails.
     
  13. headybrew

    headybrew surrender to the flow Skier

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    It would limit peoples access for sure but at a place like Winter Park it would be doable by placing a few gates (RFID mind you) at the top of The Gondola, Eskimo Express, Olympia Express, and High Lonesome Express. Loveland could limit access to just The Valley and Lift 2 at The Basin. Some mountains this would be easier to implement than others.
     
  14. mdf

    mdf entering the Big Couloir Skier

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    I had a situation where I came closer than intended to @Unpiste at Taos. We were both making fast round turns on a groomer, parallel as it turns out. We had a very similar speed. We saw each other and turned away, leaving only a foot or two between our skis.

    After that I made a conscious decision to be ahead or behind, not next to, the others in our group with a similar speed and style. And to leave an aisle for the speed demons who routinely passed me. On some afternoons our group was big enough to be our own traffic problem. Fortunately everyone's skiing style was fairly predictable.
     
  15. martyg

    martyg Getting off the lift Industry Insider

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    I'm with you. I like Beaver Creek's graphics at the base.

    I was hit, twice last year while teaching at Purgatory. In both cases, patrol did nothing. I went to my direct report. His comment was nothing can be done because the person who owns the resort doesn't care, and his skiing is our largest financial and legal liability.

    Last week we had a chopper medivac someone off the hill. Turns out it was a high-speed, one skier crash. As per patrol, this skier had their pass pulled a few years ago when he hit & run. As the guy who used to fly around in Military helicopters rescuing people, I would have like to have seen his pass pulled for life for incident one, and hope that he paid for every cent of medivac, instead of it being externalized to tax payers. He needlessly put first responders at risk.

    It is totally cool if people want to take risks. When others impact my safety with assclown behavior, I respond accordingly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  16. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator

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    Again, I'm not sure exactly the sequence, but thanks for the feedback. When I moved out of the "line" or "lane" the group was in to get some more space, I don't know if the woman was in front of behind me, or who was ahead of who. I don't know if she was trying to pass me, or not. Either way, I think we ran into each other because we were skiing in a "pack"... I don't think anyone was intending to "change lanes"; It was more like the part of our turns facing down the fall line just happened to sync up, like 2 parentheses )( and we were skiing too close too each other.

    (And the "lane" terminology is of course problematic in and of itself, since there's no such concept in the code.)

    The solution, I guess, would have been for folks to proceed single file so there was never anyone beside anyone else. OR for me to have moved much further away, so that there was no chance of our turns coinciding as they did. But in a lesson of 9 students as we had at the time (before it was pared down to 4 the next day) that can be a bit tough when you're trying to stay with the group.
     
  17. Chris Geib

    Chris Geib cgeib Skier

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    Of course once you add in the "menace factor" it is even more convoluted ;)
     
  18. martyg

    martyg Getting off the lift Industry Insider

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    If you ever take and advanced PSIA clinics that aspect is always stressed - lots of room. No SxS skiing.
     
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  19. pais alto

    pais alto me encanta el país alto Skier

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    Get a good description - gender, skier/boarder, helmet/hat color, jacket color/markings, pants color, location, nature of the collision - contact a patroller and give them the description and how they can contact you. Where I work, the description will go out over the radio and be logged. It can work if the description is good.
     
  20. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ No longer on the single track. Pugski Ski Tester

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    :golfclap:
    I wish at least this one part of the code--the downhill skier/rider has the right-of-way, was plastered everywhere. At my home hill, inside every gondola car would be great.
     

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