Three Part Article on Ski Resort Deaths

mtsnow123mtsnow123 advanced
Summit Daily out of Colorado wrote a three piece article on resort's management of the most unfortunate events of skiing. It's a long read, but interesting to know how they are dealt with.

Comments

  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,015
    thanks for posting that link.  their take on Keystone is deadly accurate, pardon the pun.  It has a sub-culture of reckless skiers and boarders IMHO.  Please post a link to the next installment if you can
  • SkizixSkizix advanced
    edited June 14 Posts: 148
    Interesting although it seems as if they are trying to create an "issue" where one does not exist. At the time, I was not an active skier when I heard that Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident. Until then, it never occurred to me a person could die skiing. Now everyone knows how naive I can be. Since getting back on the boards in 2000 I have knowledge of about one to three deaths per yer and I typically don't actively seek this information. The article is pretty well done although I don't see any big cover up for the industry. Ski areas sell fun, and nobody wants to hear that someone died. 

    No doubt, a snow-sports death is disturbing for all involved. Obstacles are great fun until someone gets hurt and then they're a called a liability. The Stratton mountain case is tough. The guy became a quadriplegic from a fall on a beginner trail. I read part of the issue was that Stratton advertised "groomed to perfection" so hitting a root near the edge of the trail should not have occurred. (Obstacles seen and unseen.)

    Many people have become proponents of a faultless mentality, and do not assume personal responsibility for their actions. They place all fault onto someone or something else. This kind of faultless mentality is being pushed on to ski resorts.

    I found this to be either contradictory or just plain scary:
    “There is an assumption of risk as part of the sport,” he said, “but at the same time these areas are becoming more groomed and manicured, and are not serving the backcountry wilderness explorer as much as they are the vacations for families. It’s become a lot closer to Disney than it is to K2, and when taking on that level of providing an amusement, there should be some sort of responsibility for the amusement that you provide.”

    Not serving the backcountry wilderness? The warning signs to backcountry access are pretty clear from what I have seen at the resorts that provide access. Both terms imply getting away from the crowds and being independent. 

    We take chances when we ski and board...  I keep saying I'll pull back a bit each season but when I'm all jazzed up skiing I tend to forget and take unnecessary risks. No resort is responsible for my skiing.

    With all this said, since I began working at a "Disney" resort, I can see how clueless many, many people are about the sport and being in the mountains in the winter. Too many people still come with their friends who are still clueless but seem knowledgeable to the newbies. It's a once or twice a season outing and actually skiing is somewhat secondary to the party. They are not the ones who die though. It's seasoned people. Often skilled in their abilities, and that may be the biggest factor; they end up pushing themselves beyond their limits and the end result is tragic.


    "I need a powder day"
  • mtsnow123mtsnow123 advanced
    Posts: 285

    thanks for posting that link.  their take on Keystone is deadly accurate, pardon the pun.  It has a sub-culture of reckless skiers and boarders IMHO.  Please post a link to the next installment if you can

    All three are actually out: Link. Sorry for not previously posting.
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,015
    Skizix said:

    Many people have become proponents of a faultless mentality, and do not assume personal responsibility for their actions. They place all fault onto someone or something else. This kind of faultless mentality is being pushed on to ski resorts.
    Agree 99.9% -- Normally I would agree 100%, but my visit to Keystone made me reconsider. When you are nearly clipped by reckless skiers jumping out of the trees at a trail entrance, nearly plowed over by screaming, straightlining snowboarders, and forced to stop countless times by crazy hotshots all in the same day, then after you leave the first three billboards are from legal firms promising help if you've been injured by negligent skiers or snowboarders -- well, where there is smoke there is fire. 

    I have skied for a long time, I've been on crowded Mountain Creek slopes with idiots, I've been on unskiable ice with a herd of bodies at Camelback, I've been buzzed by racers at Burke, lost in whiteouts, stuck in the woods, none of which come close to how frightened I was of business as usual at Keystone.  

    I'm no lawyer, and I really dislike the current trend of victimization and utter lack of personal responsibility.  You ski in front of an avalanche, it's your own fault.  You ski into a tree, it's your own fault (assuming nobody pushed you).  As Dirty Harry said, "a man's got to know his limitations."

    When the Keystones and their ilk promote such a culture that encourages and allows skiers and boarders to routinely go unchecked and out-of-control, however, I have no sympathy for any monetary or criminal  judgement that goes against them.  They know they have a problem, for goodness sakes they've got patrollers with whistles on one of their trails!  


    :x :x :x :x
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