Clobbered by Snow Boarder
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snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
one month ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,577 posts

Today while skiing what was probably my final run at Arapaho Basin I was blind sided by a snow boarder. He hit me in the back and I flew thru the air and landed awkwardly, pounding my head into the slope. He said he never saw me. He and his buddy argued that I was wrong and turned into the snow boarder's path. I told them that apparently that they had never read the skier responsibility code- the down hill skier has the right-of-way. The guy who hit me at least was polite and seemed to be generally concerned. I feel like I have a mild concussion. Luckily, all of my other limbs were uninjured.

I have heard many horror stories from ski buddies who have had similar issues with reckless snow boarders. I think part of the problem is, they are facing sideways, unlike skiers who face down hill.

If you could share your own stories, it would be appreciated.

imp - DCSki Supporter 
one month ago
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts
got taken out at timberline this year. when I yelled on your right she turned to her right into me. she was facing left and turned into me at the sound of my voice. to my right was mud. ski tip and board tip hit as I threw myself down.
snapdragon
one month ago
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
347 posts
it doesn't matter if you were hit by sasquatch on tele skis...the downhill skier has the right of way...end of story.
chaga
one month ago
Member since 11/24/2009 🔗
646 posts
i was taken down by a snowboarder at snowshoe a few weeks ago from behind too! 
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Stephen
one month ago
Member since 02/16/2024 🔗
29 posts

Does it matter if you were right, but then dead?  Right of way means nothing for avoiding collisions.  When I hear someone coming behind me, I get out of the way.  If someone is close to my line (moguls), I'll wait until they clear out.  I'll pick my places to stand on the slope.  I'll ski fast in a narrow corridor or at least a predictable corridor.  If I break out of that corridor then I look up the hill before making my turn.  Needless to say, I hate crowded slopes.  You won't see me up there on a holiday weekend.  I definitely ski in a way that minimizes my chance of collisions.  The tough times though were when I had a kid learning to ski slowly with broad turns on crowded slopes.  I would mirror their turns behind them, watching who's coming basically shielding my kid with my body.  The only collision I ever saw was when someone clipped my wife's skis, and they both went down at Snowshoe on Lower Ballhooter.  No one got hurt.  Ballhooter is almost always too crowded.

Someone buzzed close to me as I was pulling into the lift line on 5 at Massanutten this year.  I yelled at him, though it's pointless to try to educate the public, too many of them and too few of me.  He pushed up to get on the lift with me.  I thought it was an interesting way to deal with conflict.  Nice guy.  We didn't talk about the buzzing.

Stephen
one month ago
Member since 02/16/2024 🔗
29 posts

Looking at the other side of it.  I am continually shocked how many people don't take steps to avoid collisions.  Mainly, many people will stop and wait in terrible places on the slope.  Sometimes in the bumps, they'll crash in a really bad spot where they aren't visible until someone is right on them, and they will linger there for a very long time.  They have no idea that their life is literally in danger.  Skis off or not, they need to pick up everything and move to a better spot right away.  Also, many people do not give a space cushion, and will make a random turn at any time, anywhere without looking first.

snapdragon
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
347 posts
run them down and drop multiple f-bombs back at the lift line...a good public flogging works eveytime
JimK - DCSki Columnist
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,976 posts

Sorry to hear Snowsmith.  Sounded like you were having a great visit to CO. 

Snowboarders do behave a little differently than skiers, esp new boarders.  They move or stop moving in unexpected ways and you have to watch out for their blind side.  A friend of mine, actually the guy I've skied with the most the last two years in UT, got taken out by a fast moving and full grown teenage skier around the 1st of March.  Out of control snow sliders come in all flavors.  He got a concussion, wrenched back and a sled and then ambulance ride.  Had to stop skiing for two weeks and hasn't been the same since; light headed, ringing in ears, not skiing as crisply as before or with as much stamina.  He thinks he never really lost consciousness with his concussion.  They are tricky beasts.  Hope your head banging turns out to be minor, but get yourself checked if symptoms linger.

As an older, competent skier one of my biggest fears is being taken out by another skier/boarder.  I've had a few close calls in UT in recent years, some my fault, some the fault of others.  I try to keep my head on a swivel and try to stay with or ahead of the general flow of traffic.

snapdragon
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
347 posts
  1.  Always stay in control. You must be able to stop or avoid people or objects.
  2.  People ahead or downhill of you have the right-of-way. You must avoid them.
  3.  Stop only where you are visible from above and do not restrict traffic.
  4.  Look uphill and avoid others before starting downhill or entering a trail.
  5.  You must prevent runaway equipment.
  6.  Read and obey all signs, warnings, and hazard markings.
  7.  Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  8.  You must know how and be able to load, ride and unload lifts safely. If you need assistance, ask the lift attendant.
  9.  Do not use lifts or terrain when impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  10.  If you are involved in a collision or incident, share your contact information with each other and a ski area employee.

Winter sports involve risk of serious injury or death. Your knowledge, decisions and actions contribute to your safety and that of others. If you need help understanding the Code, please ask any ski area employee.

ya feel me bro!

Stephen
one month ago
Member since 02/16/2024 🔗
29 posts


 It's not in the code, but there are many more times a skier should look up the hill or try to be aware of what's coming down the hill behind them.

snapdragon wrote:

  1.  Always stay in control. You must be able to stop or avoid people or objects.
  2.  People ahead or downhill of you have the right-of-way. You must avoid them.
  3.  Stop only where you are visible from above and do not restrict traffic.
  4.  Look uphill and avoid others before starting downhill or entering a trail.
  5.  You must prevent runaway equipment.
  6.  Read and obey all signs, warnings, and hazard markings.
  7.  Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  8.  You must know how and be able to load, ride and unload lifts safely. If you need assistance, ask the lift attendant.
  9.  Do not use lifts or terrain when impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  10.  If you are involved in a collision or incident, share your contact information with each other and a ski area employee.

Winter sports involve risk of serious injury or death. Your knowledge, decisions and actions contribute to your safety and that of others. If you need help understanding the Code, please ask any ski area employee.

ya feel me bro!

snapdragon
one month ago
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
347 posts
see rule #4
snapdragon
one month ago
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
347 posts
the only way to absolutely guarantee that you won't get involved in a collision or accident of any kind is to not ski or snowboard
Stephen
one month ago
Member since 02/16/2024 🔗
29 posts


 I meant more than that.

snapdragon wrote:

see rule #4
snapdragon
one month ago
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
347 posts
meant what i said about not getting hurt or in a collision
wgo
one month ago
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,667 posts

Two things can be true at the same time:

1) Downhill skier has the right of way

2) As the downhill skier I can still take steps to minimize exposure to dangerous situations.

Of course if someone is completely out of control and runs into you from behind there is not much you can do. I am talking more about things like being careful at intersections, not hanging out in areas you can't be seen, etc. When I am driving just because I have a green light does not mean I shouldn't be doing a quick check to make sure someone is not running a red light.

Stephen
one month ago
Member since 02/16/2024 🔗
29 posts

snapdragon wrote:

meant what i said about not getting hurt or in a collision

 I don't disagree.

wgo wrote:

Two things can be true at the same time:

1) Downhill skier has the right of way

2) As the downhill skier I can still take steps to minimize exposure to dangerous situations.

Of course if someone is completely out of control and runs into you from behind there is not much you can do. I am talking more about things like being careful at intersections, not hanging out in areas you can't be seen, etc. When I am driving just because I have a green light does not mean I shouldn't be doing a quick check to make sure someone is not running a red light.

That is what I'm getting at.  I don't think it's someone's moral responsibility to watch out for skiers behind them, but it's a practical choice to decrease the risk of collisions, that many people don't do well enough.

Shotmaker
one month ago
Member since 02/18/2014 🔗
180 posts

The inherent danger or risk of getting off a lift is another matter to consider. A friend of mine fractured her ankle as she and a young teenage boy were getting off a beginner lift this year. She is older and petite he was all of 150+ pounds. I believe he veered towards her after leaving the chair sliding over her skis then fell awkwardly on top of her. She missed most of January & February as a result. 

With this incident etched in mind I had an adult male on a snowboard veering towards me getting off Ballhooter lift with 2 adults on my right. He was on the outside to my left. It seemed clear he was going to take me and perhaps the 2 adults to my right out. At the moment I felt in danger I reached out attempting to prevent a collision and pushed him away from us. He fell on his butt uninjured. I asked him if he was okay no reply as he got up and sheepishly slid away. 

You get on and off lifts 100's or 1,000's of times a season this is where the less experienced can ruin your season. 

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
one month ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,577 posts

I understand the risks of skiing, but I would like to note about my accident:

1) I was the only skier on this part of the trail.

2)  I had stopped along the side of the trail to catch my breath and then looked up the trail before proceeding. I saw no one coming. Once out on the trail, I was making consistent radius turns.

3) The snowboarder who hit me said he never saw me, I was the only skier on this section of the trail. This to me indicates that he never looked to see what was downhill of him.

4) I never saw him because he was behind me and I think he entered my trail from an adjacent trail that enters my trail to skiers left. He was travelling at a high rate of speed.

I had a similar incident happen to me at Roundtop years ago. A snow boarder was 'straightlining'  the trail from the top and was thus going a high rate of speed when he hit me, I must have slid at least 100 feet after he hit me in the back, but I was unhurt.

I used to think that the biggest risk was falling. But now I believe the biggest risk is the skiers around me. I wait for a trail to be as clear of skiers as possible before proceeding, 

Believe it or not, I skied the next day after the accident. Probably shouldn't have. But I love skiing and it was my last day. 

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
one month ago
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,987 posts

Sorry to hear this story. I got hit once this year near the 6-pack at Timberline. My wife was hit by a preteen jumping off a mound on Upper Thunderstruck at Timberline. Timberline is the most dangerous place I regularly ski, especially on weekends. I am starting to think that Saturdays are not worth the risk. Both of us were skiing and downhill in relationship to the skiers who hit us. 

One good point was made about riding lifts with snowboarders. If you get on a 6 pack loaded with more than 4 snowboarders, unloading will be tricky. Solid intermediate snowboarders can handle it with ease but weaker snowboarders may crash or crash into you. This happened once to my wife this season. A snowboarder literally grabbed her and threw her down as he was unloading from the 6 pack at Timberline. He did apologize after I confronted him, but still, crazy sh*t. Timberline desperately needs a mountain safety program with Yellowjackets to enforce rules just like at Vail Resorts, which I can’t believe I am defending because I am no fan of Vail. The ski patrol want to be EMTs and not slope cops and thus avoid enforcing rules at Timberline. 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
one month ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,257 posts

wgo wrote:

Two things can be true at the same time:

1) Downhill skier has the right of way

2) As the downhill skier I can still take steps to minimize exposure to dangerous situations.

Of course if someone is completely out of control and runs into you from behind there is not much you can do. I am talking more about things like being careful at intersections, not hanging out in areas you can't be seen, etc. When I am driving just because I have a green light does not mean I shouldn't be doing a quick check to make sure someone is not running a red light.

Well said.

I ski much more defensively these days than a decade ago.  I've become a much better skier, but spend a certain amount of time skiing with friends who are intermediates.  Some are seniors who are worried about getting hit because they've heard and/or seen so many incidents in recent years.  I also drive more defensively.  In short, I'm paying more attention to people around me and don't assume they are going to make the right moves.

A few years ago, my friend who is an intermediate was skiing a last run down Mambo at Alta.  There is a headwall after the hard left turn near the top.  It was after last chair for Collins.  She was traversing in a sensible manner.  Mambo is a blue that is the easiest way down from the top of Collins.  When she was below the headwall, a guy comes flying into her because he was jumping the headwall.  He had no chance to change direction since he was in the air.  Luckily she was shaken but nothing was broken.  He knew he'd messed up, as did his friends with him.  He did and said the right things after the hit.  I can only guess he assumed that no intermediates would bother to be skiing after 4:30 on a warm spring day.  Fair to say, I'm a lot more wary around that headwall after that incident.

kwillg6
one month ago
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,067 posts


 John, this is an issue at the new mountain.  I've heard patrollers say that they are told NOT to respond to out-of-control skiers.  It's not in their protocol. This is where their business model is whacked.  I have always told skiers (my lessons and instructors) to avoid any and all dangerous situations on the hill.  As the ski school director at another local mountain, we had no incidents other than those that were due to negligence.  All, even those, were avoidable.    

johnfmh wrote:

Sorry to hear this story. I got hit once this year near the 6-pack at Timberline. My wife was hit by a preteen jumping off a mound on Upper Thunderstruck at Timberline. Timberline is the most dangerous place I regularly ski, especially on weekends. I am starting to think that Saturdays are not worth the risk. Both of us were skiing and downhill in relationship to the skiers who hit us. 

One good point was made about riding lifts with snowboarders. If you get on a 6 pack loaded with more than 4 snowboarders, unloading will be tricky. Solid intermediate snowboarders can handle it with ease but weaker snowboarders may crash or crash into you. This happened once to my wife this season. A snowboarder literally grabbed her and threw her down as he was unloading from the 6 pack at Timberline. He did apologize after I confronted him, but still, crazy sh*t. Timberline desperately needs a mountain safety program with Yellowjackets to enforce rules just like at Vail Resorts, which I can’t believe I am defending because I am no fan of Vail. The ski patrol want to be EMTs and not slope cops and thus avoid enforcing rules at Timberline. 

Stephen
one month ago
Member since 02/16/2024 🔗
29 posts

Where was the collision exactly?

https://www.arapahoebasin.com/trail-maps/ 

snowsmith wrote:

I understand the risks of skiing, but I would like to note about my accident:

1) I was the only skier on this part of the trail.

2)  I had stopped along the side of the trail to catch my breath and then looked up the trail before proceeding. I saw no one coming. Once out on the trail, I was making consistent radius turns.

3) The snowboarder who hit me said he never saw me, I was the only skier on this section of the trail. This to me indicates that he never looked to see what was downhill of him.

4) I never saw him because he was behind me and I think he entered my trail from an adjacent trail that enters my trail to skiers left. He was travelling at a high rate of speed.

I had a similar incident happen to me at Roundtop years ago. A snow boarder was 'straightlining'  the trail from the top and was thus going a high rate of speed when he hit me, I must have slid at least 100 feet after he hit me in the back, but I was unhurt.

I used to think that the biggest risk was falling. But now I believe the biggest risk is the skiers around me. I wait for a trail to be as clear of skiers as possible before proceeding, 

Believe it or not, I skied the next day after the accident. Probably shouldn't have. But I love skiing and it was my last day. 

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,987 posts

kwillg6 wrote:


 John, this is an issue at the new mountain.  I've heard patrollers say that they are told NOT to respond to out-of-control skiers.  It's not in their protocol. This is where their business model is whacked.  I have always told skiers (my lessons and instructors) to avoid any and all dangerous situations on the hill.  As the ski school director at another local mountain, we had no incidents other than those that were due to negligence.  All, even those, were avoidable.    

 kwillg6, that is sort of what I thought.

Another thing I failed to mention is that Timberline likes to wait a few days before grooming  snowmaking mounds. That makes things interesting and can be manageable weekdays when the place is less crowded. On weekends, it can be another story. It turns some trails into no holds barred terrain parks with lots of jumping and very little spotting. You see similar stuff on the skier’s right side embankment of Upper Dew Drop (when there is enough snow). The resort might want to groom things down for Saturdays but of course grooming brings its own challenges—straight lining and out of control skiing.

This is hardly a problem unique to Timberline. Almost all resorts are having these issues. Some are establishing slow zones, and posting Mountain Safety personnel at key places on the mountain. I am not sure Timberline has the resources to develop a Mountain Safety team but it could consider some slow zones in places such as: 

—mixing bowl at the bottom

—Sally

—Mountain Crossroads

I wish I had the answers but for middle-aged and older skiers, it’s a problem. One hit can land you in the hospital.

bob
one month ago
Member since 04/15/2008 🔗
757 posts

Sorry you got run into. Hope the patrol got involved.

Both skiers and snowboarders run in to other people. 

I've been run into 6 times - 2 by boarders and 4 by skiers. None turned out to be serious, but the one that could have been serious was done by a skier - it was just dumb luck that I was angulating away from his path so he got my skis instead of me.. One of the snowboarders did destroy my skis, but I didn't;t realize it until a few weeks later when the base started to separate from the rest of the ski.

bob
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 04/15/2008 🔗
757 posts


 

snowsmith wrote:

 .

3) The snowboarder who hit me said he never saw me, I was the only skier on this section of the trail. This to me indicates that he never looked to see what was downhill of him.

The problem for snowboarders is they generally are right of left facing so they have blind spots that they really need to pay attention to.

I remember one day I was skiing Brighton and I was trying to get down a run in 5 turns or less .  Yeah I was skiing fast, but there was no one in front of me so I was safe with the speed. It was an 8 inch powder day but they had groomed the run I was on.  A snowboarder and I both pushed off the top at the same time. He went right around trees and I went left. About half way down the run I HEARD him - the sound of his board on snow.. He was close. I moved as far left on the trail as I could and for a while skied on my right ski right next to the untracked. My left ski was over powder. I did not want to enter 8 inches of powder at high speed. 

Anyway, we did not collide, but I always wondered whether he knew I was there or whether it was dumb luck and my evasive maneuvering that caused a positive outcome. Was he heelside to me or was he toeside to me.

Brings to mind what I was taught as a student pilot, when things get tough you

1) Aviate -- fly the plane

2) Navigate

3) Communicate

In that order. Your only real   priority is to get out of trouble.

It was one of the two most scary moments in all the years I skied.

 

Believe it or not, I skied the next day after the accident. Probably shouldn't have. But I love skiing and it was my last day. 

Good for you!!!!  

rbrtlav
one month ago
Member since 12/2/2008 🔗
578 posts
I ski around 80-90% of the time, but I also have a snowboard. While it doesn’t sounds like it really applies in this situation if the boarder came in at a high rate of speed it’s important to be aware of blind spots for those around you. Just like driving around semi trucks, the rules only help the lawyers if there is a serious collision. 

Some things I try to do:
- look for shadows if possible to help track people behind me
- listen to others skiing and boarding around me
- look to see if a boarder is riding goofy or regular and try to avoid carving in their blind spot
- when boarding try to avoid being in situations where I can’t see those around me
- try to avoid being in the situation where I would need to yell out my position. I find yelling “to your right” or similar often causes people to panic and often times people are mis heard. Often times people seem to think calling out their position means they no longer have to yield to downhill traffic. 

Unfortunately when people are above their ability level or straight lining there is only so much that can be done to avoid collisions, which sounds like may have been the case here. 
chaga
one month ago
Member since 11/24/2009 🔗
646 posts
I think the science is settled on this. People run into you at downhill resorts. Therefore it's safer to cross-county downhill ski at earn your turns and only have a chance of getting hit by a tree! :) 
snapdragon
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
347 posts
yew new watt two dew!!!
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
one month ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,577 posts

I believe it was the Sundance trail (could have been High Noon?). The last little steep section before coming down to the lift area. Looking at the trail map, I see there are several places that the snow boarders could have entered the trail. I seem to remember seeing out of the corner of my left eye a shape entering the picture before BOOM. 

I generally felt fine until today (sunday). I feel pressure in my head and I am probably going to the hospital to get a CT scan to make sure I have no internal bleeding. 

 

Stephen wrote:

Where was the collision exactly?

https://www.arapahoebasin.com/trail-maps/ 

snowsmith wrote:

I understand the risks of skiing, but I would like to note about my accident:

1) I was the only skier on this part of the trail.

2)  I had stopped along the side of the trail to catch my breath and then looked up the trail before proceeding. I saw no one coming. Once out on the trail, I was making consistent radius turns.

3) The snowboarder who hit me said he never saw me, I was the only skier on this section of the trail. This to me indicates that he never looked to see what was downhill of him.

4) I never saw him because he was behind me and I think he entered my trail from an adjacent trail that enters my trail to skiers left. He was travelling at a high rate of speed.

I had a similar incident happen to me at Roundtop years ago. A snow boarder was 'straightlining'  the trail from the top and was thus going a high rate of speed when he hit me, I must have slid at least 100 feet after he hit me in the back, but I was unhurt.

I used to think that the biggest risk was falling. But now I believe the biggest risk is the skiers around me. I wait for a trail to be as clear of skiers as possible before proceeding, 

Believe it or not, I skied the next day after the accident. Probably shouldn't have. But I love skiing and it was my last day. 

Stephen
one month ago
Member since 02/16/2024 🔗
29 posts

Bummer. I hope everything is fine. 

Sounds like it might have been from trails merging.

bob
one month ago
Member since 04/15/2008 🔗
757 posts


 

Stephen wrote:

Bummer. I hope everything is fine. 

I'll second that...

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