Rules on the snow mountain

I have been skiing or snowboarding for almost 40 years.  I can’t believe I said that out loud but it is the truth.  When I began going to the mountains, I started on skis.  I went through the trends of short skis to long skis and so forth.  When the kids were young, they all learned on skis first but again, based on the time, they yearned to snowboard and so they did.

Once the kids began to snowboard, I figured that I should learn too.  First time out, I broke my wrist but I got back on the board the following year.  For almost 20 years I boarded.  I’d ski a few times each year just so I kept it up but boarding was my number one choice to enjoy the mountain.  As it happened, the kids became serious experts on a board and good as I was, I didn’t have the head to fly through the trees as they do.  Skiing and boarding, like golf, is definitely a bit of a head game.

We went out with a few people on some tough terrain a few years back and I decided if I was going to join in, then I should put on a pair of skis.  I did and I have yet to put the board back on since.  The reason is the ski equipment today is far superior to the ski equipment of the past.  The equipment almost skis for you.  It is amazing the difference.

The downside of all of this latest and greatest equipment is that you can fly down the mountain at speeds that you couldn’t 20 years ago.  That is why everyone should wear a helmet just like everyone should wear a seatbelt.  It is for safety.  There are idiots on the slopes who go as fast as they can down a run and god forbid they should hit you because being hit by someone going at that speed is not pretty.

We were on the slopes this past week and it was pretty icy out.  This guy was flying down the mountain, without making a turn, at a ridiculous speed.  It was a disaster waiting to happen.  I am not sure it is a different type of demeanor from decades ago or it is because of the equipment but it might be time to do a few things on the slopes.  Putting up cameras, like they do in intersections, to literally give tickets to people who behave badly.  At this point, the mountain knows exactly how many people are on each chairlift so it wouldn’t be much to get here.  I know this sounds a bit drastic but there are just not enough ski patrol people out on the mountain to stop this type of behavior.  It has become a bigger issue as the years go on and the equipment is only getting better.

Not sure how to reel this in but when you are enjoying anything where there are other people around you, it appears that not everyone is respectful of others and on the mountain that can be an accident waiting to happen.  The snow mountain has become a playground of fast moving toys and toys moving that fast can be lots of fun but they can also become extremely dangerous.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Pranay Srinivasan

    Bond, James Bond

  2. awaldstein

    You are right.Considering the cost, the amount of ski patrols are slim. And their focus is on cleaning up after stuff not preventing it.Don’t see a change happening ever till calamity becomes commonplace.I’m a skier who always skis with boarders as well. It has its challenges.

  3. LE

    They might also be able to measure speed with an ezpass like system of transponders and readers that log not only (for safety reasons) where you are on the mountain but also the speed that you travel between two points on a trail. (For arguments sake a ski tag could contain a transponder possibly that is reusable by multiple parties).

    1. Gotham Gal

      very true.

      1. awaldstein

        I don’t think this approach is viable.Maybe on a canyon or a narrow slice on Aspen Mountain but not on a broad slope.Education is the key. Making rules for the many not the outliers is always the right way.

  4. Heather Wetzler

    After college I moved to Vail, CO for 16-months with my college roommates(it was awesome). My parents were so angry……we did not spend $$$ on a college degree for you to move to Vail – they wanted me to move back to NYC and get a job. I asked if they were going to pay for my rent in NYC(obviously they said no) – so I took my graduation money ($950) and moved to Vail. I studied Broadcast Journalism in school, and actually got a job for Good Morning Vail and I skied every day. When I finally moved back to NYC(1996), my first boyfriend worked on Wall Street and rented a place in Stowe and insisted we ski out of bounds in Stowe – – Angel Food, I think that was what the run was called(long story there) – – but I definitely skied aggressively and somewhat recklessly (out of bounds) for years. I still LOVE skiing – -but now that I am in my 40s, I am so much more cautious – – there is for sure, NO MORE out of bounds for me – -but I am glad I did it when I was young, what a rush:) I remember the first time I read this brilliant piece in the NY Times called, “Snow Fall” – – equals parts excitement and nausea – -…

    1. Gotham Gal

      age = cautious

  5. JLM

    .I have been skiing for longer than you have been alive. It is the equipment, the grooming, the clothes, and the training.It has gotten absurdly expensive.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  6. Pointsandfigures

    Did it once. Fell down a few times. Since at the time I was standing all day in a trading pit, I figured the opportunity cost was way too high for me. Now, I’d rather pay to be warm than cold and prefer a mountain stream and a fishing pole. My friends from CO say, you come for the skiing but stay for the summers! Those mountains sure are beautiful to look at.