In-depth series on skier deaths in Colorado

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by SBrown, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Jerry Industry Insider

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    That is true. Most of what we would enjoy, ungroomed, steep terrain, is also not controlled for avalanche except where a natural slide might affect piste.

    Anything NOT piste is out of bounds in Europe. You are welcome to ski it, but if the ski area doesn't post it as in bounds you are on your own should you require assistance.
     
  2. pais alto

    pais alto me encanta el país alto Skier

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    I'm a little late to this thread, but @Monique hit upon a couple of my thoughts, which are kind of tangential to the issues raised, but anyway...

    I wondered why there wasn't an all-night search. Working on patrol, I've spent a few all-nighters out combing trees, cliffs, and chutes in the dark with a headlamp, looking for people reported missing. In those cases they were always found at home, in a bar, or out of bounds by the SAR folks. Just my experience from where I work, but it made me wonder. We keep looking after sweep if someone is reported missing.

    My second thought mirrors Monique's - just because a close friend "can't imagine" something happening doesn't mean that it can't, or didn't, happen.
     
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  3. Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Jerry Industry Insider

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    I've ended up at the end of a sweet tree run and my buddy has been 'missing'. I get nervous and try to determine where we last saw each other while I'm waiting. I'm typically preparing to ride the lift and take the same run again when my buddy shows up explaining what went wrong (or not). Usually its due to a line that 'shut-down' or a ski popped off. It makes me pause and I am always cognizant of the potential for an apparently innocent delay to be an indication of a real problem. Never assume. Always be wary. Have a meet up spot for each run.
     
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  4. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet lurking Instructor

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    We had an incident of this sort two years ago. A young man went off-trail into the woods as he came around a sharp corner in a narrow trail, hit trees, endured massive chest trauma, and died (evidently immediately, it was reported). This was late in the day, no one saw it happen, and he was at the mountain without friends or family. The call came in around 9:00pm that he was missing, and his car was subsequently found in the parking lot.
    Every employee who could be called in went looking in the dark. They couldn't find him, and I heard they looked for hours and hours. Next morning, very early, two skiers skinning up before the mountain opened for business found him. I'm not sure if they knew there was someone lost on the mountain or not. My point: it does sometimes happen.
     
  5. Sibhusky

    Sibhusky Getting off the lift Skier

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    That was settled.

    http://flatheadbeacon.com/2016/09/26/whitefish-mountain-resort-settles-lawsuit-tree-well-death/

    Given the amount of snow we had this year, I expected some more tree well issues, but fortunately it didn't happen. It wasn't that the wells weren't there, they were, six to eight feet deep, but no one died. I did see a dad digging his toddler out of one the last week.
     
  6. SBrown

    SBrown Chuck Norris Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Yes, I knew it was settled, but just pointing out that Europeans do sue ski areas.
     
  7. coskigirl

    coskigirl Out on the slopes Skier

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    So, a couple of his friends are planning to join us at Abasin on May 12th so you may be able to get answers to a few of these questions.
     
  8. Stephen Witkop

    Stephen Witkop switty Skier

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    No guarantees, everything can't be safe all the time everywhere.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/busi...-park-injuries-deaths-20160812-htmlstory.html

    From the article (since 2006):
    "The 14 people who have died in Florida died at Disney theme parks"

    The thing I did get out of the skiers death articles was that people have and probably will again lose lives doing something I love at places I love so maybe just a little respect when I'm out there is in order.
     
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  9. TahoeCharlie

    TahoeCharlie RetroMan Skier

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    SBrown said:
    Not entirely, though ...
    German family sues Whitefish Mountain Resort over death of skier

    The German family sued a ski area in the USA, where such suits are permitted, not in Europe where such suits are generally not permitted.
     
  10. TahoeCharlie

    TahoeCharlie RetroMan Skier

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    Monique said:
    On the other hand - isn't there less of a tendency for avy mitigated steep, ungroomed terrain? I like that stuff.

    Having skied extensively in Europe, these statements are NOT true. Every major resort I skied at had extensive avy control. When you get off a lift at the top, in say: St Anton or Cortina or Courchevel, you can ski down anywhere you want; there are no restrictions. Most lifts have ONE groomed run (piste) running back to the base; but you can ski off in any direction you want as you are above the tree line. Cliff areas are generally marked. At every major resort I have skied at, there is a surcharge (say $5) added to the daily lift ticket price. This covers comprehensive insurance for ANYTHING that may happen to you while skiing: evacuation, including Helicopter; hospital treatment/stay; doctors costs; etc. You don't pay a dime - I know as I broke my forearm at Val d'Isere 15 years ago and it didn't cost me a penny. They sledded me off, x-rayed it (non-dislocated fracture), slapped a short cast on it, said don't use your poles and sent me off; skied another two weeks without poles - no problem.
     
  11. Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Jerry Industry Insider

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    My experience was certainly different from yours. I skied in Alagna, Courmeyeur and Cervinia and definitely ended up in uncontrolled areas, definitely not within the ski area but without any indication that I was actually leaving the ski area. In one particular instance that uncontrolled area was between lifts and under a gondola. All I passed on my way were the ubiquitous orange markers along the groomed trail. While I might have been able to get assistance from emergency services, I could also easily have gotten myself killed through my own ignorance.

    The point I was making in my post was that if you don't understand the lay of the land and the rules of the area, you can easily find yourself in dangerous locations without realizing it. There aren't signs everywhere in Europe like there are here. Again, my experience, apparently not yours.

    In the past you could purchase annual alpine club memberships for $20-$30 that would serve the same purpose as the insurance surcharge you mention. It is nice to know insurance is available with a ticket purchase.
     
  12. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    And weren't a bunch of teens caught in an avalanche in Europe last year on an uncontrolled slope right next to a groomer?
     
  13. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    Of course Europe contains a broad set of cultures ...
     
  14. Lorenzzo

    Lorenzzo Snow Skier Skier

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    Deer Valley is pretty much just easy cruisers. And the food's bad too. Move along....
     
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  15. SBrown

    SBrown Chuck Norris Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Right. I am just saying that the idea that Europeans don't sue and Americans are suit happy isn't the neat little meme everyone says it is.
     
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  16. Lorenzzo

    Lorenzzo Snow Skier Skier

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    I'm going sue A-Basin and I've never even been. I'll come up with something when I'm there. Maybe a "help me sue A-Basin" thread would be useful. I'm of Euro ancestry and can't really say which part of me, Euro or American, is more litigious.
     
  17. SBrown

    SBrown Chuck Norris Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    They clearly should have roped off the area where I got stuck in the hole.
     
  18. Lorenzzo

    Lorenzzo Snow Skier Skier

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    I'll see if I can find a hole which would then create for us a class action and then even more attorneys buzzing around. If anyone else has fallen in a hole at A-Basin please PM.
     
  19. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    Hey, wait, I fell in a hole at Vail! Also at Breck!
     
  20. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Head First Skier

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    My bad, it was Sundance, yes, yes, now I remember me of it.
     
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