More talk about skier safety |

More talk about skier safety

It has been good to see some discussion about skier safety in your newspaper, and maybe things will get better on the slopes someday. Or maybe not.

I would like to tell you what I witnessed recently.

On a Monday at Keystone, there were some kind of races. Before the races began, a coach led a group of junior team racers full-bore down beginner-

intermediate slopes (Paymaster, then a crossover to Irishman, I think) and even if the leader missed any possible skier/boarder who could have fallen just under a rise, someone in the group would have hit such a partially hidden person.

This isn’t a theoretical danger. Just two years ago, a young racing team member killed two people. Of course, the coach at the time said the racer was careful and always in control. Almost everyone else came to his defense, saying he was a good guy and thoughtful of others. 

Well, good guys don’t put others in danger.

The purpose of this letter is to ask, what chance do we have for slope safety when even the role models and “authorities” behave irresponsibly? By authorities, I mean resort managers who don’t set up patrols to catch speeders, who don’t pull hundreds of passes per year, and who don’t oversee racing teams. 

Other authorities include parents who don’t pull their children off racing teams that are irresponsible and dangerous, plus get the coaches fired. Most of the brainless speeders out there don’t recognize themselves, can’t participate in analyzing the dangers and don’t see themselves as the problem. 

The only way to reach this tiny percentage of snowriders is through monetary loss. Pull enough passes, file enough law suits, and the message will get around. Include resort managers and coaches in those law suits. Having good role models has to improve the chances of our youngsters growing up to be safe snowriders. 

In the meantime, get the dangerous ones off the slopes. Persuasion won’t work.

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