Letter to the editor: Anxious guests frequently urge tighter speed control at resorts
As a mountain safety volunteer (not at Keystone), I can see why viewers of Jonathan Buckhouse’s video would think he shouldn’t have been sent to safety school. Based only on the video, it seems a warning would have sufficed.
But not all that happened was recorded. The workers were directed by radio to stop the boarders for an uphill incident that wasn’t filmed. Buckhouse seems oddly dense to the workers’ explanations, interpreting all in the worst possible light. In postproduction, he inserts lengthy refutations, whereas the workers had only that moment, with limited information. (They hadn’t seen the incident.)
So stepping back, my five years as a mountain safety volunteer have taught me:
- For each of you who feels you’re going painfully, embarrassingly slow on a family run, there’s a beginner or parent who fears your speed, dreading a collision. Nearly each workday, I’m approached by anxious guests urging tighter speed control.
- Skiers have trouble predicting boarders’ paths. Your equipment is much more versatile, enabling snap changes in direction and speed, jumps and spins. While you’re confidently in control, skiers don’t know that. It’s not just your speed on a slow run, but also the jumping and dipping in and out between trail and woods that raise concern.
- Accidents and incidents occur very quickly from multiple directions and speeds. Enforcement can be inconsistent simply because we can’t see everything or communicate what we see quickly enough.
- Mountain safety teams really do want you to have fun. We work the resorts because we’re passionate about skiing/riding and love sharing the mountain. We just don’t want to see people hurt.
Please enjoy yourselves. Celebrate your youth, athleticism and camaraderie with friends. Just avoid or take extra care on slow, family runs.
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