I recently picked up on this conversation over at Chinese Downhill on speeding on the slopes. The discussion points this article out: at Zeta Page News:
The speed limit was put in place in certain areas where less experienced skiers are trying to learn the sport. Reckless behaviors of others have caused 10 percent of all collisions in Park City and Deer Valley. A report in the Salt Lake City Tribune states that reckless skiing is now considered a Class B Misdemeanor.
Ski patrollers will be monitoring the slopes in search of people disobeying the speed limits or skiing recklessly. The ski patroller can now call the police, and the offenders may find themselves in court. If a reckless skier is called to court, the patroller will be called in as a witness to the incident. If skiers are found guilty of reckless skiing, they will be fined 1,000 USD and face a six-month jail sentence.
So far, there exist such ordinances in Utah and in Europe.
In general, I take great offense to getting the government involved and the draconian penalties.
What it all comes down to is knowing and abiding by The Code. The key is knowing your limitations and capabilities and pushing those limitations and abilities only when it is safe to do so.
This also means being familiar with the terrain and typical traffic patterns you can expect to run into at all parts of the trail you are on. Know where there are trail mergings, know where you are likely to run into large numbers of entry level skiers (or boarders), know where the resort requires you to go slow and abide by those regulations.
If you can ski on your resort’s NASTAR run, sign up for racing on a regular basis, not so much to compete, but more as an objective measure of your skiing skills. That can only tell you so much, but seek out any way you can objectively measure your ski skills and then you have a good platform on which to understand and build on your ski skills.
One time, I attacked a run, I poled and skated like crazy until I got to edge of my ability speeds (this was early in my serious ski career) and it was all good until I noted a pack of beginner skiers at the bottom of the run and they were going slow. I did what I could to slow down but that did not amount too much and I ended up whizzing by and narrowly missing a child. We were lucky. The run was an intermediate to advanced blue and I should have held off on that one. Now, with my abilities I could repeat the scenario and be okay, as I can now easily turn across the fall line to bleed speed and be able to approach the pack more cautiously.
I also remember nearly getting taken out myself by an out of control skier and the same fellow nearly took out my Father the same day.
However, need we invite the government to enforce this? In fact, I think the Ski Patrol should be a little more active in clipping DAs on the slopes. I am sure one clipping is not going to stop everyone so multiple offenders get their particulars recorded and the resort bans them after a series of flagrant offenses, and if need be the database of resort offenders can be circulated among resorts and known egregious and serial offenders are simply not welcomed at any participating resort. Of course, they can go to non-participating resorts those that market themselves as not-for-beginner resorts.
I can not recall if I have ever seen anyone clipped but I know I have seen people deserving of it. How about you? What do you think of this?