Dear Savvy Skier,
I went skiing at Snow Summit (in Big Bear Lake) this weekend, and I noticed a lot of snowboarders parked on the slope in the path of other skiiers and boarders. These snowboarders sat in groups, rows and large patches throughout the slopes. They didn’t seem to have just fallen; in fact, they looked like there were enjoying the view, socializing with friends, catching their breath or just drinking in the crisp mountain air. Navigating through all these people made the slope more difficult than it actually should be. Isn’t it dangerous to sit in the middle of the path? Why do these snowboarders do it? And why doesn’t the ski patrol put a stop to it?
– Concerned Skiier.
Dear Concerned Skier,
Yes, it seems groups of skiers think it’s alright to make our trails into slalom runs. The only difference is instead of hitting a pole when you miss a turn, you’re running over a person!
While experienced skiers can usually negotiate these obstacle courses with some difficulty, beginning snowboarders don’t always have the control needed to avoid these social gatherings in the middle of the slope.
They then have to choose between crashing, shooting off the edge of the trail or hitting the idiot chatting in the middle of the run. That’s why we’re all taught to stop on the sides of the slopes. It’s a commom courtesy that obviously isn’t as common as it used to be.
Of course, the same people will walk down the middle of the street instead of using the sidewalk. So yes, it is dangerous to stop in the middle of the slope for both skiers as well as the people sitting down.
I don’t know what the ski patrols position is on this, though we would all like to hear. What do the rest of you think about this growing problem?