10 Things about Skiing/Snowboarding that Make me Cringe

Now that we finally have some snow in Tahoe, all of a sudden there are crowds. And lines.  When the hills get crowded, rude and foolish behavior become pervasive. I’m always amazed by the things people do that occupy the gray area between bad manners and stupidity. Here are 10 things that make me cringe:

10. Skiing or riding on terrain that you clearly are not skilled for. One word: lessons.

9. People who duck ropes to enter closed terrain “because the snow is better.” Did you see this article about the rise in deaths related to  “side country” skiing,  i.e. just out of the boundaries of ski resorts?  If you get into trouble and get hurt, you endanger your own health, but also that of the ski patrollers who have to come and fetch you.

8. Skiers and riders who lack situational awareness. If you’re ripping down the hill and you see kids in front of you, slow down. They make unpredictable turns and the more space you give them, the better. For everyone.

7.  Skiers and riders who stop in the middle of a trail where they can’t be seen from above. This is a good way to get  hit, even though…

6. … the skier/rider who is downhill has the right of way whether s/he’s crossing a trail, turning, or stopping. Always.

5. Getting in the doubles line when you’re single. It just messes everything up.

4. People who step out of their skis/board and just leave their gear sitting at the bottom of the stairs or entrance to the lodge.   The racks are there for a reason, people.

3. The bro-dude slamming a PBR in line. Chances are very good that he’s not as good a skier/rider as he thinks he is and he presents a serious hazard to my family and me. Save it for Après, s’il vous plaît.

2. Adults who ski/ride without helmets.  D-U-M-B.

1. Parents who let their kids ski/ride without helmets. D-U-M-B-E-R.
What makes you crazy when you’re skiing or riding with your kids?
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8 responses

  1. I am an avid skier and I agree completely with everything you say. I get really frustrated when people don’t wear helmets. I wonder how long it will take until helmets are the law just like riding a bike. I think it really should be. Good post!!

    March 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    • Dana Sullivan Kilroy

      Thanks! I started wearing a helmet when I was learning to snowboard, after hitting my head and seeing stars one too many times. Now I can’t imagine going without.

      March 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

  2. I think you’ve forgotten why people ski.

    10. Skiing or riding on terrain that you clearly are not skilled for. One word. Learning

    9. People who duck ropes to enter closed terrain “because the snow is better.” Did you see this article about the rise in deaths related to “side country” skiing, i.e. just out of the boundaries of ski resorts? One word. Glades

    8. Skiers and riders who lack situational awareness. If you’re ripping down the hill and you see kids in front of you, slow down. They make unpredictable turns and the more space you give them, the better. For everyone. How can you organize disorder?

    7. Skiers and riders who stop in the middle of a trail where they can’t be seen from above. This is a good way to get hit, even though…they don’t want to wait in the lift line for 20 minutes.

    6. … the skier/rider who is downhill has the right of way whether s/he’s crossing a trail, turning, or stopping. Always. Would you cross a highway on foot?

    5. Getting in the doubles line when you’re single. It just messes everything up. Forever alone.

    4. People who step out of their skis/board and just leave their gear sitting at the bottom of the stairs or entrance to the lodge. The racks are there for a reason, people. Or you can’t bend over to pick up your ski’s

    3. The bro-dude slamming a PBR in line. Chances are very good that he’s not as good a skier/rider as he thinks he is and he presents a serious hazard to my family and me. Save it lodge where you pay 6.50 for a PBR

    2. Adults who ski/ride without helmets. D-U-M-B. or from the 60’s

    1. Parents who let their kids ski/ride without helmets. D-U-M-B-E-R.
    What makes you crazy when you’re skiing or riding with your kids? Or just being crazy

    March 8, 2012 at 7:27 pm

  3. Dana Sullivan Kilroy

    Thanks for your comments JDH. I have a totally different attitude about skiing when I’m not with my kids 🙂

    March 9, 2012 at 9:26 am

  4. Enjoyed reading this. Helmets always cause so much debate. Me and my friends don’t wear them and recently an English lady died from banging her head – even though she was wearing one. The funny thing is when I have kids and they’re old enough to ride I’ll wear a helmet to set a good example, so maybe I should just invest in one now.

    As for sneaking under the ropes, you’ll never stop people that – you just have to hope people are sensible. Me and my friends have been riding since the 1990s so do go off the trails from time to time, but we never go alone and always take our time and look out for each other. Going off piste on your own is the height of stupidity, I think – if you injure yourself you could be in big trouble. Also, knowing the mountain makes this less risky. If it’s your first visit to a resort, you’ve got to be even more careful if you’re not familiar with the terrain.

    I agree about people slowing down on trails. I can ride pretty damn fast, but if I’m on a crowded piste or have a beginner near me I slow down. I don’t want to terrify them and potentially put them off winter sports for good. An ego on the hill is not good.

    I’ve never understood the whole skiers v snowboarders argument – we’re all on the hill together. It’s people who are daft, it has nothing to do with what kind of kit you’re riding!

    March 11, 2012 at 5:07 am

    • Dana Sullivan Kilroy

      Yep, you’re right. It’s the people!

      March 14, 2012 at 9:55 am

  5. I think for me, bad attitudes and aggressive behavior gets under my skin the most. I believe we’re all out on The Hill to have fun, and we each have the power to remain calm and happy, even if the lift lines is long, or you encounter line-cutters. You can always catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Always. Shouting and disrespecting one another in public is never acceptable. The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten in life is to assume that people are reasonable, even if they’re not. When you make that assumption you automatically approach the situation in a mature and respectful manner and, more often than not, receive a mature and respectful response. Thoughts?

    March 14, 2012 at 9:33 am

    • Dana Sullivan Kilroy

      Hi Christie, I’m with you on the bad attitudes! And I agree totally with the honey-and-vinegar approach. In general, I think most people ARE reasonable. It’s just a shame that on the hill, just like in real life, a few rude people can make things unpleasant for the many! Hope you’re getting TONS of snow this week. Dana

      March 14, 2012 at 9:59 am

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