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February 28, 2007

Learn Some Etiquette

This last weekend was sick. Pow everywhere. But weekends bring out the gapers. Here are some tips to keep you from getting dirty looks and having me mutter cuss words under my breath:

  • Jumps are for folks that can hit the jumps. They are not for you to lollygag around. If you cannot get adequate speed to make it up to the crest of the jump without backsliding down it, stay off of it.
  • The person downhill always has the right of way, but if you are going to traverse because a run is beyond your ability, traverse safely, look uphill, and make a consistent pattern so that folks can tell what you are going to do.
  • Know what you are doing in pow. Don't block the packed areas and make folks that do know what they are doing stop in flat areas. I got cut off by a kid on a flat who had no clue and was laying crossways on the packed part of the trail instead of moving.
  • Beginners should stay on beginner's lifts. If you cannot get on and off of the lift, don't get on a lift that only serves advanced terrain.
  • Know the mountain. Know where you are going. Visualize your lines and be smart about it. Try to avoid dangerous intersections where folks are skiing at radically different speeds.
  • NEVER EVER STOP AND WAIT IN A BLIND SPOT. If you are downhill of a jump or drop off or you are around a blind corner, folks cannot see you. Clear the area right away.
  • Slow down when there is traffic. If you want to be Bode Miller, don't pound back a 12 pack and make sure to go somewhere away from slower skiing folks. There are plenty of places to go fast. Don't do it where there are kids and don't cut people off. Give them space to make turns.
  • Tell people when you are coming beside them. "On your right" or "on your left" goes a long way towards keeping folks safe.
  • Don't smoke in lift lines or in the middle of places where folks are waiting. There are plenty of places to give yourself cancer. I saw one a-hole that was in the middle of the lift line who was smoking with one hand and had a beer in another trying to get on the lift with his 8 year old kid.

Know your limits and be courteous.

Jake was making fun of these idiots that were traversing across the downhill side of a jump and looked like they just graduated from Learn to Snowboard School. He told me, "Dad, they are gonna get killed. What idiots. Why are they in the terrain park?"

Why don't they teach these sort of lessons before they even let folks step into their bindings?

Posted by Justin at February 28, 2007 08:14 PM


Great tips in this article. I suggested to read it in my post today. The post is called "It's Dumping Snow" at

Posted by: Rippin Skiers at March 1, 2007 07:44 AM

One of the problems I have with more advanced terrain and parks is the ability to practice. From what I've been reading, many resorts don't have have a beginner park/pipe or if they do, there's such a significant gap to the next level it's as if someone is starting over anyways.

That stated, an excellent list of general rules to follow. I think a few others to add might include:

- Call your jump before taking it
- If the feature is marked as closed, avoid it.
- Taking out the closed sign and putting it back later is really just poor form.
- While waiting for your chance in the park, don't leave your trash there.
- Be aware of the feature. Just because it's your turn doesn't mean anyone in your landing zone is aware of your attempt. This is especially valid for those jumping out of the trees back onto a groomer.

Posted by: Oft-piste at March 1, 2007 02:40 PM