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Thread: I almost got nailed by two skiers this weekend....

  1. #1
    Senior Member grouseking's Avatar
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    I almost got nailed by two skiers this weekend....

    When it happened, I was not amused. In fact, I was ready to turn around and go home because I was so ticked off. Right where the Tecumseh hiking trail parallels the closed section of ski trail, there were a bunch of skiers that decided to come down the trail and a very high speed. They almost crashed into my hiking parter and I, and all could have been VERY badly injured. Think Sherpa Kroto injury.....

    In my opinion, skiers sking down a busy hiking trail is the equivalent to hikers walking across the middle of the skiing slope. Its dangerous, not courteous, oh and did I mention it was dangerous? In fact, out of the 12 (yes 12 skiers that came down the trail), 2 took some serious spills.

    I have cooled off about this but still will never hike this trail again in winter as long as the resort is open. These people put lives in danger. Its almost as ignorant as going above treeline without any gear.

    Is there a law against skiers using popular hiking trails like this? They have glades, I don't understand why one would risk getting hurt by using a hiking trail. Anybody had any experience like this??

    grouseking

  2. #2
    Senior Member marty's Avatar
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    I don't know the law, but the same thing almost happened to Ray and me last year, while hiking the Monroe Trail up Camel's Hump. There were two skiers. I saw them and jumped off trail to avoid getting hit. I yelled to them that there was another hiker just around the corner. The first said OK, but did not slow or stop and then had to do a forced wipeout to avoid hitting Ray. Just like you, we narrowly avoided serious injuries.

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  3. #3
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    A law? No. BUT when you buy your lift pass, you agree (you do read the fine print on the bottom half, right?) to stay within the ski boundaries. I'd bet the hiking trial is outside the official boundaries. If you could have reported them, they would (could) lose their lift ticket. They broke 2 rules (at least) of the Skiers Code Of Conduct.

    I would call WV (don't e-mail, they don't read it.... in my experience) and say something. Perhaps they had a orange out-of-bounds marker that was destroyed, or simply ignored.

    People ski off the edges of trails all the time... and usually right back in bounds. In this case perhaps they got stuck on that trail, thinking it came right back. Likely they were ignorant, rather then belligerent.

    Tim
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Amicus's Avatar
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    grouseking,

    Did your near-miss occur Saturday? I happened to spend the day skiing there (except for the time spent watching my kid take a pair of slalom runs for a race). I started my skiing at 8:30 by taking the little (and low-speed) double chair that runs from the top of the main quad to the true summit - the only motorized access to about 450 vertical feet of open slopes that were heavenly untracked powder for a few hours Saturday morning. As I recall, orange ropes cordoned off the hiking trail, as well as some of the ski trails, since they had little natural snow before the half-foot or so that fell overnight Friday. As usual, I saw some skiiers ski the closed ski trails, and might have seen tracks on the hiking trail - I wasn't focused on that.

    Like me (and Tim), most skiers I know are law-abiding and not reckless. (I had my hands full with the trails were open and never go off-trail at a downhill area.)

  5. #5
    Senior Member forestgnome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouseking
    Its almost as ignorant as going above treeline without any gear. grouseking
    No, far more ignorant, IMO. You risk your own life by going without proper gear, but skiing down a hiking trail where people are known to hike involves risking injury to others. I consider it criminal negligence. Glad you're OK. Hope they grow up before they hurt someone. Too many cool people.

    Happy Trails

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tim Seaver's Avatar
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    I don't know the law, but the same thing almost happened to Ray and me last year, while hiking the Monroe Trail up Camel's Hump.
    Yup, it's a big problem on that trail. I still have fond memories of snowshoeing up a rather narrow part of the trail when a skier came shooting down. Not having anywhere to go, I just stared at him blankly as he crashed into the woods. Then his buddy came down right behind him, crashing into the other side of the woods.

    They didn't sound too happy as they picked the spruce branches out of their teeth. And I certainly didn't apologize. In fact, I believe it was all I could do to contain a serious case of the chuckles as they tried to regain their composure as bad-ass skiers.

    I have seen parties do it more responsibly, using a spotter at the bottom of each run to make sure the trail is clear of "those *&%$*@ hikers" before the next skier launches.
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  7. #7
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    This is a forum for hikers, therefore we know that hiking trails exist, and that we actually hike on them in the winter.

    I'd bet a lot of money that most skiers at Waterville Valley can't name the mountain (Tecumseh) let alone do they realize there may be hikers on some trail that is accessible from the lifts.

    Their transgression is ignoring the boundary markers. I'd bet it's not personal, so don't take it that way. Again, I'd send a note to Waterville Valley, perhaps they can add a sign to the top of the hiking trail warning skiers of the additional dangers of skiing down the hiking trail.

    Tim
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  8. #8
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish
    This is a forum for hikers, therefore we know that hiking trails exist, and that we actually hike on them in the winter.
    It's also a forum for skiers.
    Their transgression is ignoring the boundary markers.
    Actually it's not usually a huge problem going outside of ski areas boundries. They may not like it, but it happens all the time. Skiers access out of bounds terrain from lifts all over New England, but those trails rarely have lots of hikers. In fact, if I were skiing down some of those trails and there were hikers coming up, I'd be pretty upset since I really wouldn't expect that.

    I often encounter this on trails like the Carriage Road on Moosilauke, which has skier, hiker, and snowmobile traffic up and down. You have to keep this in mind at all times up there. Same with any trails that have frequent skier traffic, such as Snapper, Gorge Brook, or Garfield. Hikers and skiers have managed to make it work out.

    Being right next to a ski area, and knowing that skiers sometimes come down that trail, I've kept an eye out when hiking up. And I've also boot skied down the ski trails and the skiers were pretty nice about it.

    This clearly was an unpleasant experience, and a potentially dangerous one. Skiers also have rights to the trails, as long as they take care to use them safely. It's a two way street, pardon the pun.

    -dave-

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lawn Sale's Avatar
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    Two years ago my brother and I were ice climbing out of Tucks, to the right of right, and looked up to see some insane skiers coming down the chute. I thought it was hilarious, as did my brother, and we still talk about it to this day. There isn't much you can do to stop a free-fall.

    I'd love to be able to ski like that, but for now will have to watch in awe as others do it.
    Appearances are not everything, it just looks like they are.




  10. #10
    Senior Member Mattl's Avatar
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    Being right next to a ski area, and knowing that skiers sometimes come down that trail, I've kept an eye out when hiking up. And I've also boot skied down the ski trails and the skiers were pretty nice about it.- Metsky


    There should be no reason why skiers should be going down on a small rocky trail which is used for hiking and offers little way of getting out of the way. I was with phil on this trip and we litteraly had to go into the trees to avoid them. This isn't a wide carrage road that offers passage for both. I am a big backcountry skiier, but I still show courtesy because I am even more of a hiker. There is plenty of terrain they can go on at Waterville, and if anything they can go through some of the more open woods at the near the bottom. When it becomes dangerous for the hiker, which is what that trail was made for, then they just shouldn't do it. If they want glades, then they can find them at places like Bretton Woods, or Wildcat, who have just opened up a lot. Phil and I felt threatened by them coming screaming down the trail without even watching who was below. I know some people are careful if they ski down, but why not just not ski on that trail? It really should better managed and kept off-limits. -Mattl
    ps: I screwed up trying to quote
    Last edited by Mattl; 02-05-2007 at 11:11 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member forestgnome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky
    This clearly was an unpleasant experience, and a potentially dangerous one. Skiers also have rights to the trails, as long as they take care to use them safely.
    The essence of the issue is safety and control. I believe the only difference b/w users of the trail is what's on their feet (and speed, of course). However, it is negligent and uncouth to conduct yourself in a way that endangers others. It is reasonable to expect others to be on a hiking trail, be they hikers or even another skier who has fallen in the trail. If you ski around a curve in a trail at a speed that leaves you unable to avoid crashing into someone else on the trail, then you are negligent. Same goes for glissading.

    I wouldn't want to prohibit skiing or glissading or sledding on trails, but everyone needs to conduct themselves as civilized, free citizens, so that prohibitions are unnecessary.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Grumpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forestnome
    The essence of the issue is safety and control. I believe the only difference b/w users of the trail is what's on their feet (and speed, of course). However, it is negligent and uncouth to conduct yourself in a way that endangers others. It is reasonable to expect others to be on a hiking trail, be they hikers or even another skier who has fallen in the trail. If you ski around a curve in a trail at a speed that leaves you unable to avoid crashing into someone else on the trail, then you are negligent. Same goes for glissading.

    I wouldn't want to prohibit skiing or glissading or sledding on trails, but everyone needs to conduct themselves as civilized, free citizens, so that prohibitions are unnecessary.
    Right on the money, from the first word to the last!

    It's also important to remember that we're all out there to have some fun, and derive some enjoyment from what we're doing. If our own fun and enjoyment in a shared venue comes at the expense of someone else's, that just isn't right.

    G.

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rankin
    "When he told her he had just run into a deer on the slope her first question was, "Is the deer all right?" " Nice !
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  15. #15
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattl
    There should be no reason why skiers should be going down on a small rocky trail which is used for hiking and offers little way of getting out of the way.
    Sure there is a reason, it's fun. Now, it should be safe as well, and it is possible to be safe on trails like that if you ski in control. But we all get different enjoyment from different things. I find skiing on narrow trails (with enough snow cover) to be a blast.

    This isn't a wide carrage road that offers passage for both.
    Neither is Snapper or Gorge Brook, and both of them were designed and built as combo hiking and skiing trails. There are places on both where you must be wary of your surroundings and be able to stop in time, since there isn't always room to get by a hiker. But I've skied both many times and never had a major problem.

    Phil and I felt threatened by them coming screaming down the trail without even watching who was below. I know some people are careful if they ski down, but why not just not ski on that trail? It really should better managed and kept off-limits.
    The problem was bad skiers, not all skiers. There are places where skiing downhill on trails is specifically excluded, such as the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. There is a parallel ski trail there specifically because of the traffic concerns with hikers and skiers going up Tuckerman. But elsewhere in the Whites there hasn't been enough of a problem to require the rule. You can make the case that the Tecumseh Trail should have this restriction, but I would argue against it in this case. A little education would allow different types of users to share the trail.

    -dave-

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