Safety first on Vail Mountain
Vail, CO, Colorado
Having skied and ridden Vail Mountain for four decades and worked in various mountains capacities through the years, the one thing that has always been a focal point for me and many others, is on-the-hill safety.
This year the Epic effect promises to put many more people out there, and more people means more congestion and more collisions and near collisions.
There are many areas on the mountain where you are more likely to get into dangerous situations, especially around Mid-Vail. It seems that most people try to keep a respectful distance from other users, but some out there just come too close for comfort.
What is an acceptable distance? Well, most think a minimum of six feet but that it is better to stay 10 feet from other users, except around lifts and on roads or catwalks.
Besides spacing, the other problem that causes many accidents is the lack of users looking side to side, or as we say, tunnel vision.
On a positive note I have noticed that most people using ipods leave one ear open to hear what is going on around them.
Oh and for those who do come too close or are going to hit someone, please make some noise to alert the other person so they can avoid or brace for the situation.
One other point, if you are waiting for someone or fixing your boots in the lift line, get as far to the side as possible so you don’t block the line or get run over.
I hope none are offended by these safety reminders, but it never hurts to review positive habits.