Letter: More yellow jackets isn’t the answer | VailDaily.com
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Letter: More yellow jackets isn’t the answer

Recent letters to the editor have floated placing mountain safety workers in the Back Bowls to deal with a perceived increase in skier collisions.

While well-intentioned, this would ruin the Vail experience for expert skiers and riders.

The solution to the extensively documented and unsafe overcrowding at Vail Resorts’ mountains is fewer visitors through higher pass prices.



The Ikon pass for adults is more than $1,000. The Epic pass should be too.

And while this hit to our wallets won’t be fun, we’ll all be thankful we paid more for our season passes when there are fewer crowds, and thus fewer collisions next year.



Vail isn’t just for beginners who feel safer with “yellow jackets” around — it’s a resort beloved by expert skiers and riders.

These are the folks who have dedicated their lives to skiing and snowboarding. They are the most reliable customer base in the industry.

And the Back Bowls are their domain where they can ride fast, and well.

Experts celebrate the opening of the Back Bowls each year because they know it means they can ski their hearts out in vast terrain without being harangued by often impolite mountain safety personnel.

Imagine the nightmare of mountain safety looming at the base of runs like Genghis Khan, or Windows, shouting and shaking poles at expert skiers and snowboarders, all for the sin of being able to connect turns, or ride switch.

As an expert skier of 32 years, I acknowledge it’s my job to ski responsibly everywhere at Vail, but only “slower” on the front side for the safety and comfort of beginners.

Higher pass prices will reduce crowds and collisions next year. Let’s keep the Back Bowls free from the “necessary evil” of yellow jackets who belong solely on the front side.

Benji Gadberry

West Vail


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