Vail Daily letter: Dangerous snowboarders
February 1, 2016
We all know skiing is inherently risky, but within recent years, there has developed a deadly menace around every turn of our beautiful ski runs. The menace, more often than not, is a super-charged young adult on a flying missile — a snowboard.
A few days ago, I had the misfortune of having a close encounter with this menace. While turning to the left on a very wide open run, I heard that dreadful scraping sound. Within seconds I was slammed to the ground, hitting my shoulder and head. The menace continued on his way, never stopping or even looking back. My story is not rare. We have all heard them, and had near misses ourselves. The potential for grave injury and death is all too real. Isn't it time for Vail Resorts to address this danger before that potential is realized?
Greater minds than mine can be applied to finding a solution for all of us who enjoy Vail and Beaver Creek mountains. Do we need to institute a huge fine for snowboarders going at a high rate of speed, or worse yet, for those who hit a skier? Must we designate areas of the mountain exclusively for snowboarders? Perhaps we need many more "yellow jackets" on all runs, even on weekdays. Are we really to believe Vail Resorts puts financial gain above the safety of its guests? So far, nothing has been done — no posted rules, no fines to even begin to get a handle on this clear and present danger.
As I sit here with ice on my shoulder, my head aching, I contemplate how much worse my injuries could have been. Thankfully, only two things shattered: My favorite prescription sunglasses and my confidence that the next time I go out on a beautiful blue sky day, I, too, won't come back shattered by a snowboarder.
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