Vail Daily letter: Let’s open a dialog
It is to my dismay that yet another letter has been written and published on the topic of “dangerous snowboarders” describing us as “super-charged young adults on flying missiles.”
While I do find this comparison humorous, I think equating us to menacing weapons of destruction is a little off target. While it is very unfortunate that another guest of Vail Resorts was involved in an accident on the mountain and I’m sure these types of accidents are all too common, it is irresponsible to lump all snowboarders into the category of “skier-seeking guided missiles.”
The fact is, many of us do seek out areas of the mountain where we are less likely to cross paths with skiers; not out of the fear of running into the dreaded “super-carver” skiers making blind turns across the face of slopes — I know plenty of skiers and boarders alike who’ve been hit by these type — but because we generally like to do different things on the mountain. As it is an unavoidable truth that all runs lead to the bottom, it is inevitable that skiers and boarders will end up along side of each other and anytime you get a lot of people together in one place moving simultaneously on a nearly frictionless surface the risk for accident goes up exponentially.
So instead of pointing fingers, talking about segregation, hefty fines, profiling and statements about “those people are more dangerous than these people,” let’s open a dialog about awareness, personal responsibility and realizing that we all have a hand in what happens on the mountain. Avoid the pain of broadcasting your latest pity party and talk about things like: Stopping in appropriate places; looking uphill before making long sweeps across a run — it’s like using your mirrors before switching four lanes in the car; calling your “drops” in the park; and most importantly, let’s remember that we are all here to have fun, feel good and come home safe!
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.