`Which Skills?´ or the downfall of skiing!
I think winter sport amateurs believe that green or blue runs are safe and not dangerous. But skiing has reached a point where this is not entirely true anymore. If you place yourself anywhere on a busy red, blue or green run you’re definitely in harm’s way and you risk to be hit at any moment by one of the countless people who have taken the back seat on their skis! And at the risk of offending some of you, it’s safe to say that hardly anyone of them is able to stop in time, or alter their trajectory if needed. And if this eventually results in the inevitable collision, then it’s of course the fault of the person who’s been hit because she/he just skied right in front of the perpetrator!
There has been a time where skiing off-piste, in the back country or out of bounds posed lesser risks to the skilled skier. But because of the demanding ski equipment, only the committed aficionado, the dedicated ski enthusiast who lived through the painstaking learning efforts to acquire the proper ski technique and the knowledge about avalanche safety, was able to master the challenge of ungroomed snow in all its varieties. It was heaven!
These times are gone for good, the ski manufacturers and ski industry as a whole made sure of that. Our clever engineers just developed easy to ski skis, fat and forgiving and the ski resort developers brought the party to the mountain. To deliriously expensive restaurants and hip open air dance bars which audio pollute a whole valley and beyond! Accept it and call it the collateral damage of growth and expansion. After all there is money to be made! But only if you’d bring more people to the ski resorts. No, they weren’t interested in the conscious, mountain loving outdoorsman/woman, but the ‘hey’ big spender.
So how, as a ski instructor or guide, do you pass on what you believe is necessary to become a skilled skier and respectful mountain visitor?
Just make sure you don’t morph into a ski clown! Into someone who’s guiding non-skiers from the hotel to a fancy restaurant where they might sit next to a film star, a model or even a prince. Instead make them learn the ski-technique! The right stands, and last not least make’m understand that we all have a responsibility towards an environment we only share……!
Enjoy, and…do it in the snow!